Grammar in the Wild - Phase 2!

Hi guys!

Thanks a lot for your participation this past month with our new activity, Grammar in the Wild. We have seen lots of interesting answers, and have been making notes about the way that people translate things, so that we can better teach points that appear to be difficult for users.

In light of our continued efforts to polish all aspects of Bunpro, we would like to launch phase 2 of Grammar in the Wild!

-----Torpedo launch sound effects -----

A few big things will change, and we think you guys will like them! Let’s take a look at what’s new:

(1) Monthly prizes - From now on, there will be a monthly prize!! This prize will be awarded to one user based on creativity, accuracy, explanation, or even just consistent participation! For more information about the prizes available, click ‘Information about prizes’ below.

Information about prizes

Prizes available:

  • Physical manga/magazines! We will send you a physical copy of a manga/magazine of your choice! (regardless of where you live!)… It is a little bit too hard to send you street signs!

  • Content choice! Do you want to see Grammar in the Wild based on your favorite manga/tv-show/magazine? You will be able to choose something that we will use during the following month. (Your selection will be used 5 times during that month)

This probably goes without saying, but the physical prize, or content choice prize cannot be anything too risqué. cough no hentai cough ಠ_ಠ

  • Badges! There will be a few badges available, depending on the reason you were awarded with translator of the month.

Expectations:

  • Creativity. For creativity, we are looking for an original translation, that carries the same nuance as the original sentence, but may not use exactly the same words!

  • Accuracy. For this we are looking for users ability to use the same style of language as the Japanese text. (Use casual English with casual Japanese, slang with slang, formal with formal).

  • Explanation. For explanation, we want to hear why you chose certain words for your translation, or you thought it was hard/easy. (Any explanation is fine! Even something like ‘This was difficult to translate because I feel like this nuance wasn’t covered on Bunpro’.

  • Participation. For this one, all we want is for you guys to try! Your translation may not always be correct, it may be correct 100% of the time, or it might be way off! It doesn’t matter. If you are consistently taking part, you are eligible. (Consistently taking part means a minimum of 10 translations in any 30 day period).

(2) Participation badges - In addition to the badges available if you win translator of the month, there will be 2 extra badges available to anybody. (Specific details about these badges have not been 100% fleshed out yet. But they will be available retroactively to people that meet the criteria before the badges are implemented).

(3) You have the power to help evolve Bunpro - 一緒に進化しましょう!At the end of each month, in addition to the prize being announced, there will be a discussion about grammar points that were used that month, and how comfortable you felt translating them. Did you get majorly stumped on a grammar point that you thought you knew? We want to know that! Your feedback can help us alter our grammar explanations, so that more nuances are covered, and things become easier to understand!

We hope that you all continue to enjoy this new feature, and think of it as a bit of a break from your regular study. Please do try to translate them even if you aren’t confident. We are proud of the amazing, supportive community that has built up around Bunpro, and someone is almost always certain to help you out if you feel stuck!
Any feedback that you provide with your translations will continue to help this site evolve!

Hope you have an absolutely amazing day!
The Bunpro Team.

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I haven’t joined in yet but will definitely join in from now!

I need this in my life! I’m doing a translation and interpretation course at the moment, which I am extremely likely to fail, because of the various contexts I have to read into… so I’ll definitely be coming in regularly from tomorrow :joy:

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So the manga of Mein Kampf is an acceptable choice then.

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Interesting question… I just looked it up, and it does contain a lot of grammar :sweat_smile:

I would say no based purely on the fact that it seems to be difficult to get hold of. There have been many catastrophic events in the history of mankind, and reading historical books to better understand what brought about those things is not something I would personally judge. As for the hentai… well… also not my place to judge.

Anything that is culturally sensitive is also out. As we want users to feel comfortable about the things we are presenting them. I think there is a pretty clear line here, and 97% of books would probably be acceptable.

Fair enough. Though contextless hentai translation attempts would be quite funny.

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I actually felt the points covered so far have been really good, arguably the most manageable part of the examples so far, but part of that might be my tendency to anchor off of them. It’s the one part of the sentence that is definitely going to be what I think it is. I can trust Bunpro, but there’s no way 木 means tree here… right?

Ah, that Marine/Noel bath stream was safe for youtube so it’s probably fine. I know what I’m pushing for then
Being a little more serious, does culturally sensitive include things that are arguably religious in nature, eg. some mythology/folklore and Shinto related things. I feel like it comes up fairly frequently in manga/anime and one of my favorite games Okami is kind of drowning in that kind of material.

I can’t say I really care either way, but unfortunately…

You’re telling me this beautifully concise explanation of protectionist policy came from hentai? What are the numbers, I uh- need this for my… *erhm* capstone project.
The number of semingly legit sauce requests on reddit that get a six digit response is way too high.

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The stakes are high now, boys. Game on!

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Winner winner chicken dinner!

We would like to officially announce the winner of the August Grammar In The Wild participation based competition. This month we chose @ccookf for this specific translation.

We thought that this was a great translation that took into account not only the words, but a bit of history about the story itself. This type of translation that reflects on context within the story is something that people will do automatically when they are reading a book themselves, and we think that this was a perfect example of how reflecting on context can lead you to a good translation! :partying_face: :sunglasses: :partying_face:

@ccookf please contact @Jake about claiming your prize. No rush!

We would also like to give an honorable mention to @FredKore for this translation. We loved that Fred actively tried to convert the gender language into something more natural in English, and also loved that they complimented one of the other contestants for something that they thought was more natural. This positive and encouraging attitude is something that makes us proud to have a community of such genuine people here!

@FredKore we will be in touch about a special mention badge that you’ll be eligible for!

I am also compiling another list of participation statistics, and will update this post with information about people that are eligible for other prizes soon! Quite a few people participated enough to win unique badges, and we appreciate the great response and effort everyone has been putting it! :muscle:


How did everybody feel about the content this month? Was it too easy/too hard? Too much manga? Are there any resources you’d like us to use that we didn’t? Did you notice any new nuances of certain grammar that you feel we don’t cover well on the website? We would like to know any and all opinions that you may have!

Let’s have a bit of a chat about how we can improve this feauture so that it can lead to further development of Bunpro! Once again thank you all so much for your participation, and let’s keep it up!

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Yay! Thanks @Asher !
Also congrats to @ccookf !

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This is awesome! I didn’t realize there were prizes/badges up for grabs. All the more reason to keep up with the thread every day.

Congratulations @ccookf and @FredKore! I always enjoy reading your translations and comparing them to my own. You both definitely deserve it! :confetti_ball: :tada:

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Congrats to you as well @FredKore :tada:

Waiting for these to turn into official statistics so we can all agonize about losing our streaks here too… It was definitely a lot more fun to see a larger variety of posts here since phase 2.

How did everybody feel about the content this month?
Mostly fine, I think I preferred signs over manga. I’m not a photography guru, but I think a polarizing(?) filter should help with reducing the reflections of the photographer on the signs themselves.

Was it too easy/too hard?
I felt like there was a good mix, but the manga always comes off as more difficult to me. There have been a few times I’ve wanted to look at the actual pages (I’ve toyed with some odd retro tech and had never heard of the MO thing before), but that’s probably not happening in an official post. In some ways the lack of context seems to hit harder than the text.

Too much manga?
I don’t mind manga, but I would like to see more resources mixed. I think someone had commented about getting a bunch of it in a row, which is a little more tiring than if they were alternating with the signs.

Are there any resources you’d like us to use that we didn’t?
I’m not sure what’s more difficult to tip toe around with Japanese copyright, but some examples would be things like news article snippets/headlines, song lyrics, light/web novel quotes (syousetsu?), interesting/trending twitter posts, cookbooks, blogs, ect… Thinking of novels and stuff, wouldn’t Aozora Bunko be fair game?

I know you guys said no hentai, but what about food porn? Maybe it’s not as common over there, but I love reading some of the mini stories or descriptions of food in menus too :meat_on_bone: I can probably understand if you guys say Shokugeki no Soma is off the table though.

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Was really great to see so many people stick with it from the start until the end! Congratulations to everyone who got prizes, super jelly of that badge!

I’d be interested to hear from people who didn’t participate for whatever reason - were there too many points above N5/N4 and they didn’t feel comfortable attempting? If so, more beginner-friendly ones could be done and to make it interesting for experienced readers there could be additional challenges implemented. Whether this means rewrite the sentence using certain grammar points to change meaning, write what the other speaker could say as a follow up, etc. Either way, I think the difficulty level was pretty good.

The Manga examples are interesting as it helps introduce expressions, etc. that you won’t find in regular example sentences on bunpro. I think we all saw how some N4 points were much harder than N3 at times! I feel like the mix was fine to me. I think for content at N4 and above, I wouldn’t mind seeing slightly longer passages. Maybe an additional sentence or two, nothing major. All things considered, great new addition and any reading practice is always useful!

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To be honest, I usually can’t be bothered to lookup words I don’t know from the image as it’s not as convenient as being able to use an on screen dictionary. For the ones I do do, I just personally like keeping it to myself I guess.

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Yomichan has spoiled me, I know what you mean. If you’re on windows I would recommend the program Capture2Text - takes 5 seconds to capture the on screen text and then copy paste that into jisho or ichi.moe

Dunno if that will entice ya to do more of the sessions but at least you can use the program for other things! I might make a post about this program later, a lot of people get great use out of it.

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I think there are few mixed reasons for not participating. Mostly I’m a typically top A procrastinator, easily distracted with many other things (work, chores, pet projects, etc.) while running my regular scheduled Japanese learning through SRS.

But all of that are excuses as many people have so much more on their plates than I do. Nonetheless, I really enjoy being able to skim through the posts as additional Reading practice.

I know trying to write something won’t hurt and would take less time than replying to forum posts but I guess a lot of it has to do with my low confidence level as well.

Regardless, I try not to be hard on myself and just enjoy reading the Grammar In The Wild posts, as well as many of the insightful replies from the community members.

I also think the levels are wonderfully balanced and having manga resources alternating with the other ones would be a nice pace.

Adding resources from everyday items like food packaging instructions, guide on how to use a machines / gadgets and signs seen in shops or restaurants would be great. I guess basically stuff that would be useful for travellers.

Last but not least, CONGRATULATIONS to the winners! :tada: :gift: :trophy:

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Aozora bunko is a great suggestion, and I love those books! We would have to do it a little bit differently if it were a longer passage though. As far as copyright goes, so long as we are copying less than 20% of the original work it is fair game, and there are even extra statutes regarding content that is used for educational purposes (which we thankfully are). I am definitely not against it!

Shokugeki no soma is actually on my list of things to buy (we purchase all the manga we use here, just to be safe). You are correct, they do have great food descriptions, and I will definitely include some in the future. One of the other ones that we already have (Toriko) also has really good food and ‘food porn’ descriptions. So something like that is not off the table!

Thankyou for asking! We would love to know this too :slight_smile:

Rewriting the sentence if there are any really difficult parts is also a good idea!

Good point! We may not include it as part of the picture, but if I did a ‘hidden’ section with any difficult words displayed, would that help?

If this is your primary reason, please think of it as an opportunity to help us at Bunpro! If you are not confident in something, we personally feel responsible as a platform, because out primary goal is to give you confidence!

If you get something wrong, don’t worry about it at all! The day will come that I translate something incorrectly as part of Grammar In The Wild myself! Seeing common mistakes that people make will help us know what we need to teach better! Even for things that you have not learned yet, if you just add a note saying ‘I haven’t actually learned this grammar yet, but wanted to give it a shot’, everybody will appreciate it! We are all in the same boat, and things that seem like small realizations can actually be massive steps for some people.

Irregardless of that, please feel free to take part!

P.S food packaging is a great idea! (and I have a lot of it) I will include some!

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It might also be a good idea to have the same sentence just as text in the hidden area, makes it possible to just copy-paste into jisho or the like if someone is unsure. I don’t mind re-typing the sentence myself, but if it is indeed a hurdle for some people, that might be of some help.

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While personally I think I would be fine with what @mathijsdm is suggesting, providing translations for difficult words might make it more accessible since it is cutting out an extra step. I think these challenges are more supposed to be about seeing how grammar is applied in practice, so giving away what vocabulary isn’t such a big deal. I do like the tidbits of information we get along with the answer image though.

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As an aside, are there any plans for archiving these in the long term? I still think one of the more underrated aspects of this site is having thousands of translated example sentences which GitW really plays into.

I was thinking about the difficulty issue, but one thing I think I would be neat in the far-far future is a sort of learnnatively style rating and browsing system. Maybe not necessarily taking in user evaluations, but even just having the admins weigh in on the sample difficulty and having some more robust search options would be a great compliment to Bunpro’s current content.

I certainly felt this way even when I was participating. There’s definitely freedom in the approach to learning Japanese, but my instincts definitely screams stupid things like “4 is a prerequisite to 3, don’t even try it!”

I also think it kind of feels bad to get N5/N4 point which is beginner territory and struggle to make sense of sentence. I pushed myself through some of these early on because of the encouragement I’ve read from other users, but it definitely would have been frustrating enough to make me give up if I was on my own.

This is how I felt as well. I’m so new that I’ve had to do looks up on all but one of the examples so far anyway. Today’s example also ended being one of those annoying examples where I missed something simple and got super lost with the point. Like someone else said I’ll often chuck a line in jisho and most of the time it will parse it well enough, but today I was little too brain dead to coax this into

what it was actually supposed to be. If I had put in the ファンデ separately it would have come up, but it was one of those annoying pain points that comes up from just being inexperienced. As soon as I read the other responses I did one of these

(Well, I also thought the foundation was a top down photograph of a tea cup next to a saucer at first glance so I felt extra stupid)

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For what it’s worth, there are a lot of times that N5/N4 stuff here is not a true difficulty when it takes into consideration slang, nuances, etc. You can see how the example sentences in the grammar points work vs stuff in this thread, just slightly tougher! I think what a lot of us can do is foster an environment where even if someone gets a sentence 90% wrong we can help out to point them in the right direction. Someone not understanding vocab words is something they can look on jisho, etc. about but stuff like conjugation, grammar points, etc. are things that we can help explain outside of what Asher does.

My Japanese is ass and when I first started I felt the same way, it’s tough to go over that uncomfortable feeling and feel vulnerable knowing someone will ace it and you’ll flop. I’ll continue to think on it, but there’s certainly ways to help out starters a bit more to make them feel more comfortable and having a strong support group for everyone. We’ll all suffer together as one! :joy:

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