Table of Contents
Hello and welcome. My name is Seung Park, and I am the lead translator of insani.org.
What you see before you is an archive of sekai.insani.org, the production journal of insani.org. It was in operation from May to August of 2006, and for a time was a vital resource for aspiring translators and hackers of novel games. Ed and I decided to create this journal because there was a relative lack of resources and tutorials for those in the novel game translation community at the time. In reading through these old entries, a few things became immediately apparent to us:
- Good information is good information. Specifically, Ed’s So You Want to Be a Hacker? series remains some of the finest advice about reverse-engineering novel game engines ever written. It is primarily so that these articles could live again in their native home (rather than as an archive.org WayBackMachine archive) that I chose to take on the work of converting the old WordPress content into a static site.
- The translations of French short fiction are rare, and remain interesting. Authors like Hugo de Haan and Marie Noël are relatively unknown outside of France, and even in France many will not have read their work. We’re pleased to be able to present these translations again, and perhaps we might add more of these translations still.
- My advice to young translators was, as typical of me, highly opinionated. I was a much more hot-headed individual back in 2006, and I leave my younger self’s words exactly as they were with equal parts respect and amusement. Respect, for the trail that he blazed in the novel game translation scene. Amusement, because he took himself way too seriously. Since insani.org itself is a historical curiosity now, it seems fitting that we present this portion of our history as-is, warts and all.
There were only two articles in this category, comprising a comprehensive postmortem of one of our projects: Visions from the Other Side.
Letters to a Young Translator
These letters, written to an anonymous translator called “X”, are written in the style of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, except with not even a fraction of Rilke’s literary mastery. They do contain some sound advice about the translation and production process, and also provide valuable historical insight on how insani.org ran its production process when it was at its peak. As I note in the Introduction above, I can’t reread these letters without some amount of amusement now. If you read them yourself, you will see why.
So You Want to Be a Hacker?
To this very day, there has never been a tutorial on the reverse-engineering of novel game engines and scripting formats that has been as elegant or as comprehensive as Ed’s tutorial series on this matter. This is the most valuable series of sekai.insani.org, and it served as a critical resource for many who were starting up projects of their own.
While I have mainly translated from Japanese into English, I am a native speaker of Korean and I learned French in middle school and high school. I fell in love with French language short stories – Yves Theriault, Hugo de Haan, and Albert Camus are some of my favorite writers for instance. Camus in particular is my favorite author of all time, and his mastery of the French language is simply stunning. In any case, for a short time I posted translations of relatively obscure pieces of French-language fiction.