Living da $2,500 Life: On the Bourgeoisie Lifestyle of Mister Aroduc

I have recently found out Aroduc is translating Littlewitch Romanesque. He is asking for $2,500 so he can translate the work without getting a real job.

That’s a lot of money. And why does he need this?

I don’t have the time to take on a second project at the same time as also juggling the things I need to do to eat and live. If this is funded, I won’t need to worry about that stuff as much and will be able to devote some actual time here while continuing to work on Seinarukana. At the moment, I won’t finish translating Seinarukana for another 2-3 months so unless other life stuff is taken care of, I won’t be seriously working on this again until then at the absolute earliest (assuming no other significant issues with Seinarukana come up), and even then, if this stays as just a completely volunteer project, it’s entirely probable that I’ll have more pressing matters.

I will not comment on the bourgeoisie life Aroduc is living. But everyone will agree he is living da life. You see, $2,500 is a lot of money for two months. You could buy many things and live da life. It is like a dream come true. I would live on $2,500 on two months if people tell me to.

You should not donate to their holiday funds. After all, these people will use the Kickstarter money to not get actual jobs but to work on awful fan translations. Really, they’re asking to live on donations. What a scam.

So instead, I’ll use mathematics to prove Aroduc and his team are part of the bourgeois.

According to VNTLS, the Seiha Translations members are DxS, herkz, hikago, and Aroduc himself. I will not count DxS because he is currently MIA. (Correction: DxS is now alive as of May 5th, but for the purpose of this exercise, he does not exist.) So really, the lineup would probably be Aroduc, herkz, and hikago. Aroduc has considered the possibility of hiring more editors, which might happen if this goes through. Therefore, let us assume the team will have four members minimum.

Aroduc will be relying on the $2,500 donation for two months to pay himself and his team members for expenses and the such. We shall calculate a simple scenario to see how rich they are.

For example, he talks about nutrition being an issue. Thus, let’s assume they’ll live on McDonald’s, the most elite of all cuisines. A McDonald’s double cheeseburger meal costs $3-5. That is more than enough to live on. You have the needed calories plus it’s a meal specifically catered to the elite. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume it’s $3. With four members, each double cheeseburger meal will cost $12. If these people eat 3 meals per day, they would pay at least $36. In a month, these four men would only pay $496. Two months of cheeseburger meals cost $992. This leaves them $1,508 to spare.

But they have to pay bills before getting their money: the average electricity bill costs about $110.4; Aroduc and Co.™ would pay about $441.6 for a month and for two months: $883.32. Water bills are about $39.5, totaling up to $118.5 for a month. Two months: $237. Using internet costs about $42.99/month (based Comcast). Double that and that’s $343.92.

Total those bills up and they should be about $1,464.24.

Subtracting, the leftover money is $43.76. Each of them have about $11 for their crack cocaine expenses.

Now, that’s a lot of money.

But what happens if they have rich daddies who pay their bills and double cheeseburgers for them? The $2,500 will be left untouched so each of them will get $625 (assuming it is distributed equally). Since the project will likely take two months to finish, they have a monthly pay of $312.5. That’s so much money. They could buy things. Like toilet paper. Fun fact: Fast food cooks make $1,560 per month.

The team is also tackling a huge obstacle:

Besides translation work left, which I’d estimate would take at least a month minimum of concentrating on just this project, probably two splitting time, there’s also editing, QC, and interface work remaining. The presentation means that there’s going to be significant work needed even after the translation is finished to get everything properly aligned again for the English text with the bubbles in the right places and tails to speakers pointed appropriately. The script is in an XML-like format, which makes it very easy to work with and control, but it still needs to be manually done, and with around 35,000 lines in total, that’s no small amount of work (in comparison, Earthbound’s entire script is a bit over 6,500 lines, Disgaea’s script is around 4,500 lines). It’s a lot of work not only for myself but for all the members of the team, and they all deserve part of this too.

Meaning they have a lot more to work on than actual JRPGs and a mere $2,500 is usually not enough for most translator teams. To do it in two months is just absurd.

However, Aroduc delivers. Compare him to the output of MangaGamer and JAST and he will still kick butt. Game-oriented visual novels are tougher to translate and go through a more arduous process than nukiges.

Instead of giving up due to time contraints and pressure, the translator is willing to accept lesser pay than someone working in McDonalds. And this is all just because it’s his hobby and nothing else.

That’s so bourgeoisie, yo.

But what about fan translators and other staff members who work for free? Even you, Kastel, are working on three projects that are reportedly free!

The truth is: we still pay. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I had to pay for my Mac, food, software, electricity, and more. And since I’m an amateur image editor and VN editor (uncredited for now), I don’t have the credibility to ask for money. It’s absurd to say we don’t need money; all we need is just love. Sadly, volunteer effort isn’t like that.

And time is also money. Aroduc is buying time with money literally. Without the money, he won’t have the time to translate; he’ll have to find a job for two months. Therefore, the VN will be delayed or not translated at all. Fan translators are sacrificing their time and money to release translated visual novels. We could be working at McDonald’s instead of translating porn novels.

They have better wages.


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