Yo, I believe many are aware of the issue of aggregator sites from the announcements of fellow translators so I’m not gonna dawdle with the introduction. I’m posting this now because I’m a reader myself and I’ve been seeing a lot of good translators dropping their series because of this, which is very saddening but understandable. You can skip to the underlined parts if it’s too wordy.
For NakimushiTL, I’ve not reached the point of wanting to stop translating due to this… yet. Also, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent the ‘stealing’ of translations without being detrimental to the readers so I’m not going to implement anything… yet.
But what I can do at this point is to encourage readers to read from the original sites.
Firstly, the usual reason: all translators spend precious moments of their lives to provide these translations to the community. It’s not always their job or obligation to do so, but they’re still doing it. The only time aggregator sites spend is whatever means they use to copy and paste and if they’re using bots, then really, not much time at all.
Secondly, some translators, myself included, edit chapters even some time after their initial release. I’m (unfortunately) a bit of a perfectionist, so I tend to re-read and re-read previously posted chapters, whenever I feel like it, to pick up mistakes or find better ways to phrase things. I presume that aggregator sites don’t update their copies of the chapters when the original sites do, so if you read from aggregator sites, you may just be reading chapters of ‘lower quality’.
Finally, I won’t say this is important to all translators, but from what I’ve seen, many do appreciate comments, likes, anything that shows some kind of support to their work. There are also some who enjoy discussing about the series they translate. It provides motivation and a sense of satisfaction to what is otherwise thankless work. And motivation = (possibly) faster and more releases.
(Btw if you’re using aggregator sites because they have ‘everything’ in one place, I believe sites like novelupdates that links ‘everything’ to the original sites instead of ‘stealing’ works and putting them on their own site will be helpful.)
So I suppose things like aggregator sites appear because there’s a demand and when there’s demand, there’s a chance for profit. It wasn’t unexpected for this to happen… it’s been going on for anime and manga for years and is already part and parcel of the internet. However, at least for novels, especially since they are word-based, I believe if readers stop going to these sites then less translators will feel like dropping their stuff (there’s a number of series I really wanted to read the continuation of but were dropped too Q^Q, sigh). Also, if there’s no demand, there’s no reason for their existence.
At the end of the day, the ones translating aren’t the aggregator sites. If translators drop stuff and you don’t understand the language being translated or have good machine translations, you probably won’t be able to read the rest of the series. Wouldn’t that be a lose-lose situation?
And… after all that, I just realised that readers who go to aggregator sites probably won’t even see this *facepalm*. At any rate, ta ta for now and thanks for reading this lengthy rant.