Official Rulebook in English

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Esh
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Official Rulebook in English

Post by Esh » Fri May 18, 2012 4:57 am

Are there any official rulebooks in Japanese that have been translated? Other than EMA or Barticle's HUGE exhaustive pdf file, every set of instructions seem to be from word of mouth. Are there any "official" written instructions from any leagues, or do they just get together and decide what rules apply and where? I've seen mention of different names of rule sets, like Toudai Shiki and others, but surely there has to be some sort of official document?

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Moah » Fri May 18, 2012 6:41 am

IF there are, it'd make sense they're only available in japanse, wouldn't it?

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Shirluban » Fri May 18, 2012 9:10 am

Of course there are official written rules ... in Japanese.
I'm not sure if they are available online only, or if there are printed versions too.

It makes little sense for the Japanese leagues to make an official translation in a foreign language (like English), since they only make tournaments in Japan among Japanese players (with the rare exception of Jenn and Garthe who are fluent in Japanese).

It exist at least one project to make an un-official English translation of the JPML rules, but it looks like abandoned since September 2007: http://www.assembla.com/spaces/JPML/wik ... of_content
And the JPML offcial rule (in Japanese): http://www.ma-jan.or.jp/guide/game_rule.php
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World Riichi Championship Rules
Comparison of riichi rules around the world

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Esh » Fri May 18, 2012 9:36 am

Shirluban wrote:It exist at least one project to make an un-official English translation of the JPML rules, but it looks like abandoned since September 2007: http://www.assembla.com/spaces/JPML/wik ... of_content
And the JPML offcial rule (in Japanese): http://www.ma-jan.or.jp/guide/game_rule.php
Argh! That's what I was hoping for! Ambitious Japanese students translating that into English. But it's quite clearly only half done. Curses.

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Barticle » Fri May 18, 2012 11:35 am

Esh wrote:Are there any official rulebooks in Japanese that have been translated? Other than EMA or Barticle's HUGE exhaustive pdf file [...]
My guide's pretty far from being official, but it certainly is huge. :mrgreen:

Benjamin translated a popular Japanese rulebook into English: http://www.osamuko.com/2009/11/21/japan ... f-mahjong/

He comments: "They are not a universal set of Japanese rules, no such set exists. They are, however, the closest thing there is to a standard set of rules. They are used in the Saikyosen, the largest tournament in Japan, and most parlors, particularly national chains, will use a set of rules that is only slightly different."

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Senechal » Tue May 22, 2012 2:21 am

Esh wrote:
Shirluban wrote:It exist at least one project to make an un-official English translation of the JPML rules, but it looks like abandoned since September 2007: http://www.assembla.com/spaces/JPML/wik ... of_content
And the JPML offcial rule (in Japanese): http://www.ma-jan.or.jp/guide/game_rule.php
Argh! That's what I was hoping for! Ambitious Japanese students translating that into English. But it's quite clearly only half done. Curses.
We didn't feel the need to continue translating it because the intended ends weren't worth expending the means. Since there is no collaboration or networking around the world, in more ways than one, the end result would have been that someone would just take the work, change pon/kan/chi back to pung/kong/chow and say that they had their hand in the pot, credit them because blah, blah, blah.


If we already learned all the game's intermediate nuances through time, practice, and the occasional question to specify what a phrase means, there's no benefit to us to do this because the international mahjong community isn't in a collaborative mood, unless it's a one-way collaboration. We've seen plenty of those over the years.

(also, in the phrase "Ambitious Japanese students translating that into English", we're neither ambitious, Japanese (language) students, and English was a second concern)

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by ijontichy » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:53 am

Barticle wrote:Benjamin translated a popular Japanese rulebook into English: http://www.osamuko.com/2009/11/21/japan ... f-mahjong/
Updated link: Japanese General Laws of Mahjong

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Barticle » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:45 pm

Thanks, good spot.

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Tom Sloper » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:04 pm

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Jenn's book. It may not be "official," but it's in English, and it describes the variant under discussion.
And Scott Miller's book includes a section on riichi majan too.
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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Senechal » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:05 am

Has anyone taken to task to actually review the books, or did we just assume that ink on paper was a valid reference?

To be fair, I've only ever had my hands on RM's second book briefly at WRC. I have my comments on it, but they aren't researched enough to pose a judgment. The subject matter seemed fine, the visual elements a bit less so (to be fair, they did better than any English book I've seen). Printing all that green was wasteful though.

Also, since this is an appropriate discussion to ask in, given that there has been reference to it, is 22 pages in a book (10%) a reference or an overview?

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by gemma » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:40 am

Senechal - not to derail the conversation, but you said there was too much green?! So you would prefer something in black and white? We're trying to finalize fonts for the next one so this is really pertinent to my coming week.

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Senechal » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:05 am

Screen captures are usually horrible but I do understand the magnitude of the effort that would be required to make a clean vector layout of every hand. They were fine, I'm just used to being yelled at when I include raster images that are not 300+ DPI at my previous job.

It's not so much the use of colour per se, than that. Ideally though, the less colour used, the better impact it creates when it is used. Writing books is a hard thing to do, writing good books even harder. I'm probably just being pedantic considering I have worked on very high-profile books. (Things are different when you are 1-3 people doing everything versus having a staff of 10+ people.)

The fonts and everything else in the book I had at my fingertips was fine. Don't worry about it more than necessary.

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Re: Official Rulebook in English

Post by Scott Miller » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:35 am

Senechal wrote:given that there has been reference to it, is 22 pages in a book (10%) a reference or an overview?
Hi Senechal. That's a fair question to ask. Since you're referring to my book (the riichi chapter is 22 pages, which is 10% of the 218 page book) I can do my best to help answer that question.

To begin... there are about 40 different versions of mahjong covered in my book. Rather than repeating the same core rules 40 times, I broke out those rules which are common to all forms of mahjong into the first section of the book labelled "Core Rules."

Then, each style listed only has to cover those additional rules unique to that particular style. But as such, each style must still be combined with the Core Rules to be complete.

So the 22 page riichi section is in addition to the 34 page Core Rules section, making 56 pages to cover riichi mahjong in all, which if you want to quantify that, is 25% of the book.

Now I must admit after publication I've gotten some great feedback for improvements, but the riichi chapter is pretty darn thorough as it is in explaining riichi according to the way the JPML plays it (there are innumerable ways to play even riichi mahjong, so I had pick one to focus on, and chose them). Especially considering that the JPML's public rules amount to only a single webpage, I feel confident in saying that my 56 pages are more thorough in explaining how to play than that. One great thing about the JPML is that they are very responsive to questions with very helpful answers, and I had many communiques back and forth with them in researching and studying their rules for my book, and while I certainly can't claim to be official by any means, I did my best to make it as close to that as can be. It was truly a labor of love, so I hope it meets your expectations.

Also, to get back to the OP's original question;
Esh wrote:Are there any official rulebooks in Japanese that have been translated?
It's not from a Japanese league per se, but includes participation of several Japanese leagues who had a hand in it's creation: the 2014 World Riichi Championship rules, which are most definitely official, in English, and are available for download here.

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