One of the main things that separates VocaDB from other similar sites such as Vocaloid Wiki and Discogs is that the user is able to choose whether to view original or translated names. Especially if you speak Japanese you probably don’t want to see translated English names. On the other hand, for many overseas fans English names might be a lot more convenient. So we wanted to leave the choice to the user. In addition to the primary name, entries (usually artists) may have alternate names (aliases).
On VocaDB translations and aliases are broken into different fields. Names for all the main entry types (artists, albums and songs) are entered in the same way. You have the original language option, translations for the primary name and a number of aliases.
Users can choose which one of the three primary names they wish to see for each entry. If the user has no preference, the name specified by the original language option will be used. Not all entries need all three values for the primary name of course. Sometimes a suitable translation does not exist or it’s not known. If a name for a specific language option does not exist, it will be substituted with another name, so in most cases it’s not necessary to repeat the name in multiple fields as it will be done automatically. The English name is always preferred as a substitute for the Romanized name, and vice versa. The Non-English name will be substituted by either Romanized or English name, depending which one of them is the original language. Missing the name specified by the original language is generally an error, although that will rarely cause any issues. The original language option is only used when translations exist.
Obviously, in most cases the Non-English option will be Japanese, and in fact originally it was called Japanese. However, this caused issues when the original name was actually Chinese or Korean. Having different fields for all common languages would’ve been too complicated (especially technically), so we made a compromise by renaming it to Non-English.
At the moment we can’t support translations into other languages outside the three common options. This is a problem especially when the original language is something else besides Japanese or English, but sometimes users would like to translate names into their native language. If the original language isn’t Japanese or English, it’s allowed to enter the Japanese as an alias. For other languages this isn’t a recommended approach because there is no way to filter out translations and the list would get too long with too many languages. There are exceptions, of course, if the translations are significant in some way. In the future we might add support for translations to multiple languages.
Not all names are in any specific language. Fortunately for us, if that’s the case, the name also cannot be translated in any meaningful way, so using any of the language options (or even alias) for that name is fine. Another important problem is that sometimes it’s hard to tell what should be the primary name. Some artists such as Yuyoyuppe (AKA DJ’TEKINA) use different names depending on context. In the ideal situation you could enter translations for multiple aliases, and then choose case-by-case which one of those you want to use, but currently that’s not supported. At the moment you have to choose the most commonly used name as the primary name and enter all other names as aliases.
For artist names, there’s no need to enter different ordering of the name as an alias (for example Hatsune Miku and Miku Hatsune). The default name match mode for searches takes care of this already.