Chronicle of a translation

Quick access

[Book 1]
The Underground Castle
[Book 2]
The Nameless City
[Book 3]
The Return of the Phoenix
[Book 4]
The Army of Nothing


 Here you will find the project that is both ambitious and foolhardy, but thanks to which you can now read the novels in English! Translating and adapting the entire books from Italian and French to English is a long-term challenge. We tell you more about it here!

[Quick access] [The why of the project!] [History of the project] [The project team]

The why of the project!
While in Italy and Spain the 4 novels of the Code Lyoko Chronicles were released very quickly, their French release was much more chaotic. Firstly, unlike their neighbours, the books began to be released almost 3 years after the end of the cartoon in France. Their release therefore didn't raise as much hype as expected.

Also, after the commercial failure of the first two novels, Albin Michel, the editor, cancelled the release of books 3 and 4 without warning... While our French friends waited and waited, the fans finally decided to do something. Thanks to's vast network, several talents were grouped together and the project took off: to translate the last two novels!

Meanwhile, there was absolutely no release of any of the novels in English, and fans were left disappointed. After the successful launch of's international version, our translators also decided to join in on the project, building on a translation of the novels previously attempted by the community. The task is rather more ambitious: translate all four novels!

History of the project
  • Premises and a failure

The project began relatively early in the minds of certain people. Shaka, editor of and future administrator, had, for a long time, the idea of translating the two missing books. However and unfortunately, this happened during the death of the site and being a little disappointed with the first book himself, he didn't start on the project this first time.
With the recovery of the site and the return of Code Lyoko in the new season Evolution, Shaka, soon joined by his colleague Dude Dudu, recommenced with the Chronicles. Nevertheless, the new season took up most of the site team's time, who rebuilt slowly.

After several months and once the promotional rush passed, during the first trimester of the year 2013, Shaka and Dude Dudu decided to attack this ambitious project, despite the mountain it seemed to represent. In February 2013, they decided to associate with a fan who had already made a start on the translation in their own corner.
On this occasion, Shaka contacted Albin Michel and confirmed for the first time the cancellation of the licences for books 3 and 4 in French. Judicially, the front is now open for a fanslation. The prologue of book 3 is published, a release rate of one chapter per week is announced. Alas, the project folds extremely quickly, following the disappearance of the collaborator whose detestable personality made it difficult to work with calmly and constructively.

  • And then Mara came...

The project then fell on standby for several months. With the holidays and the end of a very busy period of actors' birthdays and Japan Expo, the team resumed the chase! Icer ended up sending Dude Dudu the rare pearl of the community: Mara Schaeffer.
The young lady was revealed to be French, perfectly fluent in Spanish, living near the border of the two countries. She accepted to invest in the project and the translation began. The quality is optimal, provided by the serious Mara, shouldered by Dude Dudu. Officially, the project was relaunched the day of the site's birthday, the 27th of July 2013. For the occasion, the prologue and 4 chapters of book 3 were revealed! At the same time, a regular schedule is fixed: every Monday, a new chapter! (Two chapters for Code Lyoko's 10th birthday, early September.)

  • CodeLyoko.Fr activates its network

The first step was by far the most difficult: find a competent translator: Thanks to Mara, that's done!
From there, Shaka and Etienne continued to expand the project when they had time. After several weeks of translating, several projects were launched:
- Thran inherits the tedious and exhausting task of digitising books 1 and 2, already released in French, so that the community can have access to all the novels and can board the Chronicles train at any time. An unforgiving job but Thran carried it out with great seriousness.
- Aquatikelfik, a regular supporter of the site, also makes his return to the project. Known for being one of the first fans to be interested in the Chronicles, he provides logistical support fundamental to the project. He invested in the following immense work: identically reproduce the layout of the original novels. He procured the fonts ad hoc and got down to the task. He created book 1. Thran then took charge of book 2 and Etienne of book 3, using Aquatikelfik's book as a template.
- Final step: the graphics. In order to provide the novels in the highest quality possible, it was also necessary to scan the illustrations: covers, coloured pages and icons at the beginning of every chapter. Aquatikelfik also oversaw this task, being one of the rare fans to have gotten books 3 and 4 from Italy, he was one of the only ones able to scan the contents.
After multiple scans and long hours of retouching by Aqua and A_QueenOfFairys,'s versions result.

In parallel, the site's English team caught wind of the project. Kelsey and A_QueenOfFairys started to become interested in the Chronicles project. They managed to find a trace of an old fan who, in his own time, began translating the novels. They got in contact with him again and obtained permission to use his own: the complete translation of book 1 and the first chapters of book 2.
Heavy with these spoils, Queen and Kelsey decided to undertake the end of the translation. However, at first, Queen began by giving graphical support to the project...and she adapted book 1 into English with Aquatikelfik's layout.

All this took place behind the scenes. But thanks to the unwavering commitment of the team and Shaka's skilful management that rounded up almost the entirety of's network, all fronts finished their labour at approximately the same moment. Thus, as long planned, everything converges on the date of the 14th of October 2013.

  • The key date of the 14th of October 2013!

This Monday was the one that would see the epilogue of book 3 in French. The team took advantage of it to hold a Lyokofan event. On this occasion, the team simultaneously publishes books 1, 2 and 3 of the Chronicles in French & book 1 in English... Everything is in an extremely tailored version that's true to the original novels.
At the same time, Shaka took the opportunity to upgrade the Chronicles section of the site. This page was opened, as well as a gallery. The project banner (visible at the top of the page) is controlled by the lunatic and dangerous Lénaelle.

Following this event, the whole team let out a deep breath...and calmly potter on with what follows the festivities: book 4 for the French team. Book 2 for the English team!

  • Conclusion of the project

The routine continued. The French team continued on with book 4 while book 2 went on in English, each with a new chapter per week. The centre illustrated pages were added. Sometimes, multiple chapters were delivered at once: 3 chapters for Christmas, and the final chapter and epilogue of all the books were always published together.

Book 2 finished on the 13th of January 2014. Books 3 and 4 were to follow.
And in French, book 4 ended on the 3rd of February 2014, concluding their side of the project!

It was mostly smooth sailing from there. Book 3 concluded on the 19th of May 2014, and book 4 commenced. In the meantime, the first three books were occasionally quietly updated with spelling, grammatical and formatting fixes, partly thanks to reader feedback. And then finally, book 4 was finished on the 29th of September 2014!

The project team
In the community

Though administator of the forum from 2009-2012, I still hung around in the shadow of the community so I could more easily concentrate on my projects and give my support here and there.
Why I chose to work on this project: I am the Chronicles since their birth in 2009, and I was, I think, one of the first in France to get the 4 Italian novels. I soon had an idea to translate the novels, but I quickly abandoned it in the face of the massive amount of work. Very content that the third novel is being translated here, I wanted to bring my own contribution to the table to make this translation even better and visually accessible.
What exactly is my role:To make available the original scans of the Italian versions, to adapt the images to French, to work to improve the overall page layout of the files, and to create a uniformity between all the different versions.
What I like about the Chronicles:Despite several weaknesses and incoherences, the Chronicles are what the fans (as far as I understand) waited for after season 4 had ended: a continuation that answers past questions. The characters of the heroes are well respected overall and the more mature tone of the story has more a sense of truth for those that grew up with the series.

In the community

I started out as a simple fanslator on the side helping out the fans with my trusty team of recruits to understand the episodes. Now I've made my way onto the staff of CodeLyoko.Fr and hope to broaden the horizon of the English-speaking community and our resources even further.
Why I chose to work on this project:The English-speaking community has been wanting the novels in their own language for many years now. All of us are wondering about this excellent addition to our favorite series universe. It would mean a lot to me to be able to provide the community the chance to read these novels and know their stories and secrets and mysteries once and for all! And of course, it is always an honor to contribute to the content of CodeLyoko.Fr and watch the website grow with each passing year.
What exactly is my role: I am a French to English translator. In other words, I will be translating the French novels into the English for the fans to read as well as helping to preserve the high quality scans of the novels and their fanslations on CodeLyoko.Fr.
What I like about the Chronicles:To be honest, I haven't even read the novels yet. I'm excited for this project, because just like the rest of the community, I will be reading these novels for the first time too myself. But I do like and appreciate how these novels have added something more and with a lot of depth to the series than just the show.
Final word: We've all wondered just what was in these books. Now we're about to find out! Thanks for all the support this community has offered and the talent and teamwork we have all created together. This is our reward and proof of our dedication and care as fans.

In the community

A bit active on the forum and the site, although following the site mainly for the reliable information on the series that it offers, I joined first after several years of silence for a contest. After being entered in contact with Icer then Etienne, I became more or less quickly the fanslator of the Chronicles, my only participation on the site for the time being and well worth it.
Why I chose to work on this project: Let's just say that after having been snatched up, tied down, silenced and trained by force by Etienne before Shaka without mercy, I haven't really had the choice. And all that because of this swindling Icer...
The two major reasons (which explain why I hadn't tried to escape from their clutches) remained nevertheless my desire to test my own capacity as a translator and a yearning to help the site that, for free, gave me so much help with organizing my writing on the series. Anyway, I must say that I am happy to have had this opportunity and have not a single regret of this undertaking.
What exactly is my role: My role with the Chronicles is simple enough: I'm the one who translates the chapters in their entirety and the documents within the novels... In short, the whole of the two books from Spanish to French. The corrections, proofreadings and second class wordings are done and fixed up by Shaka and Dude Dudu before a final proofreading again by me.
What I like about the Chronicles: The ambiance. The overall ambiance is a bit more "adult" than the original series without straying too much. Closer to the cartoon than, for example, CLE, I especially appreciate the entrance of several adults, that come to steal the spotlight from our group of kids that never liked to share the scene. Their presence changes a lot, and that gives a more mature aspect to the Chronicles. Without forgetting, obviously, the study and the development of the backstory, whose cruel absence slowly but surely killed off certain fans (I have my sources.)
Final word: Although I'm able to read them in Spanish, if CodeLyoko.Fr hadn't proposed that I start the fanslation of these two books, I wouldn't have read them. So for this, I sincerely thank them.
Despite my original doubts, these books are, in my opinion, a true continuation to the series that we all love, that answers a lot of questions and will please many, perfectly respecting the characters of the cartoon all while maintaining a style that's a bit more mature and "serious". So, if you adore the series with fervor or if you'd rather keep a critical mindset: read these books! They are well worth your time!

In the community

Known as Dude Dudu, the sole provider of Code Lyoko finds, some more crazy than others, I'm never out of related media to share. I'm also an administrator, but for over a year now, I've focused a lot more on the site and very, very little on the forum.

Why I chose to work on this project:
Because it would be an injustice for us to be left without the end of this story. This story that was, at the time, the only authentic continuation to Code Lyoko, a continuation that was well done, that TRULY followed from Code Lyoko left off, and that was credible and nice!

What exactly is my role:
In fact, my role was first to check the rough drafts for Mara's translations and discuss further paths to take based on the translation of certain words that didn't have an equivalence in French. And also, afterwards, I handled the first layout of the chapters that were to stay within the continuity of the other page layouts as well as hosting the files each week.

What I like about the Chronicles:
Like I started to say above, the Chronicles were the sole true continuation to Code Lyoko, and they were superb. Why? Because overall, the spirit of the books is more mature than that of the cartoon or Code Lyoko Evolution. On top of that, the Chronicles carry on with the intrigue of season 4 without botching it all up, every part is well thought out and all the grey areas that were dropped in the series are brought back and laid bare.

In the community

I've mainly been known to the community as an artist. I joined an art website a few years ago and have vastly improved my skills thanks to both the community and the show; it's my favourite thing to draw. My translation work started when Evolution came out. I started a group on another website where I translated episode synopses for English-speaking fans, which is where Kelsey then found and recruited me.
Why I chose to work on this project:I've been interested in the Chronicles since I found Rhys Davies' translation of them (he did book 1 and the start of book 2 and gave us permission to use them). Wanting the rest of book 2, I got both in French. Wanting the rest of the Chronicles, I resorted to Google Translate...and wasn't nice. But the books are just so great that I put up with it in order to keep reading them. When an opportunity like this presents itself, one where English-speaking fans are going to have access to these fantastic novels in their entirety for the first time, of course I'm going to want to give all the help I can to make that possible.
What exactly is my role: Like Kelsey, I translate the French novels to English. We alternate translating and proofreading chapters. As well as that, I help out with the graphical work, translating illustrated pages and book covers and helping with the chapter icons.
I also did the final editing and tweaking on Rhys' translations.
What I like about the Chronicles:Their darker theme opens the doors for many new developments. While book 1's plot was rather slow, it picks up in book 2 and just keeps on getting better from there. The backstory is explained in a depth that is very satisfying after so many gaps were left by the cartoon, and the involvement of both a terrorist organisation and the men in black raises the usual level of dark themes and violence, bringing with it a very grave situation unlike any the Lyoko Warriors have ever had to deal with before. They're an excellent addition to the Code Lyoko Universe.
Final word: I withstood Google Translate to read these novels. They're good. Read them.

In the community

Known mainly as one of the administrators of, the only one of the old admins who's still active, my role in the community can't be summed up in so little space, as I've devoted so much time to it. I mainly led the site from 2006 to 2013...and that means a considerable amount of work and a multitude of various activities! x)
Why I chose to work on this project: The Chronicles really mean... In my eyes, they're the original ending to the series. They're also an act of robbery, because it's heretical to want to deprive the French community of a piece of the Code Lyoko Universe, as this is where it was born. Finally, they're especially a marvellous project of international co-operation and an ambition that only could hold. This project has further expanded the frontiers of the site and it has proved that nothing can scare our community. prevails!
What exactly is my role: My role in the project is, on the other hand, less important than most of my collaborators'. Expert in spelling, I did the final editing and tweaked Mara's translations.
However, I mainly had a supervision job. I initiated the project, set it up, set deadlines, passed on graphics commands, participated in global discussions, promoted everything on the site and created the Chronicles Section. Finally, I liaised between the different poles of the project (layout; graphics; translation).
What I like about the Chronicles: The more adult atmosphere than the cartoon is an immense plus. In fact, the backstory was always the most sombre part of the cartoon, which has, for this reason, been overlooked. The fact that we can now discover it in book form allows for more violent and more adult scenes, even if it does remain a children's story.
Finally, the new characters are charismatic, the gaps from the series (Jeremy virtualised, love stories in suspense, unknown backstory) are filled in. Why see Evolution when we can read the Chronicles?!
Final word: I know that you're the product of a mindless, uneducated society brought up on reality TV and porno sites...but please...for once in your life and in the name of your soul as a fan...if Code Lyoko means something to you, read the novels!

In the community

Known as a simple moderator for the most part, by some as the one who allows them to read their gems on paper or on digital portable devices (tablet, e-reader, smartphone...), and as a member who doesn't write long posts, but who gets straight to the point. Some will know me also for my strictness and my drive for excellence, and this on all levels.
Why I chose to work on this project: A vague and complex question at the same time! I'll try to be short despite that I could be long and talk about standard techniques like Aelita (Our Queen) and her boyfriend do. So, the first criteria was the fact that I was already working on PDFizing and Epubizing the gems of the net and to accomplish such a big amount of work was, for me, a great challenge, especially with all the character recognition (in order to transform the images that were scanned into perfectly modifiable text). What's more, Shaka wanted to handle the scanning, but seeing as he was too busy elsewise, I offered to take the tedious task off his back. I also helped out since I found it too bad that the people who didn't have the chance to be able to obtain the novels couldn't read their content. Finally, it would allow me to read these works without risking spoiling them. So as you see, I did it for myself, but also and especially for you and for Aelita who is honored in these works.
What exactly is my role: First there was the scanning of the books to images (at the longest, I would say it took 4 to 5 hours of work per novel, so 10 hours for both). Next, there was the proofreading of the image to text recognition (since a program is never perfect and so another 3 hours per novel), and then the first page layout of the first novel (2 hours). Next, I had to convert this novel to PDF form and as an Ebook (that was just a simple logistical formality: around 10 minutes). Lastly, I had to create the pages for the second novel like how Aqua did this for the first novel (again about 10 hours with the usual hyphens like this - and the half-hyphens like this - that needed to be put in place one by one and correctly integrate the main images).
What I like about the Chronicles: I'll be brief: Everything! More precisely, I think that the context is well respected, that it would be understandable to someone who has not seen Code Lyoko, and it provides a more intrinsic look at the characters which were, according to me, lacking in Code Lyoko.
Final word: I recommend that you read these novels that are the fruit of our collective endeavor, but I don't wish for any particular thanks, I would prefer to see everyone show their gratitude in their comments to the whole team that worked like mad on this project. This is also the reason why you do not see my username in the various presented documents.