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How localizers saved Final Fantasy X from its own voiceover

The localization editor for Final Fantasy X explains why translation isn't just about changing words from one language into another, sometimes it's about keeping the game from crashing.

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Community1470d ago
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Becuzisaid1470d ago

Very interesting actually. I've always wondered what the process entailed. Never really thought about some of the technical hurdles they'd have to face early on in voice over days.

JCW20051470d ago

The good old days when localization was of quality, not now when its a weeb parade with shit like honorifics and other stuff. I miss these days.

Forum_Pirate1470d ago

1) insulting people for their preferences is stupid

2) It's very difficult for some translations to capture the original context because other languages (not just japanese) deal in and have words for concepts the english simply does not, and things like keeping honorifics and using the words from foreign languages in the English translation helps them keep that context. (Games in other languages, say french, do the same thing with other languages too)

3) Nobody is asking for final fantasy 10 to start having everyone call Auron "Auron sama" instead of "Sir Auron," or to call Braska "Braska sama" instead of "Lord Braska." It's approptiate for some games and some situations and not for others, depending in part on how direct you want the translation to be.

JCW20051470d ago

No translation should be appropriate to leave in honorifics. Its lazy and feels like a lame fansub. Translators should search ways to find a English equivalent (Be it a word or a sentence structure) of the honorific without resorting to the actual Japanese term. Pro translators from the golden age never resorted in japanese terms and translated just like that.

https://www.youtube.com/wat... Perfect video regarding the subject.

This used to plague fansubs only and the video is about fansubs but this practice is sweeping in more and more into Pro Translations, and its a problem.

Forum_Pirate1470d ago

You mean except like, persona 3 which takes place literally inside a Japanese highschool and so a basic understanding of japanese culture and how these characters relate to eachother in that culture is paramount to understand the social situations that the player is routinely placed in? So no honorifics even though, if you know what they mean, it adds *tons* of information about the characters and their relationships to eachother in a way that simply cannot be done just using english?

Just for example. Not only that, but we do this crap all the time. English is basically built on loan words from other languages and languages evolve specifically because we (and most every other language) do this constantly in order to better convey an idea that our language does not.

In short, it's not *meant* to be immediately relatable to a western experience of highshcool or culture. It's meant to bring the people to the culture so they can understand everything in the proper context, instead of inventing new contexts to make things make sense to people who wouldn't get it right away. There is precisely nothing wrong with that. It's a different technique with a different purpose.

I prefer fansubs much of the time. Not because I'm a "weeb" or whatever insult you want to throw at me, but because I speak some japanese and have actually experienced the culture. I don't speak it well enough to follow along, but I do speak it well enough to know when what they're saying doesn't match the subtitles. While it's *far* from a complete knowledge, I also understand enough of the culture that I neither want nor need westernized versions that eliminate references to things a western audience might not understand. If I had to guess, there are quite a lot of anime fans in basically my position.

I have exactly the same policy an media from every other language. If I have even a basic understanding of the culture or language, I watch it in the original language and prefer subtitles that preserve as much of the original context as possible, even if it means I have to go look things up.

The official versions are often fundamentally different in their portrayal of characters or events just because they have to make things that make sense to an audience with no experience of the culture. If I had the time and money to acutally learn to speak and go visit every country that makes media I want to watch then I would, but in the mean time I want the most accurate representation possible which means if a concept or something just doesn't translate well to the language I do speak, give it to me in the original language and I'll go look it up as necessary. That is my preference. You don't get to say it's wrong, and you don't get to say it's wrong for any sub, official or otherwise, to attempt to accomplish that by keeping words and concepts that don't have direct translations as is instead of shifting the meaning by translating them more loosely.

Like i said, it's different for different media. Persona 3 would absolutely be lesser if it abandoned it's original context in favor or making it easier to understand for western audiences, refering to every authotity figure in Final Fantasy 10 as "sama" is wholly unnecessary when the terms sir, lord and maester are more than adequate direct (if more specific) translations of the concepts they're trying to convey.

SSjDomon1469d ago

You must be one triggered weeb to drop a wall of text of that magnitude.

Forum_Pirate1468d ago

@SSJDomon You must be one incompetent jackwagon to dismiss an position and insult it's holder without actually explaining why it's invalid.

SSjDomon1467d ago

"You must be one incompetent jackwagon to dismiss an position and insult it's holder without actually explaining why it's invalid."

I'm not reading your wall of weeb tears, especially not with grammar like that.

Adrian_v011470d ago

Leaving in honorifics isn't lazy, it's appropriate. Most Japanese games have a setting that is inspired by Japan's culture to some degree, and honorifics and levels of respect are one of the most important things in Japan. No game should be that much westernized that it loses its original spirit, just because you find it weird to hear Sir Auron or something (even though honorifics where a thing in the West as well not so long ago).

By your logic, you might demand a complete western remake of any Japanese game. Japanese use their body language differently than people in the West do, when you have voice overs (especially in games with AAA graphics), seeing a character speak English, but gesture and mimic in a Japanese way is what puts me off more than honorifics.

ameliabaz1469d ago (Edited 1469d ago )

It's funny you mention the body-language thing because just the other day I was playing through the end of Final Fantasy 8 again and it reminded me of something that confused me as a child. I remember finding it so strange that Selphie and Irvine bowed to Edea during the credits, especially because it seemed so out of character for them.

It wasn't until I was older that I realized they were bowing because they were Japanese-created characters showing a deep respect for the woman who raised them. It was then that I realized the version of the game I played might not be quite like the game that Japanese gamers played. I think that was a big problem with games (and anime) in the 90s and early 2000s, Localizers wouldn't JUST translate the game, they would also remove all references to Japanese culture (e.g. Pokemon's riceballs infamously being translated as "jelly donuts") or would even completely change a characters' personality presumably so US audiences would relate to them more. I recall reading somewhere that Final Fantasy 8 actually has a pretty horrendous translation because the localizers took so many liberties with "Westernizing/Americanizi ng" the characters.

SSjDomon1469d ago

It sounds stupid, Adrian-kun.

SSjDomon1467d ago (Edited 1467d ago )

"You sound very mature, SSjDomon. I really enjoy your ability to have insightful conversations with other people and write proper and meaningful arguments. (sarcasm obviously)"

"Maturity" is an overrated trait, and wasting arguments on those of lesser intellect, especially on subjects for which I have little passion, is fruitless.

Have a nice day, Adrian-kun.

SSjDomon1469d ago

I agree. What a great dub it was, and a better time.

Adrian_v011468d ago

You sound very mature, SSjDomon. I really enjoy your ability to have insightful conversations with other people and write proper and meaningful arguments. (sarcasm obviously)

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