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Author Topic: British english in games ?  (Read 3272 times)

Bregalad

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British english in games ?
« on: June 16, 2012, 02:41:27 pm »
I recently started to study differences between american and british English. It's interesting and I now understand why I was taught something at scool (british) but people use something different on the net (for the most part, american), etc...

I think the traditional process for games developed in Japan is to fist translate them in English by american people and release the game in north america, and finally, if the game is really sucessful, port it to PAL, but all the american english from the USA version is kept. If the game is very sucessful and if the company has the means then more locals translations are made (german, french, spanish, italian, ...) by people from those respective countries. More often than not, those translations are made from the (american) english version and therefore suffers from double-translation problems. However big companies now tranlate games direcly from japanese, which is typically better.

I wonder if any games were re-translated from japanese by British people for the PAL release, or if games that were released in PAL territories but not in north america (not many games - Terranigma comes to mind) were translated by British people and uses British english.

There should also be games developed by British comanies, but I admit I play exclusively  games made by Japanese companies so I don't know much about it. At least Rare is located in Great Britain. Does Battletoads uses British english ? I'm not skilled enough to see the difference.

LostTemplar

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 02:56:09 pm »
If I recall correctly Dragon Quest VIII uses a British localization. I also think Climax (e.g. Silent Hill Origins/Shattered Memories) is a British developer.

KingMike

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 03:01:22 pm »
Didn't the PAL version of DQ8 get a separate localization from the US? Or was is it just redubbed? (I heard it was. But youtube isn't helping to confirm that.)
(beat me to it by posting while I was watching a clip of Battletoads.)

IIRC, DQ8 was originally localized for the US, while aiming for a British-like translation.
I'm just guessing it was localized by SE-USA, because I don't think SE even had an EU branch at the time.

So... perhaps they decided to go from fake British to real British? :D )
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 03:08:46 pm by KingMike »
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Garoth Moulinoski

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2012, 05:13:42 pm »
IIRC, Dragon Quest VIII has the same voices/interface in the US as in the EU.
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Gideon Zhi

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 06:00:18 pm »
The big Wii examples lately are Another Code R (Trace Memory 2), which was never released outside of PAL territories, and the Xenoblade/Last Story/Pandora's Tower trinity. Fire Emblem for 3DS is probably coming out in the UK first, too.

BRPXQZME

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 06:34:55 pm »
For SE, saying what kind of English they use is actually pretty tough. Most of the translation side of localization work for them is done (physically) in Japan and has been for quite some time. And they have owned up to using both J-E double translations and direct translations depending on the project. The reason is that there aren’t enough translators to go around for Japanese to (pick one) French, Italian, German, or Spanish to make it affordable; they want native speakers with native-level proficiency in Japanese for direct translations. SE is either #1 when it comes to localizing their video games, or they talk the best game and the real #1 is kind of quiet about it.

So for DQ8, the choice to use British voicing and British accents was deliberate as an artistic choice (better spectrum of accents), but to what level it makes that British English is a bit iffy.

Rare’s Nintendo-era games have the odd Briticism here and there, but as an American kid I never noticed anything amiss, playing American releases only. Of course, the one I played most often was Goldeneye for the N64, only getting to play video games at other people’s houses....
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KingMike

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 09:28:59 pm »
I do recall S-E wanting native English speakers do the translation of DQ8 as they really wanted the humor to show. (and give the enemies humorous, sometimes suggestive names. One I particularly remember was a slime knight called One Knight Stand. :P)
I remember one localizer (I forgot who) saying they wanted to name an enemy Slime Shady, but then they'd have to try to explain that to the Japanese company. And then they'd probably have to hope Eminem wouldn't sue them. (not at all a rap fan, but it sounds like he's the kind of guy who would)
So I think in the end they just decided to call the enemy Shade Slime, if I remember right.
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Hiei-

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2012, 11:15:05 pm »
From what I read (interview of the producer), "Broken's Sword" games provide both (american english and british english) but I think it's ultra rare (the producer was saying once the script [british english] is ready, they have to do another version of the script because american english don't always use the same word/expression, etc...).

Nec5

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 12:11:04 am »
Reminds me of the old "I'm bilingual" joke.  "Yes, I'm bilingual.  I speak English and American." :)
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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 07:12:17 pm »
Rare's N64 titles will have two different sets of english text, one for PAL and the other for NTSC.  So, yes, their PAL games will use proper british dialect.  Also, they notably always do actual PAL support instead of 'stretching' or 'clipping' NTSC video output.

What's slightly more interesting is that comparitive hacking has observed that they always built the NTSC versions first.  So, PAL games will not only be released last but will also be more bug-free and (usually) will not have the debugger still embedded ;*)  That comes into play especially with GoldenEye, where the PAL build is the only one where the japanese, american, and british text files are all present.  You can even swap between them roundabout boot via codes.

Rare's a funny example though.  They have a lot more typos than you'd expect.

Bregalad

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 07:37:44 am »
Oh, so Rare actually used some British in their games ? That's great news.

I have the French version of Dragon Quest VIII, but it's entirely voiced in english, and I think that's the British version all american folks complain about ;)
I wouldn't be hard to check if the actors were really British or if they were Americans faking British accent (actors can do these things extremely well).

I think it's a good thing it's hard to tell which kind of english SE used in their games, that proves they made effots to be as "general" as possible. However there is cases where it's inevitiable, for example the lift/elevator is the most well known example. I don't think there is any other synonyms for that, and if you use either one it will unavoidably sound british or american. The 1st floor / ground floor is another well known example.

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 07:27:25 pm »
They are British actors (stage actors and comedians mostly), directed by a British director. They went all-out, really.

For the truly obsessed, (English) Wikipedia has a long (yet likely not exhaustive) series of articles on the comparison of American and British English.
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MontyMole

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 01:22:03 pm »
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Oh, so Rare actually used some British in their games ? That's great news.
That's because they are a British Company though to be honest I'm not sure if all localisation was done in house.

Come to think of it Dragon Quest 9 had a largely British English script, can definitely remember all the accents and scripting were correct.  The heavy scots accent in Stornaway, the Welsh in Porth Llaffan and Dourbridge with its gangster priest.
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caddyalan

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2012, 12:37:23 pm »
Otaku Publishing Ltd was based in London, and translated five adult games from 1997 through 1999. The only one I've played was True Love, which was full of UK slang and spelling.

The independent game Lucky Rabbit Reflex was written and designed by a UK native, and all the events happen near Scotland. And speaking of indie games, the woman in charge of the group Hanako Games has lived in the UK, but she doesn't use Anglicisms in her games.

Chpexo

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 01:34:25 pm »
In a Pokemon game I believe they referred to a bathroom a washroom and when your Pokemon are asleep the Z is a Z.

tagengo

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 05:23:06 am »
Nintendo Europe employ British native speakers to translate from Japanese and American English to British English.

Don't think it includes re-dubbing games to British accents from American, perhaps it's just for the text side of things.

https://jobs.nintendo.de/main?fn=bm.ext.jobsdetail_engl&refnr=1220231&land=
<<NOTE: I'm conducting research on video game translations - I might use some answers (anonymously) in my research, so please only answer my posts if this is OK. More information can be found at https://docs.google.com/a/sheffield.ac.uk/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDRIbGx2aE9hZnhQM2Ff

sa♥tsu

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2012, 03:31:38 am »
Nintendo Europe employ British native speakers to translate from Japanese and American English to British English.

Don't think it includes re-dubbing games to British accents from American, perhaps it's just for the text side of things.

https://jobs.nintendo.de/main?fn=bm.ext.jobsdetail_engl&refnr=1220231&land=

Xenoblade features British English voices, so that was probably their doing.

tagengo

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2012, 11:06:46 am »
So for DQ8, the choice to use British voicing and British accents was deliberate as an artistic choice (better spectrum of accents), but to what level it makes that British English is a bit iffy.

I would be inclined to think that the use of British accents in games is usually a stylistic choice too.
If I'm not mistaken much of Rockstar games' work is done in the UK, yet GTA isn't full of British accents.


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KaioShin

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2012, 11:33:26 am »
The GTA series takes place in American cities though, why would everyone speak with British accents there?

For fictional settings developers can pick whatever they chose but for real world settings (or those modelled after the real world at least) the choice obviously needs to make sense.

Garoth Moulinoski

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Re: British english in games ?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 12:12:10 pm »
The GTA series takes place in American cities though, why would everyone speak with British accents there?

Those were my thoughts exactly. GTA is different from Dragon Quest VII, which is modelled after medieval Europe. Actually, Dragon Quest VII could have used any accent it wanted to, precisely because of what you said (it's a fictional setting).

Although, you could have immigrant protagonists (or characters) in a game with a real world setting. Say, a game based on Miami, Florida for example. You would have a bunch of people speaking in broken English, Spanglish at best! :-[ But that's not entirely realistic since there are people who speak with a more neutral or southern accent (most second and beyond generation American born citizens, for example).

Note: I'm not saying GTA should have had British accents just because the studio is based in the UK! I'm agreeing with you, KaioShin!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 12:20:43 pm by Garoth Moulinoski »
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