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Author Topic: Translating scripts: where to stop  (Read 2077 times)


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Translating scripts: where to stop
« on: December 05, 2018, 03:49:38 am »
This is just a thought for people who translate scripts. As a language student, I know that changing the names of items, gear, and so on will confuse people who consult a guide for that sort of thing. It's kind of hellish when you play an RPG and the names of consumables and equips have been modified. Think of the Final Fantasy Tactics games. Playstation did the right thing and decided to retranslate the script... but they also went too far and renamed all the abilities, and some of them had no obvious connection to the original.  :huh:  Unless I've played the game enough for it to be a favorite, I won't get all those names down. So, I'd like to say that I love retranslated scripts, but not retranslated menus.
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Re: Translating scripts: where to stop
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 04:36:48 am »
When you receive a script, you're not necessarily going to be given all of the previous translations. Plus, it doesn't seem right to just copy over someone else's prior translation, since that's someone else's work... And would the original translator receive compensation or be credited? Would they ask why their original translation isn't being used in the new version? It might be messy...

My feeling is that if you want the original translation, play the original translation. If you want elements of both, well, that's what romhacking is for. :)


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Re: Translating scripts: where to stop
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 08:40:26 am »
I was expecting the usual literal, liberal, pizza cats debate. While not answered, and never likely to be, I will say it is somewhat played out. This however still has something to it.

Anyway consistency between releases... it is a thing with appeal* but I would happily accept a discussion if it is a matter of clarity and aesthetics -- fire1, fire2, fire vs fire, fira, firaga has all sorts of things that can be discussed as far as ease of play, aesthetics and so forth.

*I remember once I was watching some anime show (think it was Eureka 7). About 30 episodes in the fansub group decided they had made an error with some key component of the show and went with a more literal translation. In both cases it was a proper noun though and having got used to the "error" it threw me somewhat. While not quite what you were discussing here it was the biggest throw like that I have experienced outside of Aeris-Aerith.

You also have the usual fun of something that is clearly a sushi ball being anything but in the English version. In one case though the sequel decided late 90s people would know enough of Japanese culture/cuisine to know what such a thing was and not overheat in confusion or something.

It might also depend upon the game/era -- a modern home console game would think nothing of having a paragraph long description (and possibly some stats) where for a 16 bit equivalent even having the MP cost might be something of note. If you can have a description then having some transliterated proper name or something is not an awful plan. I recall playing an instruction manual free version of one of the megadrive phantasy star games once and having some trouble with the spells and items here, such that I almost experimented and had to deduce what things were doing what.
Another thing I might consider is the popularity of the title. Most people around me got introduced to Final Fantasy with 7 on the PS1 -- we had magazines and emulators but Europe skipped the earlier NES and SNES entries. To that end they would probably be forgiven a lot in Europe if 7 introduced new names for things which might have been established in 6 numbered games (depending upon how you count) and the legend entries on the GB.


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Re: Translating scripts: where to stop
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 05:42:44 pm »
Though, is Square-Enix even consistent in their localizations of Final Fantasy games.
Mostly consistent but there's still a few terms they have changed, like the Life spells (is it Life/Full Life/Auto Life or Raise/Arise/Reraise?)
I heard they've gone back and forth on Ultros. So I hear at some point they corrected it to Orthros but then reverted to Ultros, perhaps because its more fan-recognizable?
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Re: Translating scripts: where to stop
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 08:11:28 pm »
When doing translation (or editing) for a lot of older games, you are greatly constrained by the amount of space available for items, stat names, menus, descriptions, etc. This is probably the largest factor for why certain translations might seem a little "off".  Although the editors/translators may have wanted to go in another direction with the text, they were forced to chop things up to make it all fit.  With more modern games, though, this excuse would fall flat in most cases...