Interest for direct translation / revision of old Japanese games...

Started by Psajdak, March 13, 2021, 10:11:12 AM

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I mean that English versions are ignored, and original Japanese ones are translated as closely as possible - similar to how anime is translated nowadays.

I am aware that translating games isn't as simple as just editing subtitles, and I myself while I can understand a lot of Japanese language, still can't actually read it, and write it, not to mention that the whole process can take years to finish.

I saw that many of you do translations for games, or hack them in all sorts of ways, and this isn't me asking you, or anyone else to just listen to me, and start re-translating games like Pokemon, Final Fantasy, or Metal Gear, but simply if there could be general interest by your community for such a thing?

For instance, Final Fantasy IX is one of my favorite games ever, and I completely enjoyed, and was satisfied with its story in English version, and I looked at it as just that - English version, its own thing, which doesn't need to directly translate from Japanese one...

But over the years I read that quite a few things changed in translation, and some things were lost in it, or have gotten a new meaning not present in original.

Another example are games like Metal Gear, or Zone of the Enders which are really anime games in the end, and are full of great and famous Japanese voice actors.


Retranslation for the purists is a thing that is done fairly often (though welcome to the liberal, literal, pizza cats debate, and possibly these days compromise*), and usually when the NA or EU translators were pushed for space**/time and simplified (so often you will lose a nice bestiary as translating an extra 5000 characters when you are being charged by the word***), added a bunch of slang/modern references to appeal to the kids, dropped a bunch of Japanese cultural references as nobody in America would ever have heard of or comprehend what sushi is, or changed things such to appease the censors ( ).

*the translation might be changed but if it is still the game you played 100 times as a kid that might still hold some appeal so tidying up that whilst going more literal, or using the stand in terms/proper nouns generated for that can also be a thing people do. Woolsey-slattery compromise being one of the more interesting examples, and comes to us from Final Fantasy. Or more generally is the character from Final Fantasy 7 you meet selling flowers called Aerith or Aeris? is fun. This also says nothing of later versions, later franchise entries/anime/comics changing what might be canonical and the like.

**today someone would probably be upset that I wasted their time wondering whether I could waste two megs of space. Being a cartridge maker in the late 80s/early 90s, for what might be a niche game, with it making a massive difference in production costs/your margin... different matter entirely.

***normally we link and the various articles as a great insight into professional translation.

As far as interest. Yeah it is done. More generally there will always be someone saying do it when a translation is proposed. Whether it is worth the effort with other untranslated games out there, where the liberal-literal-pizza cats debate lands here (and for the sake of stating the obvious to some then the Japanese original is not necessarily some pure masterwork expression of storytelling that is later defiled by the filthy gaijin translators), what the technical difficulties are for various would be actions and more generally makes it less of a clear cut thing.