Posted by on Feb 12, 2009 in Retranslation log | 3 Comments

So, the Ar tonelico 2 English localization has problems. I don’t presume to have a diagnosis for what went wrong, but I can scrutinize the symptoms. Most importantly, I want to help make things better. The real goal of this project is not to accuse anyone for what’s happened; it’s to fix what we can and give fans the best experience that can be had.

My current assignment is relocalizing Cloche’s Cosmosphere. I have found that almost all of the decorum of Croix’s interactions with Cloche has been lost. I’m working pretty hard to restore as much of Cloche’s prim haughtiness and Croix’s respectful humility as possible. Here’s a sample from a scene where Croix has switched to hyper-formal register because he is upset (with himself or with Cloche; it’s up to the player to guess):

Croix(3) :26:26:
JP::いや、そんな無理なさらなくてもいいですよ。
EN::Thanks, but no thanks.
NEW:No, you need not trouble yourself further.

While the English “thanks but no thanks” is certainly understandable in this case, it is distant from the original meaning and, more importantly, terribly rude. It’s what a modern American might say to a stranger when miffed, but it’s not what a Knight of Pastalia would ever say to the Lady Cloche under any circumstance.

Edit: I found another fine example of this later in the day. Actually, the scene that this comes from is quite accurately translated; the localizer clearly had a good grasp of both languages. But they gave Cloche such an unbecoming voice. (This is also the scene that contains the whopping misspellings “intension” and “brake a promise”.) It’s getting clearer that the more important scenes were translated by someone more senior, and others were rushed through by someone else.

Cloche(1) :81:81:
JP::きれい事を…
EN::You're so full of it...
NEW:How eloquent...

As above, the, uh, intension of the line can stay essentially the same while the voice is reversed.

3 Comments

  1. anonymous
    March 3, 2009

    [irc_nickname_redacted] EN::You’re so full of it… [irc_nickname_redacted] NEW:How eloquent… [irc_nickname_redacted] depending on context the original is closer to the intended meaning [irc_nickname_redacted] I don’t think this guy knows what kireigoto means [me] yay literalism (context provided by moi from 542.txt) [me] i agree with you here [irc_nickname_redacted] yeah she’s saying you’re full of talk croix [irc_nickname_redacted] as in shut up and prove yourself

  2. fetjuel
    March 3, 2009

    I’m not sure if I’m being accused of not knowing what the original word means, or translating the original text too literally. But the point of this post is about voice, not about accurate translation of terms.

    In this scene, Croix is claiming to truly care for Cloche and to want to know her better. Cloche, her defenses up, claims that Croix is covering his true intentions with a touching speech. So in my translation, like some critics of Barack Obama, she’s using “eloquent” as an insult.

    Both the official translation and ours match the intention of the original line, but I think ours is much more likely to come out of a character with Cloche’s disposition and upbringing.

    (Note that Croix immediately agrees and says that yes, he does actually have other intentions. He doesn’t say anything about having to prove himself.)

  3. kensou77
    December 31, 2009

    [No, there’s no need anymore] -or- [No, there’s no need for that anymore]

    my friend’s suggestions.

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