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.