Posted by on Jan 23, 2010 in Retranslation log | 5 Comments

Item descriptions were more interesting than they should have been. Potential spoilers here, though I’ll try to avoid anything major.

One thing that really got to me was that although it’s clear (isn’t it?) that Croix is supposed to be narrating, sometimes the official translation seems to simply forget that. Personal comments are turned into universal truths, places where we should have “I” turn into the general “you”, and it’s too impersonal in places too. A few examples:

JP: 衝撃を加えると小さな火を発する水。
   どんな反応を起こしているかは調べたことが
   ないから、わからない。
EN: Water that ignites with shock.
   No one really looked into the reaction,
   so I can't explain.
New: Water that sparks when disturbed.
   I've never looked into what sort of reaction
   it causes, so I don't understand it.

JP: 押してはいけないとわかっているけど、
   押さなければ気持ちが収まらないボタン。
EN: A button you know you're not allowed
   to push, but your mind won't settle
   until you do so.
New: I know I'm not supposed to push
   this button, but I won't feel satisfied
   until I do.

JP: 上質な布、民族的な模様らしいが、
   どこの文化なのかはわからない。
EN: A high quality cloth with tribal
   patterns, but no one knows what
   civilization it's from.
New: A high-quality cloth with tribal
   patterns, but I don't know what
   culture it's from.

JP: キュートなカラーリングを施されたハンマー。
  その可愛い見た目に反して、威力はなかなかのもの。
  近くで振り回すのはやめて欲しい。
EN: A cute colored hammer. However, unlike
  its looks, its power is strong. You don't
  want it being swung anywhere near you.
New: A cutely colored hammer. Contrary to its
  cute looks, the power isn't half bad. I wish
  she'd stop swinging it around so close to me.

Those “no one” lines are especially galling. Surely, with all the people in the world and the technology they have, someone somewhere must have investigated such a strange reaction as sparking water. Surely someone somewhere knows what culture those tribal patterns are from. Just because Croix hasn’t bothered to find out doesn’t mean the information isn’t out there.

Another common distortion is ignoring らしい in sentences. In short, Croix’s use of this indicates that his information is second-hand. That is, he’s not commenting on what he knows for himself, but on what he’s heard from someone else or another source that he can’t be entirely sure is accurate. This applies to many, many descriptions (it felt like about half, but probably isn’t quite that many), but here are a few a typical examples:

JP: ゲロッゴをインスパイアーしたらしいもの。
  違いがわからないけど、女の子たちの中では
  忌み嫌われている。
EN: This is what inspired Gergo.
  I don't know the difference,
  but it is hated among girls.
New: Apparently this inspired Gergo.
  I can't tell the difference, but
  among girls it's hated with a passion.

JP: 強いグラスノの波を出して、データで構成された
  世界の情報を歪めてしまう事が出来るらしい。
  それってハッキングじゃないか?
EN: This can distort the world of information
  created by data, by blasting a strong
  Grathnode wave. Isn't that hacking?
New: This can supposedly distort the information
  in a world composed of data by emitting powerful
  Grathnode waves. Isn't that hacking?

Croix doesn’t know for himself what inspired Gergo; he really doesn’t care enough, but a certain someone was more than willing to amend his ignorance. In the second example, he similarly doesn’t know enough about informational technology to any idea what the device in question does, so he’s just repeating what he was told it does.

Speaking of that second example, I think the meaning got a bit confused too. Unfortunately, it’s not the only one.

JP: はくと気持ちがスッキリ、背筋もビッシリなるらしい
  長ーい靴下。靴下って言ったらニーソックスだと怒られた。
EN: Long socks that refreshes your feelings
  and straightens your back. What's wrong
  with wearing socks that come up to the knee?
New: Long socks that apparently straighten your
  back and make you feel refreshed when you wear
  them. I called them socks and got yelled at
  that they're knee-socks.

JP: 念をこめてつくった怪しい呪術の爆弾。恐ろしいマークが
  ついているのは気のせいか?
EN: A strange cursed bomb, full of grudges.
  Is it just me, or does the mark look wicked too?
New: A creepy black magic bomb imbued with emotions.
  Is it just my imagination that it has a terrifying
  mark on it?

In all fairness, though, many of the descriptions aren’t bad at all, though I tend to reword them anyway:

JP: 硬いカラに守られた、暖かな気候を好む植物の実。
  ジューシーで甘いけれど、食べるところが少ない。
EN: A hard shelled fruit of a plant that
  likes warm weather. It is juicy and sweet,
  but there isn't much to eat.
New: A fruit protected by a hard shell from a
  plant that likes warm climates. It's juicy
  and sweet, but there isn't much to eat.

5 Comments

  1. kensou77
    January 24, 2010

    JP: ゲロッゴをインスパイアーしたらしいもの。 違いがわからないけど、女の子たちの中では 忌み嫌われている。 EN: This is what inspired Gergo. I don’t know the difference, but it is hated among girls. New: Apparently this inspired Gergo. I can’t tell the difference, but among girls it’s hated with a passion.

    are you sure it isn’t flipped? i mean

    JP: ゲロッゴをインスパイアーしたらしいもの。 違いがわからないけど、女の子たちの中では 忌み嫌われている。 New: Apparently this was inspired by Gergo. I can’t tell the difference, but among girls it’s hated with a passion.

  2. Hellfire99X
    January 25, 2010

    Oh, awesome! I got a kick out of reading Croix’s item descriptions while playing through the game, even though they were poorly worded. I, for one, will appreciate the new descriptions. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. kWhazit
    January 25, 2010

    It would have to be ゲロッゴがインスパイアーした or maybe ゲロッゴにインスパイアーされた. The way it’s written, “Gergo” is the object of “inspire”, so this inspired Gergo. At least, that’s how Croix understands it. He could be wrong; I don’t actually remember how Cloche explains it, and he doesn’t seem to care much.

  4. fetjuel
    January 31, 2010

    Can’t get enough of this sort of analysis. Excellent work as always, kWhazit!

  5. HollowNinja
    February 20, 2010

    I’d like to point out that “A fruit protected by a hard shell from a plant that likes warm climates. It’s juicy and sweet, but there isn’t much to eat” could be confusing. The way it’s worded makes it sound as if the hard shell is from a plant, rather than the hard shell protecting the fruit.

    Good work though, the use of “I” dramatically improves the way the descriptions feel. It’s a lot more personal.

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