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Atlus we need to talk about the Persona 5 localization...

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duckroll

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Jun 7, 2004
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Still waiting for my copy to ship from Amazon. I'm sure the game is super awesome. Everyone who has played it says it is top tier stuff. Then bam. It's out today and... things have appeared on Twitter which shows what might well be Atlus USA's shoddiest localization effort in forever. After the great job they did on Yakuza recently? On their flagship title?

Some examples:




There are tons of lines like these being tweeted by people playing it now. There's a consistent trend - they're all understandable English which retains Japanese sentence structure and often literal adjective usage, but read extremely awkwardly in English. No one would speak like this and many of these lines are voiced. What gives? That's the difference between a raw translation and having a good editor or editing team on a localization. This is something Atlus has been really good at over the years.

What... happened?
 

black070

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Oct 1, 2015
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Those examples don't seem too bad at all, though I have yet to dive into the game fully myself.
 

Murkas

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Jan 17, 2011
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I hate how they still have honourifics in English dubbing. I'm sure they got rid of that in Catherine so why is it back :(

Having someone say stuff like -san and -chan in English will always be awkward.
 

Kazuo Hirai

I really want everyone to know how much more Titanfall 2 sold than Nioh. It was a staggering amount.
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Uh,you bought a PS4?
 

Chaos17

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I knew something was off but I though it was the localization team who wanted to put their own style of writing like Nintendo NA do often... but since I'm not an english native speaker, seems I was wrong, lol
 

kuroshiki

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Nov 29, 2010
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I hate how they still have honourifics in English dubbing. I'm sure they got rid of that in Catherine so why is it back :(

Having someone say stuff like -san and -chan in English will always be awkward.

Personally I love it.
 

purseowner

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May 31, 2015
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This actually reassures me - I'd seen a few examples that didn't read authentically to the original in the slightest.

I'd rather have slightly clunky but more faithful.
 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
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Janky translations is the authentic, traditional JRPG experience for foreigners.
 

Branduil

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Sep 20, 2006
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Excellent Eriador
Those examples don't seem too bad at all, though I have yet to dive into the game fully myself.

Thats not too bad in the grand scheme of things. Not enough to moan about really.

This actually reassures me - I'd seen a few examples that didn't read authentically to the original in the slightest.

I'd rather have slightly clunky but more faithful.

This is why nice things we cannot be having currently.
 

Laughing Banana

Weeping Pickle
Jul 22, 2009
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Perhaps it's because I am not English native but... I don't see any problem with the examples shown in the OP?

Like, what would you replace your examples in the OP with? Can you give an example?
 

Imp the Dimp

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May 14, 2011
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Clumsy but neither wrong nor incomprehensible honestly. Of course, I wouldn't mind a patch to improve the reading flow.
 
May 6, 2014
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I hate how they still have honourifics in English dubbing. I'm sure they got rid of that in Catherine so why is it back :(

Having someone say stuff like -san and -chan in English will always be awkward.

I like it in Persona because the series deals so specifically with Japanese culture. It's definitely not something I want to see in the vast majority of localizations, though.
 

squall23

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Jun 27, 2007
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I would totally play a game where everybody speaks ye olde English but the game takes place in a modern or futuristic setting, and with no explanations as to why.
 

Murkas

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Jan 17, 2011
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This actually reassures me - I'd seen a few examples that didn't read authentically to the original in the slightest.

I'd rather have slightly clunky but more faithful.

If that happens then a localiser has failed at their job. You're not supposed to aim for a direct 100% translation.

In fact I'm sure this was a test in Persona 4 with the translator part time job. How to translate a joke that doesn't fit and I'm think the direct translation was the wrong choice.
 

Ferrio

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Jun 7, 2004
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Ya it's really rough. Between that and the missing subtitles it's hard to choose between English or Japanese.
 

Jintor

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Oct 22, 2009
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From what I've seen so far it's coming in slightly below par, which is very disappointing in the year of Nier Automata and Yakuza Zero (putting Zelda to one side).

Especially when it was delayed apparently to assist in localisation woes. It might have just been volume rather than quality, but still...

Of course, Nier apparently did the traditional thing you do if you hand the game to 8-4 (or any localisation house) and want good results, which is to say "capture the essentials and the spirit of what they're saying, but don't worry too much about the specifics"
 

LordKano

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Jul 11, 2016
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I'll continue to do the best of what I'm able to do to answer the expectations that you may have of me.
 

Cloukyo

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Aug 30, 2012
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Gotta say, that's pretty clunky.

I do prefer a translation that has well written dialogue, personality should be translated more than just words, sometimes that may require changing sentences and structure
 

AniHawk

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Jun 7, 2004
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my guess to what happened:

- sega/atlus really really really was planning on p5 as a 2016/2017 fiscal year title.
- the japanese version wasn't done until last year when it was done.
- there was a shitload of text and not a lot of time for the job that was needed.
- the game was pushed back to allow for the text to at least get finished, programmed and tested for the game to be sold within the fiscal year (sales would have been registered for march even if the game launched in april).

p5 is a game that probably should have come out in october of 2017 or february of 2018. not sure how atlus does translating/editing, but i wouldn't be surprised if multiple translators and editors were on this project.
 

Hoo-doo

Banned
Sep 29, 2011
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I'm glad they didn't americanize the shit out of it, to be honest. A few weird lines in a game that has tens of thousands don't faze me. I've found the localisation to be pretty stellar so far.
 

Kain

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Jan 3, 2014
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Patch incoming? Though it might be a problem if the lines are voiced, fixing the text and hearing another thing might be even worse.

Though patch plus Japanese audio fixes all the problems.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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That's pretty rough.

Perhaps it's because I am not English native but... I don't see any problem with the examples shown in the OP?

Like, what would you replace your examples in the OP with? Can you give an example?

Grammatically they're fine, but seem very stiff and come off as very direct translations to text, not conversations.
 

mieumieu

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Mar 19, 2015
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I am not a native speaker so feel free to disregard my opinion, but these sentences all sound weird to me.

No one IRL says "answer your expectations" right?
No one IRL says "if ruin can be stopped" right?
Other two sentences are grammatically OK, but they sound unnatural. Not really like everyday speech said by native speakers.

I would totally play a game where everybody speaks ye olde English but the game takes place in a modern or futuristic setting, and with no explanations as to why.

OMG I would love to play that!
 

MoonFrog

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Jul 25, 2015
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Ya it's really rough. Between that and the missing subtitles it's hard to choose between English or Japanese.
Missing subtitles? I was planning on using the Japanese voices, so what's the issue here? (I'm mostly in the dark, so I'm asking out of genuine ignorance).

Cutscenes? Battle text? I don't care about the latter but the former having no subtitles would be annoying and sort of defeat dual audio for a portion of the game.
 

Moral Panic

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Jul 3, 2012
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That's awful. Is that a constant thing in the game or just specific moments? In such a text heavy game I'm not sure If I want to get it anymore if I have to struggle through such low tier translations.
 

dadjumper

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Jun 11, 2015
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This actually reassures me - I'd seen a few examples that didn't read authentically to the original in the slightest.

I'd rather have slightly clunky but more faithful.

If you want the original, then play it in Japanese. Localization isn't just about translating everything directly.
 
Jun 10, 2016
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This is how I remember Tokyo Mirage Sessions being, I guess this is what they are shooting for? They probably think it leaves the flavour of Japanese, which I guess it does in a way?
 

Kazuo Hirai

I really want everyone to know how much more Titanfall 2 sold than Nioh. It was a staggering amount.
Aug 25, 2016
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- sega/atlus really really really was planning on p5 as a 2016/2017 fiscal year title.
Well, 3/31 is the end of fiscal year, the western release should count in next fiscal year
Asia/CN version came out at 3/23 , I guess that they just balance fiscal report as how BNEI deal with dark souls 3
 

freeofgreed

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Mar 7, 2013
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I hate how they still have honourifics in English dubbing. I'm sure they got rid of that in Catherine so why is it back :(

Having someone say stuff like -san and -chan in English will always be awkward.

Catherine took place in the US.
 
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