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

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Brat-Sampson

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Also, for examples of how to do this *right* (IMO) look to XSeed's Trails translations. Those characters pop constantly.
 

LiveFromKyoto

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Hear, hear.

(And I am a native English-language speaker and dislike this. Frankly it's cultural colonialism and erasure and an embarrassing American practice.)

Other languages - Japanese in particular - do the exact same thing to English. Making text flow comfortably for your audience has nothing to do with colonialism.

Besides which, previous games in the series have kept the honourifics without using clunky dialogue. There's nothing redemptive about arduous transliteration in a case like this.
 

Rhaknar

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im not sure if this falls on localization or cultural differences or what, but watching the quicklook, why is the main character
being treated like absolute shit and a heinous criminal for... SAVING A WOMEN FROM BEING RAPED
?

Is that actually explained?

thats like first hour spoilers, basically the premise btw, but I know some people are super ultra sensitive to spoilers.
 

SomTervo

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Jan 19, 2015
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You can Google "answer your expectations" or "answers your expectations" (with quotation marks!) to see many cases of it being used. Going three or four pages deep, there's a cluster of it being used in 19th Century books but also in the websites of modern companies.

I just did that and:

1. literally every single source on the top two Google pages are French/European organisations with evidently poor translation (edit: found one that isn't, but it's a transport company with evidently little interest in strong English/copy)

2. 19th century books - that's hilarious. Literally irrelevant.
 

LeleSocho

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Jun 13, 2011
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It may have meaning in Japanese but this is irrelevant when translating for an English audience. You HAVE to make the line make sense for a native English person, otherwise you're doing a disservice to the original text by making it incomprehensible.

Apparently in the Japanese it doesn't say what i and some other thought he would but let's pretend it does for the sake of this conversation: I don't think it's irrelevant, it sets the tone of the scenario and it's not an huge leap in logic trying to understand what he meant. It's not like someone ever explained to me what this means i just assimilated the concept naturally after the first time i've seen it.
 
Oct 18, 2008
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I am all about the honorifics and Japanese cultural references, but those are rough. "Haven't you" in particular is fucking me up.

The denizens of the Velvet Room have always had dialogue that stands out from the other characters, but not because of shitty grammar and a poor grasp of the language. It was just very formal and flowery.
 

Waji

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Those examples don't seem too bad at all, though I have yet to dive into the game fully myself.
I completely agree. And if it's closer to Japanese it's even better since it conveys the right sense.

In some other context I could understand but since we're talking about Japanese students, in Japan, it seems even more appropriate.
 

YianGaruga

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Jun 1, 2009
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Well actually, that one's fine. I've definitely felt that the translation's rather stilted, but this line doesn't deserve the criticism it's getting. His dialogue option in Japanese is not よろしくお願いします like many have speculated, it's 世話になりたい. It sounds just as weird in Japanese as it does in English.

See, this was my point. The examples in the OP may very well be garbage, but you just can't 100% know without seeing it in contexct and/or comparing it to the original.

Just jumping to the conclusion that Atlus did a bad job with the loc is what I have a problem with.
 

Joeku

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Sep 15, 2009
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After playing the first two hours, I am glad to see this thread because there have been numerous examples of questionable localization decisions all over the place that make conversations feel unnatural.

Glad the "please take care of me" pic is getting the rounds as it rubbed me wrong when I first saw it, but also every time the game cuts to the female intelligence agent/lawyer(?) interrogating the protagonist, those exchanges and response selections are barely intelligible in ANY language. I'm compelled to find screen caps for some of them myself and litter this thread as it's just just cluttered with awkwardness.

Again, I watched the GB quick look, and the interrogation stuff was offputting to the point of feeling intentional. To anyone who played it in Japanese, was that the case?

...cuz if not, woof.
 

Silvard

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Feb 20, 2015
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One thing I'll say is that the echo questions are a bit too much in English, but they'd have to change the script quite a bit to accommodate anything else.
 

black070

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See, this was my point. The examples in the OP may very well be garbage, but you just can't 100% know without seeing it in contexct and/or comparing it to the original.

Just jumping to the conclusion that Atlus did a bad job with the loc is what I have a problem with.

This. Compiling a list of a few out of context sentences and damning them to hell and back for it seems a little overboard.
 

Holundrian

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Nov 1, 2014
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I'm 30 hours in and didn't really notice any of this as "off" while playing it, but when quotes are taken out like this it doesn't look great. Maybe I just don't notice these things as much or got engrossed so much I didn't notice. The only thought I had about the localisation while playing was that it wasn't as good as Yakuza 0's, but then no-ones is.

Actually I feel like the Trails games have it beat.
 
Stolen from a duck on twitter.

 

Saphirax

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Apr 4, 2012
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See, this was my point. The examples in the OP may very well be garbage, but you just can't 100% know without seeing it in contexct and/or comparing it to the original.

Just jumping to the conclusion that Atlus did a bad job with the loc is what I have a problem with.

There are a bunch of people (some of them actual translators) on twitter who are playing the game and aren't pleased with the translation. No one's jumping to conclusions.
 

SomTervo

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Jan 19, 2015
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Stolen from a duck on twitter.


Persona 5 Deus Ex Crossover confirmed

This. Compiling a list of a few out of context sentences and damning them to hell and back for it seems a little overboard.

So far the only example which genuinely could work with context is the "Please take care of me" one, because that's apparently a joke (albeit apparently not a great gag, even in Japanese).

The other ones are literally broken English regardless of context.
 

Dantis

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Apr 18, 2012
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There's a good number of shonky lines, for sure, some of which occur in major plot scenes. I'm not even four hours in and it's still happening a lot more than it should.
 

Joeku

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See, this was my point. The examples in the OP may very well be garbage, but you just can't 100% know without seeing it in contexct and/or comparing it to the original.

Just jumping to the conclusion that Atlus did a bad job with the loc is what I have a problem with.

This. Compiling a list of a few out of context sentences and damning them to hell and back for it seems a little overboard.

Nobody's saying the game is terrible. Nobody is demanding a re-translation or the firing of those who did it in the first place. Calm down.
 

visiblemode

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Mar 16, 2015
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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.

Incorrect.

These errors can be patched, OP.
 

Buzzman

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Sep 1, 2012
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I've read manga and watched anime for over two decades. Terrible stilted english is a key part of my view of Japan. Erasing that is cultural genocide.
 

Lime

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"A public transit bus was driven down an opposing lane with its customers still in it!"
 

black070

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Oct 1, 2015
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Nobody's saying the game is terrible. Nobody is demanding a re-translation or the firing of those who did it in the first place. Calm down.

I'm perfectly calm. Those calling it "embarrassing" and such however are not.
 

YianGaruga

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There are a bunch of people (some of them actual translators) on twitter who are playing the game and aren't pleased with the translation. No one's jumping to conclusions.

I'm just reading this thread, and duckroll posting this one pic as a "gotcha" which could be explained as a joke in context seems like jumping to conclusions to me.

Everyone has such different expectations and preferences for localization, it's just hard to take a single person at their word. If someone does a more in depth analysis of the game and it turns out it's trash I'm not gonna ignore it. But so far I'm just seeing individual lines that people don't like for whatever reason and that happens in literally every localization. Even XSEED patches up localizations after release.

Nobody's saying the game is terrible. Nobody is demanding a re-translation or the firing of those who did it in the first place. Calm down.

I'm just asking for some common sense
 

Zarathos no Daimaoh

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Sep 26, 2015
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They just want the speech to make fucking sense and be clear and elegant, unlike it is here.

Doing this correctly and efficiently will enhance the culture that is being portrayed, not suppress it.

It's a nice sentiment .but for me mostly , and thus far , an utopia when it comes to gaming translations . I feel that what we end up with , is usually instead sound sentences , with correct english expressions and syntax ... however with biased approximation of meaning and contexts ... and iffy attempt to localize cultural elements and idioms .

So right now , as dumb as it might sound to some people , i'd rather have the current "broken" style with close translations of original meanings , rather than "wassup" moments of Ryuji awaking his persona and other "adaptations"
 

SomTervo

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It's a nice sentiment .but for me mostly , and thus far , an utopia when it comes to gaming translations . I feel that what we end up with , is usually instead sound sentences , with correct english expressions and syntax ... however with biased approximation of meaning and contexts ... and iffy attempt to localize cultural elements and idioms .

So right now , as dumb as it might sound to some people , i'd rather have the current "broken" style with close translations of original meanings , rather than "wassup" moments of Ryuji awaking his persona and other "adaptations"

It's not either/or, though. It's not either "broken" or "wassup". There's a middle ground that captures both perfectly and isn't any kind of "attempt to localise cultural elements and idioms".

This localisation isn't it.
 

Sakujou

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Oct 22, 2012
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some stuff cant be translated into english or other languages from japanese.
if you havent studied japanese, then maybe you shouldnt make weird assumptions.

i have studied korean and i have a lot of respect, how some translations, also from other languages have turned out.
my japanese is limited, but reading into translations and the infamous ff10 translation gives me a huge different point of view.

i trust the translators sitting at atlus/SE/Nintendo.
 

PuppetSlave

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Writing well is not cultural suppression. These lines are not capturing a part of Japanese style that would otherwise be erased. They are creating a style that did not exist in the original -- namely, broken and clunky speech. Poor localization, which very strongly includes literal translation, is less faithful to the original work than proper localization is.

If anything, it should be seen the other way around. Poor localization is much more reasonably considered "cultural suppression", because it erases the aesthetic value of the original and corrupts its style and impact.

Well said.
 

LiK

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Doesn't seem that bad to me especially if it's trying to portray how some people speak IRL. I dunno, I'll have to play the game and see it in context for myself.
 

Waji

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Again, I watched the GB quick look, and the interrogation stuff was offputting to the point of feeling intentional. To anyone who played it in Japanese, was that the case?

...cuz if not, woof.
Having played the Japanese version, I had no problem whatsoever with the conversations between the main character and the "investigator".
 

SomTervo

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some stuff cant be translated into english or other languages from japanese.
if you havent studied japanese, then maybe you shouldnt make weird assumptions.

i have studied korean and i have a lot of respect, how some translations, also from other languages have turned out.
my japanese is limited, but reading into translations and the infamous ff10 translation gives me a huge different point of view.

i trust the translators sitting at atlus/SE/Nintendo.

Apparently even professional Japanese/English translators on Twitter are miffed at this.

And everything can be translated, just to varying degrees. There will always be pros and cons to different approaches when translating something - you might lose a nuance here but gain symbolism, or find a perfect idiom but lose the character's voice.

Practically nobody in this thread is making "weird assumptions".
 

TatteredHat

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Jun 3, 2013
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What's the context for this?


"I'll be in your care." would have worked a lot better there.

Problem with a lot of this stuff and other examples here is that often the localization is trying to translate expressions that have no real equivalent in the english language, so you just get this clusterfuck exposition of the meaning behind the phrase instead.
 

R_thanatos

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As someone who has finished the game in japanese Twice , all those exemples don't bother me , they seem actually accurate to what was in the game in the first place.

There are so many conversations in this game that have weird sentences , there is like no real way to get a perfect feel for it , in another language.( be it english or another )

Some of the answers in this thread argue that they don't want to feel weird while reading those lines , i'd even argue that this was inevitable.
 

freeofgreed

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A lot of games take place in Japan with Japanese characters that don't have honourifics though in their English dub/text.

.

Yah but Atlus always uses the honorifics for games that take place in Japan. At least with Persona.
 

LiveFromKyoto

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some stuff cant be translated into english or other languages from japanese.
if you havent studied japanese, then maybe you shouldnt make weird assumptions.

i have studied korean and i have a lot of respect, how some translations, also from other languages have turned out.
my japanese is limited, but reading into translations and the infamous ff10 translation gives me a huge different point of view.

i trust the translators sitting at atlus/SE/Nintendo.

I have studied Japanese, and I can tell you this isn't the way to go about translating it. Language isn't purely about communicating stark information, it's also about rhythm, colour and emotion. The reason this doesn't all sound terrible in Japanese is because the sounds of the words flow together naturally in that language, and because it has a different grammatical flow. Transliterating it just makes it seem wooden.
 

Blue-kun

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Clearly Atlus looked at those Bamco SEA localisations and thought they could outdo Bamco. We're gonna show them our true japanese spirit!

Or I guess they just rushed things, but really, a lot of these just don't seem like they were written by a native english speaker. And that's really odd. It's some SRWV tier localisation, except on a huge flagship title that's being released to huge amounts of hype all over the world, as opposed to the niche robot S-RPG game that only a couple hundred thousand people bought, and in Asia.
 

jman4371

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Nov 24, 2015
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60+ hours in and it's fine. I picked up a copy of the Japanese version to use for a project and translated the first part out. Some of the lines are more translated and less localized when compared but it doesn't ruin the experience. Only one part in the game stuck out to me where there's one of the characters being very polite to the point where another character says it's awkward to talk to them and it might hold them back to becoming friendlier with them. I understood what they meant because that's how Japanese is among friends but the actual English read just fine to the point where none of it was actually awkward. Again though, that's the only major weird one I found. A couple minor things but nothing that doesn't make sense to the reader.
 
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I played it on release in Japan and I knew right away that the localization would be extremely challenging. There is SO much text in this game and, being in localization myself, I thought it would take a dedicated 6-7 person team around 6-8 months to provide a quality translation. The examples in the OP were clearly translated by a non-native speaker and weren't edited...at all. I guess they had a staff shortage and not enough time. It's extremely embarrassing for Altus if those really are in the game.
 

Theswweet

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If you want a game with a "literal" translation, 9 times out of 10 you'd be better off just learning the damn language and playing the game that way. I used to feel the same way, but I seriously have my doubts that anyone that has studied Japanese for a significant portion of time would actually advocate for literal translations above all else...
 

DNAbro

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Nov 18, 2013
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so far nothing has really stuck it out until you pointed it out. I've honestly been loving the localization.

And as a note, hasn't Igor always talked kind of weird? I'm not expecting natural english from him.
 

Aarglefarg

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Jul 27, 2013
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I just did that and:

1. literally every single source on the top two Google pages are French/European organisations with evidently poor translation (edit: found one that isn't, but it's a transport company with evidently little interest in strong English/copy)

2. 19th century books - that's hilarious. Literally irrelevant.
It's used in a variety of countries over centuries (including currently and in predominantly English-speaking countries). It is used in real life, which is what I said.
 

Zarathos no Daimaoh

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Sep 26, 2015
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It's not either/or, though. It's not either "broken" or "wassup". There's a middle ground that captures both perfectly and isn't any kind of "attempt to localise cultural elements and idioms".

This localisation isn't it.

I think the point is that , we'll probably diverge on that . I don't feel i meet the middle ground as as often as we do . And usually the general public will not notice it anyway , and just take the dub/translation as gospel .

I'll remain is the probable minority and prefer p5's attempts to some of the past stuff i've seen atlus and others do , yet admits that there are a few rough spots and clearly some broken stuff just because of bad editing
 
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