February 7th, 2008

twins

Localization

I don't know what to write about today. I have a giant cat on my lap, but there's not a whole lot to say about that.

We went to Office Depot last night. Our printer has been warning us that it's low on color ink for months now, but since we mostly print black and we kept forgetting to check what model our printer is before we found ourselves anywhere that sold ink, we kind of ignored it. But then we printed postage the other day, and we were clearly in danger of running out of black ink. So off to Office Depot we went! Mom sounded pretty chipper when I called and asked her if she'd drive us, but when she actually picked us up, somehow her mood had changed to grumpy. She wouldn't tell us why, either, so it's all kinds of mysterious and curiosity-provoking. But all we can do is speculate, and that doesn't do any good. So we ignore it and get back to work.

I've kind of been thinking about our translation process lately, for many reasons, including the fact that the Revenant Wings translations seem pretty awesome. I'm not sure I'd still feel that way if we'd played the Japanese version first, but at least the translator seems to have similar ideas to ours on how people talk and what jokes are funny.

The special edition of Final Fantasy XII came with a DVD that had interviews with the translators, and on it, one of them (Alexander O. Smith, who happens to be our sempai) explained that they have to strip away the Japanese and come up with what, for example, Ashe would say if she was an American, or what Balthier would say if he was British. I'm not sure about "stripping away the Japanese" (I mean, if you completely strip away the Japanese, you're left with nothing, or, looking at it another way, you're left with the idea) but I get what he was saying, and the second part is how we've been translating all along, so I think that's pretty awesome. Mr. Smith also translates for the Ace Attorney games, which also have some pretty great localization, so he's kind of becoming more and more of a role model. Especially because he was really nice to us when we e-mailed him the once.

Anyway, I'm really not sure what I'm trying to say here. Oh yes, Balthier being British. Apparently since Square-Enix has people working for them all over the world, they were able to make sure that they were getting all the wording and everything just right for a British person. We've been translating somebody who's supposed to be British lately, so I've been trying to channel Balthier. It's pretty amazing, because you can really tell the difference between how he talks and how Vaan talks, even in Revenant Wings where you can't hear the accents, but at the same time, it's not all that different. It's craaaaaaazy.

And I'm actually still not sure what I'm trying to say. Athena points out that I don't have to have a point to everything (isn't that the moral of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?), but for some reason this time I felt like I wanted one. Oh well. But I did just remember that character nationality isn't all there is to it. Ashe talks a lot different than Vaan, for example. And they're both Dalmascan(=American).

Today I'm thankful for Final Fantasy XII accents, having new printer ink, having shiny new pencils, whiteboard erasers, and people who don't get fed up with waiting in line.