Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

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And the winner is...

I'm going to be honest here, I'm a little bit ticked off that only seven people answered our poll. Especially because we're fairly certain that more than seven people knew it existed. Is it that hard to click two little boxes? Were the questions that hard?

...Never mind, I'm heading to a bad place. Answering those questions will probably only upset me further.

But anyway, since it's pretty clear that nobody else is going to vote, I got sulky and closed the poll! So there!

...Er, I meant to say (in a happier tone) since it seems like everyone's done voting, it's time to discuss the results! Tadah!

Here's a refresher on the two scenarios in question:

A:
"Hey! You're supposed to say, 'That's what you get for pulling your punches,' or 'I guess you're having a bad day'!"
"You mean you want me to lie?"

B:
"Hey! You're supposed to say, 'That's what you get for pulling your punches,' or 'I guess you're having a bad day'!"
"Sorry. I'm a bad liar."

Most people said they thought A was funnier, while people were pretty evenly divided on which one sounded more like the localization. Though the results were extremely small, this sampling indicates that while it's not obvious which line came from which country, most people preferred--that's right--the American version! Tadah! And since all voters were from the United States (also known as: a large portion of the target audience), we can learn that localization is not necessarily a bad idea.

Now I'll explain our hypothesis. We assumed that most people would like Scenario B better because, in our opinion, it is. It was pointed out in the (now unscreened) comments that you can't really say for sure which is funnier unless you know how the actor delivered the line, which is a good point. I don't know how this will affect anyone's opinion, but the line was said in a snide voice, by a character who is most certainly not naive.

(Right, I wanted to say that the scene is from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and the characters are, for all intents and purposes, Axel and Saix. Saix is the bad liar.)

Anyway, I never stopped to think why I liked the Japanese line (Sorry; I'm a bad liar) better until we posted this poll. Of course, there's probably some bias there, but I think it ultimately comes down to this: The "sorry" lures Axel into a false sense of security, indicating that Saix really does want to be a good friend, and then lays the smack down, crushing all of Axels hopes and dreams. But in a subtle way. We like subtle humor.

It's possible the original line works better for a Japanese audience, because the word for lie comes right after the "sorry," so it's presented to the player almost immediately. On the other hand, in English, the lying part comes at the end, so if you're not focused, you might miss it. So the localized version makes it more straightforward, which directs your attention to the word "lie."

Our next theory was that people would assume the Japanese one was the localized one, because it's a little more complex. Of course, that's coming from the point of view of a translator, who's seen a lot of subtitles and the like. We see a lot of translations that we like to call "practical." Some of the nuance gets lost because it's just not easy to fit it in to the English version. Also, in the manga industry, there seems to be a prevailing opinion that humor doesn't translate. And since we thought the Japanese line was funnier, and thought everyone else would agree, and didn't think, "Oh wait, these aren't people in the industry who assume humor doesn't translate," we thought that what, in our world, is the prevailing opinion, would be indicated here. (...And I wonder if anyone could follow that sentence.) Clearly, that hypothesis was incorrect for a bunch of reasons.

So, in sum, the main thing we learned from this poll was that we have a different sense of humor than other people. And we are as shocked as Iago the parrot. (Though to be fair, we did have much more context than everyone else, and I still hold on to this hope that, had everyone been more familiar with the scene and characters, they would have agreed with us. But since that was not the purpose of this poll, it's not really relevant. And now I'm really glad I remembered the word "relevant," because we're translating Ace Attorney this week! (Speaking of irrelevant.))

Today I'm thankful for the seven (six and a half, technically) votes we got on our poll, the cool breeze on the way to and from the store this morning, the clouds that also helped prevent us from getting heat stroke, Independence Day cake being on sale, and having a good time translating manga today (though it would have been better without so much heat, it was much improved by Gyakuten Meets Orchestra).
Tags: kingdom hearts, polls, translating
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