Honorifics in Translations

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by Kazetsukai, Aug 24, 2009.

?

Well?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

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  3. Don't care

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Aug 24, 2009

Honorifics in Translations by Kazetsukai at 11:36 AM (1,765 Views / 0 Likes) 12 replies

  1. Kazetsukai
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    Newcomer Kazetsukai Member

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    Honorifics, such as -chan and -san and -sama, do you prefer them to be left in a game when it is translated from Japanese? Or do you prefer localizations of the text/ideas?
     
  2. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I think I don't like it on games.
    I prefer to have them intact on anime though, it's a lot clearer for "joke" and relationship between who is speaking.
    This is actually very important on current time spending anime (like school in modern tokyo), but not all this important in an heroic fantasy RPG.

    This is all dependent if there are importance over the scenario, like joke or jealousy over a rank.
    But I never seen this in an English translated game. using another word to differentiate the rank is better I think, like "master xx" "lord xx" instead of the name only.

    now if it's for a modern story game (persona like ?), maybe it could be useful.

    edit : I did vote "no".
     
  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    We had big a discussion on this during the translation of Jump Ultimate Stars (the original project) and there were some interesting things that came up.

    For me one of the main reasons for retranslations/ translation cleanup of games is to gain much of the context/history/culture that was missed when it was initially translated (be it for marketing purposes or otherwise), granted this is not (yet) as prevalent on the DS as it is say on the SNES. I am presently gathering data with which I will launch a bid to change this but it seems a lot of companies are not shying away from things as much as they did.

    As for the matter at hand I would argue it is rarely of such importance as proper context primarily (from which a person can usually tell the "order" of people) as no such thing really exists* in any of the European languages we tend to deal with (or at least nowhere near as pervasive as it is in Japanese).
    Jokes made with such honorifics usually have decent translations/equivalents available which to my mind work better (I can muddle my way through rudimentary Japanese but I have trouble remembering all the subtleties associated with the honorifics).

    *I am ignoring military/chain of command things and stuff like tu and vous in French as well as short form names.

    Also while it does not matter so much these days those three or four extra characters soon eat up, if nothing else, screen real estate that could be used for better things especially given how many full names are usually thrown around in Japanese games that I have seen (we usually use stuff like him or her or them unless necessary; next time you are watching subtitled stuff listen for names and I bet you will hear a name without it being in the subs).
     
  4. Maktub

    Member Maktub GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Translating, in a complex social/literary (I take TVGames and their scripts as somewhat literary) is rewriting.

    Meaning that a translator doesn't just change words into their goal language equivalents but has to consider the whole sociocultural context. For most people, unless you're a weeabo, -san, -chan endings sound stupid unless it's intended to sound extremely japanese (e.g: games that parodize ninjas and stuff like that). I'd rather not use them unless they contribute to part of the story. There are ways in English to show respect to the elderly other than a suffix. So use them. It's part of the translators' skills to know those things.
     
  5. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    yes, I know about the full name. sometime they even refer themselves with their name instead of "me".

    I think in anime where it's subtitled, the fact we are hearing the names and suffix gives a more important fact to keep them intact. I like hearing what I read, and I don't like for example when teams invert the first/last name, it's disturbing hearing something and reading another.
    In anime I'm used to those suffix and I recognize jokes before the character take them in account, like when not putting anything behind a friend name in front of other friend may render them jealous, or using a bad one for someone. I can detect word games too, even if I'm not that good, I think it's nice to understand those details for the japanese culture.


    Now, in game, when there is no trace to Japanese, I think it's better to translate it completely and drop this honorific trace. It's better to adapt the story to the local language.
    But as you mentioned, translating is good if you can keep the cultural aspect when needed. That will always be a difficult task.
     
  6. Clydefrosch

    Member Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    always depends... if the game is actually set to be more or less 100% western culture in the middle of europe or NY and everyone is american or whatever, I find chans and sans ridiculus...

    on the other hand, i have no problem in games like persona 4, though they take it a little over the top adding it to every 4th word on average
     
  7. pitman

    Member pitman Addicted to Magical Girls

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    Persona 4 is a good example of the translation including honorifics, at the start I was okay with it but the English voice acting really annoyed me (hearing Senpai for xxxx times gets kind of irritating) I like hearing those with Japanese VAs.
    But with text I don't mind at all honorifics (mainly because I'm used to it since I watch a lot of anime).

    My vote is don't care.
     
  8. Kazetsukai
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    Newcomer Kazetsukai Member

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    Cheers for the responses, I am impressed at how clear the distinction is. I wonder if specifying 'for a visual novel game' would change the answers.
     
  9. Louisvanharten

    Newcomer Louisvanharten Advanced Member

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    aww 14 no and only 6 yes [​IMG]

    I vote Yes, I just like them [​IMG]
     
  10. miss_DSlite

    Member miss_DSlite GBAtemp Regular

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  11. Louisvanharten

    Newcomer Louisvanharten Advanced Member

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  12. Belzera

    Newcomer Belzera Newbie

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    For me it depends on the setting of the game itself. If its set in Japan or in an Eastern style world then Honorifics are something I think should be in there after all they are an important part of the culture, but I wouldn't want a series like Final Fantasy [an example only] that mostly uses a western style or theme for the settings to contain japanese Honorifics
     
  13. azerty1

    Member azerty1 GBAtemp Regular

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    for a game that's being fan translated, i think it would be better to keep honorifics since there would still be jokes and significance in how the people view each other whereas in actual localizations, they actually rewrite parts of the script if necessary as Louisvanharten pointed out.
    as long as you understand what the honorifics mean, then their presence would by no means detract from the quality of the script.
     

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