Exclamations in FF 13

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takenoko
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Exclamations in FF 13

Post by takenoko » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:39 pm

http://kotaku.com/5614229/localizing-ex ... ntasy-xiii

I thought this was an interesting read. Keeping a translation as friendly as possible and natural sounding in contrast to making things sound Japanese is always a tough balance issue

I haven't played FF 13, but I'm not sure if some of the issues that are brought up in the article make too much sense. He makes it sound like the exclamations are something uniquely Japanese and that they're distracting. But one example that he gives:
"A character crying out "Gwahhhhhhhhhhhh!" for three seconds after witnessing a car crash could easily be replaced with a quick "Oh my god!""

That's not supposed to be something Japanese, that's just a written thing to show that the person is screaming. That's like saying people who write "argh" in something are being unnatural and weird for using onomatopoeia. I'm not saying the writer or people who find that stuff annoying is wrong, I'm just not sure it's really the problem that he says it is. It's like reading a comic book and seeming "bam!" or "fwooosh!". I wouldn't recommend doing away with these things entirely, since they benefit deaf players. I think his suggestion of using more localized versions like "huh" to replace them is the best solution

I don't really write out the sounds in my translations most the time. I'll include a "hm" or a "uh" but I generally feel like subbing those sounds come off as redundant looking. You don't need to see someone screaming and then see "ahhhh!" at the bottom

Speaking of FF, that reminds me of Yang's "achoo" noise from FF4. As a kid, I always thought he was sneezing or something. It wasn't till later that I found out the "achoo" is the written form of the Bruce Lee noise that he makes every time he does a move. It comes up from time to time in the stuff I translate as well. Don't really know if there's a better way to write that sound out

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by Catastrophe » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:36 pm

Nah. It's would be like putting a sub for something like one of Kagami's disbelieving 'Ehhhhhhhhh?' noises. The noise in itself needs nothing as it already conveys what the character is feeling. Something like 'uh' is (generally) considered a part of speech however.

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by takenoko » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:41 pm

Now that you mention it, I do use a "eh" from time to time. To be falsely prescient, the early part of Shinkenger has a lot of those from ShinkenBlue. But was just because his character was super awkward and kind of the butt of a lot of jokes. I don't do "eeeeeeh?!" but I really doubt the general consumer would notice something like that if it were there.

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by SiegeDragomon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:46 pm

i use eeeeeh?! sometimes
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by DrakosAmatras » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:44 am

Personally, I think exclamations don't strictly need to be translated/scripted; it's up to the translator. If he/she chooses to, it probably wouldn't hurt if done systematically, and not overdone.
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by riderkicker » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:19 am

Meeeeeehhh?!

Anyway, I think the bigger problem is the so much grunting in game.
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:49 am

That really was an interesting read. I wish I had played FFXIII so I could understand his point better, but I get the gist.

I agree with Take-sempai, really. I don't see how the exclamations are a distinctly Japanese trait. I suppose that it could be argued they occur more often in the Japanese version of games/movies/etc, but I'm not sure I buy that.

Either way, maybe the English voice actors should work on making their own versions of those sounds more expressive so they don't sound ridiculous. XD

(For some reason all I can think of is the exclamation in the Metal Gear games when you die. "Snake? SNAAAAAAAKE!!")
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by kokowaks » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:32 am

i think it would be best to translate anything that you guys felt needed translating... most of the time too much japanese scares potential new toku/anime fans before they even finish an episode...

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by DJ Jimmi Zero » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:42 am

Complaining about excessive grunting and Japanese made characters overacting or not being able to use an equivalent for another Japanese word or phrase is bull in my opinion, especially using FFXIII as the scapegoat here. This has been an ongoing issue ever since America dubbed Speed Racer and Astro Boy, the people in charge of marketing it to the consumer outside of Japan simply don't care or can't take the time to preserve the integrity of the media. Fan translators have a similar issue with inappropriate language in children's series or not translating a particular saying or Japanese word at all. In the defense of fan translators though, it is for the fans and some teams go out of their way to teach English speaking and reading fans a few bits and pieces of Japanese vernacular and pop culture.

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by takenoko » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:47 am

But I think translating for something like Final Fantasy and translating for subtitles where you can hear the dialogue in Japanese and see people being distinctly Japanese are different things. I assume the Final Fantasy is just using subtitles for their dub. The whole thing is in English and aimed at a mass market. For me, that's a lot more okay than watching a Japanese movie that has been completely localized into English (and I don't know why)

But for the stuff we do, there's a strong Japanese culture that is evident in the language being used, so I think it's okay if we use honorifics and terminology if that's the best way of conveying the meaning. I think the viewer should get as much significance in the meaning of the language as a native Japanese when they watch the same thing

Edit: Well, I don't think the complaining is bull. That is the guy's opinion and he has every right to not like that sort of thing. I'm just not certain as to how representative this guy's opinion is for the rest of the fans. It just doesn't seem like something that would register to people who aren't actively thinking about it

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by yumenotenshi07 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:39 am

takenoko wrote:But I think translating for something like Final Fantasy and translating for subtitles where you can hear the dialogue in Japanese and see people being distinctly Japanese are different things.
I agree wholeheartedly. There is a big difference between having something dubbed in English and listening to something in Japanese while reading subtitles. They're completely disparate situations.

Personally, I like the way TV-N handles their translations. I've never seen an episode of anything where the Japanese terminology was so excessive I couldn't follow the show, even before I started learning it. I like the insight into the culture and the different ways used to convey the Japanese meaning as accurately as possible.

Unfortuntaely, for a dub that doesn't seem to be feasible.
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by Silentwolfdog » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:31 pm

Actually, it's one thing I wished TVN does more often, like licensed movies or some other fansub groups did. I found it unnatural to see someone omit or reduce it a lot, especially if it is already part of language or their culture. Making it seems like subtitles is missing something, because not all situation is that clear. Sometimes person appears to be crying but is actually laughing, and I am unable to tell unless one can hear it.

Looking at books, even authors include it in writing as well.

I don't think I understand why one would want to replace it with something else if that's what person was actually saying. I would find it odd if someone replaced my "Ahhhhh!" with something else if I am actually saying "Ahhhh!"

So I am not gonna complain if that's what character is actually saying, since people do makes noises and even include noises in their daily language. It is part of language, it helps set the tone of language, setting, and personality of character itself, so it makes sense to be in subtitles. All cultures do that. So Japan isn't special in that.

Now I am curious to as of how Japaneses will translate how some girls talk in America. You know, how some girls would say "like" in every sentence. For example: "Like ya know how she loves that vampire dude. Like this is stupid ya know?" etc. Would they keep it in subtitles or would have they omitted it, losing the essence that made that girl, well her.

I guess communication is so important to me, something a lot of people take for granted, so to include everything visually made communication more meaningful and easier to understand/interpret.

Guess it's to each own.
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by takenoko » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:14 pm

>Sometimes person appears to be crying but is actually laughing, and I am unable to tell unless one can hear it.

That's something I'm not sure how I can represent with a subtitle without it seeming out of place. Since we're not explicitly subbing for just deaf people, I think that kind of stuff has to be left to context

>Now I am curious to as of how Japaneses will translate how some girls talk in America.

The teenage culture definitely have their own quirks when speaking. There's no direct translation, but you can definitely add in flavor words and such

Communication is important. But it's a hard thing. Sometimes you can say the most well-crafted statement and it'll still come off as offending someone. It's probably interesting because it's so complex

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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by Silentwolfdog » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:24 pm

takenoko wrote:>Sometimes person appears to be crying but is actually laughing, and I am unable to tell unless one can hear it.

That's something I'm not sure how I can represent with a subtitle without it seeming out of place. Since we're not explicitly subbing for just deaf people, I think that kind of stuff has to be left to context
Actually, I think it's a poor example on my side. Since that's more of background sound rather than onomatopoeia. And clearly that is not a job of fansub group to cap a background sound. But I think it should be different for when it comes to onomatopoeia since some of em are actually part of language I think. At least it is to me.

I think this may poses a better example, suppose it is being said in Japanese by Akiko: "Ahh! Philip! Henshiinn!"

And knowing TVN long enough, it might have been translated as "Philip! Transform!" vs what could have been look as "Ahh! Philip! Transfoorrm!"

Both convey a very different feeling to me. First choice convey a sense of urgent as it should be, but nothing about Akiko possibly of being freaked out where second choice does seem to imply that in a sense.

Instead, having onomatopoeia words doesn't make subtitles look bad to me at all, rather I do believe onomatopoeia actually give a soul to subtitles. Making subtitles seem alive, grabbing you to show's universe. Man...I love that.

Again, this is my opinion of course. Seems like this is matter of personal taste.
Communication is important. But it's a hard thing. Sometimes you can say the most well-crafted statement and it'll still come off as offending someone. It's probably interesting because it's so complex
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Re: Exclamations in FF 13

Post by takenoko » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:29 pm

Ah okay. I think we do some "ah, something something" but I don't think we usually do the "aaaah, something something" Guess it's kind of arbitrarily done since I haven't put much thought into it, just going with what feels most natural at the time

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