Main » 2014 » August » 9 » How Translation Killed Another Puzzle: Part 2 (originally posted 2009-04-23 on FortuneCity)
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How Translation Killed Another Puzzle: Part 2 (originally posted 2009-04-23 on FortuneCity)

The other day... well, okay, close to four months ago... I wrote about Luca's Love Flow puzzle, along with various ranting about translators handling things poorly. Today, I bring you the other half of the puzzle, with Cloche's Love Flow. You won't see both in the same playthrough, for reasons that become obvious when you get to that point of the game, but it's quite similar in concept.

As with Luca's version, let's start with the...

Top-left room:

"Croix, you don't look so good today. I'm so worried about the future." - originally 「クロア君。今日もまた一段とさえない顔してますね。 これでは先が思いやられます。」

This one sounds like something Leglius might say, and how he might say it. At least, I'm pretty sure it does, not being as familiar with his speech patterns. Regardless, Cloche doesn't call him Croix-kun, and she doesn't often show this sort of consideration. And while I'm nitpicking, the middle sentence more accurately translates to, "You look even more unwell (or depressed) today."

"Hey you! You'd better choose me or else!" - originally 「おう、てめえ! 俺を選ばなかったらどうなるか、分かってるんだろうな!」

Here's the one with a masculine tone. It's sounds even stranger for Cloche than for Luca. The English might possibly be confused for her as it's quite bossy, but even at her bossiest, Cloche is not generally either this blunt or this rude. That's one of the problems with translating Japanese to English—it's difficult to do anything to distinguish "masculine" and "feminine" without turning them into "boorish" and "deferential", which are obviously far from adequate as equivalents.

"Big brother... Don't don't talk to me! I'm, I'm so embarrassed..." - originally 「お、お兄ちゃん…私に話しかけたら、らめぇぇっ! は、はずかしいよぅ…。」

Possibly a Cocona reference, possibly just a generic cutesy timid girl sort of thing. Either way, definitely not the right one.


Top-right room:

"I, I don't need you! I don't care if you're gone!" - originally 「あ、あんたなんか、必要としていないんだからねっ!いなくても平気なんだからっ!」

This sounds like something Cloche might say, but definitely not the *way* she would say it. Too flustered (as evidenced by the stuttering and the っs at the end of each sentence) and too informal (あんた rather than 貴方, for instance).

"Don't go!! I'm sorry... I, I want to be with Croix..." - originally 「行かないで!! ごめんなさい、私… 私…クロアと一緒にいたい…」

Not Cloche. She's never been this pleading or clingy. And in an unfortunately common example of failed consistency, the Japanese line here is identical to one in Luca's version... but the English isn't. Somehow it wound up like this here, but as "Please don't go! I'm sorry, I... I want to be with Croix." there (incidentally, this version, without the "please" and with the end trailing off, is more accurate). It's especially sad in this case because if you change "Croix" to "Lyner", the line comes directly out of Ar tonelico 1, as noted in the Luca entry. Consistency with the original game is another major problem in the English port of Ar tonelico 2...


Center room:

"Oh, how do you do? I was wondering who it was. Such a cute dog. He he he." - originally 「あぁら!ごきげんよう。誰かと思えば犬じゃない。ふふふ、可愛がってあげるワ。」

They really seem to love the image of Croix as Cloche's pet, don't they? Regardless, this is clearly not the real one.

"Um, hello... Mr. Croix... I, I love you! Please take me home!" - originally 「あ、あの… クロアさん…す…す… 好きです!拾ってください!」

And in an interesting reversal, this one puts Cloche in the dog's position, more or less. Again, clearly not the real one.

"My name is Cloche! I conduct Dive Therapy!" - originally 「私クローシェっていいます!ダイバーズセラピをさせていただいてますっ!」

As Luca has a bad Cloche impression in hers, here Cloche has a... well actually, it's a rather good Luca impression. This is very similar to how Luca actually introduces herself when she first appears. Luca's introduction is split across two lines and the phrasing is slightly different, but it's essentially the same as this, the させていただいてます in particular. In any case, it's obviously not the real Cloche.

"How do you do? I'm sorry, but I don't need you." - originally 「ごきげんよう。 残念だけど、私は貴方を必要としていないの。」

Here we go. The line starts with ごきげんよう, a greeting in common use by proper young ladies and fairly well rendered as "How do you do?". The rest of it continues in the same proper ladylike tone, and while the English rendition sounds rather too colloquial—I would prefer something like, "I regret to say that I do not find you to be necessary."—it's still good enough that I was fairly sure this was the right one without having to resort to the Japanese wiki.


Summary:

Overall, I thought Cloche's version was handled better than Luca's, and at the very least, the correct one didn't come out as nearly identical to one of the wrong ones. But, as I said last time, translators really need to be more careful to make make lines like these especially, where style is critical, more distinct. As before, my source for the Japanese lines is a Japanese wiki with a wealth of information on the game, assuming you can read the language well enough, of course: http://zapanet.info/ar-tonelico2/wiki/index.php

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