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Translation of Japanese Game Texts


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#931 Showsni

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 02:25 PM

Hey guys, it's been a while. I agree with Impossible's suggestion about a topic that compiles all the stuff on these translations. It's so hard to find every post by Jumbie, Prime Blue, and jacensolo without going through 30+ pages. I know this was originally intended as such, but it has strayed too far from that to continue to be used effectively in that way.



I'll get on it.


#932 Arturo

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:39 PM

And now is when I can objectively say I lost all of my honour XD

#933 Showsni

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 07:50 PM

What is the limit for quotes per post, and is there a way to turn it off? Ah well. Next is to organise by game, and make sure each uses the same style (colours or whatever), as well as putting who says each. But it's too late at night to begin now.

#934 Duke Serkol

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:19 AM

I've been thinking of something: I was told all of AoL's in-game text is in katakana. That's the writing Japanese typically use for foreign words.
So I wonder, could it be this was done so that Japanese players would feel like they were in a different region from that of LoZ? I don't mean to say that LoZ Hyrule is not included within AoL, but it could be a way to represent how different regions of the world have different accents/dialects (remember we do not meet anyone from the Death Mountain area in AoL, even Impa only talks in the manual).
Considering also that most people in LoZ (barring Link, Zelda and hooded Impa) apparently did not have pointy ears whereas everybody in AoL does...

#935 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:33 AM

Oh, yea, I can most definitely support that.

#936 jacensolo06

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 12:30 PM

Yes, having people talk in either entirely katakana or using katakana where hiragana would normally be used is a common way of indicating that a character's way of speaking is odd in some way. This is often used to indicate that someone is foreign and has an accent.

#937 Duke Serkol

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 05:20 PM

But what is interesting, is that the whole game is in kata. So should we take that as indication that Link himself is a foreigner?
He was said to have been "in the middle of his travels" when he found himself in the "little kingdom" of LoZ. But in that game, hiragana was used.

#938 jacensolo06

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 06:12 PM

I would say it is likely that katakana was used to make the people seem foreign (either to Hyrule or to Link). It was probably done that way to add to the sense of exploring new lands. It's also possible it was simply decided to use all katakana for some arbitrary reason, but I doubt it because there's no real reason for it.

#939 Showsni

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:16 PM

For all we know it might be a hardware issue or something... Maybe kanji wouldn't show up as well. Unless there are any interviews about it, we might never know...

Wikipedia claims: "Due to the still-limited amount of space on the disk, however, the Japanese version of the game was only in katakana." Talking about the Disk System version of the first Legend of Zelda.


#940 jacensolo06

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 02:50 PM

I know kanji wasn't used because of hardware limitations, but LoZ used hiragana and they switched to katakana for AoL. I doubt switching to katakana was due to the hardware because both of them have the exact same number of characters, but I don't really know how all that works with the Famicom, so I could be wrong.

#941 Showsni

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 03:50 PM

I know kanji wasn't used because of hardware limitations, but LoZ used hiragana and they switched to katakana for AoL. I doubt switching to katakana was due to the hardware because both of them have the exact same number of characters, but I don't really know how all that works with the Famicom, so I could be wrong.


According to the Wikipedia article, the Disk System version of LoZ was all in katakana. If that was changed to hiragana for the cartridge version, it implies hardware restrictions; and that they just didn;t bother to change the Disk System AoL.


#942 jacensolo06

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:52 PM

Ah, missed that that was talking about the original Legend of Zelda. :deadlink:

#943 Duke Serkol

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 04:32 AM

Ah so this explains it. So much for all our fancy theories :\

#944 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 01:42 PM

Haha burn

#945 FDL

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 01:45 PM

Thanks a lot for that Showsni. That'll definitely be a huge help for quickly finding the JP versions of specific quotes.


EDIT: Also, Jumbie or jacen, could one/both of you guys please answer these questions for me?

1. When Daphnes talks about Zelda's ancestors being ordered to keep the Triforce safe, does it mean literally? As in, the gods came down and said "Would you mind looking after our stuff for us?"

2. When Link is made the "Hero of Winds", was that whole thing about Link being "bestowed" the power of the gods added in by NoA?

3. When Zelda says in OoT that Ganondorf could not control the power of the gods, is she referring explicitly to the whole Triforce or just the ToP? Or is that up for interpretation?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Fierce Deity Link, 27 September 2008 - 02:41 PM.


#946 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 02:09 AM

I believe these may have already been answered, so...

1) Hylians apparently have a telepathic link to the Gods, so ch'yea, sure, whatever.

2) I THINK so.

3) She was referring to the True Force.

#947 Raien

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 07:34 AM

I have a couple of questions for jacen, which I don't think have been discussed.

1) At the end of OoT, where Zelda says that Ganondorf "could not control the power of the gods", I have realised that the word "control" has a double-meaning in the English language. It can mean "to use" or it can mean "to prevent from acting of its own accord". Jacen, does the Japanese translation provide a more specific meaning as to what "control" means?

2) Unlike most people here, I believe that Twilight Princess does not refer to the Sacred Realm, because the "holy land" was stated in two separate quotes to be Hyrule. But I wonder, is the Sacred Realm a title in the Japanese translation? Is there anything in the grammar that distinguishes the Sacred Realm in other Zelda games from the "holy land" in Twilight Princess? Just curious.

#948 FDL

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:00 AM

MPS, how do you know for sure she was referring to the True Force? I'm not saying it isn't a possibility, I'd just like to know how we know for sure.

#949 jacensolo06

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:08 AM

1. When Daphnes talks about Zelda's ancestors being ordered to keep the Triforce safe, does it mean literally? As in, the gods came down and said "Would you mind looking after our stuff for us?"

The Japanese gives no reason to believe it is not literal.

2. When Link is made the "Hero of Winds", was that whole thing about Link being "bestowed" the power of the gods added in by NoA?

Yes, NoA said it was "bestowed" upon him while the Japanese said it "dwelled" within him.

3. When Zelda says in OoT that Ganondorf could not control the power of the gods, is she referring explicitly to the whole Triforce or just the ToP? Or is that up for interpretation?

She uses the term "kami no chikara" which literally means "power of the gods". So the Japanese doesn't help any here.

1) At the end of OoT, where Zelda says that Ganondorf "could not control the power of the gods", I have realised that the word "control" has a double-meaning in the English language. It can mean "to use" or it can mean "to prevent from acting of its own accord". Jacen, does the Japanese translation provide a more specific meaning as to what "control" means?

The Japanese word has this double-meaning as well. It could mean "to govern" or "to have mastery over" and it could also mean "to keep in check", "to suppress", or "to restrain".

2) Unlike most people here, I believe that Twilight Princess does not refer to the Sacred Realm, because the "holy land" was stated in two separate quotes to be Hyrule. But I wonder, is the Sacred Realm a title in the Japanese translation? Is there anything in the grammar that distinguishes the Sacred Realm in other Zelda games from the "holy land" in Twilight Princess? Just curious.

As far as I could tell by quickly looking back at Jumbie's translations, referring to "Sacred Land Hyrule" is the only way TP differs from every other game in how it uses the Japanese word for the Sacred Realm, "seichi".

#950 FDL

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:26 AM

Thanks jacen.

#951 Raien

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:38 AM

Yes, thanks for that. So TP calls it "Sacred Land Hyrule", does it? I think that says a lot.

Edited by Raian, 29 September 2008 - 12:14 PM.


#952 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 02:23 PM

MPS, how do you know for sure she was referring to the True Force? I'm not saying it isn't a possibility, I'd just like to know how we know for sure.


Oh shit, I read that as TWW, I didn't realize you meant OOT. In that case, I change my vote to ToP.

#953 FDL

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 03:27 PM

Oh okay. By the way, were you part of the staff back when I was here last?

#954 Arturo

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 03:44 PM

Nope. ^^

(And I have re-read my post and it seems so incredibly serious XD)

Edited by Arturo, 29 September 2008 - 03:53 PM.


#955 FDL

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 03:48 PM

Oh, thanks. I didn't think so.

#956 Raien

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:48 PM

Jacen, could you provide the Japanese text that forms the OoT quote "without a strong righteous heart, he could not control the power of the gods"? A friend of mine is studying Japanese and it interested to see if he can determine whether "control" has a single meaning according to the context.

#957 FDL

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:02 PM

Didn't jacen say it doesn't?

#958 Raien

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:05 PM

Didn't jacen say it doesn't?


He did, but my friend wants to translate it anyway. He believes that there should be a single meaning made clearer by the surrounding context.

Also, he's interested in knowing how jacen put together his translations. He's a bit skeptical when I told him jacen translated all the important quotes in TWW in three days.

Edited by Raian, 29 September 2008 - 06:07 PM.


#959 FDL

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:10 PM

Oh, I see. But wouldn't the fact that he's your friend open this up to the dangers of bias towards your side of the argument? :P

Edited by Fierce Deity Link, 29 September 2008 - 06:13 PM.


#960 jacensolo06

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 07:06 PM

Here's the Japanese text of that quote:

強く正しい心を 持たぬゆえに 神の力を 制御できずに…

And for future reference, you can find the Japanese text for any of the translations in the Collected Game Translations thread.

As for my translation process, it's as follows:

First, I gather the quotes I want to translate from the text dump. Then I read the quotes, look any words I'm not familiar with up, and then write the quote down in English. After that I go back over them to proofread and check the translation. And lastly I go to the English text dump and add NoA's translations. Zelda games have (for the most part) fairly simple dialogue, so it doesn't take all that long to do.

Edited by jacensolo06, 29 September 2008 - 07:07 PM.





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