Over-localization


  • Premium Member

    @zchronos said in Over-localization:

    @chi-c

    I'd prefer something under-localized to something over-translated.
    Case in point... IN LIGHT NOVELS

    Tate no Yuusha (The Rising of the Shield Hero)
    The official translation is over-translated and it is very bad, the webnovel fan-translation is better.

    I think the Official English Title is actually great. I think when it comes to professional Official Translations I would rather get Over-Translation then Under-Translation.


  • Premium Member

    As long as shit like "Mr/Miss" isn't used instead of honorifics, I can stomach a lot of stuff. I can survive without honorifics, but their straight up replacement bothers the fuck out of me and has completely killed my immersion before. Otaku-terms like Tsundere, Yandere, Kuudere (The best one), should be left as is. I don't want to see Weeaboo translations though at all. If something has a very easily translatable word, use it. If you use "hai" instead of yea/yes/sure, I will take a finger off you for every offense.


  • Staff

    I don’t wanna see Sissy, is Sis

    I don’t wanna see brah

    I also don’t wanna see new age terms at all, I saw YOLO once in a LN and I cringed...


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan said in Over-localization:

    I also don’t wanna see new age terms at all, I saw YOLO once in a LN and I cringed...

    Which LN? Also, it is very possible that YOLO was actually was said, or its Japanese equivalent (I am pretty sure 88 is the Chinese equivalent of "lol")


  • Staff

    @drone205 All I remember is that it was an isekai (that should narrow it down), I remember cause after that was said they made the “well i am an exception joke”, I read it last year so I will just start flipping through various books to see if I can find it again.

    I do remember that it actually said YOLO in the book, of it said you only live once, I wouldn’t have minded.



  • @rahul-balaggan if the character was an otaku or a 2chaneler, it is entirely possible he used it's Japanese equivalent in the original text. For example in Steins;Gate they changed a few of Kurisu/Amadeus' lines into memes (that Never gonna give you up on episode 10 of SG0 was so on point xD), which is pretty much proper since she was using actual memes, just japanese memes.


  • Premium Member

    @dtta "Then again, I think some fans get weirdly obsessive about how underlocalizing is good, somehow. :)"

    Think it got more to do with how bad the localization of some terms can get. We kinda got use to the idea of just leaving some stuff alone instead of a bad translation.


  • Premium Member

    @paulnamida Pretty sure that use of YOLO was in No Game No Life so would probably be appropriate.


  • Premium Member

    And there are the cases where the translator just kinds of gives up, and decides to leave the Japanese cultural reference in and explain it all in translator's notes at the end.

    Which might get a little distressing, depending on how much they really want to convey the sheer nuance of the concept.

    FFXIV


  • Translators

    @unsynchedcheese The whole "aoi" can mean green or blue thing is really annoying.
    Basically the color words Japanese has don't match up to the same color words in english exactly and aoi is the perfect example of this. (I bet some research could be done genetically to figure out why this is... I bet Japanese people are more naturally blue/green colorblind than western races, for example)
    Streetlights in Japanese for example are "aoi" to mean "go". Obviously we usually use "green" as the translation in that case, but this confusion actually came up in Smartphone with the "Blue/Green Dragon" issue that ended up inconsistent......


  • Staff

    @sam-pinansky Not just Japanese, but many East Asian languages, and apparently many languages worldwide do not originally have a distinction between green and blue.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue–green_distinction_in_language


  • Member

    @aruseus493 said in Over-localization:

    As long as shit like "Mr/Miss" isn't used instead of honorifics, I can stomach a lot of stuff. I can survive without honorifics, but their straight up replacement bothers the fuck out of me and has completely killed my immersion before. Otaku-terms like Tsundere, Yandere, Kuudere (The best one), should be left as is. I don't want to see Weeaboo translations though at all. If something has a very easily translatable word, use it. If you use "hai" instead of yea/yes/sure, I will take a finger off you for every offense.

    I pretty much agree. If a word as an easy translation just use it. If a term can be translated but the result is not commonly used in speech either keep the Japanese word or find another way to express it (like the honorifics or senpai). In romance series never translate the way people address each other with first names because the inevitable plot point of two lovers wanting to call each other by name will be ruined. In general, I prefer a little bit of under localization than too much over localization.


  • Premium Member

    @lex said in Over-localization:

    @aruseus493 said in Over-localization:

    As long as shit like "Mr/Miss" isn't used instead of honorifics, I can stomach a lot of stuff. I can survive without honorifics, but their straight up replacement bothers the fuck out of me and has completely killed my immersion before. Otaku-terms like Tsundere, Yandere, Kuudere (The best one), should be left as is. I don't want to see Weeaboo translations though at all. If something has a very easily translatable word, use it. If you use "hai" instead of yea/yes/sure, I will take a finger off you for every offense.

    I pretty much agree. If a word as an easy translation just use it. If a term can be translated but the result is not commonly used in speech either keep the Japanese word or find another way to express it (like the honorifics or senpai). In romance series never translate the way people address each other with first names because the inevitable plot point of two lovers wanting to call each other by name will be ruined. In general, I prefer a little bit of under localization than too much over localization.

    The problem with dropping the japanese honourifics is, it takes some of the meaning out of the dialog.

    Call me george

    Sure thing george

    no, call me george

    yes...

    we really do need the honorifics.

    Call me george

    Sure thing george-san

    no, call me george

    yes...

    You either then need to figure out a way to rewrite x number of volumes/pages previously published or do away with the interaction entirely which could be damaging to it IMO.

    It also allows us at a glance to say 'okay, they are at 'that level' of intimacy.

    Otherwise I can agree with you, some localization is nescessary, and most of it can be stomached easily. Like contractions...


  • Staff

    @thomask said in Over-localization:

    It also allows us at a glance to say 'okay, they are at 'that level' of intimacy.

    Intimacy is addressed via other means in English, so it would be easy to remove honorifics and adjust dialog appropriately to achieve the same effect. Very rarely is the presence or absence of honorifics so integral to the story that expressing important context in other ways risking a complete collapse of some delicate balance of interpersonal Jenga.

    Now, changing things around like that might broach on other principles that readers dislike, but I think there really needs to be a reining in of the "honorifics are necessary because of all the meaning!" viewpoint.

    Namely, it's a crutch. Unless you are intimately familiar with Japanese, believing you can accurately identify the level of intimacy between two people because she said "George-san" versus "George" versus "George-chan" without any other context is a delusion. Maybe he's American and doesn't care. Maybe she's American and doesn't get the meaning. Maybe they're just close friends with no romantic spark. All of these factoids and more should be present in the thing you are reading and should all tell you far more about how two people relate to each other without needing a -san or lack thereof to clue you in. And if they're two characters you're meeting for the first time... should you really be assuming any amount of their shared history based solely on what they call each other?


  • Premium Member

    @myskaros Good points. I’m very much a beginner in my Japanese language studies but I know enough to know tons of Japanese is contextual and it goes well beyond san and chan and a good translator should be able to convey much of that in English alone. Outside of Otaku circles in other Japanese fiction no one seems too fussed with “under localization” and I’ve read some amazing and insightful Japanese fiction that conveyed a broad range of cultural insight without the use of honorifics.


  • Premium Member

    @thomask That is a horrible example as it is simply a -bad translation-. Translating is more than simply literal transposing words. Hell, there's a reason that translating is sometimes considered an art. Have you read up on the process of how things are translated -anywhere-, not just Japanese? :)


  • Premium Member

    @thomask said in Over-localization:

    The problem with dropping the japanese honourifics is, it takes some of the meaning out of the dialog.
    Call me george
    Sure thing george
    no, call me george
    yes...
    we really do need the honorifics.
    Call me george
    Sure thing george-san
    no, call me george

    You don't need the honorifics, you just need to translate it differently. For example:

    Call me George
    Sure thing, Mister George
    No, just George.

    Of course you're going to lose the meaning if you just do a word-for-word translation and then strip off the honorifics. But that wouldn't be how a translator would approach the problem.


  • Premium Member

    Yeah. Though I'd phrase it more like this:

    "Call me George."

    "Okay, sir, I'll call you George."

    "No, just George, no need to be polite."

    Same thing - emphasizing politeness, without the rough "Mister", nor the literal transliteration.


  • Member

    @dtta said in Over-localization:

    Yeah. Though I'd phrase it more like this:

    "Call me George."

    "Okay, sir, I'll call you George."

    "No, just George, no need to be polite."

    Same thing - emphasizing politeness, without the rough "Mister", nor the literal transliteration.

    In my country this would work if George is in a position of authority, otherwise it would sound extremely unnatural.
    In a dialogue between two lovers, it can be localized by making one asking to be called dear instead of dropping the honorific. In the more generic case of two aquaintances that become friends, maybe the switch could be from using surnames to first names...assuming they were using the surnames and we know the first names of the characters (I've read manga in which they were never revealed).
    Truly, a translator's job isn't an easy task.


  • Premium Member

    Yup, thus why I said it's an art. We all might disagree on specifics, but it's important to not literally translate the work. You either miss cues or haphazardly leave them in in a weird manner.

    It's why I said it's an art, not a science.


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