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Sonic Adventure Retranslated Mod

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by SKingBlue, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. RDNexus


    It's kinda saddening that some people don't seem to appreciate all the contributions you've been giving to the community.
    I haven't seen the full extent of your retranslated games' videos, but from what I've seen I liked it a lot.
    Certain details or plot points that had been lost in the original translation got restored, helping people to better understand certain things from each game.
  2. Josh


    Something else comes to mind: While editing a translation to flow more naturally is certainly valuable to a native speaker experiencing the story, having a more literal translation to go with it has just as much merit, especially in a case like this where we've had decades to become familiar with the stories. A big part of why this is so fascinating to me is seeing just how botched the original scripts were, and how many plot holes and awkward character beats opened up because of that. A literal translation might not be something you'd play through the game with, but it's ideal for addressing things like that.
  3. Covarr


    Sentient Cash Register Member
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    A stiff literal translation only helps insofar as it's correct. For all we know, SA2's translation was meant to be as literal as possible. It'd sure explain the TERIAAAAAs and YOSHs and whatnot. That it was rubbish wasn't necessarily a result of cleaning up, or localization, or any of that, but as Windii said, a rubbish translation to begin with. As an example in another franchise, the RPGOne retranslation of Final Fantasy VI is definitely stiff, and purports to be more literal and therefore more accurate than the official SNES translation of the game, yet it's filled to the brim with brand new translation errors (and that's not even to get into the amount of content which was simply rephrased from the original SNES version, largely defeating the purpose).

    And on the flip side, a translation that has been cleaned up to sound more natural isn't necessarily less literal. For any sentence you can imagine, there are probably a dozen ways to rephrase it that all mean the exact same thing. You can word a sentence a dozen ways without changing the meaning. The construction of a sentence can be reworked in as many as twelve different ways while retaining the same essential meaning. Some may be stiff and some may be fluid, but that doesn't necessarily make one more literal than another. And as a general rule, if you have one guy on the team whose only job is cleanup, if he's doing it right, he's not changing meanings at all.

    At the same time, so much of written and spoken language relies on nuance, on cultural assumptions and understandings, that even two sentences which are functionally identical as far as dictionary definitions could carry vastly different subtexts. "I gotta skedaddle" and "I must depart" may both mean the same thing, but they don't mean the same thing at all, if that makes sense. And don't even get me started on expressions and figures of speech; no matter how similar a man and a guy may be, a wise man and a wise guy are not at all alike.

    Quite frankly, I don't think the word "literal" is even worth serious consideration. A great translation strives to be accurate. To accurately convey the intent of the original author. To portray all forms of meaning, tone, style, etc., not just definitions.

    Does a more literal translation of SA2 have merit? Yes, but less because it's "more literal" and more because the original translation is riddled with mistakes.

    + - There exists, for every sentence conceivable, a plethora of potential structures and word choices, minimally a dozen, of which any particular selection would not meaningfully impact the actual substance of said sentence.  
  4. Jeffery Mewtamer

    Jeffery Mewtamer

    Blind Bookworm Member
    I don't think I've ever heard anyone display the kind of "localization good, translation bad" attitude described above. If anything, localization still seems to have a bit of a bad rap in the segments of online anime geekdom I'm exposed to on account of how nearly every dub company used to be pretty much straight up xenophobic in their efforts to rewrite series set in Japan(or a Japan analog) to being set in the US even though most such licensees have either gone out of business or gotten their act together.

    Admittedly, heavy handed localization can take away from an otherwise well-done translation(to borrow an example from above, calling onigiri doughnuts has no value over calling them rice balls unless you're xenophobic), but there are cases borrowing an English idiom has merit over literally translating a foreign idiom or creating an English pun has merit over including enough gratuitous foreign language to preserve the original pun.

    Granted, sometimes the translation itself is bad before even getting into decisions of wording, what's better kept close to literal and what's better adapted to a more natural phrasing in the target language, or getting into the challenge of fitting dialogue to a character's personality and speech patterns(hard enough when creating dialogue from whole cloth, probably all the harder when you've got the original script to adapt, and good luck trying to match a style of speech from the source language that lacks a good analog in the target language).

    Commentary on the art and science of translation aside, is there any good way of comparing these recently published fan-translations with the official translation for those of us without the option of simply playing through the game with the official dub and fansubs running at the same time? Or failing that, can someone provide a few examples where the two differ in characterization/plot-altering ways?
  5. Dissident


    Sami Member
    This is great! I'd definitely love to see more.
  6. BlazeHedgehog


    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    Sure, I just think it's easier shorthand for the different types of translation, but I see where you're coming from. Part of the reason I never finished editing all the scripts is because I've started to feel really guilty for being annoying and pedantic about all of this.