Author Topic: Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)  (Read 4653 times)

ZeaLitY

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« on: March 06, 2005, 11:00:29 pm »
First, the briefing. I recently found out that RPGOne.net is already working on a retranslation of Chrono Trigger; they've completed 11% of it. There is no guarantee of time. I was about ready to call off the SE project, but I received a word of caution about RPGOne; I subsequently downloaded their FF6 retranslation. In matters that Ted Woolsey was not forced to change when he originally translated the game, it seemed that he did a better job spinning dramatic and clear dialogue. Cefca was Kefka's new name, and some other stuff was markably changed.

Anyway, this is the current situation. JLukas is nearing completion of the extraction of the Japanese script. Collaboration with CT:SE and RPGOne.net would seem impossible, and additionally, I've got reservations about supporting their effort. Though they've had a thread about it for months, only now am I -- ZeaLitY, self-proclaimed router of information about the Chrono series -- learning of their project to translate. Since their project is entirely out of control and currently disconnected from the community, and since JLukas is very close to completing his own script extraction and technical facilitation for retranslation, I am going to push for our own retranslation project.

The advantages are simple; this will grow out of the cradle of the legacy of the Chrono series - the ever-growing Chrono Compendium, whose mission it is to do just about everything imaginable concerning the series - and will thus have the input and support of the fan community.

There are several dilemmas in translation, most of them boiling down to localization vs. originality. I've made these points for discussion:

1. Character naming. For instance, Janus's Japanese name is 'Jaki,' a pun on evil energy and his future (Jaki means evil aura). This pun is entirely lost to English audiences, rendering a translation of "Jacky" meaningless. Seasoned players would prefer Janus. What to do?

2. Extent of retranslation. I noticed in the RPGOne FF6 effort that, for example, the opening lines of the original and the redux clearly have the same meaning, with a name or two changed. Within the minds of players, old and new, are the original quotes - ingrained in our nerve pathways. "If history is to change, then let it change" - who can forget that? And how incensed would a person be if we needlessly made it, "If the past is to be altered...if my fate is to succumb, then I must simply chuckle"? That borders on excess to me. We could simply allow the translators to determine whether a passage is, for all intents and purposes, the same among languages, and then leave it as-is.

3. Localization. Radical Dreamers featured very obscure anime and pop-culture references (much like Super Milk Chan) that Demiforce edited out and replaced with tasteful stuff done in the spirit of the original jokes that we could understand (such as the Hannibal Lecter library passage). What's the policy on these?

I need your words! I'm confident that this can be accomplished. The other day I tried to imagine a world without the Compendium -- without an institution boldly declaring to retain and preserve the legacy of the Chrono series, and do EVERYTHING -- to provide rom hacking tutorials, simple weapons lists, and detailed analyses that break down the plots of the games -- to usher in quantity and quality. It was somewhat startling, because I've started to perceive this place as the home for the Chrono series. Though it probably isn't deserving of that title just yet, it is the strongest candidate, and can only grow. I agree that once the technical framework is up for the project, and its readiness is announced across gaming communities, we may attract translators and talent to complete it. First, we must iron out a policy. Let it commence!

GrayLensman

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2005, 12:51:44 am »
[list=1]
  • We should keep the current English names for consistency.
  • The translation should restore the spirit of the original Japanese text, but be edited to be effective in English.  We shouldn't retain any of the official translation or use it as a reference.
  • I'm not aware of anything like this in Chrono Trigger.  I don't think we have to worry about cultural references.[/list:o]

marr0w

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2005, 01:36:15 am »
Personaly, I think the text from the English release of the game should be kept when it can be. Or, offer both options as seperate downloads. After all, are you doing this for the fans, or for the translation? I was of the opinion it was for the fans of the series to see what they missed, and lets face it... not all of them care if the word chuckle was intended compared to laugh. It's a minor thing that doesn't change the intent of the original translation. I think things like drink and soup should be fixed, but I say for the most part keep the already released English to make it feel more familar.

As for the character names, I wanna see the original Japanese. After all... anyone with a problem with it can rename them when Jaki joins your party...

Just make sure you throw up a explanatory page or mock-up instruction manual with the story behind the pun listed with his information.

Chrono'99

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2005, 05:25:08 pm »
I don't know if it's possible, but perhaps some notes about the translated stuff should be added inside the game in a special menu. For instance, when Jaki is first mentioned, a "Jaki" note would appear in this menu to explain the pun on his name. This would be like the "Zodiac Brave Story" menu in FF Tactics, but with infos on the translation instead of the background stories.

Or if there would be too much texts to code or something, I guess a page or a manual would be as fine, as marr0z said.

SilentMartyr

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2005, 06:39:31 pm »
Having the staright translation with notes on the things that don't really make sense in the english story would probably be the best idea. But that would take probably the most time...

Frisko

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Re: Chrono Trigger Retranslation
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2005, 09:17:34 pm »
1. Use the Japanese Names and include explainationsin an included document  (I'd reccomend using a symbol of some kind to indicate when a reference could be found in the included document)

2. Completly ignore the official translation, except in the case that something can mean two totally different things, but both make sense in the context of what is being said.

3. Keep reference the same and explain them in included document (possibly give a "cultural equivelent" with the explaination).

Anonymous

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2005, 09:48:52 pm »
First, keep in mind that this is coming from someone who doesn't know Japanese, and who, for lack of a better benchmark, assumes that the weirder the translation sounds, the more literal it is.

The entire point of a retranslation is usually to redress the "wrongs" of an original translation.  The kind of people who wouild devote their time to doing something like that tend to be pretty serious purists.  My (mostly unforunded) guess as to why translations like RPGOne's might not sound so great is that the translators are concerned with getting it exactly "as the Japanese played it."  For example, as you're probably aware, Cefca was Kefka's official Japanese romaji name.  It looked nice on Japanese ads and so on, but for English-speaking audiences, Kefka is undisputably better–the in-game katakana solidify the hard "k" sounds, so Cefca would only risk confusion with the never-intended pronunciation "Sefsa" (not a good villain name!)  The translators aren't incompetent, they just want to be as faithful as possible, even when it's pointless.

So it really depends on what the goal of this re-translation is.  I'd err on the side of localization, since A) I love Woolsey's translation overall, despite the censorship and so on, and B) I firmly think there's a difference between reading what the Japanese did and having the same experience they did.  With question 1, I'd keep the names the same.  Much as it would be nice to have a standard, so that American and Japanese audiences can talk about the same characters with the same name, a single ROM hack is not going to change the fact that most English-speakers who've played CT know Janus as Janus.  Besides, there's nothing inherently better about the name Jaki.  Janus sounds cooler, and is probably a better reference, too.  I would keep all of Woolsey's names unless there's an important difference between the two (the Mammon Machine might be like that).

Question 2 is a little tougher.  If you think a big amount of text is going to end up different from Wooley's translation, trying to preserve memorable quotes might result in an uncomfortable mishmash to those who have played the official version, with some lines identical and some different.  So it's probably best to either go no-Woolsey (GreyLensman's position) or all-Woolsey (only removing censorship and adding text that was cut).  Really depends on your goals, but GreyLensman's view is looking better and better to me.

Fimally, while that 50% statistic on the main page looks tantalizing, remember that more text doesn't equal more story.  I rememeber playing a bit of an FF6 retranslation (can't remember if it was RPGOne's), wanting to see what all that extra, removed text was.  To my dismay, what I saw of the retranslated script didn't expand the plot; it was just really, really verbose!  Things were stated over and over again, and often too blatantly.  I'm not saying the original CT script is like that, just that some portion of that 50% is probably extra verbiage rather than really new stuff.

Geiger

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2005, 11:47:05 am »
1) English names for PCs, and probably any major characters.  This is not some obscure little game few people have played, keep it familiar (rock stars, not condiments).

2) Marketing.  If the English and Japanese versions of the passage have the same meaning, use whichever one sounds better.  The word "chuckle" does not frequently occur in dramatic speech, so the passage with "laugh" would probably be better.  It is important to keep a consistent flow and feel though, so do not mix passages if doing so creates an odd sounding mix.

3) Provided that there are any such cultural references, keep them if it is something that non-Japanese might know anyway (like say Speed Racer), and change them if it would make no sense at all.

There is an important question to consider here though:  Are you localizing for an American audience or all English speakers?  The answer will necessarily influence how this topic plays out.

I would say you can probably safely lose all of the Japanese humor of word puns though.  It just will not translate in any manner.


At any rate, I strongly suggest that you not take this thread as a poll.  Think about the points everyone brings up and then (as project leader) come to your own conclusion about what would be best for the (much larger) intended audience.

---T.Geiger

Anonymous

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2005, 07:27:57 pm »
One other thing I hadn't considered when I wrote my earlier post.  After translating the entire script into English, Woolsey cut about 50% of it, but that doesn't have to mean he removed half the sentences and kept the rest the same–that would be pretty amateurish.  Instead, he may have, in many or most cases, condensed the meaning of a given passage into a smaller passage without necessarily retaining anything directly from the original passage.  I could kinda see this when I played the intro of that FF6 retranslation.  Woolsey's translation was in a sense a shorter (and better, IMO) version of what I saw in the retranslation, but Woolsey's wasn't just the retranslation with stuff removed; it was an entirely new passage that retained the gist of the original.  If Woolsey did this a lot, it could mean his translation and the original may not even line up well, which would make the mix approach less appealing.

V_Translanka

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2005, 07:38:35 pm »
I'm pretty much with marr0w on this one...

I think that the romanji names are fine. Jaki makes sense...I don't see how Janus is better, it's not his real name. I think that a retranslation should show us what was really intended by the creators because, unfortunately, Ted had a lot of restraints in those days (besides censorship, there was also time).

An added document on any such name puns among other retranslational things should be made regardless though, much like they made for RPGOne's FFVI retranslation.

I think lines can be changed to make more sense, but not to change what's essentially being said, or the basic feeling of what's being said.

I feel the same about pop-culture references as I do about the names...But, I wonder, how big of an impact is pop-culture in Chrono Trigger? I don't think this one needs as much attention...But I believe that things like that should be left, and explained, in an added document (again, regardless).

It should be as true (not necessarilly as accurate) to what Kato & the rest of the gang actually wrote as possible.

doulifee

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2005, 04:18:41 am »
Janus fit well i think. it's a roman god with two faces. good for Janus/Magus after all.
Note: we can add a translation text about the name in Jap and their translation.

about the joke, we can use or own occidental joke and references.
i'am a reader of the discworld in french, in the original book by pratcher he use lot of typical english reference. Pierre couton the translator use parralle french references, and that work fine. i think we can do the same. it''s not an easy task, but with the help of the communauty,wa can do something.

Dain

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2005, 07:43:39 pm »
Whenever a myth is moved into another culture, it loses meaning unless you tranlsate it's terms into terms that will have the same meaning and effect for that culture.  Thus, an artistic liscence is permissible so long as they translate the obscure japanese puns and refrences into occidental (or western) puns and refrences.  
Whoever does this is going to need vast knowledge of our western myths to be able to preserve the original meaning of the game.

Shinrin

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2005, 01:24:07 pm »
in my time playing through CT and FF6 ted's transtlations, i have found misplled words and words that should be spelled diffrently than what they are. like there and thier.

now some of the translation of ct from rpgone of a lilttle preview i got of the test, most of the text is diffrent. plus in the japanese version, the puns are mostly similar as in DQ/DW like if i remember right. the chanceller says something along the lines as the trial, where he said that one of kurono's punishments should be tickling to death. and what's more funny about it is Dalton actually farts and not burps and other test things like at the millium fair, the people at lucca's telepod say something diffrent in the us version than japanese version. and other stuff i learned before rpgone was thinking about the retrans, is that i found out lavos is actually a space demon. (that would have went well in 95 on snes) =P

so somethings we're changed for no reason at all. Now, last week, there was a few surpises, they finally announced chrono trigger.so it's out in public.

yeah people might not like there retranslation, cause of stuff and diffrences. it's mainly because everyone is used to the orignal.

just think when square re-relased ff4 with cussing in it when FF chronicals come out.

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2005, 06:37:10 pm »
Firstly, by the final version of their patch, I don't think I noticed any misspellings in the FFVI patch...And even if you do, you can report it to them in their forums (or whatever).

I figured Dalton's "burping" wasn't quite right, because I'm pretty sure I saw at least once, it said "Blurp" and I was like wtf?

Also, did they seriously think about using Kurono as his name? I mean, it would fix some concerns people have about calling him Chrono, but still...Such pure romanji isn't necessary when we actually have a word for it...Although I guess Kurono looks cooler than either Crono or Chrono...Heh heh...

Also, the FFIV retranslation in FFChronicles had a lot more differences than just 'cussing'...

Shinrin

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Chrono Trigger: Special Edition (Retranslation input needed)
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2005, 02:14:04 pm »
Quote from: V_Translanka
Firstly, by the final version of their patch, I don't think I noticed any misspellings in the FFVI patch...And even if you do, you can report it to them in their forums (or whatever).

I figured Dalton's "burping" wasn't quite right, because I'm pretty sure I saw at least once, it said "Blurp" and I was like wtf?

Also, did they seriously think about using Kurono as his name? I mean, it would fix some concerns people have about calling him Chrono, but still...Such pure romanji isn't necessary when we actually have a word for it...Although I guess Kurono looks cooler than either Crono or Chrono...Heh heh...

Also, the FFIV retranslation in FFChronicles had a lot more differences than just 'cussing'...


the would proably use Chrono. but i'm not sure about frog's name Kaeru.

of course in the japanese version there is a code that calls for 4 letters of Kurono's name  Kuro i beleave or it might be Kuno. even tho this code is still in the us version' it's just pointed to his whole name. so i'm not sure what they will use.

true about the other differences about ff4 is the prono mag and other new items.

i'll find out what they use for Chrono/Kurono's name and frogs name.

most of the names in ff6 retrans are in english form. so maybe they will be in english form

i remember a friend of mine saying lock's japanese name as would say by a japanese person. having an r in it. but in the retranslaton sky just used Lock.