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Language and translation in FFXII

I think the localization team for XII deserves some sort of literary award--oh my GODS the language, the language in that game.

I'm wondering what they were working from, that they churned out lines like, "And so I sue for peace to stop short war and ease their suffering," or "Yet at a trice he goes bounding off for you!" for one of the bounty hunter thugs. Best of all, "Spare us your quiddities." 

Also, the Occuria. Generic godlike annoying beings are such a trope, but epic amounts of iambic tetrameter in a video game? Whoa.

We see your heart desires power,
and power most holy shall we grant.
Seek you the Sun-cryst, slumb'ring star.
In tower on distant shore it dreams.
The mother of all nethicite,
the source of its unending power.
The Dynast-King, his fallow shards,
coarse trinkets cut from Sun-cryst's light.
In times that are long passed away,
we thought to save this Ivalice...
and chose Raithwall the Dynast-King.
He took the sword and cut the Cryst.
Three Shards he took from its gilt grasp.
His words and deeds run through your veins.
The treaty held with kings of old
is but a mem'ry, cold and still.
With you we now shall treat anew,
to cut a run for hist'ry's flow.


And so on, and so forth. It's the gift that just keeps giving. Like Maechen, the exposition on a platter would've been insufferable, if they hadn't been spewing out these gloriously overdone lines.

Then there's Ondore's Revisionist History serving as the narrative bridge. Ondore and his "I was but a humble servant of Peace" memoirs, ha. The capital letters make it especially fun. His language style -- I haven't bothered to identify it (18th century?), and maybe it never existed in our world, but it's very effective.

So, here's the question. Was there any of this antiquarianism in the Japanese? Archaic speaking styles, poetic forms? Or did the English translation team just have a couple of frustrated literature majors running amok? 
 

Comments

heavenscalyx
Jul. 12th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
When I read your notes about FF12, I contemplate going back and trying to play it again, especially because I was very fond of Big Gay Balthier. But I'm not sure I can cope with Fran or the Princess, alas.

(Although, speaking of tiny outfits, I note that you might should read my flocked post about original Trek today.)
auronlu
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
Fran suffers from Lulu syndrome: the strong, intelligent, powerful woman has to be dressed up in a Tits & Ass outfit to render her more palatable. Then again, I always go for the elf character with mysterious magical foo and Ancient Wisdom (tm).

And then there's the fanservice. I am embarrassed that it works on me. Though not when it's attached to an annoying character like LeBlanc.

Big Gay Balthier is fabulous (I gave him the Dawn Shard for quite a while; I loved seeing him in purple), and certain segments of fandom have taught me to read Basch/Vossler as the main canonical ship, which makes it much more amusing.

I wish I liked Ashe. I just...don't. But I realized I don't have to like the game or story and like every character. I appreciate that she is strong (despite the dumbtastic hot red shorts), political, ruthless, and is not a wilting damsel in distress or love interest for the hero. She just...isn't very likeable, either.

I'm not sure if you'd like the game again. It's...difficult in spots. I can understand why it wouldn't work for everybody.

ETA: Great icon.

Edited at 2010-07-12 11:13 pm (UTC)
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