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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? 


Jul. 12th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
This type of archaic translation started with Vagrant Story, an earlier entry in the Ivalice series. The Japanese version had no archaic version, all of that (and presumeably the shakespearean names) were added for the English version. I don't know if they switched to archaic language in the Japanese since, but I do know that it started with the English version, and is now running through all of the Ivalice series.
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Aaah. Danke. I figured other folks out there would know.

Very interesting.

It's funny. There are some things that seem so integral to certain FF games, and yet they really aren't -- it's only in translation that Summons Beasts are called Espers or Aeons or whatever, right? And the last thing Yuna says to Tidus in the original version is arigato, which pops up a few times in the sequel in important ways.
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