July 12th, 2010

Blah

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.

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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?