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Just for you, muggy_mountain!

Despite the bad fansub, I'm picking up new details.

-- "Sin" is pronounced "S(h)in" but translated "Torture." Also, when Tidus guesses that Wakka's brother is "dead," the word he uses for "dead" sounds like "Sin." Is the translation wrong, or is there another "death" word that sounds a bit like "Sin"? There's also "Shinra", and in the anime Vampire Princess Miyu, the "Shinma" are demons/gods. saharasnow, what does "Sin" really mean in Japanese... and am I right in thinking that the word is related to "Shinto" somehow?
I've always had the feeling the name "Sin" was chosen because of multiple overlapping meanings in both English and Japanese.

--Lulu tells Tidus "we can only protect her until the last second," and her phrasing and tone hints that she expects to die then, too.

-- When Yuna finishes the Sending and asks if she did OK, Lulu hugs her and assures her "As regards the first time you are excellent." So Yuna never performed a solo Sending as an apprentice. Also, with the fuzzy translation it's hard to tell, but it seems as if Lulu's not saying, "you helped them get to the Farplane" so much as reminding her that death is just part of the cycle. "Everybody must go to heaven, right? But you can't cry next time."

-- Lulu is even more direct. For example, instead of saying, "Can't this wait until later?" in Kilika forest, she cuts in when Yuna's still talking (or at least stammering): "We need to go to the temple. Say what you want to say afterwards."

-- Yuna says that Jecht arrived in Spira "ten years and 95 days ago," whereas in the American version she's a little more vague. "The date fits, doesn't it?" works better in the original.

After Yuna drags Tidus off to find Auron, the subtitles switch to a much more competent translator. The phrasing's awkward, but I have the sense that the translation's fairly literal.

-- My favorite two lines, "Did you hurt them?" "A little!" aren't there. Instead it's "Are you okay?" "Mostly!"

-- Yuna's "All this because of me!" after being rescued from the Al Bhed makes more sense in this version: "I'm sorry to cause you so much worry!"

-- As I suspected, Yuna's "thank you" phrases sound effusive and overdone. If I'm reading body language right, she tends to bow lower than someone of her rank needs to.

-- The scene in the locker room between Wakka and Lulu has a bit more subtext:
"I saw you faint."
"Ha, I was preparing a nice wake up." (he comes over and smiles at her.)
When Lulu catches him as he collapses, after he goes limp and apparently is unconscious, she smiles and says, "Yeah, hold on like this." Now, was the fansub changing the dialog, or is that really in there? In the American version, she's a lot more grudging at this point in the story.

-- Lulu refers to Seymour's "excellent performance" saving Mika at the stadium. It suggests that "Spira as playhouse" is a theme for Seymour.

-- When Tidus blows up at Auron, he sounds utterly furious, far less whiny. It's actually a pretty powerful performance -- he explodes in a way that's totally unlike anything he's done up until that point. Lemme give the transcript, because there are some subtle differences.

Tidus: I know everything! It was all your fault! Swallowed by "Torture" and then thrown to Stila, and unable to return to Zenakent ... The whole thing, everything!
Auron: [Wow, Matt Mckennzie did an uncanny imitation of this guy's laugh.]
Tidus: Everyone. Everything is no one but your fault! What the hell are you exactly!? (Foreshadowing!) Do you know anything about my father? (A more logical question than, "you knew my father, didn't you?" )
Auron: Aha
Tidus: Are you also the old friend of Yonna's father?
Auron: That is right
Tidus: What is this all about? It is so strange! (He doesn't say "that's impossible", he just wants to know what the heck Auron is up to.)
Auron: There is nothing strange. Jackt, Blackscar (!) and I -- Together we defeated Torture 10 years ago. And then I went to Zenakent by myself To protect you when you were growing up. So that one day I can bring you back to Stila.
Tidus, sounding like he's ready to punch Auron: Why me!!
Auron: This is for Jackt
Tidus: Is my father still alive? (a little calmer, sounds hopeful in spite of himself)
Auron: Only if that situation can be called alive
Tidus: What?
Auron: That man is no longer a human being. However. That creature does contain something from Jackt's mind. When you make contact with that creature You should feel it too. (Note: it's not that Sin IS Jecht, here, so much as Jecht is trapped IN Sin)
Tidus: Is it... (no question mark, no "it can't be")
Auron: Right. Torture is Jackt
Tidus (Again, furious): What the hell are you talking about!! That is stupid! Foolish! [Baka]
Auron: I will let you see the true [Truth, I assume]. After that you will know what you should do. Follow me. (Slightly different from, "Come with me. You'll see for yourself.")
Tidus: What if I say no?
Auron: Your story is not over yet.
Tidus: So what!!??
Auron: In that way ["case" I think], just do as you like. You can choose whether to come or not. (A little less sarcastic.)
Tidus: (again, very angry) What the hell do you think I am? A fool?! Telling me, Do as I like. I can choose to come or not.
Tidus: Still there is nothing I can do but to follow your idea.
Auron: Are you unsatisfied or upset? *walks over and puts hand on his shoulder* This is good.
Tidus (later): Can I return to Zenakent?
Auron: That depends on Jackt.

LittleBlue on FFproject suggested that, in the game's opening scene, Jecht tried to "drive" Sin near Zanarkand to get a glimpse of Tidus, but when it got too close it started attacking against his will. In other words, it's an organic Mech with an autonomous program. Auron's comment that there is some of Jecht in "the creature" fits that concept.

-- Auron's first response when Tidus proposes to go after the Chocobo Eater is to remind him they are tired. I don't think that comes up until later in the English dub.

-- Lucil is more intimidating. When she chews out Luzzu and Gatta (she's very soft-spoken, but somehow that makes it more forceful), Luzzu says after she leaves, "See? If you lower your head quickly she will leave at once." In the American version Luzzu sounds like he's suggesting a general strategy for dealing with ALL superior officers, not Lucil in particular. Gatta's response is so uber-serious that Yuna bursts out laughing at him. (It makes a little more sense, because Gatta really is funny.)

-- Yuna calls Gatta "Gatta-kun," a fond diminuative usually reserved for someone who's slightly younger.

-- When Luzzu tells Yuna he's still behind her even if he's been excommunicated, she says much more firmly than in the American version, "Thank you. However, if possible, why not return to [Besaid]..."
Gatta: Please go away, Miss Yuna! [Wakka and Lulu turn and stare at him as he runs off]

-- When the party hears about the Crusaders using machina, Auron doesn't say "let them use whatever they like" but "We should make use of whatever we can use. However, I don't think we can defeat Sin." No one calls out the ol' blasphemer!

-- Yuna's also a bit more forceful with Shelinda, whose voice is a bit younger.
Yuna: Please keep going on [forward]! When I was a new Conjurer I was not experienced either. However, don't you feel admitting that you are inexperienced is becoming an excuse for you?
Shelinda: Oh, yes! I must work harder!
Yuna: Hai. (Yes.)
Shelinda: Thank you very much indeed, Yuna! I think I can do much better.

-- When they get to the Agency, and Wakka complains that Yuna was abducted by Al Bhed (the "Albert Family" ;) ), Auron says rather disgustedly, "That was because the bodyguards were useless!" No whistling here.

-- When Tidus tells Yuna she can defeat Sin again if it comes back, she doesn't say, "I wish I could" but simply, "If it is possible." There's a few other differences in this conversation that make both of them sound more in control of their own destinies, as if they're discussing the journey and planning, rather than just angsting over the situation.

-- Seymour almost has a Matt McKenzie voice, no trace of smarm in it -- he sounds utterly plausible and trustworthy at the beginning, even charming. When he gets the gate guard to let them through, you can actually understand why Yuna gets a little wobbly! So when he says things he shouldn't be saying, the content seems at odd with his tone of voice. "No, Seymour couldn't have said what I just heard him say..." is one's first impression.

-- Tidus' response to Seymour isn't a whiny "Who does he think he is?" but "A big guy, he looks like," rather sarcastically, and Wakka's rebuttal is "Not just looks like, is."

-- Seymour's excuse to Wakka about why he's at Operation Mi'ihen is that he's there as an observer.

-- when Tidus runs out into the ocean after Sin and has the flashback about Jecht getting drunk, instead of Jecht saying, "There he goes again, crying!" snidely, he says rather more severely, "Why are you crying? You make me lose face." I'd forgotten how big a part of the dynamic here is that Jecht's *honor* is compromised by having a crybaby son.

-- Auron's confrontation with Kinoc is far more blunt:

Auron: You escaped so fast, are you satisfied?
Kinoc: What did you mean?
Auron: All the soldiers who went against the creed were killed. Only the monk soldiers who follow the creed were left alive.
Kinoc: Er... nowadays, the situation can't be the same with that in the past. *beats a hasty retreat*

--When Auron reiterates that Sin is Jecht, Tidus doesn't say, "I still don't buy your story" but rather "I still don't trust you."

Also, a little later, Auron says, "Don't tell Yuna the relationship between Torture and Jackt," and says nothing about her "distancing herself" if she finds out, but just that it would "make trouble for us."

-- Lucil says softly, "I can't face the dead soldiers," at the end of the conversation with her and Elma on the bridge to Djose Temple.

-- Isaaru sounds younger and less sloooooow. Much more ordinary. Unfortunately, the subitles name him Elsie, Pacce as Becky, and Maroda as McLord!

-- Maroda doesn't say "not much future in being a guardian without a summoner" but rather that "it's a burning shame."

-- There's a little joke at the entrance to the Cloister of Trials.
Wakka: Okay, all the guards are here.
Yuna: I am too thankful for your help.
Wakka: What, are you leaving? (chuckles, fade to black)

--When Dona arrives, she snarks, "Nothing changed but the amount of bodyguards."

-- there's a very odd joke about Auron being Barthello's "uncle" that obviously was so hard to translate that the localization team inserted the "riffraff" conversation instead.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
great breakdown. It really is a good thing to see how translations change the flow of a story. I see it happen a lot with a number of german movies we've been renting lately. They do have subtitles but since I can understand them and know a bit more culturally as well as basic "regional" phrases that are more like metaphors and shouldn't be literally translated, I catch a lot of mistakes made with the captions. Typically it makes more sense in the original tongue, which is rather sad to think that there are some poignant and important parts that lose meaning. When It has been a while since I watched the fansub vids but you're reminding me of the things I noticed too and that certain parts made much more sense even with the bad translations.
Dec. 19th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
*feels pathetic*
I am totally a random lurker (saw your comment on KJ's LJ, followed you here, saw this, got Japanese nutty), but if I may, I think I can help with a few of your questions!

what does "Sin" really mean in Japanese... and am I right in thinking that the word is related to "Shinto" somehow?
I've always had the feeling the name "Sin" was chosen because of multiple overlapping meanings in both English and Japanese.

In itself, "sin" means nothing in Japanese - "sin" is impossible to write in Japanese, so "shin" is the substitute used. (Same with, oh, there's no "ti" sound in Japanese so Tidus' name is written te - i)

In Japanese, multiple words can be pronounced exactly the same way with drastically different meanings each time - it depends on how it is written. "shi" is a word that can mean "death," but it also has a ton of different meanings depending on how you write it (for example - the number 4 can also be pronounced "shi," making it somewhat "unlucky." In FFX, "Sin" is written in katakana, an alphabet used almost exclusively for foreign words -- since it is written in that way, it's written to mean the english word Sin. Sin is pronounced "shin" because there is no "si" sound in Japanese; "shi" is the closest.

"Shinto" is written 神道 - the first character means "gods" and the second "philosophy." 神 is usually read "kami" or "gami" in modern Japanese; I wouldn't say it has anything to do with FFX's Sin in this case - "shin" can also mean "sleep," "truth," "honesty," "wick," "heart," "new," and many other things, depending on the kanji used to write it. Again, since Sin is written phonetically using the "loanwords" alphabet, in FFX's case it's probably just meant to be an approximation of the english word "sin."

ETA: Also - "ShinRa" is written 神羅 - using the character 神, as you can see. The second character is "net" or "snare," so "ShinRa" when written like that means, "snare the gods." Which is fairly appropriate, really. Um~

OK. "神" is read "shin" or "jin" in the ON reading and "kami" or "gami" in the KUN. On readings are based off of Chinese readings, and Kun on Japanese only. Anyway, it literally means "god," and thus is used in a lot of anime and such. However, "shin" can mean many different things based on the kanji you use; since things like "truth" are included in them, it's a very common sound to hear. Shi as well - quite common as a sound/letter (し), or as a kanji. In addition to all of that, both sounds can be used in name kanji - normal kanji read in a different way than normal for names. So in short: when you hear the same sound in Japanese, it's rarely written the same way. Even when you see the same character, it's often read in a different way based on context. Which is five hundred times longer than you needed or wanted: my point is just that a) Sin in FFX is based off the closest pronunciation to the english word "sin," and b) if it was meant to be a Japanese word, there are many, many ones it could be, and you shouldn't assume (general you) that one sound = one way to write it, i.e, that everything with "shin" goes back to "shinto," etc.

...That was much longer than I thought it would be. I'm sorry for how intrusively rude it all was, too.

Anyway, as for the Gatta-kun --- kun is a pretty complicated honorific, but it isn't always affectionate/for someone younger than you. Basically, it's politeness on a level below -san. You'd use it on someone below you in rank at work, for example. Women use it on their male co-workers; it shows politeness but on a more equal level than -san. So Yuna isn't so much being friendly as she is being standard polite.

Edited at 2007-12-19 11:47 pm (UTC)
Dec. 20th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
Re: *feels pathetic*
Don't feel pathetic and don't apologize! I've got a masters in classical languages and have taught basic etymology, so when I start speculating about word roots and meanings, that's exactly the kind of information I want to know! Thank you very much! :)

I know nothing about Japanese -- except, come to think of it, a friend once taught me "itchy, knee, san, she, go!" for a very goofy mnemonic when I asked her to teach me SOMETHING in Japanese -- so I am grasping at straws. Your comments about the many possible (unrelated) meanings of the "Shi" sound is very helpful. Also, I'm pleased to know what "Shinto" means!

The honorifics especially interest me. My only prior experience is noticing the different uses of -kun and -sempai and -san and -sama in Utena, so I'm really a beginner, here. I've seen just enough anime now that certain phrases like "look, look!" and "hurry up!" and "what are you saying?" are starting to sound familiar, but I can't even remember them until I hear them.
Dec. 20th, 2007 06:45 am (UTC)
Re: *feels pathetic*

I know nothing about Japanese -- except, come to think of it, a friend once taught me "itchy, knee, san, she, go!" for a very goofy mnemonic when I asked her to teach me SOMETHING in Japanese -- so I am grasping at straws.

Ichi - ni - san - shi - go - I don't know what the mnemonic was, but that's numbers 1-5 in Japanese: 一, 二, 三, 四, 五. 4, "shi", is also read "yon." Apparently yon is slightly more correct in a normal (i.e, just counting randomly) context, but I was personally taught "shi" so it's a hard habit to break.

A~nyway. I'm glad you didn't find my massive tl;dr comment useless; Japanese is a very overly complex language and I find it hard to be concise when explaining it. Or in general. And while in most languages roots and stuff are pretty simple, Japanese isn't convenient because almost every sound can have two or three different meanings (and sometimes a forth on alternate Tuesdays). I was worried I sounded rather... condescending, too, as I'm just a random passerby jumping in with waaaay too many words.

Honorifics are my... my pet anal thing, let's say? They're really complex and easy to mess up, but they're soo~oo useful; you can tell so much about a person by what they use on others. Speech patterns in Japanese in general are crazy like that - people can speak in entirely different ways with entirely different things suggested just by what words they use. English has nothing on it. There are several ways to say "I" and "you," each with their own connotations. >___> Uselessly complicated, but, to me endlessly interesting, too. I could ramble on extensively, but I'm not sure how you'd like that. XDD;
Dec. 20th, 2007 10:17 am (UTC)
Re: *feels pathetic*
Hai! It was counting to 5. That was about 20 years ago, and I still remember that one tiny little lesson. (She was an exchange student from Japan staying with a friend of mine for a year.)

I would be interested, actually, if you don't mind sharing!

I keep trying to figure out those subtle dynamics based on very limited knowledge. For example, is it my imagination, or does Yuna tend to bow a little bit lower than one might expect for a Summoner (e.g. when she welcome Wakka as a Guardian)? Am I right in thinking that she tends to use more effusive honorifics and expressions of gratitude than necessary sometimes? Or is that normal for a girl her age? What's the honorific Elma uses for Lucil? How about between the members of Yuna's party? Tiny details like that tell us so much about how they relate to each other.

Every language is obsessive compulsive in certain areas and far more casual in others. For example, English has so many subtle shades of verb tenses -- I remember they used to drive saharasnow nuts long after the rest of her English flowed beautifully -- and I see hints of the same problem in these subtitles. On the other hand, English could care less about the subjunctive. And I'm most at home in Latin, an inflected language where mutations on the ends of the words don't just indicate singular or plural; they indicate parts of speech, syntax, and all kinds of subtle grammatical distinctions.

It sounds like the honorifics in Japanese are as complex -- and as rich -- as the inflections in Latin and Greek.

Note that I'm going into Holiday Rush and may be spotty for a while. Don't feel like you have to write an essay, but if you do share any thoughts on topics like that, I'll enjoy the read!

Edited at 2007-12-20 10:20 am (UTC)
Dec. 20th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
Re: *feels pathetic*
I don't know what honorifics Elma uses on Lucil and so on, but if you were to write it for me, I could tell you what it means, though. ^^;

As for Yuna's politeness - on one hand, I think it's fairly normal, but on the other, she does try extra hard to be polite. Um... I don't know exactly what I mean, here. Japanese is easily a very polite, formal language, and girls are usually held to a more polite form of it. Someone like Yuna, I imagine, uses formal speech patterns as a rule; that she would also be super humble (i.e, bowing low) just makes sense with her character. However as FFX's bowing system isn't the same as Japan's, it's hard to say for sure. But it wouldn't surprise me if Yuna is bowing low out of extra politeness.

Bowing is super complicated and I'm not too clear on all the details myself (in my Japanese lessons we stuck more to reading/understanding than bowing etiquette, although we did once have a "food lesson") - but generally speaking, the most polite standing version is to bow very low from the waist.

So: Age doesn't have much to do with it in this case, but Yuna as a girl is expected to speak using slightly more polite language than a man. Of course, Lulu and Rikku would also be held to this standard - Yuna just takes the politeness to an extra level and speaks in a much more formal manner than either of them.

Anyway, a basic guide to honorifics:

-san - Mr, Miss, Ms, etc. This one is the least complex; attach it to anyone's name and you'll be fine. Unlike the english, though, it doesn't have a "weird" sound to use first name-san (Miss Kate, Mr John - sound a little stiff).

-chan - an affectionate diminutive. Used mostly on girls and small children, it doesn't have a particular meaning, it just sounds cute. Japanese is full of cute sounds that make names cuter, but -chan is the only "standard" one. It can be used on boys, but as they get older they'll probably find it demeaning (as it sounds cute/is mostly used on girls/little kids).

Some other sounds - adding the letter "n" to a name is pretty common; Kaori becomes Kaorin, etc. If I recall correctly, Rikku's name for Yuna in the Japanese is "Yunan".

My friend Yuzuko -- I call her all sorts of weird stuff using "cute" sounds. Yuzi-chan, Yuzi-pii, Yuzi-chii, Yuzi-rin -- they're all rather cute and childish.

-kun - possibly the most complicated honorific, -kun is simply a less formal version of -san, usually used in a work or school setting to denote someone below you in rank (i.e, a teacher to students), while still being polite. You can use -san too, but I suppose -kun just adds a slight... "I'm above you." However, it also can be used affectionately on boys, I suppose in this case it's unlike -chan and more like, "I'm using a politeish honorific on you out of respect." It's also used on girls and women commonly.

-sama -- very rarely used in normal speech. But train announcements and so on use it. It's a very, very polite way of saying -san; it's often used for "Lord" or "Lady".

-dono -- even more formal. Barely ever used in normal contexts.

-sensei -- teacher, doctor, etc. In FFX-2, Gippal's nickname for Paine is "Paine-sensei."

sempai, kohai -- upperclassman, lowerclassman.

[first name], no honorific -- This is actually perhaps the most significant one, although in games and so on it's disregarded. But in Japan, it's rude to refer to someone by their first name without an honorific if you don't know them well; to do so implies a close relationship, either as friends or lovers. On the other hand, it can also imply that you are rude (if you do it to someone you don't know well/aren't close to).

Dec. 20th, 2007 10:28 am (UTC)
Note To Self
A few more differences between Japanese and English-language version

-- Rikku and Tidus are a bit more direct when they meet up; she doesn't say "Thought I was done for" but "I guessed it was you!"

-- Tidus does NOT start to say "she's an Al Bhe-- eeeh..." so Wakka isn't really as dumb as a brick.

-- The interaction between Auron and Rikku is also slightly different.

-- "Do you have something against Yevon?" "I spent a long time in Zanarkand" is slightly clearer: "You don't follow the Yevon creed, do you?" "I lived in Zanarkand too long."

-- Yuna's comments about whether she should marry are much more clear in the Japanese version. I couldn't tell which way she was leaning until the Thunder Plains in the English dub; here the phases of her decision-making process are much clearer.

-- At the Farplane Entrance, Auron doesn't say "I do not belong there" but "I do not LIKE the Farplane."

-- Lulu's comments about Chappu in the Farplane are a little different.

-- Wakka's conversation to Chappu is slightly different at the end. Instead of saying "That guy I was tellin' you about -- I gave 'im your sword. He likes it." Wakka simply says, "I gave him your sword. May I?" So the powering-up of the sword is more obviously a response from Chappu: approval!

-- When Tidus is reminiscing about his father, he says not "how embarrassing" but "I am WEAK," as if disgusted with himself.
Dec. 31st, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
This is very interesting! I'm very amused by the translation, and I'd love to get a chance to hear the original Japanese voices for it... it'd be amazing to see what the voices can do for the chemistry between Auron and Lulu.

As I continue to fangirl you I must say: I'm working on this Aulu fic inspired by your work... all of Resurrection (but especially III) remains one of my favorite fics to this day.
Jan. 2nd, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
Hey! So I found my way to your journal via your post on the vgr forums (though I'm sure I've been here before that), and since I can't post on vgr since my account is inactive, just wanted to thank you for posting all those hilarious screen caps. Even just the translated names of the characters/locations/nouns in general are too funny. So thanks :)

{And in case you're interested, I posted my 2 cents on the difference between the Japanese and English versions a few months ago, though I was more focused on the voice acting, and surprisingly, I found that overall, I actually liked the English version the best (esp. Kelk and Trommel's VAs, haha): http://soo-hyeong.livejournal.com/2652.html ... Also in that post is a link to online videos of all the FFX jpn cutscenes, if it interests you. ttly!}
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