A great, insightful read into how difficult it is to translate videogames from Japanese to English. No one truly understands how difficult localisation is unless:
1) They’ve studied a foreign language.
2) They’ve tried translating something themselves.
There was a great quote in page six of the article where one of the translators said:
It also should be understood that, when you’re reading a translated game or book or whatever, you really should understand that you’re actually reading the work of the translator. You’re getting more in a sense of the translator’s work than you are of the original work, and that’s just unavoidable. When I put something into English, I am composing the English. It’s only based on this skeletal structure, in a way. You want the thing as it is, put it in Google Translate. See how that works out for you.
I was once insulted in WordPress comments by a random stranger for my “inaccurate” translations of Overwatch, when I was trying to convey the more poetic, underlying nuance behind Genji and Hanzo’s quotes.
Translating a language isn’t just about being a good linguist, it’s also about being a good writer and using your creativity. Instead of fighting and arguing over whose translation is better, let’s just be grateful that these translations exist in the first place. Stop complaining about Nintendo of America’s name changes in Fire Emblem Fates, and stop complaining about Capcom’s name changes in the Ace Attorney series. Let’s just learn from each other and enjoy some videogames.