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 Translation Notes 
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General stuff:

Taiga is EXTREMELY colloquial in general and a lot of his wordplay and mannerisms don't directly translate well. Easy example: ちちんちょう (chichinchou), a portmanteau of 乳委 (chichi - boobs) and 員長 (inchou - class president). I'm not going to force it if nothing good presents itself. I have enough confidence in my writing abilities to be able to handle that kind of characterization in ways besides jamming in translation notes to explain every little bad Japanese wordplay/joke he makes because they're pretty much constant. A lot of his arguments with Lily are best not translated directly because they're meant to sound immature, not bizarre, as a direct translation of their childish back and forths would be. Unless it's some very specific and/or extended and/or repeated thing, I'm not going to mention it here. Similarly, he tends to use a fair bit of Engrish that really would be best not kept. Example: When Rico "lassoing" people is brought up, he imagines her as a cowboy shouting "Come back!" in Engrish. Keeping that would... pain me.

The Engrish chapter titles and romanizations of proper nouns, including names, are being ignored for what should hopefully be obvious reasons for the most part. The most part being that they're bloody insane (best example "Capital Under Attack" 'translated' as "Metropolitan Defense Game"), weird misspellings (including but not limited to "Saivor"), and often don't even follow the rules of English pronunciation. I generally try not to take romanization advice from a company that thinks 'lyrics' is spelled 'lilycs.' They're inconsistent as hell anyway. For example, "Berio" is internally referred to as "Velio" and became "Belio" by the time they made Otome Crisis.

Also of minor note. Destiny changed the titles to a couple chapters in Crea's route vs harem. The chapter title calls that begin chapters are really complicated macros though, so I'm just opting to ignore the change and use the Justice titles instead of trying to make split versions of those.

It's a Western setting too, so I'm just papering over the Japanese naming since the characters ignore them as well (plus, the OP has them in western order anyway, so take it up with Giga if you want to really get whiny).

Aether Relics are actually "shoukanki" which means literally "summoned weapon." That's lame so a little flair is being taken with what are supposed to be super-awesome weapons (plus a number of much more spoilerish things about them). Same with the Red/White Lords. It's meant to be religious, let's give it a little oomph.

Character Stuff:
When Mia gets worked up, she uses the third person. This is indicative of childish/regressive behavior. Keeping it in third person would be dissociative (or arrogant), which is not the intention of the writing. I'll try to do what I can, but a lot of the lines, especially outside her route, tend to be short and not have enough words/thoughts to be able to get the personality shift across well. Interestingly, one of the easiest ways is to revert "onii-chan" back from Taiga's name like a real person would use to more literal.

Kaede exhibits similar behavior with reverting to the third person, but with her, it IS more dissociative. It comes up far less often and is meant to be more tied to her being a ninja and a tool of her lord. Again, it's a mostly Japanese-y thing and isn't meant to signify a drastic personality shift as switching to the third person in English is.

Nanashi just uses the third person constantly because she's immature and cutesy. She also uses homophones fairly frequently. They're not really puns or jokes, just a random word with the same pronunciation as something that would make sense. *shrug* Desu no's also just a cutesy speech tic. Nothing more. They like to tack it on to the end of things to be silly.

Speaking of that, Kaede uses de gozaru at the end of everything she says as well as some archaic samura-speak. It's just a silly speech tick indicative of a ninja/samurai. Nothing more than that. If you start bitching about it, then I'll add Zam after everything she says. And Dood after everything Sel says. We're running Namco/Bandai/Koei translation conventions all up ins.

Nanashi literally means Nameless. I'm uneasy with changing her 'name' outright though. I just went the pussy route of using an in-game TL note explaining that, but I hate myself for doing it. It does create some lesser awkward issues, primarily stemming from many characters resisting calling her "Nanashi" because it's frankly ridiculous. Taiga and Berio are the prime 'offenders' in that respect, calling her Nanako and Nana-chan respectively, although Taiga is not consistent about it at all (edit: in the PC version. They 'fixed' that in Destiny), which I'm going to smooth out. I'm tossing in a slight transition for Taiga since he does it a lot more, but Berio I'm just ignoring entirely.

Aaaaand on the other side of the fence... Regarding "shishou." It's a word used for "instructor" but SPECIFICALLY of traditional Japanese arts, including martial arts. Things like instructor or coach are just awkward, and Rico's got "master" locked up in English already, otherwise I would've just used that. It is meant to be a western setting with primarily western characters, the thought of one random word sticking out... annoys me. Greatly. ANYWHO The word in the English vernacular that is best associated between a ninja and her master is sensei... which is basically just a slightly less formal version of shishou anyway more or less. It's the perfect word capturing exactly the relationship they're going for with only the slight complication that it's a Japanese loanword, and so that is what I am going to use. The New York Times Crossword agrees. Also, the discussion on this ended long ago.

Part of Lobelia's speech pattern is that she's usually refined and formal, but goes super-vulgar whenever she gets pissed off. As with Mia's Mianess, it can be hard to get that across on a by-line basis, but her sweariness at times is based on mostly that.


Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:37 am
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About halfway through the golem fight in ch1, Taiga says:
身から出た錆? それはアイアンゴーレムや
It means literally "Rust on a sword's blade" but is a saying meaning "You reap what you sow" (rusty swords stick and shed rust when drawn from their sheathes). The 'joke', if you're charitable is:
Rust off a sword? (I got myself into this)
(That's not a sword,) that's an iron golem.

Hilarious. Just changing it. If you've read this, you've already no doubt aready enjoyed this whimsical slice of Japanese standup humor.

----------
指導 is kind of a slippery word. It means leadership/guidance but also means a penalty in a match (sumo generally). The former words that doesn't really work well with how it's actually used contextually. 'Coaching' is far too casual for it too. "Direction"/"Providing direction" is what I went with to try to cover as many of its actual usages in the game as broadly as possible, but it's simply a specific reserved word for the setting that doesn't have a great singular equivilent in English.


Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:10 pm
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Oh right, should note this somewhere.

Almost all the females are named after plants.

Dahlia - Obvious
Berio Trope - Heliotrope
Ricolis - Lycoris
Lily - Obvious
Hiiragi - Obvious
Kaede - Means "maple"
Cressida - Alt name for Broadleaf Cress
Rubinas - Lupinus
Floria - Latin for flower
Alstroemeria - Obvious
Iceberg - Kind of rose... and lettuce
Lobelia - Obvious
Eska Lonia - Escallonia (Xross)
Crimea - Crimea Linden (Angel Breath)

Furthermore,
Spoiler:


Imnity is presumably meant to be a sound-alike to "enmity".

Most of the Aether Relic names sould be pretty obvious, but for the non-English ones:

Kokuyou is Japanese for Obsidian
Dispaia is Italian for Disappear (but is probably meant to be just English for Despair)
Esclavage is French for Enslaved (Xross)
Cosmos is also a kind of flower as well as the obvious (Angel Breath)

And for the record, I'm not entirely comfortable with Righteous since by pronunciation, it should be something like Raiteus, but Righteous seems to be the Japanese consensus on what its name is supposed to be and Raiteus doesn't mean anything in any language.

Spoiler:


Full list of ARs and masters within the game/overall series for the curious
Spoiler:


Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:27 pm
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In the Berio/direction church scene, both Taiga and she say that he 'promised' to not take her virginity, but since the game does make a very firm distinction between actual promises he makes and how he'll never break them at the start (and is then all but forgotten), and he didn't actually promise anything here, I'm rewording things a little bit to get away from that reserved phrase.


Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:05 pm
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Changing Mag Mell to Elysium. It's less obscure in the west and I'm 99% certain that the only reason they used it/knew it anyway is because Clannad came out at a similar time.

Although to be exact, he calls it "Mag Meld," so it's not even right anyway.


Tue May 01, 2012 9:22 pm
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More of an editor note than a translation note, but besides the more informal tone, one of the main ways that Papillon and Berio differentiate is the personal pronoun, which is a particularly important distinction during the scene explaining all their stuff in chapter 3 when they both talk about themselves. Papillon uses atashi (アタシ) to refer to herself while Berio uses watashi (私). That's the main clue to keep them straight then (and other times) when they begin slipping between personalities. It's not something that really translates well regardless, but I'll try with wording. And Taiga is aware of it and points it out a couple times.

Also along those lines, Taiga's generally pretty sensitive to small changes in speaking styles and usually points them out just to make sure the audience realizes it. It mainly comes up with Berio, Kaede, Nanashi, and Mia. It's not something that English shares particularly well since the one of the big hallmarks is change in the personal pronoun, which doesn't change in English, or in Nanashi's case, dropping/adding desuno. *shrug*


Fri May 04, 2012 2:44 am
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Mostly an FYI, 救世主 (kyuuseishu) means savior. Usually they pronounce it as that, sometimes they pronounce it in English as "messiah." Mostly just at the start whereupon they quietly drop it for sticking to pure Japanese. When they actually pronounce it as messiah, it's usually marked it in the fakesy furigana that they use (parens and smaller font), but they use the same word for both it and all the savior candidate stuff and whatnot, including when they talk about the true savior. The convention that I'm using is that true savior is interchangable with Messiah as far as the characters are concerned.
Spoiler:


Sun May 06, 2012 10:40 pm
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Mentioning this because after a day and coming back to it, I'm still not really satisfied that I handled it well, but can't think of a better way.

After winning the initial fight against Kaede, Dahlia chastises Taiga and says no hurting her, but what she actually says is "kizumono," which literally means "damaged" but in actual usage is more like "deflowered." He stammers it back like a good parrot as Japanese back and forth often is, then comments that she's bleeding (still playing off the 'deflowered' double meaning along with her literally bleeding, which he noticed a line or two before), then kind of snorts/makes a strange noise, presumably at either realizing the joke or his own continuation of it. It's hard to tell.

In the alternate version if you lose to Kaede. Dahlia says that Kaede 'deflowered'/wounded Taiga instead, and he responds by saying that she better take responsibility for it.

It's the same pun in both cases, although the way they tell the joke is different, so not even trying to keep the wordplay the same.


Mon May 07, 2012 5:06 pm
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Rewriting Taiga's multi-line reaction to finding Kaede at night the first time. He's reacting to her archaic/corny way of speaking, but getting that across in approximately 1.5 lines is all but impossible.

All it is is him going "This sounds like some TV drama." "Wait, this world doesn't have that kind of thing!" It's hardly important. He also kind of rambles aimlessly about her split personalities, that she doesn't look like a "three head drawing" (ie, cartoonish) etc. That little rambling bit doesn't translate very well.

Also having to rewrite some of the stuff about people finding out her wacky samurai-speak thing, although it's mostly just Mia going "Sessha?" "gozaru?". They note it by her use of de gozaru as mentioned above, but it's just a copula. It doesn't actually mean anything and I don't want to handcuff myself into some corny speech tic that isn't actually there for the sake of 2-3 lines. The biggest abuse of this is after she faints. When she wakes up, Taiga uses her speaking style (onushi, sessha, de gozaru, etc) to tease her and she flips out about him figuring it out. Just changing that to teasing her about fainting and whatnot.

It doesn't even make sense anyway since everyone watched her fight and she gozarus it up the entire time there.


Tue May 08, 2012 10:06 pm
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Chapter 5 wandering phase, Taiga goes to the infirmary looking for 赤チン, which is this stuff, not in use in the US for years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merbromin

Mia chastises him for not realizing that this isn't Earth, therefore they wouldn't have it.

Not comfortable with saying antiseptic in general since that seems like something Avatar's tech level would have, so I'm going to just use a specific western substitute. Neosporin works.


Sat May 19, 2012 7:39 pm
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Chapter 5 second free action phase

When meeting Nanashi, she mishears 召喚陣 (shoukanjin, summoning formation/circle) as 腸管人 (choukanjin, intestines person). Taiga responds by saying that a 'choukanjin' would be someone like her who throws their intestines all over the place.

So yeah, the wordplay doesn't work. I'll just make up some other soundalike in its place and rewriting those lines.


Mon May 21, 2012 5:35 pm
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Chapter 6 free action

Basically the same thing as above. Taiga says 恐怖 (kyoufu - terror), Nanashi hears 競歩 (kyouho - competitive/power walking) (Japanese uses a soft f, so it's more of a homophone than a mishearing). Doesn't translate, etc.

And again in the next free action phase. Nanashi get confused because Taiga says "thank you" in English. Aaaah, the joys of translating English words into English. 'Amusingly', in the alternate version of that scene, she says "I am undead, understand?" in English.

Is a little consistency too must to ask?


Sat May 26, 2012 6:44 pm
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FYI, the two girls in the bath at the end of chapter 1 are Liang and Ayane from Baldr Force.

In Xross Savior, the girl in the bath with Eska is Rebecca from Baldr Bullet.


Sat May 26, 2012 9:46 pm
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Chapter 6 second free action phase with Rico

Okay, this is going to be complex. When Rico tells him she can talk to books, he goes, "Oh, is that like talking to animals? You're like... --choice--"
The two choices are Gao Red or Hurricane Red (well, G** Red and Hu**icane Red). These are references to the super sentai series Gaoranger and Hurricanger that aired a couple years before Duel Savior came out. Gao Red was a veterinarian who could communicate with animals. The Hurricangers were led by their master who had turned into a hamster, so could also 'talk' to an animal, but not really. That's why the former is the 'correct' choice for there. Rico also knows exactly what he's talking about and teases him in both choices.

It's not a huge deal since Dr. Doolittle makes a good enough cultural substitute for Gaoranger (although there's not much to be done about Rico saying he IDed her as red because that's her book color), but she does specifically tell him there's a big difference between a veterinarian (Gao Red) and a ninja (Hurri Red) if he calls her the latter. That one has no hope of surviving.

Belated edit:
Destiny changes the choices, but not the conversation really. Instead of Hurricanger/Gaoranger Red, it's "A Red Sentai Member" or "A White Federation Member" (referring to Gundam), to which she replies that there's a big difference between a veterinarian and a Newtype, and the whole color riffing is just cut.


Sun May 27, 2012 8:39 pm
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If you're curious, the ninja signs that Kaede teaches to Taiga in chapter 6 are the Kuji-In.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuji-in

Although to be exact, they screw it up. They use 階 for Kai when it should be 皆.


Mon May 28, 2012 3:40 am
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Chapter 7.

When discussing the ghost, Kaede identifies it as a gaki, which is a kind of specific "hungry ghost."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungry_ghost

It's not really that important, but I'm taking things down a notch to make it clear.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:56 pm
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Chapter 7 Free Action 2

There's some foreshadowing for one of the later routes that doesn't translate well but I think is worth at least making a note for.

Actual spoiler
Spoiler:


Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:57 pm
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In chapter 7, during Nanashi's rescue thing, when she introduces herself, she says: 点がよぶ、血がよぶ、火とがよぶ which is a parody of Kamen Rider Stronger's catchphrase (天が呼ぶ、地が呼ぶ、人が呼ぶ) with homophones in place of each thing.
天 and 点 are both "ten" meaning heavens and grade points.
地 and 血 are both "chi" meaning Earth and blood.
人 and 火と are both "hito" meaning people and fire (too).

I'm uh... just going to rewrite that entire exchange to be a sort of generic sentai parody. Keeping what she actually says would make it sound inane (which is half the point), but completely obfuscates the reference/joke anyway.


Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:14 pm
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During Taiga's date with Lily, he remarks that they don't call gelato "gelato" in Avatar. HOWEVER, if you lose to Lily in chapter 6, she calls it gelato. I guess I'm just going to ignore it, but yes, I wish to remark that I am aware that they screw up and contradict themselves.


Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:11 pm
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Also on the list of things I am choosing to willfully ignore, which character you ask out in chapter 8 has an effect on both how much crap you need to carry as well as which place you actually go to get it.

That's... a little weird.


Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:25 am
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I'm massaging a little bit of Muriel/Downy's argument over the Messiah Armor. She says that he wouldn't be able to make it to the capital in time to do anything about it, but the scene takes place in the morning and they aren't supposed to leave until the next day and it's obvious that the capital is only an hour or two away by walking, so... that exchange/reasoning doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Just going to change it to them being too busy to be able to react right away, which they do bring up later too. It's just that the whole "You won't make it in time!" thing makes absolutely zero sense.


Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:28 pm
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In a remarkable feat of Engrish, Lobelia calls her army the "Ruin Corpse." I can only imagine it was meant to be Corps and they thought the S was supposed to be pronounced. Either way, a corps is a part of a smaller army, and she's unmistakably using it to refer to the entire army, so it's wrong regardless.

Ergo, I am just choosing to simply ignore it.


Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:03 pm
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The bridge battle is all part of a single file. That's why they're grouped here despite being all on different routes. For some reason, it's ordered internally as Nanashi, Rico, Kaede, Berio, Mia, Lily too, although the split between the last two happens a little later than the first four.

Bridge Battle: Chapter 9, Nanashi route.
What Taiga actually says is that Ruin is pathetic like smegma, which you'd think some of the party members would take offense to since it's frankly a rather disgusting metaphor and honestly kind of out of character for him. Also having a hard time buying that as something someone would actually say in English.

JUST SAYING THAT I do understand what he actually said, I just hate it.

And in the PS2 version, he calls them trash, and all the little comebacks from the four stooges remove the dick remarks for more generic "aren't we confident" remarks anyway.

---
Bridge Battle: Kaede

The kanji for Mudou's name pretty much never comes up, but it's 八虐 無道. 八虐 refers to someone who violated the 8 sacred precepts of ancient Japan. Almost all of them are things like treason/conspiracy/profanity against the Emperor. It's just kind of an old-school Japanesey way to say "really really evil guy." 無道 means "wicked". So the way his name is read is literally something like Great Wicked Sinner. Which is probably why they don't use kanji for it past that part. It's used in kanji literally only four times. Twice by Kaede, and twice by Mudou himself... in the same line... explaining what his name is.


Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:21 pm
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Kaede chapter 10 (I think)
Taiga says ゲロ, gero being colloquial for vomit, but Kaede misunderstands it in a way which doesn't really make sense. Let's just leave it at "she didn't understand a 'modern' colloquialism."

Unrelated, but shortly after that, there's a collection of about 3 or 4 homophone/puns all in a row with Nanashi and her aphrodesiac herbs. They... pain me. The 'best' (worst) of the lot is probably お床の中の男 which is a pun off of 男の中の男 meaning "a man among men," but with 'bed' substituted for the first 'man', so something like "a man among beds." Uh, yeah.


Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:20 pm
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I should note this somewhere just because the chapter titles are originally in English and they're mostly being changed. They're kind of Engrishy and badly translated anyway, but because of how they're formatted, a number of them have to be VERY shortened. The problem is because they're left aligned on the images but center aligned in actual usage, so the replacement image has to be center aligned by the original text. IE, the replacement text has to be the same or shorter than the original, which often doesn't work so well.


Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:55 am
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