Saturday, June 12th, 2021

According to the localization director, why did it take so long to bring the great reversal referee to the West


Localizing reversal referees is a difficult task and is usually not recognized at all, but I hope people can experience it by playing the new and newly translated reversal referee chronicles (a two-part prequel in 2015, which will be released globally on July 27) How much work has been done in it.

Recently, Janet Hsu, the localization director of Reverse Referee Game You might recognize who from her localization blog, Talked with Polygon about the team’s “pursuit” to bring the game to the West.

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“The biggest obstacle for me is to ensure that Western audiences can solve puzzles and mysteries,” Xu said. “Many of the puzzles in the reversal referee rely on Japanese word games or some common cultural knowledge, which will completely stump those who are not familiar with these traditions or conventions.”

An example is Dyed Solitaire In the spirit of justice, a playing card made by Nintendo itself. Western players will not have these reference materials, and the case of using cards as evidence is concentrated in another Japanese cultural event, Rakugo Theater. The localization of this particular case requires a little history lesson on the character, but it actually fits perfectly with the series already set up in the United States for Western players. “It would be weird to explain Rakugo For Japanese characters,” Xu said, “but because the characters are American, it becomes a more natural way to convey cultural information to the players. “

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But if there is one thing that reversal referees are well-known, it is the pun names-Deid Mann, Frank Sahwit, Pal Meraktis, etc. But these names are localized.As we all know, puns are one of the most difficult things to localize because they depend on the familiarity of culture and language, which means they must complete Embedded in the output language while maintaining the spirit of the source language.

“We went through rounds of names together to find the name that best reflects the original Japanese version in terms of tone and feel,” Xu said. Sometimes, to save time, they will leave a placeholder name so they don’t fall into the first obstacle-but they usually get some good results, and Hsu has some new ones in the new version Favorite: “Bif and his little twin brother Tchikin Strogenov will always bring me a smile.” (So do we. “Bif Strogenov”. Great.)

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As for the five years of bringing “Reverse Referee” to Western fans, Xu pointed out that she was one of the disappointments: “I want to share this amazing title with fans all over the world. However, I insist that one day it can be localized. “

The main obstacle for these specific games is that the localization team has to deal with the issue of allowing non-Japanese audiences to access Japanese culture and references, and the game is set in the past, localizing the text to the old version of English is hard.

Xu’s motto is “True, but easy to access”: Maintain historical and cultural accuracy, and don’t alienate people. “This applies not only to Japanese cultural elements,” Xu said, “it also applies to the use of more obscure Victorian vocabulary, or even hardcore Anglicism.” On the other hand, some normal words, such as “backstab”, are not Possible because they have not even been invented At the beginning of the game.

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Then, when all the translations are completed, there is still the problem of fighting the game itself. The original Japanese version of the reversal referee uses a custom scripting language to control various things, such as the speed of each line, how long the pause is, and the comedy time of certain animations. “Because we can’t change or rearrange the animations of the characters,” Hsu said, “We will first translate the game as naturally as possible, and then adjust the translation as needed, so that each animation can be played as expected without causing any surprises. error.”

Full interview on Polygon, And it’s really interesting (related to localization), so we strongly recommend you to check it yourself-but now you know that the game will take years to localize because it’s really complicated.

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