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 [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization

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Yume Hanabi
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PostSubject: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:01 am

Okay, I've been ranting about Xillia's localization since before it came out, this is no secret.

That said I'm starting to think it wasn't that bad compared to the sequel's.

It's... really, really sloppy. There are tons of inconsistencies, not only between original and translation, but also between X1's localization and X2's, and also within the game itself.

It's especially the case for terms and names:
*Wingul's real name is either "Li Ying" or "Leene" depending on who you ask (X1 did the same with Gaius's name, having both "Arst" and "Erston" in the game).
*Jude's father is now a "professor" rather than a "doctor".
*Lumenologists are now "light technicians", though they're still lumenologists sometimes.
*Rollo is mostly "he", but also sometimes "she".
*Fractured dimensions are sometimes called "alternate dimensions".
*Elle usually calls Gaius "Your Highness" but she also uses "Your Majesty" sometimes.
*Gaius is alternatively a "playboy" or a "prodigal son" (only one term is used in Japanese).
*Some spell incantations were retranslated despite being exactly the same as in the first game in Japanese (not that I mind, the new translation is better; still tho, consistency).
*"Ketchup" in the first, "catsup" in the second.
*Slapping the exact same line as in the first on some NPC's lines even though they say something different in Japanese.
*Changing the speech patterns of some NPC from the first game.

Etc.

Then there's the matter of characterization. The first already changed some thing, most notably Teepo, but they also altered Milla and Gaius a lot, though it was a lot more subtle.

To give one example, at the end of the game, Gaius comes to meet Milla and Jude, and in the original he tells Milla that she should stay in the human world. He tells her that her place is by his side, as his equal, that she has a role to play in the human world. In English? "Stand down and I will take over." He also implies that this is too much for Milla to handle while in the original he was telling her she was truly strong.

In Xillia 2, there is a really significant change. It concerns the way Jude reacts to fractured Milla.

In Japanese, Jude is very conflicted about her. She looks like Milla, but she's pretty different, and he really can't see her as the same. This manifests in the way he calls her: "Milla-san". He can't bring himself to call her simply "Milla", and uses the honorific to put some distance between them. This is something that doesn't escape her, and she confronts him about it. In English, there is never that conflict. He calls her "Milla" from the beginning, and there's a lot of lines about how she's still Milla that weren't there at all originally. Jude basically goes from being conflicted about this new Milla to being very accepting of her. It's like the exact contrary of his original characterization.

There have always been a few changes here and there in the series, and in some instances some adaptation can be a good thing. However, it was never to this degree before, to the point where I think it's actually hurtful. It's especially frustrating for me, because I love participating in character debates but I often find myself not on the same page as everyone else because of the gap between the characters I've grown to know and those most people have.

And then all those inconsistencies just make me weep internally lol

Thoughts?


Last edited by Yume Hanabi on Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:56 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:55 pm

My thoughts are that most of the issues you've pointed out are very minor and can be very easily explained.

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:53 pm

...I don't feel for more than half of the problems you stated.

Like the highness/majesty. It meant the same thing so there's not much (any?) problem here. I also don't find fractured dimensions being referred to as alternate dimension offensively inconsistent, in fact I think that would be more natural and less in-your-face-specific-technical-jargon-shoving. Like...fractured dimension is essentially alternate universe, so why not say it like what it seems sometimes?

Don't you find it obnoxious if people only use felis catus in daily conversation and not feline, cat, kitty, or pussy? Or if someone started a conversation "wow shooting star" then came another saying "lolnope its meteor stars dun shoot idiot git ur fact straight scrub". Or the whole tsunami and tidal wave being different debate. Well tidal wave is caused by the gravitational force while tsunami is caused by seismic disturbance so they are not the same, but yknow, you don't really have to stick to one term to discuss something, people usually don't and only speak of what came to their mind.

Same with lumenologist/light technicians. It's like police/officer/cop/donutmunc-... different words for the same occupation; there's the flowery name for it and there's the layman, literal term.

I can probably refer to myself as computerologist from now on.

I understand that most of your gripe doesn't really apply to people that haven't played the japanese version (or have but doesn't understand anything unvoiced). And yeah, it's pretty hard having to bear an adaptation that doesn't stay true to your beloved source material. For me, it's like how Mahouka anime butchering the interesting technobabbles regarding magic/world-building (and how a lot of the mechanics seems so similar to game development for me) and funny banters that fleshes out Tatsuya's character. Or simply the medium constraint in SAO that limited monologues which resulted in Kirito looking (more) omnipotent and omniscient.

It's just ...an unfortunate circumstances, so I guess I just have to learn to roll with it.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:14 pm

Catsup is a pun

Xillia 2 is big on the puns

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:28 pm

What were some of the good changes the localization made Yume?
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:55 pm

I agree that some of those make it sound more natural, but they're often too random and thus don't look intentional but rather like they stem from a lack of coordination/proofreading. It's more like, the principle? I know I'm more sensitive to those things cuz I've been trained to notice them, and it's probably why it bothers me so much, haha. I just tend to expect official productions to be almost perfect. I have a few gripes with the French translation too in that regards...

Regardless, I thought it'd be interesting to point them out.

I really don't agree about characterization changes being a minor issue, as that can lead to completely different perceptions of the characters than the creators had intended, but ymmv I guess.

Lloyzerdk wrote:
What were some of the good changes the localization made Yume?

For example, in the scene where you can change the name of Ludger&Gaius's dual mystic arte, in Japanese Gaius explains how that MA used to be his and Wingul's and the name is part of their secret pun-based code language. Since the code language is based on kanji pronunciation, it's impossible to reproduce in English, so the localization had them have a stupid little song for it instead. It's on par with the Gaius Dumplings song and is just all around perfect <3

Milla Chapter's Aska is still pretty stereotyped, but they make a lessed deal about it and that's frankly welcome cuz I found the original scene to be in bad taste.

The Demon Fang victory quote is a bit more explicit in English and hilariously so. (otoh the Dumplings Song is a bit less so but that's okay, it's still beautiful.)

The way they renamed the months with Latin names rather than the Japanese version's awkward French was also pretty cool and I wish the whole calendar had been localized.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:39 pm

I think any characterization changes are an issue, since it can make a character come across completely different from how they're intended.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:58 pm

Just wondering, did they use a new term for the Lance of Kresnik in the JP version? Since everyone's apparently now calling it the "Lance of Will" (or is it referring to his actual weapon in chromatus?)

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:40 pm

TimeFactor wrote:
Just wondering, did they use a new term for the Lance of Kresnik in the JP version? Since everyone's apparently now calling it the "Lance of Will" (or is it referring to his actual weapon in chromatus?)

I know not of what the Japanese name is, but I get the feeling that the Lance and Kresnik and the Lance of Will are two entirely different things.

And Yume, you may find solace in that you're not the only one who takes this stuff seriously.

www.blade2187.com/2014/08/25/the-arte-of-arte-naming/

Granted, I mostly agree with Kaji here. I wish Namco would put more effort into making accurate, consistent Tales translations. Fan translators tend to put more care into accuracy and comprehension, but the tradeoff is that they rarely put out finished products, and if they do it's usually been so long that everybody's forgotten about it. It'd be nice if a middleground of accuracy and timely releases can be reached, but with Namco involved that's not a guarantee.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:30 pm

Kaji is known for getting his panties in a bunch over the smallest of things. Take anything he says with a grain of salt.

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:01 am

What he says is almost always true thought. I did read the entire post and was really worried of what have became of the localization.

Most people on Tales fanbase doesn't look see these this as an issue because they are having the game in glorious latin alphabet instead of moonrunes.

For me those issues is very serious and makes me see the localization as really rushed and unprofessional. Might be because I'm not english native speaker, having for a couple of years translated Tales scripts and artes from english to portuguese to train myself and always trying to come with good translations(even more with artes names, I always have a hard time trying to translate them from english because they all sounds bullshit).

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:18 am

To me, whenever people around the web make complaints like these it more comes off like "Boo woo the localization isn't perfect/up to my standards/"true" to the japanese version." Most people in the Tales fanbase don't even seem to know the difference between translation and localization. Heck, most don't even realize all the complications that comes with the job.

In short, alot of the recent complaints around various places come off as overreactions, saying the localization is one of the most god awful ever when there have been far, far worse, and most of the "issues" that have been pointed out are really minor stuff.

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:46 am

This is not overreaction, we just perceive things that most people don't and that bothers us because it could've been done better. Also if this was only a issue of japanese to english translation I would take it less as a problem but it's INCONSISTENT with the localization of the prequel, so yeah it's something that should've been revised before the release. Yume and Kaji are always translating stuff and they translate direct from japanese, it's not something they say without knowledge and they aren't jumping on some sort of weeaboo bandwagon.

Yeah, I know no one cares about all this on the fanbase, but it's not something that should pass without being told, we aren't buying pig in a poke here.

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:39 am

A couple of things:

1. Having seen worse doesn't mean we have to set our expecatation at the lowest. On the contrary, they should aspire to improve, not regress.

2. If those issues are minor for you, then good. That doesn't mean they're minor for everyone else.

3. As Arn said, most of the people complaining the most are translators themselves, fan or otherwise. I, for one, am very aware of the complications that come with the job. I'm not criticizing for the sake of criticizing. I have standards, and some of them are not being met, and I like to talk about it because translation is my thing.

If the topic doesn't interest you, fine, but in that case you can just ignore it and let people who want to talk about it talk about it.

@TimeFactor&Lloyzerdk: I don't remember that lance business well, so that's something I'll have to check.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:58 am

Yume Hanabi wrote:
1. Having seen worse doesn't mean we have to set our expectation at the lowest. On the contrary, they should aspire to improve, not regress.

Never said that. What I said was that people around the web need to stop saying the localization is one of the worst ever, when there are in fact, much worse. That, or they need to play more video games, either or.

Quote :
2. If those issues are minor for you, then good. That doesn't mean they're minor for everyone else.

Doesn't mean they don't still come off as a huge case of whining. I swear, the same people who obsess over typos and the like would go ballistic over a character's' hair being a slightly different shade of color during a sequel/prequel. Heck, most common folk who complain about a localization not being "true" to the Japanese don't even know what they're saying.

Quote :
3. As Arn said, most of the people complaining the most are translators themselves, fan or otherwise.

I highly doubt that. If that's true, then there are alot of "translators" around the internet that would rather whine than contribute anything worthwhile.

Quote :
I, for one, am very aware of the complications that come with the job. I'm not criticizing for the sake of criticizing. I have standards, and some of them are not being met, and I like to talk about it because translation is my thing.

Considering I was talking about the people who basically go "Translation not 100% perfect/accurate? BURN IT!" I really hope you more misunderstood me than basically admitting that as your thought process.

Quote :
If the topic doesn't interest you, fine, but in that case you can just ignore it and let people who want to talk about it talk about it.

Never said it wasn't interesting, I was just giving my two cents that most of the changes I've been made aware of are ones that don't bother me at all and, in some cases, I prefer. Not to mention most people making a huge deal about things that will never really matter in the long run. That's it.

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:03 pm

We've probably had a vastly different experience with this topic in fandom. I admit that I don't frequent many fandom places; it's mostly Tumblr and the TSF, and on Tumblr at least half of those I see bringing it up are other fan translators or people who know what they're talking about. That's just my experience though and I can see how the example you cite can be annoying. I often criticize localizations but I'll be the first to defend it in some cases.

I'm sorry I took your posts personally ^^;
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:05 pm

Don't worry about it, I don't take much personally as it is, so it's no biggie.

Just for the record, I can see where you guys are coming from in some areas, like with characterization. I actually did not know the whole stint with Jude, and found it rather interesting.

Personally though, I prefer the localized version of Jude in this game, as him accepting the Other Milla seems to be more in line with his character. At least, that's the impression I get from how he developed in Xillia 1.

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:02 am

Yume Hanabi wrote:
*Lumenologists are now "light technicians", though they're still lumenologists sometimes.
*Rollo is mostly "he", but also sometimes "she".
*Fractured dimensions are sometimes called "alternate dimensions".
*Elle usually calls Gaius "Your Highness" but she also uses "Your Majesty" sometimes.
*"Ketchup" in the first, "catsup" in the second.

I don't know about Japanese, but in English it's uncommon that people use the same terms for the same things all the time. In my experience, even the gender of pets gets messed up all the time, even by people who are familiar with the pet. My best friend used to call my dog a "he" all the time, despite the dog being a female. This does not excuse a sloppy translation, but English speakers do tend to be sloppy like that at times. I think this makes it easier to deal with a few errors of this sort. Is this different for Japanese speakers?

As for the catsup thing, I took it as a pun.

Yume Hanabi wrote:
In Japanese, Jude is very conflicted about her. She looks like Milla, but she's pretty different, and he really can't see her as the same. This manifests in the way he calls her: "Milla-san". He can't bring himself to call her simply "Milla", and uses the honorific to put some distance between them. This is something that doesn't escape her, and she confronts him about it. In English, there is never that conflict. He calls her "Milla" from the beginning, and there's a lot of lines about how she's still Milla that weren't there at all originally. Jude basically goes from being conflicted about this new Milla to being very accepting of her. It's like the exact contrary of his original characterization.

I don't agree with the way you're interpreting Jude's feelings in the localization: he is still depicted as being conflicted. Under normal circumstances it wouldn't make sense for Jude to suddenly explain to Milla that she's still Milla. The first thing Jude says when you meet Milla is "It can't be" (spoken as a line while you're walking to your next destination)
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:04 am

In the localized version,
Spoiler:
 
is referred to as a "she/her". Is the gender left ambiguous in the original version?

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:32 pm

Yeah, Japanese doesn't really use gendered pronouns. The choice for "she" probably comes from her human appearances.

Speaking of gender, Aska sound like a flamboyant gay man in English, but in Japanese Aska could also be interpreted as a transwoman. Both are equally valid.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:11 pm

In Milla episode 4 Aska says that the Sage Kresnik was a woman named Milla, and Jude acts surprised that Kresnik wasn't a man, so they rectified that translation goof in Xillia 1 at least.

Also, NPCs in Xian Du say that Yurgen started a business with Alvin to make enough money to care for Isla. Is that also true in the Japanese version? It does explain why he'd do that and it's not like it's out of character for him.
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:25 pm

Yeah, that was fun to see that rectification XD

And yeah the Isla thing wasn't changed; why would it be?
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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:42 am

DreamSword wrote:
Personally though, I prefer the localized version of Jude in this game, as him accepting the Other Milla seems to be more in line with his character. At least, that's the impression I get from how he developed in Xillia 1.

Ahhh . . . I'm going to have to really disagree here, and in doing so I'm going to have to basically respond with a character analysis essay. I hope you don't mind, but the change in Jude's attitude toward Alt Milla is one of the few things that made me hardcore cringe, and that was even before I knew how he addressed her in Japanese. (In other words: I already found it extremely bothersome in regards to localized Jude's character, so hearing that the problem I had was lessened in the original made the entire thing worse.)

Okay, this will be long, so brace yourself and grab a snack. Also,

SPOILERS through Chapter 11 of ToX2, and very, very, very minor spoilers for a character ep a little past that point, so you have been warned. BIG BIG BIG spoilers for Chapter 11 though, seriously. Don't read past this point if you haven't cleared it. Thank you.

The first thing you have to understand is that Jude's feelings were already pretty complicated prior to meeting Alt Milla. A lot of this is implied and portrayed through little hints of character rather than outright stated, partly because Jude isn't the protagonist any longer, and partly because he's the type of person to hide his insecurities/concerns in favor of taking care of others instead. That said, prior to meeting Alt Milla, there were two major categories of feelings he was warring with surrounding Milla Maxwell:

1.) The intense desire to see her again, and
2.) Insecurities that she didn't want to see him again/wouldn't like him any longer when she did

The first one is obvious. Regardless of who you do or don't ship Jude with, the first game made it pretty obvious that he fell in love with Milla Maxwell and didn't want to part with her at the end of the game even though he knew he had to. (Their conversation in Trigleph at the end of X1 was absolutely gorgeous for the subtly conveyed emotion from both of them. Their personal desires vs what they knew had to be done, how they both wanted Milla to stay but neither would say it out loud, etc.) He still wears the pendant she gave him around his neck, ffs. (Official art shows this, and whenever he clutches at his chest while talking about her in-game? Yeah.) It's pretty obvious that a year has not lessened his feelings for Milla Maxwell, especially when he immediately takes noticeable interest when he hears Milla is back in the human realm from Musee, when he's plainly trying not to get his hopes up when he hears about a spirit with long flowing hair at the Dimensional Breach yet is visibly disappointed when they get there and she isn't around, or when he absolutely flips when Chronos says he threw her into the Void, going so far as to say a very Edward Elric-esque, "then I'll beat the information out of you" at the start of their fight. It's safe to say that Jude has missed Milla every day for the past year, and that he wants to see her again almost more than anything else. (Almost, because his spyrite research is pretty damn important to him, too.)

The second one is more subtle, but still there.

When he first hears that Milla is back it's from Musee, who says that Milla is in the human realm, but lost. Musee sought out Jude and his group because she figured Milla might be with them, but alas, she's not. What we see from Jude is shock that Milla is apparently back in the human realm, but then his face falls because . . .

. . . if she's back, then where is she?

At that point, on top of the longing to see her again, he was hit with some very human insecurities. What if she didn't seek him out because she doesn't want to? What if she lost interest? She has been in the spirit realm for the past year, after all; perhaps she's moved on. He thought she cared about him as much as he cares about her, but it's been a year so it's hard to say . . . and even if they do meet again, what if she's unimpressed? He's made hardly any progress with his spyrite research. What if she's disappointed? What if she just simply doesn't like him anymore? Of course, the rational part of Jude's brain (which is most of his brain, let's be real) probably realized that his insecurities were ridiculous, but the thing about insecurities is that they are ridiculous but that doesn't stop them from existing. Jude's fears here are very natural, normal, human fears for anyone in a long distance relationship. When you go a long time without seeing someone, you naturally fear that perhaps you've drifted apart in that time. It's natural, and it happened here with Jude.

(Side note, but while I had suspected that based on Jude's body language in that scene and how he first reacted to Alt Milla (which I'll get to in a second), it's all but confirmed in a later character ep, where we get this little exchange:

MILLA: "Typical Jude, always ready to jump into other people's problems. You've grown up a bit, but some things never change."
JUDE: "And that's . . . a good thing, right?"
MILLA: "Of course."
JUDE: "Haha, all right . . . good to hear."

He was obviously concerned that their year apart might have led to them drifting apart, or Milla growing less fond of him etc, but those fears are assuaged after they finally reunite and spend some time together. Regardless, those insecurities/anxieties were present just as I'd read into based on how he acted, so they were definitely a part of the clustertruck of emotions he had leading up to Alt Milla.)

Anyway, so Jude is warring with himself over these two conflicting emotional bundles, to the point where both Leia and Alvin are worried about him. (Leia more so, as she addresses it/tries to comfort him on more than one occasion: in a world map chat on the way to the Breach, at the Breach itself when Alvin joins in, and at Milla's shrine; that last one is particularly notable because Jude says he isn't worried with a smile, but the camera switches back to Leia frowning because she's known him all their lives and she knows he's lying and isn't okay at all.) Even Elle picks up on it and asks why he's so upset at the Breach, which prompts Leia to begin explaining about Milla until Chronos appears and interrupts.

Regardless.

So Jude is plagued with these emotions already, and worry about Milla gets added on top after Chronos tells him that he tossed her into the Void and then offers no further information on the subject. So he's trying to process all of this on top of finding Alvin, Elle, and the others (because remember, they were separated), and along comes Alt Milla.

Now, it was brought up a little earlier that Jude was shown as appearing conflicted, as he says, "It can't be . . ." in a world map chat on the way to Nia Khera. While I, too, thought that conflict showed in their initial meetings, not only was that completely diminished by the localization as it went on, but I'd say that was less Jude rejecting Alt Milla right off and more stunned disbelief at what just happened, along with the sudden, agonizing strike of terror that maybe his insecurities weren't so ridiculous after all.

Because, remember:

1.) He had just learned shortly beforehand (time would be hard to tell here, given the boss battle, but it was still very recently) that Milla Maxwell was apparently tossed into the Void;
2.) Alt Milla basically dropped out of nowhere and saved them all from a monster attack;
3.) She barely looked at him when doing so and didn't seem to recognize nor care about him at all, which plays right into the insecurities mentioned above.

Not only was Alt Milla's appearance very, very sudden, which gave him no time to emotionally prepare for a reunion, but it conflicts with what Chronos said (was he lying? wrong? did she escape?), and Milla . . . didn't acknowledge him at all. Ever since Musee's appearance at Helioborg Jude's desire to see Milla again has been plagued by the nagging anxiety that she won't be interested in him anymore, and that's exactly what just happened. It's like a sucker punch. There is someone that he wants to see more than anyone else in the world, and she barely looked at him before she sauntered off to Nia Khera again. That hurts . . .

. . . but it still conflicts with everything he logically knows to be true (i.e. that Milla is apparently in the Void, that she's supposed to be in the prime dimension if not in the Void, etc).

Now, of course he learns in short order that she's Alt Milla, and that's why she doesn't acknowledge him: because she never met him here. That makes him feel better, insecurities wise, but it would still cause a lot of emotional conflict which was removed from the localization, and that's something that is seen as early on as the Rideaux scene in prime Nia Khera--namely, when Ivar sees Alt Milla for the first time. The differences basically go like this:

JAPANESE VERSION:

IVAR: "Lady Milla . . ."
RIDEAUX: "Don't get yourself all worked up. That thing's a fake."
JUDE: "Don't say it like that!" / IVAR: "Watch your mouth!"

ENGLISH VERSION:

IVAR: "Lady Milla . . ."
RIDEAUX: "Don't get yourself all worked up. She's not your Milla, you know."
JUDE: "Damn it, she's still Milla!" / IVAR: "Watch your mouth!"

Now, the change here was partially due to a change in Rideaux's line, which . . . to be honest, I'm not sure why they changed it. Not only does the original line make Ivar's second line make more sense (saying "watch your mouth" to someone calling Milla a "thing" is a much more reasonable response than to say it to someone pointing out the obvious), but it also fits more in line with Rideaux's character, given the type of person he is. So I'm really not sure why they changed Rideaux's line, but that isn't the point.

The point is, Jude's line gets changed from him telling Rideaux to "not say it like that" (meaning, no she isn't Milla Maxwell, but he still shouldn't call her a thing) to him saying "she's still Milla" which equates her to Milla Maxwell, and that is where the problem lies. That is where the problem continues to lie for the rest of the time Alt Milla is with the party.

Because see, Alt Milla's appearance and place within the party would take the clustertruck of Jude's emotions before and make them even worse, simply by virtue of her being there, of her being Milla-but-not-Milla. Because on the surface, Alt Milla looks like Milla Maxwell (sans the "charm point"), she has some of the same memories as Milla Maxwell, she has the same voice even if the things she says and the way she says them differ, etc. She goes by the name Milla Maxwell as well, which is understandable if painful because . . . because she's not Milla Maxwell.

The result is that it would be a constant cyclone of turbulent emotion for him, which honestly is not something Jude is too accustomed to dealing with given that he's ordinarily a pretty calm, mellow person. On the one hand, Alt Milla is so radically different from Milla Maxwell that at any given moment it'd be easy for him to remind himself that Alt Milla is not her. Alt Milla is much more emotional, much more childish; she gets into heated arguments with an eight year old child, ffs, and that is something Milla Maxwell would never do. Alt Milla is impudent and reckless, without the grace and skill to back it. Rather than drawing on the part of Jude that supports people in their endeavors, Alt Milla's behavior would draw on the part of him that would want to nurture (the part of him that dictates how he interacts with Leia and Elise, for example). So on most days, most occasions, that separation would be a lot easier to manage, and being around her would be easier to deal with.

However . . .

At other times . . . she still looks like Milla, even if her body language is much different. Sometimes the things she says sounds like Milla. When she gets excited about food, on the rare occasion she makes a gung-ho, give-'em-hell remark (it's probably fortunate for Jude he wasn't there for the Odin dungeon, because hearing her say, "Let's go say hello" re: Odin's mysterious voice would have ripped his heart to shreds even as it made Leia and Elise grin), sometimes in the way she smiles . . . there are times when being around her reminds him so forcefully of what it was like to be around Milla Maxwell, when she resembles Milla Maxwell so strongly, and in those moments he would feel drawn to her, would want to be around her, spend time with her, talk with her, laugh with her. It would be a subconscious draw, he wouldn't even realize he was doing it, but the second he did? The second she said or did something to break that unintentional, brief illusion she had cast?

He'd pull away so fast, because no, no, she's not his Milla, and he won't pretend she is. He can't replace her. He won't replace her. He would never do that. The thought of replacing her with a Milla from another world is . . . it's unthinkable. Feels like betrayal. And the thing is, that's not what it is or how anyone would see it, but again, emotions aren't always rational. Love, insecurity, guilt . . . these things don't always deal in logic. There's a line that Ivar has later on down the line, wherein he shouts, "Stop messing with my head, faker!" or something similar to Alt Milla, because for a split second he thought she was Milla Maxwell, and felt crushed when he realized she wasn't. Now, it obviously wasn't fair for Ivar to shout that at Alt Milla, and she grew justifiably angry with him because of it, but it's also understandable why he would feel that way . . . and similarly, understandable why Jude would feel the same, especially given how Jude is actually traveling with her. She's so much like his Milla but so different, they're obviously two separate people despite being different versions of the same person, just from different universes . . .

Alt Milla is not a replacement, she doesn't need to be and shouldn't be and could never be, and to be honest her personality is honestly not the type of personality Jude would fall for. But she looks enough like Milla, goes by the same name, and at times acts enough like her that it would cause a lot of conflict for Jude. Because she's not Milla, she's not, and 90% of the time he knows this and it's not an issue, but the other 10% makes things exponentially more difficult. Hell, to be honest, the 90% is pretty rough as well, because it's one thing to miss someone when they're on another plane of existence. It's another thing entirely to miss someone when a version of them is standing two feet away from you. It'd be like if the love of your life got into a bad accident that caused them to have amnesia, and so not only has their personality flipped, but they have no memory of who you are despite all of the memories you have of them. That was what it was like for Jude, and that was part of what made it so difficult for him. That was what caused a lot of the conflict.

So because of this, because her very presence caused this complicated knot of emotions and feelings, it would make sense for him to distance himself from her, to not be around her too much if he could help it. One thing I noticed in a few of the story chapters leading up to chapter eleven was that it seemed like Jude, when he was able, purposely put himself in the opposite group from Alt Milla when they split up. For instance, the reason why he wasn't along for the Odin excursion was that Leia suggested he help Nova with her issue, and then he is the one who says that Alt Milla should go help Ludger. He suggests it to her, but that suggestion puts them on different teams, it puts him in a separate group from her, gives him some space. Even in her second character chapter when they're in the Nala Lava Tubes, Jude is the one that suggests they split up and search for the bear, and though it seems as though they're walking off together at first:

1.) He's walking ahead of her, and
2.) He goes quite a ways away from her, to the point where he's standing down off by himself while she's at the midway point between him and Ludger + Elle (whom she ultimately walks back towards)

So even though he's involved in her character story, he's emotionally distant and he physically creates distance between them. Even at the end, when they're all talking, there's still a sizable gap between them and Ludger stands between Jude and Alt Milla. I don't think that physical distance between them was an accident on the part of the game devs. I think it was a deliberate choice to show how Jude is putting distance between himself and Alt Milla, based on the complicated net of feelings he has toward her due to his already strong emotions over Milla Maxwell . . .

. . . which comes to a head on board Zenethra Jr the E.S.S. Pelune.

As mentioned by Yume, in the Japanese version Jude calls Alt Milla "Milla-san," which is different from how he addresses Milla Maxwell as simply "Milla." In the Japanese version, Alt Milla calls him out on this on the E.S.S. Pelune. In the English version she obviously doesn't, given that the English version has him call her "Milla" all the way through. Instead, the scene is markedly changed, and not for the better considering Jude's characterization (aside from one line in the English version, which is all right and is basically the same). Observe:

JAPANESE:

[Alt Milla trips, Jude catches her]
JUDE: "Be careful, Milla-san."
[Alt Milla is silent as Jude calmly walks away, but after a moment . . .]
ALT MILLA: ". . . Wait. Why do you keep calling me 'Milla-san'?"
JUDE: "Why? . . . Because you're Milla-san."
ALT MILLA: "Right. Because I'm an imitation of your Milla."
JUDE: "That's not what I meant."
ALT MILLA: "Then what do you mean?"

>L1 Choice:
LUDGER: "This isn't the time to fight."
ALT MILLA: "But it's important!"
JUDE: ". . . There's only one 'Milla' to me, that's all. It's important that I make that distinction."

>R1 Choice:
LUDGER: "I'm pretty curious myself, actually."
JUDE: "You too, Ludger? . . . It's not a matter of 'real' or 'imitation.' Milla-san and Milla are two different people, so . . ."

ALT MILLA: "I see. I understand now."
[Jude nods, and walks away without another word; Alvin and Ludger follow as Alt Milla ducks her head]
ALT MILLA: "I get the message."

ENGLISH:

[Alt Milla trips, Jude catches her]
JUDE: "Gotta watch your step, Milla."
[Alt Milla is silent as Jude calmly walks away, but after a moment . . .]
ALT MILLA: ". . . Hey. Tell me the truth. Is it difficult for you to call me Milla?"
JUDE: "Why would it be difficult? You're Milla just as much as she is."
ALT MILLA: "Not to you, no. To you, I'm just a double. A counterfeit."
JUDE: "I don't think that way."
ALT MILLA: "How do you think of me?"

>L1 Choice:
LUDGER: "Can't this little lover's spat wait?"
ALT MILLA: "No, it can't! I need to hear this!"
JUDE: "Look, the other Milla . . . she's special to me. She has a place in my heart."

>R1 Choice:
LUDGER: "I'm curious myself, actually."
JUDE: "Seriously, Ludger? . . . Look, this isn't 'real' versus 'not real.' My Milla and you are two different people. That's all there is to it."

ALT MILLA: "Well, thanks for telling me."
[Jude nods, and walks away without another word; Alvin and Ludger follow as Alt Milla ducks her head]
ALT MILLA: "I get the message."

As you can see, the choices don't differ too much between the two versions, and indeed, the R1 choice is pretty much the same in both (which is why it's the one line I'm okay with). As for the rest of it?

The biggest issue here is, "You're Milla just as much as she is." Considering everything above, all of the conflict that it would be normal for Jude to experience and that we know he was experiencing in the Japanese version, saying that doesn't make sense. If we're being honest, it doesn't even make sense within the rest of this English conversation considering Jude goes on to say that the other Milla holds a place in his heart in the L1 choice and that they're two different people in the R1 choice. "You're Milla as much as she is" implies that he sees them as the same person, which he doesn't. That is a marked change that is both inconsistent with the rest of the conversation and inconsistent with his character (and as a result is inconsistent with the Japanese version, where he has that "it's important I make the distinction" line--which, mind you, I did not know about until after I'd already formed similar conclusions on how he felt/must have felt based on his characterization, something Yume can confirm).

Now, you can argue that the localization's hands were tied here given that he did simply call her Milla throughout the game, and you might even argue that he couldn't call her "Milla-san" because that would be using an honorific, which is a no-no in a game that otherwise doesn't use them (unless you're a character by the name of Simon Blackquill in a game about lawyers). Say that, though, and I counter that they could have easily translated it to "Miss Milla" or "Miss Maxwell," both of which are the same number of syllables as "Milla-san" and the latter of which especially would have had the intended effect, given how formal and therefore distant it is. (Milla-san is more formal than Milla, after all, and Miss Maxwell is absolutely so, in English. After all, there's that whole cliche of, "Miss [last name] is my mother, call me [first name]," isn't there? It would have carried the effect of Jude purposely putting that distance there while still being polite by average standards, which is a very Jude Mathis thing to do.) Had they had Jude address her as "Miss Milla" or "Miss Maxwell" throughout the Alt Milla chapters as they should have, they would not have had to rewrite (and therefore mess up, in my opinion) this crucial scene. More to the point, it wouldn't have relied on the subtle clues we get from Jude otherwise in order to justify Milla calling him out. Because in the Japanese version she's calling him out on a specific behavior he has exhibited since he met her. In the English version she asks him a question, he says no, and she calls him a liar and accuses him of thinking of her as a fake. In the English version Alt Milla looks paranoid (since she is not able to cite any specific examples to justify her accusation of Jude's feelings), whereas in the Japanese version she is justified due to calling him out on a very specific thing, and that's a very important distinction to make.

(Of course, Jude is conflicted over her, she's not wrong about that in the English version either, but again, the localization team worked the script in such a way that makes it look as though she's overreacting here, when a simple name change from him to her wouldn't have done that.)

They move on after that, Alt Milla is sacrificed in short order to bring Milla Maxwell back into the party, and aside from a few NPC comments from Jude and Alvin (Jude remarks about how he failed to save Alt Milla, Alvin laments that she was right in front of him and he couldn't do anything), the party moves on. Jude has a bit of nervousness with Milla Maxwell in that character ep, but for the most part they swing not only back into their previous relationship, but into an even stronger one that makes it impossible to deny how they feel about one another. For them, they fall back into place. They're fine.

But for Jude and Alt Milla? Things were not so smooth. Jude felt incredibly conflicted over her, and justifiably so. It's not so much about Jude's base character personality that determines this so much as it is considering Jude as an actual person, and how an actual person in his situation would react, mixed with his base personality. Essentially, anyone in his situation would be in emotional turmoil. Again, to use the amnesia example, it's like having the love of your life right there, walking and talking, except not, because the head trauma/amnesia altered their personality and they don't remember their previous relationship with you. They're different, but they aren't, but they are, and honestly it's incredibly emotionally overwhelming and for some people, like Jude, it's easier to put that distance there--that makes the situation easier to handle (especially since he knows there's a good chance he will get to see Milla Maxwell again, if he stays patient).

So to say that, as far as Jude's characterization goes, it would be better for him to accept Alt Milla as being the same as Milla Maxwell . . . I strongly disagree. Any normal person would have an insanely difficult time in that situation, and for someone as loyal as Jude, that makes it even harder. Jude is an incredibly good person, he does try to see the best in everyone, even in those that antagonize him (see: Ivar); but all that means is that he would not be openly cold or harsh toward Alt Milla, and that he would instead do his best to accept her as her own individual, while still creating some distance between them (without being impolite about it, if possible, though he wouldn't always succeed) to try and spare his own feelings/make the situation easier to deal with. That is what he did in the Japanese version, and that is what he should have done here.

At least, in my opinion.

SPOILERS END HERE IF YOU SCROLLED TO GET PAST THEM LA LA LA LA LA NO MORE SPOILERS YAAAY.
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Friendzie

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:24 pm

The more I see the argument that Jude had a completely different outlook in English, the more I disagree with it. Jude treats the real Milla much differently than he treats fractured Milla even in the English version. Him saying that "she's still Milla" one time does NOT imply that he thinks she's Milla Maxwell. Jude is not confused about that fact; nobody in the party is - in either version. In Japanese he denies that he's calling her an imitation Milla, and that's more or less what he is saying in English. Having only played the English version, I never got the impression that Jude was confused about whether or not this was the real Milla. It was obvious that he was just trying to be respectful of Fractured Milla's feelings. To really flesh this out we need to look at hours of other scenarios that play out between Jude and Milla in character and story chapters for most of the game. At the end of the day, nobody walks away thinking that Jude wasn't way happier to see the real Milla.
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Lloyzerdk

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PostSubject: Re: [X1&2 spoilers] Actual serious topic about localization   Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:42 pm

I assumed Ivar was telling Jude to watch his mouth given that Rideaux is his boss and that he doesn't like Jude.
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