My Bloopers in Chrono Trigger (originally posted on FortuneCity)

I recently (relative to when this entry was originally written) revised my translation of Chrono Trigger yet again (update planned for some time on 05 September 2009), and found a number of foul-ups along the way. Rather than simply correct them and be done with it, I've put together a list of the more significant ones to analyze here for your viewing pleasure, or whatever.


Misleading Japanese phrase: とてもじゃない (originally posted on FortuneCity)

Here's an uncommon but confusing idiom I've been misinterpreting until just recently: とてもじゃない, usually found in sentences similar to this one: 「とてもじゃないが、出来ない。」. What's so confusing about it? Well, here's what it looks like it ought to mean:
  • 「出来ない」 with no other context roughly means, "I can't do it".
  • 「とても出来ない」 is then roughly, "I absolutely can't do it" (literally, "very can't")
  • 「じゃない」 normally means "isn't" and the 「が」 particle indicates contrast.
  • Therefore, 「とてもじゃないが、出来ない」 would appear to mean roughly, "I can't do it, but it's not absolutely impossible" (can't, but not so "can't" that it's "very can't").

Unfortunately, that's not what it means at all. If 「とても出来ない」 means "I absolutely can't do it", then 「とてもじゃないが、出来ない」 means "I absolutely, positively, CANNOT do it". It's not a negation but an emphasis. The best explanation I've seen of where the confusing grammar comes from suggests that this usage is reserved for situations extreme enough that とても isn't nearly strong enough to use, so とてもじゃない isn't saying, "not very much so", but rather, " 'very' doesn't even begin to cover it".


How Translation Killed Another Puzzle: Part 2 (originally posted on FortuneCity)

The other day... well, okay, close to four months ago... I wrote about Luca's Love Flow puzzle, along with various ranting about translators handling things poorly. Today, I bring you the other half of the puzzle, with Cloche's Love Flow. You won't see both in the same playthrough, for reasons that become obvious when you get to that point of the game, but it's quite similar in concept.


How Translation Killed Another Puzzle (originally posted on FortuneCity)

Ar tonelico II: Melody of Elemia. Great game, great music, thoroughly convoluted plot, and an engaging battle system. Unfortunately, it suffered even more in translation than most games do. Overall, the translation feels rushed, with some spelling inconsistencies, awkward phrasing, and more. Names suffered too, such as the "waath" (Hymmnos for "rebirth" or "renewal") in Luca's name, lost when someone decided to change the spelling to "Trulyworth" (while that interpretation is meaningful, it's not the only or even the primary one).