“Actually, I’m the Chao doctor” What? – Sonic Adventure 2 [JPN vs ENG]

actuallum

When I was playing Sonic Adventure 2 again recently, something seemed really strange to me. When you visit the Chao Kindergarten in Chao World, there are several rooms you can go to, one of which is the Principal’s Office. Here, the principal offers you tips on how to raise your Chao.

But… the dialogue is just awkward. He says this in the exact order when you visit him:

Welcome to the kindergarten.
I’m the kindergarten principal.

Learn tips to raise your Chao from Professor Chao.

Tips
<Chao doctor will give you tips>

Actually, I’m the Chao doctor.
What would you like to do?

So… is he the Chao Principal, Professor, or Doctor? This is made even more awkward by the fact the Chao [medical] doctor is right next door in the infirmary. Is he saying that he is in fact, the doctor from next door here as the principal? Or that he plays both roles? Or is he a principal who happens to be a professor of all things Chao related and a doctor? Or a professor with a doctoral in Chao that happens to be the principal?

What a mess!

I looked around the net and saw nobody really thought much of it (I mean it’s all sorts of trivial), though Chao Island makes a remark on their Chao principal page:

The Chao Principal will tell you the basics about Chao and give you basic tips on how to raise them. He knows quite a lot, but will not uncover everything to know about Chao!

When you go to see him, he says “Actually, I’m the Chao doctor.”. I’m not sure why this is…

So, to answer your and my own question, Chao Island, I looked into it! I had a feeling I knew what went wrong even without looking at the original dialogue –and I was right! So take a look below to see where they went wrong:

It all revolves around just one word.

Japanese My Translation Official Translation
入園おめでとう。
わしがちゃお幼稚園の園長じゃ。
ここではチャオ博士から育成ヒントを
きくことができるぞ。育成のヒントチャオ博士が育成のヒントを教えてくれるぞ。

実はわしがチャオ博士なのじゃ。
なにがしりたいのかな?

Welcome to the kindergarten.
I am the kindergarten principal. Here, you can learn hints in raising Chao
from the Chao Expert.

Hints in Raising
<Learn hints from the Chao Expert>

The truth is, I am the Chao Expert.
What do you wish to do?

Welcome to the kindergarten.
I’m the kindergarten principal. Learn tips to raise your Chao from Professor Chao.

Tips
<Chao doctor will give you tips>

Actually, I’m the Chao doctor.
What would you like to do?

So, what went wrong? Well, the original Japanese word that was being translated was 博士 (hakase) which usually means “expert.” However, it is also the same word that is used in the Pokémon series for the Pokémon professors, such as Professor Oak (オーキド博士) for instance. It basically is a title that shows deep knowledge in a certain field. “Doctor” does fit this too, but… in this context it is rather ill-placed, considering there is a Chao doctor next door.

To add to the confusion, the first time the translators changed hakase, they went with the “professor” title, becoming Professor Chao in the official translation. But then, they changed the second instance of it to “doctor” for some reason (despite it still being the exact same word “hakase” in every instance!) This leads to a terrible mess of a meaning when it should have just been a consistent use of “expert” or “professor” or whatever they had initially chosen. Strangest to me is the fact the dialogue is not even that long, so I wonder why it came out with several meanings in such few lines…

I highlighted every instance of 博士 (hakase) above. Even to untrained eyes, you can see it is the exact same characters…

So: he is the principal that is also a Chao expert and is willing to share tips with you. He is not the Chao doctor from next door, or whatever other meaning came from this mishap. It is all due to inconsistency in translation.

A summary image:

ChaoExpertENG

Anything else you want me to look at? Let me know in the comments or via email!

As usual, this is all done on my free time, and takes awhile. It can be a lot of work, but I do hope you enjoy! I am unemployed… so please consider donating if you like the work I do. : ) It certainly helps me keep going!

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