Warning: Slight plot spoilers up to the end of Chapter 18 may follow.
While playing through Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, I came across a scene in Chapter 18 where Mawile accuses Bunnelby of being an impostor on the basis of the way it says “seen” instead of “saw” that was unlike them to say. When it comes down to specific word usage like this, those like me instantly wonder whether or not the certain word was the same in the original language or not. A reader named Alex commented on my previous post with Espurr and was also curious about what was said.
So, for Alex and myself and many others who may be interested, I compared the dialogue below:
|Original Japanese||My Translation/Literal:||Official Translation|
そのブイゼルは ニセモノだっ！！ オレ見たんだ！
得体の知れない バケモノがブイゼルに 変身するのを！ こいつは ブイゼルじゃない！
だから気をつけ・・・ ぐわっ！！ クチート:
Everyone, get away!
That Buizel is an impostor!
I* saw it!
This isn’t our Buizel!
Stay back, everybody!
That Buizel is an impostor!
I seen it!
This is not our Buizel!
It’s very easy to see why this was changed in the localization. It wouldn’t make much sense in English, as you can see from the literal translation above. So what the heck is going on?
So. In Japanese, Bunnelby uses the pronoun オレ (ore) to refer to himself at where I marked “I*”. It is a masculine form of referring to oneself. Mawile calls Bunnelby out though, saying it would never use “ore” in the place of “jibun” (自分). Jibun is a neutral way to refer to oneself, which it seems Bunnelby would use otherwise. Above, just for the literal translation, I wrote “never say I* in the place of Myself!!” because saying “I in the place of I” would make little sense.
Considering my translation was a literal one just to show the difference, it would not be the best for presenting this idea to the general audience at all. So, the localizers got creative, and rather than focus on the way Bunnelby said “I”, instead they focused on the word right after, “Saw.” They changed it to “Seen” to make it stick out as odd, “I seen it!” This way, Mawile could call it out on using “seen” in the place of “saw” without much of the overall context to Bunnelby’s character changing.
It was a good call on the translators, as trying to play with the pronouns would have been rather difficult to convey multiple pronoun usage. Here, they managed to just change it from focusing on the pronoun to how they said “saw.” The rest of the translation is exactly as it was in Japanese!
That’s that. I will still be exploring some more things as I proceed in Super Mystery Dungeon, so stay tuned! If you have any other curiosity points like this one that you want me to look at, please let me know.
If you had to stick with pronouns, how would you try to convey the above scene? I’m curious to know, so feel free to answer in the comments below. : )
If you are feeling generous, please donate! It really helps keep me posting from day to day. You can find the donation button on the right side of my page. : )