This is another post in my ongoing Fire Emblem Fates localization comparison posts! I discuss anything from major to minor changes here as I play through the game.
Today, I look at Flora’s death quote in English and Japanese. It is a major change (to the quote itself), but a minor change (to the overall game/story). That is why it is labeled as “Minor-Major” for more clarification.
Please note that this post is purely informative and may share some opinion, but this does not mean the change is necessarily good or bad. A change is just a change that is being looked into, and you can be the judge of whether you like it or not!
It is all just for fun and curiosity for me. : )
Let’s take a look at her death quote in English:
Flora: Please don’t cry..
Straightforward, and to the point. It is consistent with her character in that sense, and is still simple yet nicely done.
Now let’s take a look at the Japanese:
Do not mourn…I will… always… be…watching… over you… as one of…the many…stars in the…sky…
A more literal translation is: “Don’t mourn…I will…become a star…and from that sky…always…be watching.” I took some slight liberties to make it flow better above.
So, wow. A lot of that was lost in the end result. Of course, the starting is the same. 悲しまないで ( kanashimanaide) can translate as “Don’t cry” or “Don’t mourn.” But, “cry” is not too unfitting, either, as there is the sorrow associated with the loss. The English choice is better when the rest of the context is missing. When the rest of the context is there (involving stars and being watched over), mourn seems to fit better.
There seems to be a theme of the stars (from the Astral Dragons to the name Hoshido (possibly read as hoshi-dou [way of the stars]). So Flora’s death seems to touch upon that theme. And it is a rather beautiful sentiment she expresses too.
I wonder why it was missing in the NoA version? I assume it may be a space issue. It is a little hard to cram the above into the same space as the original Japanese. Perhaps they opted for the shorter quote for this reason.
She does have very few supports in the game due to being more of a “bonus character” (unlocked via My Castle on certain routes), so she suffers from a lack of time for character development. In that sense, every little thing she says can count toward her character, including her beliefs/sentiment in this quote alone. So it is a little strange they shortened it as they did. Perhaps they figured nobody would really mind, though.
And I certainly do not mind either, but am curious as I quite liked that Japanese death quote myself!
Death quotes in general have been strange. From my comparisons, some remain exactly the same, yet some change drastically for reasons that can be hard to grasp. I wonder if it is a case of multiple translators and editors?
We will never know the process or discussion that goes into the change, however… so all we can really do is speculate!
UPDATE: A commenter named Akeno (below) posted this nice possible middle ground version:
“It’s said that people become stars when they die… So… please don’t cry…”
I quite like it myself. : )
What do you think? Do you prefer her straight to the point death quote? After all one may not have time to say much when they die… or do you prefer the more dramatic and deeper quote about watching from the starry sky?