Today’s post is part of a long line of comparison posts. Today’s comes as a personal curiosity, but also enabled thanks to a reader question:
“In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, there is a certain Pokémon Center Nurse in the Battle Maison. She speaks totally differently in a funny way. Is she the same in Japanese?”
I remember this Nurse very well! I’ve been curious about it myself. There is a similar Nurse also in the Battle Maison in Pokémon X/Y, though she speaks in a different way. So I decided to take a look at them both for today’s post!
Let’s take a look.
First let’s look at the one in X/Y as she was the first appearance. The following takes place when she’s spoken to in the Battle Maison:
Huh? Do you want me to restore your Pokémon’s health?
…Listen. As you can see, I’m taking a day off today.
Once I leave the Pokémon Center, I’m an ordinary girl, OK?
I’m quite stressed out from work. Today, I’m letting the stress out by watching battles.
When I go back to work, I’ll do my job, so please leave me alone today, OK?
Japanese + Literal Translation:
Huh? You want me to heal your Pokemon? … Can you not see that I am on my break at the moment? Look, when I’m outside the Pokemon Center, I’m just a regular girl. I’m letting out all the stress that built up from work by watching battles. When I return to work I’ll heal your Pokemon right up, but for today, please let me be.
The literal translation is actually unnecessary, as the localization translated it exactly. It is merely there for reference, and not fixed to flow too well as the localization already did so.
So one thing to note here is that she retains a generally formal tone (yet with informal ends here and there), which makes it very interesting. The localization showed this through a bit of a “stiff” tone to her language, yet ending some of the sentences with “OK?” It gets the fact she’s the normally formal nurse on a day off (and so showing less polite colors) across rather well.
So then, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the more curious one in OR/AS.
Wha— You want me to restore your Pokémon’s health?
Honestly, you people! Can ye not see I’m off duty?
Do I look like I’ve got a device to heal ye tucked in my skirt pocket?
The Pokémon Center I work at never gives me a day off!
This is my first time off in 20 days. Leave me in peace, can ye?
Japanese + Literal Translation:
Eh? ‘Heal yer Pokemon?’ Hey, do I look like I ‘ave a healin’ machine with me right now? The Pokemon Center I work at rarely gives me any time off. This here is the first time I’ve had a break in 20 darn days, so leave me alone, will ya?
So the official localization is what the reader’s question revolved around. Compared to X/Y, this Nurse speaks in a rather peculiar way. But as you can see from the Japanese literal translation, the localizaton had in fact stayed true to the original content once again.
In Japanese, this Nurse speaks with an incredibly informal tone, compared to the X/Y one that had some formalities and proper ends here and there. This one is a completely different person than the one you see everyday in the Pokemon Center, giving an even bigger contrast to the on-duty versus off-duty nurses than the one in X/Y did.
It’s interesting to note in Japanese that the dialogue shares some exact wording with its original counterpart too, but with the inflections changed to make it rather rugged and informal too.
Cultural examples exist in both Japanese and English for the worker who speaks one way when informal and a completely different way super formal, or someone with one accent needing to adjust to a more “standard” accent when it comes to something like, say, the news. It is the first thing that comes to mind, but I am sure there are plenty of others!
The Nurse in OR/AS is actually speaking just as she did in Japanese. An incredibly informal (and rude) manner. The original writers likely wanted to give a bigger contrast between the on-duty and off-duty nurses.
I’ve been a little sick the past few days, but I will continue to look at fun differences between the versions of sorts of games when I get time! This reader actually had a few other things to look into (an entire list, actually), so expect to see some more from the 3DS Pokemon games in the future.
Any dialogue you’re interested in? Feel free to send in comments or via email!