FE10: Radiant Dawn Localization: Naming the Goddesses of “Order” & “Chaos” [JPN vs ENG]

Today’s post is a quick look at the word choice of the localization going for naming the goddesses after “order” and “chaos.” There are some nuances that may be fun to look at.

It’s really trivial, and mostly insignificant. But still pretty notable to when translating countless blocks of text from Tellius Recollection Volume 2.

Slight spoiler warning for those who have yet to play this game. Putting this here just in case I mention something near the end.

 

So here is a quick list of names and terms for reference:

Name: Ashera / アスタルテ Astarte
Title: Goddess of Order / 正の女神

Name: Yune  / ユンヌ Yune
Title: Goddess of Chaos / 負の女神

The two things to look at specifically are the characters used for Ashera and Yune’s titles: 正 and

So 正 can mean many things, all with positive meanings: Just, Correct, Superior, Positive.

In contrast, has negative meanings: Minus, Bearing (a responsibility), Defeat, Negative.

Note that “order” and “chaos” are not among these definitions however. What the two characters in Japanese displays is a theme of opposites: Ashera the positive, Yune the negative. They were both split from Ashunera, the two sides of her in conflict with one another now split into two separate beings. It’s all a very yin-yang concept that’s hard to express with a single word in English. The Japanese gets away with using a single character as it can vaguely mean any of those definitions without fitting any specific one.

But saying “Goddess of Positive” and “Goddess of Negative” or “Positive Goddess” and “Negative Goddess” is a bit of an awkward title. “Goddess of Light” and “Goddess of Dark” may work with the opposites, indeed Yune was referred to as the “Dark God” by the tale spun by Dheginsea (邪神 “evil god” in Japanese), but that is not the title she herself goes by.

So “order” and “chaos” are chosen. It does indeed display the opposites that they may have been going for, but it can be argued that order is not necessarily good and chaos is not necessarily bad (a theme that those like Tibarn were emphasizing in their dialogue throughout the later chapters of the game). The conclusion is a little bit of both is good, which makes sense as the Goddess had split herself into both extremes that were at odds with each other, and that true “perfection” is that middle ground. It still achieves the same goal as “positive” and “negative” would in terms of achieving a balance. It’s a very yin-yang concept.

Let’s look at how they may have went about making this decision:

Yune herself upon her introduction says:

私は邪神なんかじゃないわ。 私は聖でも、 邪でもない。 私は自由。 私は混沌。 私は変化。 私は未来。 私は謎。 私は ユンヌ。

“Hmmm…”dark god.” “Dark god”… No, I’m pretty sure I’m not one of those. I am neither holy nor base, neither angel nor devil. I am…freedom. Chaos. Transformation. Future. Mystery. I am Yune.”

In the localization she uses “chaos” as the word after freedom. The word in Japanese (in bold above) can mean chaos/disorder but uncertainty as well, fitting with the rest of what she said.

And about Ashera says:

だって、 彼女は 聖でも邪でもないもの。彼女は束縛。 彼女は秩序。 彼女は安定。彼女は過去。 彼女は答。 彼女は アスタルテ。

“Ashera is neither kind nor loving to the beings of this world. Neither is she holy nor base, angel nor devil. She is…restriction. Order. Stability. Past. Certainty. Restraint. She is Ashera.”

The things about Ashera (restriction, order, stability, past, certainty, etc) are the same. The second word (in bold above) means “order” as they translated (also stability/regularity).

そうよ、 私はユンヌ。 アスタルテは【】、私は【】。2人は一対の存在なの。私が眠ればアスタルテも眠る。私が目覚めれば アスタルテも目覚める。

“That’s right. I’m Yune. Ashera is order. I am chaos. We are sisters, but opposite in all things. We’re linked to one another, though. When I sleep, Ashera sleeps. When I wake, Ashera wakes.”

Here, however, where she says “order” and “chaos” are the two characters from before for “positive” and “negative”. (On a side note she says nothing about being sisters, but that’s implied considering the split anyway). Order and chaos were secondary descriptors of the greater titles of “positive” and “negative,” but not the titles themselves, as they became in the localization.

But with the above in mind, it’s clear they are meant to be a theme of positive and negative (in the sense of two sides, rather than one being “good” or “bad”) which is emphasized by Yune’s dialogue. However, as to why the localization chose to go with “order” and “chaos” is likely because Yune’s side of things (change, future, transformation) is all rather “chaotic” in the sense of being unstable or unpredictable. On Ashera’s side we have the opposite (restriction. past, stability), all quite “orderly.” Indeed, they even use the words for order and chaos!

Using “positive” and “negative” in English would come with the connotation that one is necessarily good and the other bad (objectively by definition of “positive” and “negative”, so their denotation as well). Order and Chaos has a more subjective tone to it depending on the person, so can be argued just as it is in game as to which is better.

The localization likely decided to tweak their titles as a result without much harm to the story as a whole to specifically be Order and Chaos as a result!

This is all speculation though, as usual, we may never know the right answer as for why they ended up doing so!

In short:

The localization keeps the theme of opposites even if the Goddesses weren’t actually of “order” and “chaos” specifically in the most literal sense (having been “positive” and “negative” instead).


How would you have gone about carrying “positive” and “negative” over to English without it sounding awkward while still achieving the theme of opposites being good in balance? Let me know!

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12 thoughts on “FE10: Radiant Dawn Localization: Naming the Goddesses of “Order” & “Chaos” [JPN vs ENG]

  1. This is awesome! I’m so glad you do this kind of stuff. Localization is such an invisible, as in it’s hard to notice, process. So if someone is trying to get into the industry through example, it’s really hard to learn about that without just playing both versions themselves.

    As for a request, I would love to hear what you find with Xseed’s localiztions. They have some localization blogs, so that should make reading their minds a little easier. Take, for example, this localization blog on Fate Extella http://xseedgames.tumblr.com/post/154787104005/fateextella-the-umbral-star-localization-blog

    Xseed really had their work cut out on that one. I would love to know what other examples they have within Fate Extella, or Fate Extra, the Trails series, etc. What do you think?

    • Thanks for the kind comment : ) I’m glad my humble portfoli-blog has a small but interested following.

      Ah, I love companies that have localization blogs as it reduces a lot of guesswork! My only issue here is that I have played…well none of those games. xD Context is super important in these things so I feel I’d be lacking that…I do however have some of the Trails games and I really want to play them when I get the time! So if/when I do, you can bet I’ll be looking into anything that piques my localization radar. : ) For the Fate games however, I wouldn’t mind if there were specific scenes you wanted looked at if you could provide any specific shots/examples! The Trails games I’m spoiler weary about in case I ever play them so yeah. xD

      • Your welcome. I’m surprised to get a response to quickly, haha.

        A specific scene in the Fate games (misread that as Fates at first lol), eh… oh! I got it!

        So, there is one thing I’ve been curious about for a while now. So, the mobile game Fate Grand Order is a gacha game that focuses on including everyone’s favorite Servants (don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense to you, haha). FGO was localized by Aniplex USA and thus uses a different translator than Xseed did for the Extra subseries. As a result, we have two games that share the same characters, notably Nero and Tamamo, but handled by two completely different people.

        Now, I know this isn’t going to be a fair comparison to Grand Order, as that localization was rushed to release. Not only that, the translator doesn’t have a lot of time to revise what’s already out because they have to translate the upcoming event, which has a lot of story dialogue.

        So, in fairness to FGO, I’m curious to see if there are any differences in writing styles between the Japanese scripts of these two games.

        The specific scenes that I would like to use for the sake of comparison are Nero and Tamamo’s Interludes in Fate Grand Order (not sure if Tamamo’s are out yet, and Nero has one more that hasn’t been released in NA at time of writing), and their Your Room scenes from Fate Extra.

        What do you think? Sound good? Or did this fly over your head?

        • No problem! I try my best to reply to blog comments as soon as possible. : )

          I could do that if it’s just two specific scenes between two characters, sure! Do you by chance have some youtube vid links or the (Japanese) game script for those two scenes? It’d be a huge time saver if you do!

          • Unfortunately, I don’t have said videos off the top of my head. I think it would be best to get some context on the author’s general style though; Kinoku Nasu, the writer and creator of the Fate series, has a very poetic writing style.

            As a result, he’s infamously difficult to translate, but when done well, the writing is Shakespearian. And that’s not something that can be easily said for both American and Japanese writers.

    • I agree! I admit I wouldn’t have thought of Order/Chaos as the first things, but I assume some thinking was put into it to get to what we got : )

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