My fellow Fire Emblem translator and colleague Rey (known as @shadwofchaos725) made an interesting observation on a quote said by Bridal Tharja upon summoning in Fire Emblem Heroes.
Namely, the quote had changed between languages likely due to its innuendo. Let’s take a quick look!
“I’m Tharja –just a typical spring bride! So, point me in the direction of my fated one, and I’ll handle the rest.”
I’m Tharja… a pure bride at the moment… So, honey…would you like dinner? Would you like a bath? Or…
So this may come off as odd at first, but it’s actually a phrase that appeals to the Japanese audience that is aware of the latter part of this phrase: “would you like dinner/bath/etc.”
She cuts off in the Japanese, but it is supposed to end with 私 (which means “me”), and sometimes it ends with わ・た・し, which is the same me, but spelled out (like”M-E”).
The full phrase is thus:
Would you like dinner? Would you like a bath? Or would you like me?
Together these are referred to as the 新婚三択 (shinkonsantaku lit: “three choice [questions] for the newly wed”).
It is a phrase often used in Japanese pop/otaku culture by the wife inviting the husband to bed. Indeed, just doing a google search for “新婚三択” will lead you to several examples of its usage across anime and games. (NSFW warning too, if your safe search isn’t on!)
The implication of such a phrase is that it is lead on for you to come to bed with her (the “pure bride at the moment” likely does not help things, considering 清らか is also used for pure in the “chaste” sense).
So, coming back to the point here, as Rey points out in colorful language:
Yes SHE FUCKING INVITED EKURA/KIRAN TO BED ON SUMMON
— Rey (レイ) (@shadwofchaos725) 2018年5月21日
So now when we look at the English line, we see it is indeed completely different. Why might that be?
Well for one it would theoretically be explicit content/implication given the age rating of the game and usual family friendly image of Nintendo in the west. However, she does stop before saying the full phrase, thus it being only useful for people who know the phrase to understand, and otherwise fly over the heads of those who haven’t heard the phrase before. It basically just relies on innuendo.
So a literal translation could work as it would likely be lost on an English speaking crowd, considering the “Or…” could just be interpreted as other requests that aren’t necessarily sexual. But of course, this may read off as awkward, or still carry the implications (due to the “pure”), so they figured they were better off doing away with it entirely.
Another interesting difference is in English, she asks to be directed to her fated one, where as in Japanese, she directly addresses you/the summoner. Perhaps they felt it more appropriate for her to still chase after Robin? Or perhaps they wanted the player to feel less uncomfortable? (Though, arguably, Tharja is likely meant to make you feel quite uncomfortable). But, in this case, clearly is meant to appeal to the player. Indeed, Robin was the avatar of the same player in FE13, after all.
Then again, given how the modern world is more interconnected than ever and pop culture goes beyond boundaries now, perhaps many in the west would recognize said phrase, too. Once again going back to the theory they wanted to avoid the issue entirely.
To further this point, a user EA575 pointed out on reddit:
It’s also one of her lines when you tap on her, but it cuts the bath part halfway: “Welcome home, dear. Would you like dinner? Or perhaps…” This was replaced with, “Welcome home, dear! I sacrificed a chicken for dinner~”
They’re basically avoiding anything related to that line entirely, as seen here.
In Japanese, Tharja uses innuendo with a line often used in pop culture referred to as the shinkonsantaku (“three-choice question for newly weds) implying she wants to take you/the summoner to bed right off the bat. It’s an appeal to the crowd that understands the line. In English, it was changed likely to avoid the innuendo entirely. Seems straightforward enough!
Please note that Rey brought this to attention, and this post serves simply as a reference point for the future. You may view his original tweet here.
There is a wiktionary entry on the shinkonsantaku too!
A general reminder that I just like to write about changes and trivia between versions. I don’t really have any strong opinions either way on this subject, and that it’s all in good fun!
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Yep, Tharja as usual.
Yes indeed xD
“Sacrificed a chicken for dinner?” XD
Sort of a running gag from her Winter version, where in one of her tap-lines she talks about cutting a chicken with her blade for Xmas.
Oh no, I think that poor chicken may need an investigation and post of its own now. xD