Happy Valentine’s Day! Today’s short post is by both popular request and personal curiosity (and sort of fits the theme of the day).
In Radiant Dawn Part 3 Chapter 1, there is a comedic scene between Shinon and Gatrie, which ends with Shinon saying the following:
You’re chasing after a laguz now? Gatrie, I swear you’d hit on a tree if I dressed it in a skirt. Tell me I’m wrong!
Let’s take a closer look at this line!
For context, the following lines are at the end of the “Kitten Smitten” conversation at base for Chapter 3-1. The full conversation can be read here, but basically Shinon learns (after an altercation with Lyre) that the girl Gatrie has a crush on is a laguz, leading to this exchange:
|Japanese||Literal Translation||Official Localization|
|[ガトリー]おれ、運命を感じるっす。間違いなく赤い糸っす。▼||Gatrie: It’s destiny, I can feel it. There’s no mistaking this red thread.||Gatrie: Don’t mock me, Shinon! This is serious. I feel it. It’s destiny! That girl and I are fated to be together!|
|[シノン]…今度はラグズかよ。ガトリー、おまえ節操ないにもほどがあるぜ……▼||Shinon: …so now we’re at Laguz? Gatrie, your standards have all but disappeared…||Shinon: You’re chasing after a laguz now? Gatrie, I swear you’d hit on a tree if I dressed it in a skirt. Tell me I’m wrong!|
So we can see the idea in Japanese is that Gatrie is convinced this is his destiny, with Shinon remarking that Gatrie has hit a new low, relating his attraction to a laguz to having no standards. (An alternate reading can be, “Gatrie, you’ve lost all control”, but this is much more awkward than it already is when literally translated). The Japanese focus is just on Shinon’s strong exasperation on the matter without citing any specific humorous examples.
As an aside the “red string” that Gatrie mentions is a literal translation of 赤い糸 (akaiito), and is very likely a reference to Chinese folklore of the “red string of fate” (or destiny) where fated lovers are said to be joined by a red string that ties to one pinky finger on each party. The red string is usually used across Japanese media that involves lovers, such as being prominently featured in the popular movie Your Name (though, personally the first example that always comes to mind for me is from the anime, InuYasha):
Anyway, I mention the above as Gatrie uses it to further emphasize that Lyre is indeed his destined partner.
Now, looking at the localization, we see references to the above thread are omitted. This is understandable, as the red thread allusion may be lost on the average western fan. However, the rest remains and makes it clear to the player that Gatrie firmly believes this is his destiny. (The part about “Don’t mock me!” is a complete localization addition as well).
Shinon’s line, the one we want to look at, is the one that is much more colorful. Rather than just talk about Gatrie’s new low in terms of standards, they instead put in the “I swear you’d hit on a tree” line to equate that lack of standards/control as perceived by Shinon. The line carries on the intent of the Japanese to express humorous exasperation on the matter, but does so by providing a ridiculous example to emphasize the absurdity in Shinon’s eyes.
This is expected, as this kind of difference fits the trend of how localization went about handling dialogue in FE9/10 in general.
As expected, the line in question is purely a creation of the localization, and did not exist with any particular equivalent in the Japanese. It carries out the intent of Shinon’s (strong) disapproval of Gatrie’s preference in a rather colorfully humorous way.
I will continue to look at fun differences between games. Any dialogue you’re interested in? Let me know in comments or via email!