Project Octopath Traveler: How is Helgenish in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English scripts. Last time, I looked at a scene from late in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

Today’s post comes from the coming game Project Octopath Traveler for Nintendo Switch. The game demo was released recently, and I was playing through it when I came across a scene I wanted to check.

The scene in question is at the start of Primrose’s path where she has to deal with the rather sleazy manager Helgenish. Considering some of the things he says, I wanted to see both versions.

So let’s take a look!


 

The only context needed is that Primrose is apparently a dancer in Helgenish’s servitude, as well as his favorite of the girls.

Japanese Literal Official Localization
Helgenish: ぐずぐずするな! 客が待ちくたびれてるぞ 前座ども行った、行ったたっぷりと稼いで来い!!

・・・出来の悪い猫どもめプリムロゼ、お前だけだ儂が頼りにしとるのは

Primrose: 身に余るお言葉ですわ支配人様

Helgenish:お前が舞台に立ってるからこの酒場は大きくなった だが、勘違いするなよ 誰のお陰かわかってるな?

Primrose: はい、感謝しています

Helgenish:無知な小娘に儂が一から教えてやったんだ

Primrose: ・・・・・・

Helgenish: *SLAP* ・・愛想笑いは、どうした?誰のお陰でいい暮らしができてると思ってる? いっぱしの踊子になるまで育ててやったのは・・・この儂だ いいか、恩を忘れるなよ?

Primrose: ・・・・・・・・・はい、支配人様

Helgenish: ふふ、それでいい・・・・・・儂は素直な猫が好きだ 舞台が終わったら いつものように儂の部屋においで やさしく、なでてやろう・・・

Helgenish: Quit dilly-dallying! The customers are gonna get tired of waiting! The opening act is starting, so get out there and earn your keep!

…Those useless cats. You’re the only reliable one that I can count on, Primrose.

Primrose: That’s more praise than I deserve, Mr. Manager Sir.

Helgenish: Ever since you appeared on stage, this tavern of mine has grown considerably. But don’t misunderstand me. You know who got you this far, right?

Primrose: Yes. I am forever thankful.

Helgenish: You were just a stupid little girl. I taught you everything you know.

Primrose: …

Helgenish: *Slap* What’s with that fake smile, huh? Did you forget who enabled you to live such a good life? Be grateful I raised you to be the wonderful dancer you are today!

Primrose: … Yes, Mr.Manager Sir.

Helgenish: Heh heh, good. I like an obedient cat. When the performance ends, I’ll be waiting in my room to pet you ever so gently –just like always~

Helgenish: Do I keep you women to titter here in the shadows? My customers are waiting for their entertainment! The opening act should be on that stage already. Now, get out there and earn your keep!

What a bunch of useless strays… But not you, Primrose… You are the only one I can rely on.

Primrose: You flatter me… Master.

Helgenish: Oh, hardly. Why, this tavern’s custom has increased tenfold since you stepped on our stage! But do not go forgetting yourself. It was I who groomed you for this role.

Primrose: And I will forever be grateful for that, Master.

Helgenish: You were an ignorant girl when I picked you up. Completely useless. I’ve taught you everything you know.

Primrose: …

Helgenish: *Slaps* What happened to your sweet little smile? Who puts a roof over your head, and food on your plate? Who bought the jewels that adorn your pretty neck? Who made you the most sought-after dancer in this dusty old town? It was me –all me. You owe me, kitten. And I’ll see that debt repaid.

Primrose: … Yes, Master…

Helgenish: Good then. Purr sweetly and I may give you a treat. Don’t dally when you’re done with your show. I will be waiting in my chamber. I’ll have you purr for me some more.

 

 

A quick note, in Japanese Primrose calls him (literally) “Sir Manager.” It is really redundant in English so “Master” was a good choice (goes well with the slave/cat style treatment too).

I didn’t really decorate the “literal” translation as much as I normally do this time simply to show it’s differences with the localization. As you can see, the gist of it is the same, meaning the localization changed little to no meaning. That means to show the things that did change, we have to gaze at nuance, which requires an awkward literal translation in some places.

You can see in the localization that Helgenish is a generally terrible person, built up to be the typical sleazy harem-owning type of guy. He is the same in Japanese, talking in a very masculine, dominating, and rough way.

In both you can see he refers to them as cats/kittens throughout the dialogue. He of course slaps Primrose in both, and invites her to his room after the stage, too.

A particular detail I liked that the localization did was emphasize his self centered-ness. In Japanese he uses the pronoun “washi” to refer to himself, which is basically a very snobby way of going about it in this context. You can see how in English he says “it was I” for instance in its place.

The differences come from a few small things. For one, in Japanese, she seems to have a forced smile on her after the line previously, where as in English the smile faded away. (Japanese he asks why she’s putting on a fake smile, in English he asks “what happened to the smile?”) That can still imply her usual smile became a fake one, it’s unclear! Either way results in her getting slapped.

After the slap, his English dialogue is much more colorful than the straightforward Japanese one. It’s a good way to emphasize just how much control this man has over her and wants her to be sure she knows it. In general, he talks more in English and has much more “colorful” dialogue, as is often the case in localization! Traits that are expressed with just a few inflections in Japanese often have to be emphasized in different ways for an English audience to get the same feeling a Japanese reader might. This often results in “punching up,” a term you may see me use a lot through these posts.

Lastly, the line in question regarding meeting him after the show. So, in English, he will “have her purr for him some more.” That can be taken in many different ways. In Japanese, he says “I’ll pet you (specifically word for an animal).” That can also be taken in many ways, but it is interesting that the Japanese focuses on the action (of petting) and the English on the result (purring). Both ways are reducing her to the level of an animal.

One notable difference however is in Japanese, he says “just like always,” implying this is a very much recurring thing he does with her. In English, it could be taken as the first time, or one of many times. It’s not as explicitly stated. So that was one interesting difference. Regardless, one time is sure to still be horrible enough considering his general treatment of Primrose and the other girls.

In short:

Helgenish is exactly the same. The localization conveys his cruelty and character rather well. The usual “punch-ups” to dialogue are to help emphasize character traits that are obvious to the Japanese readers through inflections and general tone that are hard to translate into English directly. As a result, he speaks a lot more in English. The only changes come from small nuances. Notable examples include getting slapped for a forced smile rather than her smile fading, as well as how her “post-show visit” would be “just like always” in Japanese, rather than the more vague one in English (in terms of how many times this happens). Both have the equal amount of innuendo, however.

References:

Infographic summary:

Below is a shareable infographic.


So what do you think of the above dialogue? Would you have done anything differently to emphasize those small nuances? Let me know below!

I will continue to look at fun differences between games. Any dialogue you’re interested in? Let me know in comments or via email.

If you like the comparison work I do (or any other translations I do), please feel free to support me by donating! I do this all on my valuable free time, and so every little donation really helps me out. : )

Donate Button

Advertisements

Breath of the Wild: How do those sand seal puns work in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

Screen shot from here.

This is part of a series of comparing the Japanese and English versions of the game. Read more about that here! And feel free to leave a request or curiosity on the comments here or on that page.

The section question regarding Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes from personal curiosity.

So in the Gerudo Town in the game, there is a woman who sells sand seals. She makes quite a few puns (as seen on the image at the top of the page), and so I’m sure many were curious at what that may have been in Japanese.

So let’s take a look!

Continue reading

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Nintendo Dream Interview (July 2017) [Complete]

I spent the whole last week  translating an interview about  Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. It was featured in the July 2017 issue of Nintendo Dream (released May 20th, 2017). I had to find and buy the magazine too! This post is the entire interview in one place for your convenience (you may notice the last few days have snippets from it, separating various sections).

A big thanks to VincentASM on serenesforest.net for referring me to the fact that nobody had translated it yet (that we know of). Please link back if you use any part of the interview as I put a lot of time into it. The original Japanese transcript I (re)typed up is available by request.

I recommend reading a previous interview about this game as some things the devs said in it are referenced.

Please note the third section has spoilers. The section has  a clearly marked spoiler warning from the magazine and me, so please be weary.

Lastly, this interview took countless hours of valuable free time to transcribe/translate/edit…  not to mention I had to buy the magazine itself. But I’m glad to have had the opportunity to bring this all to you! If you’re feeling generous and want to help support my passion of translating, please use the button below!

Donate Button

Continue reading

Breath of the Wild: How do the “-son”‘s work in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

This is part of a series of comparing the Japanese and English versions of the game. Read more about that here! And feel free to leave a request or curiosity on the comments here or on that page.

This is the question a few people have asked me:

“How do the -son names (Bolson, Hudson, etc) work in Japanese?”

Well, let’s take a quick look!  Quick context: There’s a group of characters with names that end in “-son” in the game as part of a side quest. I was curious about this one myself so was glad someone asked!

Continue reading

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Fan Comic Translation (1)

Today I translated a fun, single page comic that puts things into perspective, based on Breath of the Wild.

This comic was originally drawn by artist @sbrk_koo . See the original in the gallery here.

So please keep in mind I did not draw these. I simply translated them. I did however have to edit the graphics slightly to get the English sound effects in there!

If you have any brief fan comic/picture requests, or are feeling kind enough to donate, please use the “DONATE” button on the top right of this page!

Fire Emblem Echoes: Dengeki Developer Interview (April 2017)

I spent the last two days translating an interview about the newly released Fire Emblem Echoes. It was featured in the June 2017 issue of Dengeki Nintendo (released April 21st, 2017).

A big thanks to VincentASM on serenesforest.net for sending me the scans. Please link back if you use any part of the interview as I put a lot of time into it. The original scans of the interview are available only by request, as well as the Japanese transcript I (re)typed up.

Some important questions are addressed, such as where the title came from, why Gaiden, and other fun tidbits of other Fire Emblem games. Enjoy!


Continue reading

Breath of the Wild: What was the “neigh” scene like in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

This is part of a series of comparing the Japanese and English versions of the game. Read more about that here! And feel free to leave a request or curiosity on the comments here or on that page.

The section question regarding Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes from a reader on twitter.

It is a very simple one. “What do the two boys (pictured above) say in Japanese?” They are found at the Dueling Peaks stable during the day, for reference.

It is a good question as the joke in English revolves around the English specific “neigh.”

So let’s take a look!

Continue reading