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evandixon

psmd Why I like the French version better than English

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I am a native English speaker, but I study French on the side.  One day, I thought to myself, "Why not try playing Pokémon Mystery Dungeon in French?"  So I did.  I started with Explorers of Sky, and there's not really much to say about it besides practicing reading a foreign language while learning one really helps.  When Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon came out, I lost interest in that playthrough and moved on.  While the French Explorers of Sky (Explorateurs du Ciel) was pretty straightforward translation that said more-or-less the same thing as its English counterpart, in Super Mystery Dungeon (Pokémon Méga Donjon Mystère) it's clear that the team took a few liberties... and it worked out great, especially in comparison to the English translation, where at some points there's obvious errors in translation.  I'm going to point out a few of my favorite differences, including the English text, the French text, and my best loose translation of the French text back into English (literal translations are hard to read, so oftentimes loose translations are better).

This post contains unmarked spoilers.  Stop reading now if you have not played the game and want to avoid spoilers.

1. Realizing you're a child

English

Nuzleaf: Why, your childish pranks even got me caught up in your mess, I reckon!

Hero: (Childish pranks?  Do I look like a child or something to the Pokémon in this world...?)

French

Pifeuil: Heu là ! Avec tes bêtises, me v'là embringué dans des histoires de gamin !

Héro: (De... de gamin ? Est-ce que je suis un Pokémon enfant, dans ce monde ?)

French -> English

Nuzleaf: Why, your nonsense got me caught up in the business of a child!

Hero: (Of... of a child?  Am I a Pokémon child in this world?)

This difference is a minor one, but shows that instead of simply looking like a child, you've become one.  Gates to Infinity's English translation did the same thing: you think to yourself about how you look like a Pokemon, rather than thinking how you've become one; however, I don't know off-hand what the French version says.

2. Entering Foreboding Forest

English

Pancham: [To hero] Where'd you come from?  You're not from the village.

Pancham: What's the matter?  Skitty got your tongue?

Shelmet: Well, no one's gonna understand you if you don't ever speak up.

French

Pandespiègle: D'où tu sors ? T'es pas un gamin du village, ça c'est sûr.

Pandespiègle: ...  Bah alors ? T'as perdu ta langue ?

Escargaume: Tu sais, y'a un truc qu s'appelle « communiquer ». C'est pratique.

French -> English

Pancham: Where did you come from?  You're not a child from the village, that's for sure.

Pancham: ... So?  Have you lost your tongue?

Shelmet: You know, there's this thing called "communication".  It's useful.

It took an extra few months for the European version to be released, presumably to perfect the non-English translations.  I say it certainly shows with things like this.

3. School Life: Evolution

English

Audino: All right, children! It's time for health class.

Audino: Today we will be learning about evolving.

Shelmet: What? Evolution?!

Partner: Isn't that, like, maturing quickly?

Pancham: What are you talking about?  Don't you know what Evolution is?

Pancham: Evolving just means that you get bigger.  I for one want to get bigger.

Audino: Well... That's one way to sum it up, yes.

Goomy: What? We'll get bigger?!

Audino: It's not only your bodies growing larger, though. It causes many other changes.

Audino: Evolving does bring you closer to being an adult... so in that sense...

Audino: [Partner]'s assumptions are not entirely off base.

Deerling: (What's that supposed to mean?)

French

Nanméouïe : C'est l'heure du cours de sciences !

Nanméouïe : Aujourd'hui, les enfants, je vais vous parler de l'évolution.

Escargaume: Lévo... l'évolu-quoi ?

La Partenaire: L'ébullition ? Genre quand ça bout et qu'il y a des bulles ?

Pandespiégle: Pfff, n'importe quoi ! T'es complètement à l'ouest !

Pandespiègle: L'évolution, c'est quand tu deviens un grand Pokémon balèze ! Ça me fait trop envie !

Nanméouïe: Hé bien... oui, on peut voir ça comme ça.

Mucuscule: C'est vrai, on peut devenir plus grand ?

Nanméouïe: Oui, sauf que l'évolution ne concerne pas que la taille, mais aussi bien d'autres aspects.

Nanméouïe: Elle permet en quelque sorte de devenir adulte... Votre corps bouillonne...

Nanméouïe: [La Partenaire] n'avait pas tout à fait tort en parlant d'ébullition, en fait !

Vivaldaim: (Je ne vois pas trop le rapport, mais si Madame Nanméouïe le dit...)

French -> English

Audino: It's time for science class!

Audino: Today, children, we're going to talk about evolution.

Shelmet: Evo... evolu-what?

The Partner: Boiling?  Like when it boils and there's bubbles?  [Note: the difference between the words for "boiling" and "evolution" is the same as the difference between "b" and "v"]

Pancham: Pfff, whatever!  That's completely wrong!

Pancham: Evolution, that's when you become a big strong Pokémon.  That makes me want to evolve too!

Audino: Well, yes.  One could see it like that.

Goomy: That's true, you can become bigger?

Audino: Yes, except evolution is not just about size, but also a bunch of other aspects.

Audino: It allows you in some way to become an adult... your body boiling/seething...

Audino: [The Partner] is not entirely mistaken when talking about boiling, in fact!

Deerling: (I don't see how that relates, but if Mrs. Audino says so...)

This is probably my favorite.  Too bad this joke just doesn't work in English (and that the English translation team missed out on opportunities like this).

4. School Life: The Temperature

English

[The bell sounds]

Goomy: Phew! I thought today would never end!

Pancham: It's a real drag lately, huh?  And it's been so crazy hot all the time.

The Partner: Yeah. When it gets this hot, I feel feverish and my brain gets flunky!

Shelmet: Your brain gets "flunky," huh? More like you're kind of flaky, [Partner]!

Espur: [Partner], I don't think that's the word choice you were going for.

French

Mucuscule: Pfiouuu, c'est enfin fini !

Pandespiègle: J'suis trop crevé...  Vous trouvez pas qu'y fait super chaud ?

La Partenaire: Ouais... Il fait vraiment chaud, c'est la faute du « réchauffage climatique » !

Escargaume: Bouahaha ! Mais quelle gourde ! Elle sait même pas parler correctement !

Espur: Mais non, [Partner], on dit le « réchauffement climatique ».

French -> English

Goomy: Phew, it's finally here!  [Summer vacation]

Pancham: I'm so exausted...  Do you not find that it's super hot?

The Partner: Yeah, it's really hot; it's the fault of "global reheating"!

Shelmet: Hahaha!  What a blockhead!  She doesn't even know how to speak correctly!

Espur: No, [Partner], it's called "global warming".

As an inexperienced French reader, this is the same kind of mistake I'd probably make.  Note the difference in the suffix of "réchauffage" and "réchauffement".  "-age" is more in the context of cooking, while "-ment" is what she meant.  Also, in case you didn't know, the French translation assumes the player to be male and the partner to be female (hence Shelmet referring to the partner as "she").  This is because there's not that much wiggle room to control what the characters say in response to the gender of the player and partner.

Items

Most of the item names are more-or-less the same in both languages.  A few of the emera's stand out.

The Type Bulldozer is an "Ignore-Type", which doesn't sound as cool in my opinion.  They make up for it by making the Toughness Emera the "Esprit Tenace", or Tenacious Spirit, which is way cooler.

There's various other differences, but these stood out to me.  Overall, both translations do the game justice, and the partner is just as adorable in both.  ("[Hero]! Good mor-ning!" and "Ohé, [Héro] ! Coucooou !").

Hopefully this was an interesting read.  If anyone who's more experienced in French found I made any mistakes in the translations, feel free to let me know.

[Upon learning the Nexus is destroyed regularly] English: "(From what I saw yesterday, I can imagine...)", French: "(Eh ben, la vie n'est pas facile pour ce pauvre Pilier Atlas...)", French->English: "(Oh, well, life is not easy for the poor Pokémon Nexus)".

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9 hours ago, Purin said:

Would be interesting to see how it compares to the original Japanese script.

I second that.

Ça serait bien intéressant de voir les différences textuelles et de les documentés. Je suppose que l’on découvrirait que le text japonais est beaucoup plus “libre”  et moins “child friendly” à comparer de l'Anglais ou du Français qui se serait quant à lui fortement censuré et épuré de toutes références ressenties comme étant trop japonaises. 

Btw, did anyone ever make a complete text dump for xy oras & sun moon? I recall there being one for English but I’m not sure for the other languages?

Edited by Eirikr

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7 minutes ago, Eirikr said:

I second that.

Ça serait bien intéressant de voir les différences textuelles et de les documentés. Je suppose que l’on découvrirait que le text japonais est beaucoup plus “libre”  et moins “child friendly” à comparer de l'Anglais ou du Français qui se serait quant à lui fortement censuré et épuré de référence senti comme trop japonaise.

Je peut obtenir le text japonais, mais je ne le comprends pas, donc nous avons besoin de quelqu'un qui peut le traduire.  Est-ce il y a du text spécifique que tu veux voir?

For all of you who can't read French: I can get the Japanese text, but I can't understand it, so we'll need someone who can translate it.  Is there any specific text you want to see?

Edited by evandixon

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On 1/3/2017 at 5:22 AM, evandixon said:

It took an extra few months for the European version to be released, presumably to perfect the non-English translations.  I say it certainly shows with things like this.

The American version has all of the European files. I'm pretty sure they didn't change anything during those 3 months, even though I haven't actually checked.

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5 hours ago, Celeste said:

The American version has all of the European files. I'm pretty sure they didn't change anything during those 3 months, even though I haven't actually checked.

I haven't analyzed the files in the NA ROM, but I've seen reports those are incomplete.  I looked at a few of the strings a while ago, and while I don't remember any examples, the EU version sounds more natural and less formal.  Hopefully in a day or two I'll be able to take a closer look and provide examples.

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There's an incomplete and uncompressed copy of the files that would be unused regardless. I think the compressed ones are complete.

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5 hours ago, Celeste said:

There's an incomplete and uncompressed copy of the files that would be unused regardless. I think the compressed ones are complete.

The NA ROM's packed and unpacked files are identical.  This is how I found out how to unpack the language files: the filenames aren't stored, only hashes of them are, so I had to find which hash for packed files corresponded with which filename for unpacked files.  Only at most 2-4 files out of hundreds did not match in each language.

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There are a few things that confuse me about it. The way you put it in makes it sound like a lot of text is missing, but if I compare them in a text editor that doesn't really seem the case to me. What does the American version lack exactly? Am I missing something?

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On 3/1/2017 at 2:31 PM, evandixon said:

Je peut obtenir le text japonais, mais je ne le comprends pas, donc nous avons besoin de quelqu'un qui peut le traduire.  Est-ce il y a du text spécifique que tu veux voir?

For all of you who can't read French: I can get the Japanese text, but I can't understand it, so we'll need someone who can translate it.  Is there any specific text you want to see?

It might be interesting to look at the specific wording used in XY to describe the mega stones and their origin. I seem to remember that at some point when the player reaches Anistar city, professor Sycamore joins up and begins speaking about mega stones and their origins, comparing them to fire stones. It is, as of yet, really unclear what mega stones are exactly despite them being part of XY’s (albeit, extremely thin) plot.

Also I’d be interested to see a direct translation of the Japanese text concerning the “Sinnoh myths” found in the library in DPP.

Il serais à mon avis également fort intéressant de comparer la traduction française pour les éléments narratifs que j’ai mentionnés ci-haut.

Edited by Eirikr

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