Translating video games is tough work. For one, there are often a variety of cultural references which are difficult to get proper in a distinct language – keep in mind Ace Lawyer’s clumsy localisations again within the day? However much more vital than tradition is puns, and puns often simply do not translate in any respect. The mark of an awesome translator is the flexibility to pun in two languages.
In a protracted Twitter thread, recreation developer Amandine Coget mentioned the French translation of Hades, noting errors made throughout localisation and wonderful/horrible use of the French language in the case of jokes.
Localising into French permits for some improbable wordplay, like the usage of “grenade de puissance”, which may imply each “Energy Grenade” and the equal of the English, “Pom(egranate) of Energy”.
Skelly, Zagreus’ goal dummy, is translated as “Thados”, or “tas d’os”, which means “bonepile”. The skull-based enemies have a variety of pun names, like “Crânalgame”, which is a pile of skulls, combining the phrases for “cranium” and “amalgam/jumble”.
Nevertheless, French is notoriously dangerous for ungendered pronouns, which means that every one enemies are gendered as male, and Chaos – who’s referred to within the English model with they/them pronouns, as a result of Chaos is an unknowable entity – is talked about by others with awkwardly-phrased sentences that try to keep away from utilizing pronouns in any way.
One primary criticism that Coget appears to have greater than others is the usage of the well mannered, formal “vous” versus informal “tu” when addressing others, particularly when combined in with informal phrases like “style”, the equal of the English “like”. You understand, like, like this?
It seems that Zagreus addresses all of the Olympians utilizing the formal “vous”, they usually all (other than Athena, often) handle him with the extra casual “tu”, implying a sure relationship between them the place Zagreus is seen as beneath their station. Nevertheless, when speaking to himself – which Zag does typically – he nonetheless employs the extra formal phrasing, and when speaking to Hades, he can not seem to resolve if he needs to be well mannered, or use a ton of slang.
Apparently, Dusa makes use of “vous” when addressing the Prince, exhibiting how she respects (and possibly fears) him, however Zag calls her the identical, making their relationship extraordinarily formal… at least to start with.
Hypnos – the sleepy name-taker of Hades’ halls – turns into a lot creepier within the French model, with translations that flip his unique phrase of “possibly when you weren’t so tasty, they’d depart you alone” phrase (when killed by a Numbskull) into “craquant”, a phrase meaning each “crunchy” and “cute”. It is a play on phrases, however one which comes throughout a lot sleazier than the unique.
And in case you are questioning: sure, they translated Charon. French grumbles are completely different to English ones, it might appear.
For these of you curious about languages and localisation, you possibly can try the full tweet thread right here, with an enormous thanks to Amandine Coget’s insightful ideas and translations. Have you ever performed any video games with actually good localisations? Chat to us about your favorite translated puns within the feedback under!