43 responses to “The Arte of Arte Naming”

  1. Arn

    Are you crazy Kaji? You should be grateful for having a Tales game in glorious english!

  2. Caphi

    Now tell us how you feel about Chromatus.

  3. BigAl

    They’ll hire you some day. Keep shooting for the sky *thumbs up*

  4. R

    I’m Japanese and thought of Time Disintergration as a totally-cool translation for NakiSigure.
    Oh yeah, for example Fall from Grace as Shining Fang Drop in Vesperia is a bit odd to me because the 4 kanjis doesn’t include any meanings of ‘grace’, but it still sounds cool and I would be throwing away my Xillia 2 now if Namco translated it like Drop of Shining Spirial.
    Sure, Shining Spirial Drop is fine, but sounds literally-translated. You know being literal is utterly different from being respectful. In this way Malign Gravity is better than Cruel Gravity. Fall from Grace exists as an actual idiom, even.

  5. Ace

    For the most part I’ve actually really enjoyed Xillia 2’s localization, at least in regard to a lot of the item and title descriptions. The main game itself appears to be pretty faithfully adapted as well, but I’m not intimately familiar with the Japanese script. I don’t doubt some of the arte translations are probably pretty awkward, but for me the most glaring flub has been with Kitty Dispatch. Most of the cats that are supposed to be references to previous protagonists seem to be rather sloppily translated. For example, there’s one that’s clearly supposed to be a reference to Natalia that’s instead named “Natalina” for some reason. Apparently the Stahn cat is also named “Stallone”. And the Woodrow cat is named Woodrow, which would be fine except they’ve been calling Woodrow “Garr” for sixteen years just to maintain internal consistency and now suddenly they’re not. And then there’s the one I can only guess is supposed to be Gaius as he appears in Xillia 1 and for some reason it’s named “Bilbo”. That one might be a reference to an entirely different character and I’ll never know because every time I try to figure out who it’s named after I just end up thinking about hobbits.

  6. zip

    Here’s an idea. Why not fix it yourself? Aaron from the Tales of Vesperia translation team coded an app called r3volution that modifies files on-the-fly. You can fix every arte name and whatever localization errors namco made and provide an r3volution script for Xillia 2. Of course this would require a PS3 with CFW.

  7. Next Project

    So, any new project since this project is dropped/abandoned/on hold/no progress?
    How about Tales of rebirth or Tales of destiny 2?

  8. Roman

    Hey you guys know how dark protection…and Raiginga, oh im sorry “Blue Jet” are both strikes from the sky? Well…what if we called raiginga…LIGHTNING PROTECTION! GENIUS! And Falling Snow and Sejinzeppa…are like…the same move…so how about we call Sejinzeppa…Falling Snow! And Shings mystic arte…is like “lightning Protection” so well call it…Super Lightning Protection!

  9. BigAl

    I’m sorry, the Tales series is dead. RIP Hearts

  10. Ark

    Geez, Namco’s been dropping the ball on their localizations a TON in the past year or so. Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment, and now this AND Hearts R. Not sure what’s been going on over there.

  11. BigAl

    So what is the deal with the cats? Why are some just named after the actual Tales characters (Lithia, Guy, Luke, for example) but there are others like Trigger, Natalina and Bilbo. Were they half and half on whether they should be direct references or that the player should try and figure it themselves? What the hell was going on there, I don’t understand the thought process here? Could they not have just chosen one or the other?

  12. Virsalus

    This is very insightful. I hope someone from the ranks of Bamco is actually reading this, maybe they can learn a thing or two!

  13. Paarish

    The translation company actually have a twitter account and do regular podcasts so I wouldn’t be surprised if they had seen this.

  14. MabinogiFan

    I would pay money for a documentary on how Tales games are localized. It could go into the voice recording process, translation process, and Namco’s localization philosophy.

  15. McTrickyVGM

    Ludger and Milla have a linked a linked arte called “Luminous Revolver” yet, the voice actors say “Luminary Revolver”.

  16. Shrimpy

    And let’s not start on the obvious translation mistakes that have existed since the very first localizations, like “grave” instead of “glaive”… Seriously, it’s a bunch of rock spears piercing through the target, I get the “earth element => grave” idea but the translators obviously never played the game to name it that.
    In Eternia there’s even a frikkin halberd named “grave”! (and no, it’s not even an earth-element weapon, just a crappy transcription of the katakanas… like the spell, really)

  17. Paarish

    8-4 are also behind the Hearts R translation as well. (As to be expected of course)

  18. Trill1996

    One thing I have to say about Namco Bandai (Or Bandai Namco, I have no idea) is that they are really not giving a flying “f” about their games, at least in the western side.
    I mean holy crap okay, Tales of Xillia 2/Tales of Hearts R, its just localization inconsistencies, still unforgivable but you can at least understand most of the words, and it has correct grammar (Well, correct me if I’m wrong, I havent played ToX2, and don’t plan on ToHR, there are games that have better translations that I can play). Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment was just a “We don’t give a ****!~” kind of move/attitude. They (apparently from what I’ve heard) took the Asian version English translation and just released it here and that is the end of it. Wow. I literally cannot fully understand most of the dialogue, and some things are either just Romanized or poorly translated… Like for example “Depth Impact”. It’s a sword skill. Um, I can see where that would work but “Death Impact” sounds WAY better. I don’t know the original script so I can’t say much on that. Also an enemy move is called “Kumo no ito” or “Neneki”. First one by a spider, and second by a slime enemy. I honestly don’t know what the hell is wrong with Namco Bandai but they need their crap together because I will literally never buy a game from them again if this keeps up.

  19. RG

    I’m happy I gave up with Tales after learning of Zestiria. The outdated cast, the trying-too-hard fantasy story, Everything. Not even a bad ass older character, if I were young I wouldn’t care, but I’m not. I like to see things from different perspectives, that’d require a variety of cast. It’d be fine if they went Rebirth, but nope, SPIRITS!!! Dragons being neither good or evil? Envoys of destruction, eh? That means they’re bad and must be stopped from destroying the world in some form or way. Couldn’t make one a party member? They have a budget to make cameo hi ougi’s a pre-order bonus.

    Let’s not forget the whole.. they’re going to feature a lot of new things, so that’ll break any SPIRIT of the game. I’m still peeved over Rowen’s ‘incant’, if you will. It’s Italian, yet they chose new Italian words. That is shameful to Italy.

    I like to think of Xillia as the start of the Kangaroo era.

    Also, Nakishigure, could be twisted as.. in English, you’re slicing up the enemy badly to the point where they’re crying, a shower, if you will.

    And really, telling Kaji to do things? You know, he kind of is pointing out, gee, I don’t know.. VOICE ACTING? The lines, they’re said. What is said does NOT match what is written. THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. Did they add any periods to emphasize abbreviations in their names? If they did, that’s the only plausible one for lengthy names. BUT, THEY DIDN’T ADD THOSE.

    I mean..to make a script to re-work Xillia 2? What’s the point? It’s not even that good of a game. It’s not Ar Tonelico II ranked, and doesn’t need the re-localization effort. But, here’s the difference. Xillia 2 should’ve had effort put into it to begin with.

    As well as, you think he can fix the voice acting? In Xillia 1, they have major speech problems. IS IT WINDMEEL OR WINDMILL? IS IT GOLEM OR GOLUM? I am never forgetting those two skits. To think, it was a special pre-order version on day 1. Not worth it.

    There’s supporting your favorite series, and then there’s supporting bad translations.
    Hearts R doesn’t look to be very good. You can say BE GLAD WE GET ENGLISH TALES.
    But, you’re an idiot. We’re not receiving English Tales. We’re receiving a butchered portion of it.
    When a character speaks 1 sentence, but fills out the WHOLE TEXTBOX in ENGLISH, it’s not Tales. Fans are not idiots. They’re not brain-dead. However, when they stop caring in both languages, what’s the point of being a fan?

  20. Roman Noodles

    Uhhh @RG you know that lines in Japanese lake up more space than in English.

  21. Blackkat

    Aww, been a while since your last post Kajitani. How I miss them.

    I will also be quite saddened if you’re patch is never released. As in ever. Of course not before or near the launch of Hearts R in the US as you could be attacked for interrupting sales, but sometime later at least.

    I will buy the game, again as I have an import, but I’m not sure what to think on that. While I want them to know that there are fans of the “Tales of” games and hope that they keep bringing them over, I don’t want to support such poor translations, localizations and voice acting. So buying it can send the wrong message that they are allowed to do sub par work and still make money. Yet if no one buys it, they can use that as an excuse not to bring over any, thinking no matter what it won’t sell in the US.

    I also want to play with not only a good translation that is faithful to the series, but also the original voice acting (something we still don’t get with our localized copies, and they cannot claim there is a lack of disc space anymore). On top of that, the battle system in the DS and the Vita version are different, and I was looking forward to some old school sidescrolling “Tales of” fights like in the old days (not to say I don’t like the 3D ones, love them, but it was nice to see a sort of blast from the past). On top of that, normally in localizations such as these with cameo characters, they are normally cut because of licensing rights. I would like to play through the game in my native language with all the content in tact.

    To bad the menus are not voiced or I could go through the game completely on my own. Pretty good at the spoken (understand about 80-90% of what is said), but my reading comprehension is quite lacking…. So many import games without any voice acting at all sadly don’t work to well for me until I learn more (which I sadly don’t have the time for at the moment).

    I appreciate all the work you’ve put into this and understand that you owe nothing to anyone to get this out. It’s hard to find people who are willing to put so much of their time into something without getting bored or quitting before even making it half way through.

    Like with the Innocence fan release, I’ve not only played that, but own an official import of that as well. And would still buy it again if officially localized to show my support (at least toward the series at least).

    – Kat

  22. beck

    Needlessly nitpicky and borderline weeaboo as always, not that some of the issues you bring up aren’t valid.

  23. StahnMan

    There’s hope for 2015 get hyped.

  24. biggy

    The vita ver looks so shitty the more screens I see.

    Kaji, please save us ;_;

  25. Blackkat

    @beck
    I don’t think you understand what the term “Weeaboo” means. The term is used for people who want to be wish to be Japanese. They are obsessed with both Japan and it’s culture so much that they act as if they are from there and treat it all as it is better than every other culture.

    I have not seen Kajitani act like that once. Instead he has been quite logical in his explanations and has shown his dislike for what has been shown of the translation. Without going on about anything about being fanatical about Japan itself, he has just shown that he is a fan of the Tales Of series and he clearly appreciates consistency and proper use of grammar.

    – Kat

  26. biggy

    I want to hear your thoughts on Zestiria, Reve Unitia and all the new Hearts R screens and vids. Please give us another posting soon.

  27. A Crash Korse in How Not to Localize

    […] This is not because they didn’t have some incomprehensible Arte naming decisions that make Xillia 2’s debacle look like a masterpiece, but because unlike Xillia 2, there is so much wrong with the core […]

  28. Kyle

    I don’t believe the amount of adverse feedback you’re receiving for this (I’ll call it an) article.

  29. Kyle

    (As I feared, that reply was posted without allowing me the convenience to clarify the following:)

    I’ve (among others, I’m sure) shared your feelings for quite some time as well. Hearts R is out, and as you’ve seen, the arte names didn’t get much more accurate.

    My favorite bastardization—if even that, by definition—is the translation they gave to 桜花鶺鴒・鼓星, literally “Cherry Blossom Motacillidae (Wagtail/Longclaw) Drum Star”. They named it “Beauty and Beast”. Not “Sakura Longclaw Starshot”—or “Star Bang” (however one would make use of “drum”). They made it “Beauty and Beast”. Absolutely no priority went into ‘any’ of the kanji. They decided, “Hey, she’s a ‘beauty’ and he’s a ‘beast’. Such contradiction. Yeah, that’ll be it.” Hardly any moves utilized the actual Japanese names as a basis for the translations, now that I think about it!

    I could write an entire speech just as you have about this matter (matching your message) and clearly so could a lot of other fans, as we’ve see above. I think of artes (that you learn, use, and strategize with) as a good sixth of any Tales game experience (a realistically significant portion). Their translations deserve some damn attention. Symphonia was my first game in the series, and, however inaccurate the translations were, the artes, how you learned which by doing what, and their names, were the habitual focus of my enthusiasm.

  30. Blackkat

    =^.^= Good to see that at least you’re alive.

    – Kat

  31. Some Fan QA for Zestiria

    […] covered the history of Arte naming in the West in my post about how Xillia 2’s Arte names sucked. (They were still better than Hearts R’s.) I also talked a bit about how to go about naming […]

  32. Mystic Artes *Spoilers*

    […] It would be almost as bad as naming a base arte something ridiculously over-the-top like Time Disintegration or something. Still, we need it to sound damn cool in ToDR, so we need a name that leaves some room […]

  33. Not Telling You

    Am I supposed to kowtow and say, “Be glad we’re getting the game at all!”, like so many of the fanbase who appear to be shameless enablers of this sort of subpar localization performance?

    Wow, you’re kind of being an asshole with this comment. A lot of the fanbase doesn’t consist of “shameless enablers of subpar localization”. Many folks are aware of these inconsistencies, but what are we supposed to do once the game is released? Protest? People would rather play and enjoy the game than get caught up in things. Sure it’s annoying and inconsistency is horrible, but it’s not fair to point your finger at everyone else and call them the root cause of the problem.

  34. Blackkat101

    You’re alive =^.^=

    And wow, just did my monthly check on the site (cause I still have hope that you’ll get back to it and release it someday, I still cannot understand my Japanese copy well enough to enjoy the story and while I have the Hearts R edition, it’s so bad I couldn’t play through it all) and there are a handful of horrible bashing. That never gets anyone anywhere.

    While Kajitani-Eizan is (probably) not going to release it (sad as it is, but I still cannot help but checking), swearing, name calling and the like isn’t any way to get someone to do what you want. If anything, personally, I would become more stubborn the more people are an ass. But that’s just me.

  35. Anonymous

    Could you finally take care of all the troll comments in the post you made last April? In case you haven’t noticed, someone keeps posting false information about a link to a full Tales of Hearts patch he claims you hid on this site.

  36. Alex

    Ahem, yeah, that person should be ashamed of themselves.

    *Goes back playing ToH DS.

  37. emeralkat

    Well, at least you’re admitting you should be ashamed of yourself.

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