53 responses to “A Crash Korse in How Not to Localize”

  1. biggy

    Now the waiting game for the true and superior Tales of Hearts translation experience begins. I hope it is soon.

  2. Arn

    What is worse for me is the lack of dub in this. If it was dubbed with those same lines I wouldn’t have cared much since it’s just strayed from the source as a whole. But with the japanese audio in the back the whole thing is too weird since with little knowledge in (spoken)japanese you can tell the difference on some of the dialogues, let alone people who actually knows it.

    That’s why I think Namco have no hand on this localization, they simply give Gamespot the dev tools and ignored the whole thing.

    One thing I like to mention too is how the fanbase is too acceptable with this kind of thing simply because of ~omg teilis gaem in english~, like if they don’t buy this they will never play a Tales game without moonrunes ever again.

  3. asga

    This is what I feel when I’m playing the game, maybe with English dub it won’t be noticeable but for people who know Japanese (or even a little) will be irked with this kinda of quality. Sadly to say I only play 1 hour of English version and abandoned it.

  4. ...

    Please help other projects that the officials don’t interested if you have spendable time, since likely your posts about Heart are just a waste of time if you think they will caught their attention. Show them that you can do it better on another Tales series.

  5. Klint-psk

    Kaji, please, I beg you, we all beg you. Leave a year and half pass and then resume your translation. Both throughhim and you are equally pissed, we are pissed, and in January of 2016 nobody will care for this version anymore.
    Maybe you are already planning to do this and prefer not to announce it in order to support the sales of the PSVita’s version. If that’s the case, you still have my support and best wishes.

  6. Yare

    Thanks for the article Kaji. It was a very interesting read about what a bad translation this game had.

  7. Bob

    You sound butthurt. The localization is perfectly fine. I’m sorry it doesn’t stand up to your glorious NIHON standards.

  8. =_=

    ^ Thanks for the intelligent contribution, Bob. Your words have made all rethink their views.

  9. MabinogiFan

    Fascinating read. Game localization is something that actually really interests me. I’ve always wanted to get into the game industry, but I couldn’t pin down exactly what I wanted to do. I’m taking computer science at the moment since I’m sure a degree in that would be of use in the game development field, but I might wanna learn more about localization on the side. Maybe learn Japanese eventually too. Any tips you can give me to help me get started Kaji?

  10. Soma

    Ok, instead of complaining at your work, I will complain Bamco’s work..I mean, WTf is dis shiet?!…Looks like a novice just translated the whole game!!

    Who the hell is in charge of its quality assurance?!… What a crappy “Remake”.

  11. Flamzeron

    I can understand all of his points. I agree that the dialogue is punched up too much.

    Though, I see the “Like moths to a flame” thing differently. To me, it sounds like Incarose is saying Kohak and Hisui were easy to find. They are obviously taking liberties with her speech, but I feel like the general point of the line was carried over.

  12. ...

    Comparison: Someone thinks he make a hilarious joke while other think it’s lame.
    I could also say that your translation is too stiff that make the conversations emotionless. You can translate them words to words since Eastern languages aren’t that simple to translate. I have a little struggle to translate “ganbatte” to English since I don’t know what word would be perfect for it.

  13. Roman Noodles

    You know, maybe they just were on time constraints and didn’t have time to do a good localization. Doesn’t justifie anything sooo…

  14. tyson

    but language is flexible. It’s not really about what “word” fits. It’s more about how to convey a message. Like, take “gomen”. You’d say it’s a short-hand for “sorry” but there are times where you’d go with “Thank you” or “Excuse me” instead. It’s situational.

    Also, I could see “moths to a flame” working if she was referring to herself (since you could infer that she’s quite “attracted” to them lol) but the context here feels like it implies the inverse… which doesn’t quite fit. The problem with it is simple. It’s a one-way attraction: moths attracted to a flame. They are trying to RUN from her.

    It’s one of those things that sounds fine if you don’t put too much thought into it, which will be the case with a good portion of the player base.
    (You could also simplify “I’ve found you” down to “Found you” as well… Would have sounded nice dubbed. Namco please.)

  15. tyson

    the language comment was directed at the ellipses dude
    sorry for my slow typing

  16. Joe

    I agree with you, Kaji. I started playing this yesterday and was wondering why Kohaku’s English lines were overly formal and princess-like when her voiced lines were more like a casual, girl-next-door type of romantic interest. Hisui’s jokes also seemed too violent and some of them were really oddly placed. It’s definitely not the worst localization I’ve seen, but it’s still pretty disappointing.

  17. ...

    Seeing the title have “R” which could be “Reimagined”/”Remake”, I don’t think you can blame them changing the context though, they really “Reimagined” the personality of the characters.
    You can also make Tales of Heart: Kaji Style and no one should tell you what to do.

  18. Arn


    Reimagined or not it has nothing to do with the localization. ToHR script was already there with every line and character as they could be, they only needed to adapt them properly. Instead they made terrible characterizations and translation choices.

  19. GH

    I guess they went for the R in R-Rated here.

    Shing is an obnoxious asshole! Hisui is an obnoxious asshole! Kohaku is an obnoxious asshole! The translator is an obnoxious asshole! Everyone is an obnoxious asshole in this game!

  20. BassForever

    I get why you and Thoughim originally respected the localization announcement of Hearts R and canceled/indefinitely put Hearts DS on hold, but honestly you’re paying Namco Bandai more respect then they clearly paid their western fan base with this garbage translation. I really hope someday down the line you guys go back and finish your Hearts DS translation, or someday get the potential to release a patch that fixes the localization of Hearts R for Vita because I really want to play Hearts with a good localization.

  21. Shrimpy

    The screenshots made me realize how ugly the game (and some characters) look in 3D…

    And you can add me to the “hoping Kaji finishes his translation one day” club.

  22. cloudropis


  23. Bub

    Good sir, once again thanks for your hard work. I can see you are talented in translating. I love the art of the DS version, and I how you will continue your translation efforts, if even a menu and item translation.

  24. Atchim

    I get what a lot of people saying about this being a localization and Kali always doing a direct translation, but this ain’t a localization its a full demonstration of incompetence, when localizing a product you alter several quotes in order to fit the culture of the language you’re translating, however you don’t alter character personalities and its one of the rules of localization to keep the words as close as possible to the voice actors acting.

  25. Roman Noodles

    Now that the remake is out is the fan translation starting back up?

  26. DenkouNova

    That is a really great post. It sums up a lot of the problems I have with recent localizations but never went through the effort of explaining to people with all the examples and screenshots you took. I’m an amateur translator (JLPT lv between N2 and N1) and I really feel that Japanese->English translations have gone awry in the last 10+ years.

    A few years back a guy named Otaking on Youtube criticized the general anime fansubbing community on several points; one of them was that fansubbers hold themselves in excessively high regard, leading them to show off and spice up the final product too much.

    I feel that professionnal localizers have been acting the same. Today it seems that no sentence must go untouched; if you’re an editor-proofreader, your must justify your paycheck by showing off your literate skills, and altering every sentence the translators have given to you. The reason for alterations is a quite valid one: make the sentences more *real*, to feel like the characters are real characters, that speak in real English.

    But this is not what’s happening. I remember playing Final Fantasy 8 and not thinking of anything weird of the English there: my mother tongue is French but the FF8 English was the English I learned in school, the English I heard in TV shows and movies, and the English I would come to use at work while on the phone with American clients. Today the English in games and anime dubs is a false English, saturated with expressions and unneeded theatrical behavior. It’s true that someone who’s a beginner in English would not think of an expression like “like moth to a flame” to express a situation; that does not mean people who are fluent in English use these expressions ALL THE TIME.

    Also, rapscallion…?

    People want to play Tales Of games. The extra zeal localizers have been putting in every game lately (somehow always making characters more obnoxious, and never the other way around?) always ends up being a DVD extra that nobody wanted.

  27. KuronekoVII

    I don’t understand how different it would be, even if they got the translation perfectly right. I play Tales games for the gameplay. Not for the horrible story or characters. Which I guess is the reason you’re so upset with the localization.

    If people want good storytelling and characters in their Jrpgs, play THESE games.


  28. biggy

    Upvoted, fellow Trusekibro :^)

  29. Baka

    So I’ve played through most of the game and, considering I knew next to nothing about Hearts or the characters, I rather enjoyed it. I mean, I’ll admit that the lack of a dub did bug me a bit, and I totally get what you’re saying about the buggered up translation. Regardless, I don’t regret picking it up or contributing to the possibility of future localizations. Honestly, I think Zestiria’s localization will be a lot better because it isn’t a Vita game. Also, while I get what you were saying about Hisui, I did find myself cracking up a lot at his brand of slap-stick humor (particularly the “your face” threats.) I know it may not be how he originally was, but it was still quite humorous.

    That all said, I would definitely like to play through the entire DS version of the game with your translation one day. If you can justifiably rip on the localization this much, I can’t wait to see you blow it out of the water

  30. Billy MT

    And I’m here still wanting to see you one-up that R with the DS translation. Let’s hope a quality translation topples better graphics and extra content, ’cause really I’m not getting a Vita only to play this trainwreck 馃槨

  31. Arn

    You guys shouldn’t get your hopes up for a Hearts translation on a near future, Kaji’s translation was not even halfway done despite the time he was working on it. And thoughhim hands are full with NariDunX/ToPX and ToDDC.

  32. biggy

    Hearts DS is ded p much :-\

  33. MabinogiFan

    I wonder if Kaji would be willing to release the list of artes he’s translated so that we can compare his names with those of the official localization.

  34. ...

    Anyone wrote ” A Crash Korse in How Not to be Detected by Official when doing Translation Project” post? Oh and while Kaji’s here, please just one word from you, Continue or not? I decided to play it on japanese if not, so if you have menu patch or can make the demo patch continuable, it would be appreciated.

  35. Arn

    He said since the announcement he won’t make a menu patch dude, it’s also pointless.

    Also no Artes list because TempestTales, no one wants to deal with him/her.

  36. xing

    Solar Wind=/=Heaven’s Wrath. That’s annoying, they sound nothing alike. Kaiji man I beg you please please finish the translation. This game is soooo amazing but it’s sloppy. The artes, the characterization, even the OST from the DS is arguably better. Makes me sad how much wasted potential Hearts is.

  37. MabinogiFan

    There’s already an arte called Heaven’s Wrath though. And Solar Wind does make a bit of sense in the context that Kor is striking his enemy high up into the air and his attacks are fast like the wind.

  38. Arn

    That’s why I think artes translations should be approached more with the animation in mind than the actual translation of the kanjis or a mix of both, thought there are exceptions.

    There are two (really old)artes that I’ll never agree with the translations they give them, first because they sound weird and second because it makes less sense when I translate then to my native language:

    Demon Fang and Tiger Blade

    Demon Fang for me is just the translation, it should be Demon Sword, the translation IS Demon Sword and they translated the fist version Demon Fist, it would make more sense as Demon Fang in place of Demon Dog but they failed to realize this.

    Tiger Blade doesn’t make sense and it’s the translation I’ll never adapt to, it should be something like Tiger Strike to adapt more from the animation instead of translating it, every time I hear this I remember Rei from BoFIII.

    Of course there are a lot more, like half of Asbel artes( lol at Wolfwind Fang and Icedragon Flurry) and of course Xillia/2.

  39. Arn

    Oh yeah you are absolutely right, I forgot about the reuse of stuff and made the post based on the current localization overeall. Still there are some things which is hard to come which a kanji translation.

  40. Sony best

    Tales of hearts r is better than ds version because story is fix everything beaches chalcedony post to be playable character in the ds they removed it check where before u go to lithia hometown chalcedony injirued incanrose eyes because of incanrose killed chalcedony. Ds version was rushed English will be hard Nintendo never realase tales of hearts will Japanese voices beocause of ratings and Nintendo stuff up lots of games like dragon quest and tales of the abyss. Check tales of the abyss on 3ds transtalion is just copy paste from ps2 didn’t put skit voices on English it’s ripp off I wish tales of the abyss on ps3 hd remaster with Japanese voice. Sony better than Nintendo because let you get tales English all of them because of Sony like tales of graces f beacuse of Sony they help bandi namco get more tales games every times. Better than Nintendo.

  41. Blackkat

    Shall we be getting a snowy white progress bar with sparkles for the new year?

    – Kat

  42. Hanabira.Kage

    And my favourite line to pick on is one of Shing’s victory quotes.

    It pretty neatly translates to “I can’t afford to hold back!”

    What did they translate it to? “I don’t know how to hold back!”

  43. Art铆culo de opini贸n : Traducci贸n occidental de Tales of Hearts R | AbyssWalkers

    […] invito a que le谩is el art铆culo con tiempo, a煤n si hab茅is jugado al juego o no (eso s铆, est谩 en […]

  44. Some Fan QA for Zestiria

    […] that the localization was in terrible shape. I and others called Bamco out on it and they fixed literally nothing in the following months leading up to the release. There are only 4 months left until the Zestiria […]

  45. Mad Max

    If there’s one thing we can count our blessings for, it’s that at least we got the Japanese dub. That way, someone with at least a passing familiarity with Japanese can infer the simple, day to day conversations (because heaven help you if you rely on these subtitles to make sense of the characters) and simultaneously have a fallback option for when the plot-related big words come in.

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