* FF7 contains a myriad of concepts and references from a wide range of religions and cultures. Building upon existing ideas instead of inventing everything yourself is a cornerstone of not only all literature, but of all civilizations. Referencing existing stories adds familiarity and depth to a new story without having to explain yourself, much like the concept of using idioms. (I wouldn't want to read any story that invents everything from scratch; in fact, I would assume it worse for the effort, and be surprised if it was even readable at all)
And no one is arguing with that so far so good....
Localization is a very difficult task, of which translation is but one piece of the puzzle. Languages and cultures do not match 1:1, so clearly some hard choices need to be made where you have to prioritize what's most important to convey. Sometimes this can mean it's warranted to change even names and other seemingly "constant" terms, if it means the overall feeling is better preserved. (I stand by my personal opinion that Schala and Janus were good examples of this)
Well first I have asked that you read the document and I don't think you have so far? But in any case, there is a distinction between dialogue and non dialogue. The reason FF7 has a lot of english sounding names is because they were taken from english words, and thus no localisation was needed. The so called localisation that has been done has not been very good. As Luksy stated FF English is hardly the Great Model of consistency. Phoenix Down doesn't sound like anything compared to Phoenix Tail, and I really can't see why anyone would want the former.
Seifer's goal is to do translation with minimal localization. Realizing this difference is important, as is realizing when other people already do as well.
It isn't so much that I want to do as little as possible, it is imho
a. That not much needs to be done because 95% of these things are based on cultures/mythologies including our own and if we preserve one, we should preserve others.
b. The choices they originally made were often worse than the actual references (such as Spring Gun clip), so I still don't understand why these changes get a hostile reception when on the whole even the changes we have made often sound better.
c. Most people would not realise what Ramu is, What Typhon is, what half of these enemy names are even in the original translation...without researching. I simply cannot see how this is any different to what we have had with a vast majority of things.
d. I don't think a lot of these actually need any localisation...
e. The japanese gamers look at VII and see the same thing we do, tons of different cultures and languages mixed in using katakana. So I don't see why they should put up with it and we feel the need for special treatment? * Regardless of being originally correct or not, canon does matter. Buster swords, spoony bards, sons of submariners, when a term "sticks" then that will be what triggers nostalgia later on, not a "corrected" translation. Thus when doing away with canon, you will need to be very clear about it, and quite frankly be prepared for a lot of criticism. (It's like trying to claim Jesus had short hair)
I have clearly stated in the document that canon has been thrown out -and that I consider it a disease that firstly prevents real change, prevents accuracy and as Luksy elluded to, causes severe problems with consistency from game to game. Also there are 2 kinds of canon. The established series canon and FF7 canon. Both to me are irrelevant. First, the Series canon is often there simply because the original translation team made mistakes (not always), and other times they took liberties. Secondly, FF7 canon is based on a pack of mistakes. Mideel means nothing to anyone. I take the point that it may now be original but it was never intended to be and it loses its mythological connection (Midir). If Nibelheim had been called "Fog Town" I think that would have been pathetic, but that would now be FF7 canon. I do not buy any of those arguments because for every good thing canon seemingly does, it introduces 2 problems.
I know full well I am going to get slayed for some of the changes, and as I have stated....I really don't care. If this was forced upon everyone I would possibly create 2 translations but that would just be to appease people as enix do to sell games. Luckily I don't need to do that...and surprisingly a lot of people have welcomed the changes. We all know people have choice here.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that most of the criticism that Seifer's project receives is not so much because of the changes they make, but because of the attitude with which it is presented; that there is one true translation and that they're the ones doing it, and if you prefer a different translation, then you're wrong (and possibly stupid). Also, claims like "your hands are tied" and "you are only following the Japanese original" make you sound less like a competent translator and more like a self-proclaimed prophet doing the work of God. In other words, the kind of fanaticism you sometimes accuse your critics of.
Complete hogwash. The reason it has come to me boldly telling it as it is, is because of the illogical criticisms this has recieved, mixed in with a few good posts. I am tired of hearing the same moaning and groaning from a select few and arguments that
a. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT it has been in the series since 1988 (yes, but the Japanese created the game series and did not intend it.)
b. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT it sounds cool! (yes so do 100 things, but when we start deciding what to keep and what not to, it defeats the purpose of a retranslation that sets out to be as accurate as possible to the original vision. And that isn't fanaticism, it is a fact.)
c. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT it could have been made simpler for a native to understand. (So could Ramu, So could Ifrit, so could Niblheim, so could midgar, so could 100 other things....)
To every single response there is an argument and a problem. If I started listening to everyone who had a problem which was based on abolishing canon or of changing things that could possibly sound better (and I mean that as in taking away from the meaning), then I might as well not bother! Because everyone is going to hate at least SOMETHING. Some will hate it more than others. That is a price that is unavoidable.
My advice? Just be clear about what you're doing, and don't involve other people if you don't want their opinions (this includes advertising your work!). You're well within your right to your take on how the translation should be done, but when you're going around portraying your translation choices as absolute truths you can't really throw a fit when other people beg to differ! You're never going to get everyone to agree with a translation (it's not an exact science), so accept that and move on. Acting self-important will impress no one.
I have to disagree that it "isn't an exact science", it certainly is with a majority of the items. Yes there are some that this is not the case with, yes there are some that we even had to take a liberty with, but you cannot generalise this by nitpicking a few that sound dodgy. The alternative is a fan driven mess that was decided on because of fanboyism, bigotry, allegiences to canon or simply as was said earlier "I liked zolom"
Also, let Luksy do your public talking.
Luksy has his own way of dealing with things, as do I. I don't cotton wool what I think because experience has taught me that nobody listens regardless...
I am not advertising this as "the greatest thing ever" or "no one can do better" I said no fan made translation could be better (in an accurate sense) if it was sticking to canon or to fanboyism, because it would simply have to sacrifice these things and as I said before, then the question becomes, "What was the point in retranslating?"
Now, people have a choice to install the mod or go for a more fan driven change, such as Titeguy's. I am not coming into his thread having a pop at what he has done. I respect that I can choose to use it or not...the thing is, others will have to respect my mod. And that really is the final word I have to say on this...I like to take on board peoples comments as long as they are constructive and I will definately be making this project clearer to people as there is certainly some kind of misconception about what we are doing. Finally, Dialogue will not be butchered or literal. It is a different animal with far more leeway.
The ultimate irony and logic against canon is that had my translation (or should I say accurate translation) been used from the beginning, the same people arguing against them would now be the same people telling me "I don't like zolom what on earth!?", "I don't understand why you are changing canon"
It all breaks down....when you think about it.