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  1. #1
    Dev Team
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    Ask Localization Megathread

    Hi everyone,

    I've shared with you all a few stories about Localization and the work we are involved in here, and a couple of you mentioned you enjoyed hearing my anecdotes. I've opened this thread so that you can ask me anything you like about the localization process, the work the we do, or whatever else you would like to chat about. Keep in mind that there may be some topics I cannot comment on, such battle content; job balance; future plans the team has; and other proprietary information, and depending on how busy I am I may not be able to respond to your questions right away.

    Tell your friends and linkshell members and let's chat!

    Regards,

    Unelonborro
    Localization Lead
    (13)

  2. #2
    Player Draylo's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    778
    I like the effort, thanks
    (5)

  3. #3
    Player Sapphire's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    BACK IN BASTOK!
    Posts
    267
    Character
    Seigyoku
    World
    Sylph
    Main Class
    BRD Lv 99
    Woo!

    From the linkshell - Why Paladin and not Knight? (someone was very adamant about that one).
    How hard is it to make the tarus rhyme all the time?

    From me: So who is responsible for the Green Thumb Moogle's Awesome Alliteration Abilities?
    (1)
    Don't wish. Don't start.

  4. #4
    Dev Team
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    Good day, Sapphire!

    Thank you for your questions!

    From the linkshell - Why Paladin and not Knight? (someone was very adamant about that one).
    I'm afraid your compatriot might not like the answer to this one, but it comes down to what the difference between a knight and a paladin is to your average gamer. Since fantasy gaming became a popular thing (starting with D&D, and possibly before--my memory only stretches back so far), a knight has been associated with loyalty and martial prowess: lances and shields, jousting and riding on horseback, codes of chivalry, dedicated service to a monarch...things of that nature. Paladins, on the other hand, often assumed a more protective, spiritual role. You'll find paladins gaining access to traditionally cleric/priest spells stretching back to, again, D&D, and themes often associated with the class include morality, piety, dedication to a faith, protecting the meek, and carrying out justice. Given the tropes our non-Asian player base is familiar with, and in no small part due to the paladin's ability to use a subset of white magic spells, we use the word "paladin" rather than "knight," even though "knight" is a direct one-for-one with the Japanese. This is indicative of our greater philosophy: when conflict arises between a literal translation of the Japanese and a translation that is more grokable to a Western player, we often side with the latter.

    As an aside, you may notice that in earlier Final Fantasy games--or in those that intentionally evoke a retro feel--the class is translated as "knight." However, as our localization processes and standards as a company have changed over time, so, too, have our goals--and that's how we arrive at the term "paladin."

    How hard is it to make the tarus rhyme all the time?
    Actually, I don't find the Tarutaru too difficult to characterize, once you discount the terror of the deeps that is Shantotto. Historically, we have had to to put more time and effort into moogles and their amazingly alliterative absurdities!

    From me: So who is responsible for the Green Thumb Moogle's Awesome Alliteration Abilities?
    That would be Ordostrillicus, who since inception has been your one-stop shop for all Mog Garden-related shenanigans!

    EDIT: I mean since Mog Garden's inception, not Ordostrillicus's inception--although one could say he was born to do it.
    (9)

  5. #5
    Player
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    This is going to be a really awesome thread, color me excited!

    A few off the top of my head:

    Dating back to my first Final Fantasy game, FF II in the US, but the original FF IV, I was always under the impression that all localization was done locally. With you being so open about the process though, we've all learned otherwise. How has handling the English localization shaped your knowledge of items and such? How long have you been handling the localization? You mentioned in the above post that in many of the earlier retro games, we may remember such classes as "knight" that are now referred to as "paladin." Are there any other such examples where SE's stance has changed in order to provide a better name to a class, item, area, etc? One that I THINK I remember from the old days was Dragoon being known as "Dragon Knight" but I may be remembering that from a different game.

    In the same vein, how about the names of many of the relic, mythic, and empyean weapons? Many of these take on very classic names that players are familiar with, such as Excalibur, Ragnarok, Apocalypse, Mjolnir, etc. Are these names able to accurately be named in Japanese, or do they follow a similar pattern to the knight >> paladin example above, and Excalibur is known as, in example, "the holy sword" in Japanese?

    Concerning in game holiday events, I'd imagine many (myself included) westerners are unfamiliar with Japanese holidays, and just as well for Japanese people being unfamiliar with western holidays. How did you guys decide on which to include and omit? How important are some of these in the Japanese culture? Sometimes in dev posts, we'll see them dressed in Yakutas or other festive wear, and I'm surprised to see that. Is that akin to say, someone coming to work in a Halloween costume for one day as a celebration, or are the festivities much more ingrained than that?

    This might sway to the battle content end, but instead of bumping my previous Idris topic or creating a report, I was curious if you could shed any light onto why it was decided that Ergons would not received the +30% bonus damage to the Ergon WS, as the Mythic weapons do. Perhaps an oversight?

    I greatly look forward to this thread taking off. I hope you're up to the task of keeping up with it, I'm sure you'll get all sorts of comments and questions from many players!
    (0)
    7/10/14

  6. #6
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    Aug 2011
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    I am curious about the process involved in taking player feedback - In the past we have seen responses come from the community teams that seem vague, confused or perhaps just factually incorrect, additionally I'm curious as to what extent what we say has been sent over. Are threads distilled down to their most basic points, or are specific points and ideas taken by players and translated? For instance, if someone were to suggest in a thread about job balance a new ability would that get sent over, or would the finer points of the thread such as requests for a buff be taken into consideration. At any time during this are you or other staff on the team asked to clarify some points on the NA/EU forums?

    I also am curious as to what qualifications are necessary to become a community representative - I'm assuming experience with the game is in there, but what else? It must be hard being one, the amount of misplaced shouting..

    How do you decide what does and does not get added to the autotranslate? And is there a possibility for the short versions of Job names to be added - I ask, because when trying to create a shout asking for certain jobs you'll find that the text buffer gets too full to accomodate everything you're asking for. Also, is it possible for Difficult, Very Difficult, Easy, and Normal to be added?

    To what extent to the developers play FFXI and other MMOs, and RPGs? It must be hard to both develop and enjoy a game at the same time, seeing how the sausage is made and what have you.

    What difficulty is there in translating story elements? Are there any common idioms that would be hard to explain to a western audience that get changed? Any jokes that rely heavily on japanese pronunciation or culture? What decisions then have to go into translating these, and how much creative freedom do you have to do so?

    What are some of the most difficult tasks you have had to overcome as Localization leader?

    While you can't answer battle questions would it be possible to at some point mediate a question and answer to the developers thread? That'd be just terrific.

    Unelonborro, you are fantastic. I really appreciate the level of transparency, and the interesting anecdotes you have to share in other threads, and the speed to which you answer threads. You are awesome.
    (1)
    Last edited by Balloon; 08-28-2014 at 12:48 AM.

  7. #7
    Player Zhronne's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Italy
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    1,050
    Character
    Sechs
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    MNK Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Draylo View Post
    I like the effort, thanks
    ^this x 10.000
    Thanks Ule!

    I'll start with a recent question.
    While "Alluvion" can be considered correct, "Albion" would have been kinda correct too as a transliteration fo the japanese kanji used for the newly added content "Alluvion Skirmish".
    Yet Albion bears no particularl additional meaning (other than the ancient UK island references), whereas Alluvion has several meanings related to water.

    I wonder why did the localization team choose the latter one? Are there similar semantic references in the japanese kanjis? Was it just a matter of it sounding better?
    (I'm not criticizing btw, I'm just being curious!)



    Second and last one, it's about the romaji transliteration of "Amanomurakumo".
    Why "Amanomurakumo" instead of the more common "Ame no murakumo"? Clear reference to the japanese mythological sword "Ame no murakumo no tsurugi" used by Amaterasu.
    As far as I know both transliterations are correct (Ame and Ama), but Ame seems to be the more common one, especially in english language transliterations?
    (1)
    Last edited by Zhronne; 08-28-2014 at 12:52 AM.
    And the autumn of life has finally come
    with the promise of winter thaw.

  8. #8
    Player Xsilver's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Character
    Highwynn
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BRD Lv 99
    I have a few questions relating to FFXI's localization versus the naming conventions of previous Final Fantasy games:

    Why Inferno and not Hellfire for Ifrit's Astral Flow?(Is it because of the ESRB rating that you can't use "Hell"?.
    Why Earthen Fury instead of Gaia's Wrath for Titan's Astral Flow?
    Why Tidal Wave instead of Tsunami for Leviathan's Astral Flow? (Is it too sensitive in Japan to use Tsunami?)
    Why Aspir instead of Osmose? (FF4/FF9)
    Why Spirt Surge instead of Lancet(Dragon Sword) as it's called in the JP and FFV)
    Why Sabre Dance instead of Sword Dance as in FFV?
    Why Ryunohige instead of Dragon Whisker as in FF9/FFTactics?
    Why Souleater instead of Darkness for DRK's job ability?


    Also I'd like to mention that playing FFXI has helped me with my vocabulary. Here's a list of words from various FFXI cutscenes that actually showed up on the GRE exam I took two years ago. You guys must be either married to a Thesaurus all the time or have an outrageously masterful lexicon.

    -Lilliputian
    -Ambisinister
    -Arcipluvian
    -Wherewithal
    -Cavorting
    -Crestfallen-Despirited
    -Pandiculation
    -Constutional
    -Recondite
    -Bombastic
    -Platitudes
    -Paroxysm
    -Candor
    -Palavar
    -Aphorism
    -Levity
    -Gumption
    -Deleterious
    -Minutia
    -Daft
    -Dearth
    -Tumescent
    -Acerbic
    -Epicene
    -Surly
    -Din
    -Deign
    -Sanctimonious
    -Surreptitious .
    -Effusive
    -Sordid
    -Nonpereil
    -Abstemious
    -Redoubtable
    -Lethologica
    -Tarantism
    (1)
    Last edited by Xsilver; 08-28-2014 at 04:17 AM.

  9. #9
    Player Karbuncle's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4,314
    I have some questions that aren't why why nots.

    When it comes to Thief, were there anythings the dev teams wanted to add based on previous FF titles but couldn't fit into the realm of XI? (Like stealing things from enemies hurting/killing them, ala Riku + Machine parts) Later you added Despoil, which felt like something you might have wanted THF to have from the beginning.

    When it came to SMN, was there any debate on making it a heavily focused pet job vs making Summoner a nuking job and Summons perform more like traditional FF Titles, such as casting Magic and they would appear > do damage > Disappear like in other FF titles? Similar to how Alexander and Odin work. It just feels like Alex/Odin were maybe a remnant of what SMN could have been.

    On the topic of RDM, did you ever think RDM would become the absolute king of Solo like it did at the 75 cap? Were you impressed by some of the things RDMs did back then? (especially one specific Taru). Also, when it came to RDM, did you envision it as a Melee-mage from the beginning or did you expect people to adopt it as a healer/support job it became today?

    A non-job related topic. Did you guys ever consider adding "Limit Breaks" in the traditional sense, like in XIV, but to XI? I know we have Weaponskills and our 1hr abilities which could be construed as a type of limit break, but did you ever think or want to implement a Limit-Break type system in XI?

    Lastly, You all do realize how much most of us here appreciate you and all the community team despite being the harbinger of bad news sometimes, yes? Cause we do. I do at least. Even if I get batsh*t sometimes like that guy in the movies whos like "hey buddy.." but secretely has a knife and sh*t and you're just like "smile and say yes to anything he asks" and even though he sounds friendly you know hes like, 10 seconds from snapping and screaming about potatoes eating his eyes while he stabs blindly in the dark.
    (0)
    Last edited by Karbuncle; 08-28-2014 at 04:06 AM.

  10. #10
    Player Poo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    6
    Character
    Poopdeck
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    BLU Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Unelonborro View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I've shared with you all a few stories about Localization and the work we are involved in here, and a couple of you mentioned you enjoyed hearing my anecdotes. I've opened this thread so that you can ask me anything you like about the localization process, the work the we do, or whatever else you would like to chat about. Keep in mind that there may be some topics I cannot comment on, such battle content; job balance; future plans the team has; and other proprietary information, and depending on how busy I am I may not be able to respond to your questions right away.

    Tell your friends and linkshell members and let's chat!

    Regards,

    Unelonborro
    Localization Lead
    Wow, I cannot begin to express my excitement regarding this thread!

    I recently had a chance to whiz back through the level cap quests and I have to say...

    The whole "brown mage" storyline had me rolling on the floor laughing.

    How much of that is a direct translation? How much of it had to be ad-lib?

    Brilliant!
    (1)

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