Hello, Bokujo fans.
I’m Junpei, one of the translators for Story of Seasons. It’s been about a year since I started working on this project. Personally, I think that the translators’ job is to deliver what the original context is saying or implying to editors. We’re the first ones who work on the text, so basically, our job is to pave the road for the localization. This is pretty simple, but it’s important at the same time. If we screw up, the editors can get confused, and from there the whole localization can get messy. Also, we have to stick to our deadline, since if we lag behind, everything else about the project will be pushed back, too. So we want to take our time to translate the text and make it as clear as possible, but we also need to keep the schedule in mind and keep going.
Since I’m a native Japanese speaker, I don’t usually have trouble understanding the context and references but it’s dangerous at the same time because what looks normal to me is sometimes not normal to English speakers at all. It’s very obvious, but my Japanese ability makes me forget that from time to time, especially when I’m focusing on the text. So I always try to check my translations with a Western sensibility, preparing myself by washing down hamburgers with a large coke, playing funky music in my souped-up muscle car, or just taking a breath and refreshing my mind.
I mentioned that we do our best to keep the text as understandable as possible, but when it comes to something very unique to Japanese culture, the translation sometimes is not enough to understand the concept. For example, you can watch many TV shows in Story of Seasons once you make a TV set, but almost every show has characters who have super weird Japanese names. In a cooking program, there’s a character whose name is Sabayama Misoko, which is written likeサバ山ミソ子 in Japanese (direct translation: サバ山 is mackerel mountain and ミソ子 is fermented bean paste girl). When I saw her name, I was like, “Hmm, what should I do?” It’s easy to leave Sabayama Misoko as-is, but only some people will get what’s going on in her name and that’s not the localization we want. So I talked to the editors and explained her name, and we had a brainstorming session. Then, we did sumo wrestling to come up with good ideas. Our goal was to keep the original atmosphere of the name but westernize it. And suddenly, Nick came up with Misa Mackerelmore.
That is one of the most exciting moments in localization work. Some people might say it’s just a name, but it’s definitely a part of the game and we don’t want to miss it. And for those who didn’t want spoilers, don’t worry. There’re more crazy names and stories in TV shows. It might be more interesting if you try to think about what the original names were from the English names we localized.
Anyway, thank you for reading my story. Also, I’d like to thank you for being patient and supporting Story of Seasons. It’s coming out next week. I hope you guys enjoy it. Have a great farm life!