Translating Yakuza 0

At Gamasutra, Atlus’ Scott Strichart talks about translating the humor and tone of Yakuza 0 and translating and localizing games in general.

“We’re doing it line by line, and suddenly we’re like ‘oh shit, here’s a pun.’ And when you hit that, you have to take a step back and say okay, this isn’t going to be a direct translation. We have to deal with it — sometimes that comes down to a discussion amongst editors and translators, or sometimes a translator will flag it for the editor to say ‘I didn’t know what to do with this, man. Let’s talk about this.’

So when that gets to the editor, the editor’s job might be to come up with a way to make that pun palatable to the Western audience. That’s generally the Atlus approach, is we use editors to refine the translated English text to make sure it makes sense to Western players.”

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