Today and yesterday: Tons of Final Fantasy VI.

I've now played up to Jidoor in World of Ruin.

Most recently, I also tried the FF6 fan translation. Don't get me wrong, these people have done great job. Translating such a huge game isn't an easy task, and add to that all of the neat features they added, like smaller font and international letters. I sure hope they release translation tools one day - there's only a buggy version of FF6 translated to Finnish, without scandinavic letters or any other such niceties.

But here's the thing: This is, according to them, "much more faithful to the original Japanese game with regards to the translation, the extras, and the graphics". I can live with the extras. I can live with the graphics. Nintendo of America was just paranoid those days. But the translation!

I'm just personally unhappy with the translation. It's not my kind of translation.

Let me put it this way: It's possible to do an "accurate" translation. It's just that when you focus on accuracy, it's easy to forget how the whole appears. Then, it's possible to do an idiomatic translation. Localisation isn't always a bad thing. And the translator needs not to be confined too much to the original text, either. This is especially true for humor, which should be localized.

The second I heard Kefka... er, Cefca screaming "son of a bitch", I knew this translation could never, ever convey his insanity or humor the way Ted Woolsey's official FF6 translation did. Maybe it gets better.

I don't care if "son of a submariner" in Woolsey's translation was the most genteel battle cry in the history of bowdlerism since Reaper Man.

Villains scream "son of a bitch" all the time. There's nothing special about that utterance. I thought "son of a submariner" was just a crystallization of that man's utter insanity. There was something special about that utterance!

(Can't wait to see how they've mangled "Do I look like a waiter?" or Gestahl's "veritable bonanza"...)

And Sabin as "Mash". I don't care he's called Mash in Japanese version. I know why he left Castle Figaro now - he was teased in school. "Hey, what's your favorite food? Mashed potatoes!? Hahaha..." Overall, I think the names in Woolsey version were better...

This translation seemed somewhat dry compared to Woolsey's version.

I didn't play it that much yet, but I did check out the opera scene. I thought the lyrics were slightly better.

(Oh, and I don't care if Japanese version has an "opera theater". I've never heard opera houses being called anything besides "opera houses".)

And by the way, when I was referring to "the most genteel battle cry in the history of bowdlerism", I was referring to the one in Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man. The cry was "Darn them to Heck!", followed a few pages later by "Darn that for a lark!" I thought this was a good example because the Finnish translation managed to transcend the language boundary and had a battle curse that managed to be close enough to the original, yet funny for Finnish audience. (I can't translate that back because either I don't know enough swearwords in English or they just don't have as good as we have. Well, Brits might have, Americans sure don't. =) Maybe it's just that Finns know how to swear so this was easy to translate. =)