Localization Editor Highlights Persona 5's Translation Problems Through a Funky-Fresh Website

Localization Editor Highlights Persona 5's Translation Problems Through a Funky-Fresh Website

What, specifically, is wrong with Persona 5's translation? One localization editor is ready to take you to school.

Persona 5 has received many deserved accolades, but many players believe it falls short in one very important category: Its translation and localization.

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Put simply, games are translated and localized so that audiences outside the game's country of birth can follow the story and characters. Translating a game is a huge responsibility, especially for an RPG with Persona's pedigree. People have a much harder time connecting to a cast that talks a lot of nonsense. Nobody (who's reasonable) expects perfection from localizers, but Persona 5's script is under fire for numerous translation errors, and dialogue that's riddled with plain ol' jank.

Jack Frost still works "Hee-ho!" into his sentences, so that's something.

What, specifically, are the problems? Why are they problems? How can they be fixed? One localization editor and Persona fan, Connor Krammer, put together a wonderfully stylish website that highlights specific moments where Persona 5 goes off the rails. He dissects the troubled sentences, offers possible reasons why they turned out so weird, and suggests replacements.

Krammer makes it clear he's a big fan of Persona 5, and that he understands localizing the game's reams of text is a huge job. But I think we can all agree that "Me close?" is not an acceptable way to ask another character's permission to huddle closer together. Nor should a game based around Japanese culture switch between honorifics willy-nilly, e.g. use "-senpai" and "Mr" in the same sentence.

On the plus side, smoothing out rough text isn't a herculean undertaking. Hopefully Atlus will offer a patch soon.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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