Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Ashley Winchester Jan 13, 2016

As I stated in the revived "Theme of Coon" thread, I've been raiding my old computer for music and it's been pretty damn interesting.

However, I think the most interesting thing is looking up track titles now compare to what I had them named back then.

For example, when did SaGa Frontier II's "Possession" become "Obsession"? Given how/when that track is used in the game both make sense (although "Obsession" does make more sense). Now I have to totally remind myself of the change when I hear it in my car.

However, I guess what I want to ask is how often to you check the "accuracy" (using the term loosely) of your track titles?

I generally tend to keep more attention to the files for the soundtracks I own and small handfuls for other soundtracks I have tend to get a lot less attention.

The_Paladin Jan 13, 2016

Being anal over translation stuff is why I have so many albums yet to rip or re-rip in my collection.  I generally don't look at ones I don't have unless someone asks me, or I stumble into a discussion.  I'd like to hope I did my part in getting rid of some of the really bad translations out there when I first came onto the scene, but then again I've had to redo some of my early translation efforts myself, and I'd bet though I've fixed them that the old versions of some might be on vgmdb.  I also found that most times familiarity trumps accuracy, as I heard grumbling back on Chudah's Corner when I thought "classic" translations for big titles like Seiken Densetsu 2, Final Fantasy VII, IX, Chrono Cross, etc. should be reexamined.  I don't know if they were saved by anyone else, but redoing SD2 for example led me to discover multiple literary references like to Joseph Conrad and Philip K. Dick.

Thanks for reminding me that I should resurrect my translation thread haha

Ramza Jan 14, 2016

Ashley Winchester wrote:

For example, when did SaGa Frontier II's "Possession" become "Obsession"? Given how/when that track is used in the game both make sense (although "Obsession" does make more sense). Now I have to totally remind myself of the change when I hear it in my car.

To my knowledge, I was the first person to publish an English version translation for the SF2 OST (via RPGFan). Besessenheit *does* translate to both obsession and possession. An interesting little quirk: drop the "heit" (it's like "ness" in English, changes a base adjective to a noun form), and the adjective "Besessen" comes up with "Possessed" first, then "Obsessed" second, on Google translate. Now, add the "heit" back in there for noun form, and "Obsession" comes up first, and "Possession" second. I would guess this is a matter of "common use" in the German language. I still personally think possession is the better choice, even in the context of the game. I think it can be argued that any obsession can overcome one's personality such that it is ersatz possession (a spirit or force overtaking the will), whereas the opposite wouldn't always be true. Set/subset relationships, y'all. smile

I've done some crap jobs with translations in my lifetime. The famously-wrong Alundra tracklist was my doing ... STC (where I first published the review) didn't have a tracklist and I needed to submit *something* with it, so I turned to a friend with basic Japanese knowledge and a blurry scan of the back cover (smallest font ever), and we did our best. I'm glad it's since been fixed. That said, I really do stand by my SF2 soundtrack translation. I speak German reasonably well in the few instances where I was stumped I knew where to consult to get it right on the money.

Paladin's point "familiarity trumps accuracy" is ... yeah, that's spot-on. I *still* say "People Seized With Life" for Chrono Cross, it's a fav track. But the latest English iteration "Those Imprisoned by Fate" makes far more sense. Nonetheless, I'll probably call it "People Seized With Life" for the rest of my own life. tongue

The_Paladin Jan 14, 2016

Ramza wrote:

Paladin's point "familiarity trumps accuracy" is ... yeah, that's spot-on. I *still* say "People Seized With Life" for Chrono Cross, it's a fav track. But the latest English iteration "Those Imprisoned by Fate" makes far more sense. Nonetheless, I'll probably call it "People Seized With Life" for the rest of my own life. tongue

Well, that "current" one is one I changed as well to something that I think sounds and reads better" "Prisoners to Fate".

Ashley Winchester Jan 14, 2016

Ramza wrote:

Paladin's point "familiarity trumps accuracy" is ... yeah, that's spot-on. I *still* say "People Seized With Life" for Chrono Cross, it's a fav track. But the latest English iteration "Those Imprisoned by Fate" makes far more sense. Nonetheless, I'll probably call it "People Seized With Life" for the rest of my own life. tongue

Agreed on both fronts. I'm so use to calling this one "Prisoners of Fate" however.

Xenogears "October Mermaid" was another big shocker for me as well... was so use to calling that "June Mermaid."

Brandon Jan 14, 2016 (edited Jan 14, 2016)

Speaking of Xenogears, there are at least two references in there. 1-15 ("Remains of Warriors' Dreams") is from a haiku by Basho (famous 17th-century Japanese poet):

I didn't realize it until I noticed that the same phrase was part of the opening line of Ann Lewis's 1989 song "Woman."

Also, 2-14 should probably be translated as "Prayer, Joy of Man's Desiring," since it's a reference to the Japanese title of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

Brandon Jan 14, 2016

My favorite bad translation is "Ranch Night" from Legend of Mana. The Japanese title is 牧場にて (bokujou nite). It means "At the Ranch." The Japanese "nite" is a preposition roughly equivalent to "at" in English. It's pronounced "nee teh." But someone decided that since it's romanized as "nite" it must be "nite" as in "Nick at Nite".

Not understanding "nite" is the same thing that turned "At Zanarkand" (right) into "To Zanarkand" (wrong).

Ashley Winchester Jan 14, 2016

Brandon wrote:

Speaking of Xenogears, there are at least two references in there. 1-15 ("Remains of Warriors' Dreams") is from a haiku by Basho (famous 17th-century Japanese poet):

I knew that the original, non-translated title of 1-15 was a reference to a literary work, just not which one. I read that somwhere... but for the life of me I can't remember.

Amazingu Jan 14, 2016

Brandon wrote:

Not understanding "nite" is the same thing that turned "At Zanarkand" (right) into "To Zanarkand" (wrong).

This is the one I always bring up when someone raises the topic of bad track translations.

It doesn't even make sense to translate it as "to" because the song is played AT Zanarkand.

Brandon Jan 15, 2016

To be fair, that translation was probably done based on a pre-release track list from CD Japan, by someone who had never played the game.

And it will never die.

The_Paladin Jan 15, 2016

Brandon wrote:

My favorite bad translation is "Ranch Night" from Legend of Mana. The Japanese title is 牧場にて (bokujou nite). It means "At the Ranch." The Japanese "nite" is a preposition roughly equivalent to "at" in English. It's pronounced "nee teh." But someone decided that since it's romanized as "nite" it must be "nite" as in "Nick at Nite".

Not understanding "nite" is the same thing that turned "At Zanarkand" (right) into "To Zanarkand" (wrong).

I'm not sure there were any bad translations from them like your example, but there are certainly other romaji that could as well.  It's not from a game, but there is a song "Hate made hikaru", which seems to be a sentence in english, but the translation is "shine until the end".

Idolores Jan 19, 2016 (edited Jan 19, 2016)

I can't help but mention the first track on the Seiken Densetsu 2 OST. This one here.

I've seen three translations so far for track 1,  "天使の怖れ".

1: "Where Angels Fear to Tread"
2: "Fear of the Angels"
3: "Angel's Fear"

My Japanese is incredibly rusty. Somehow the first one seems a bit too poetic to be accurate, and the next two, while similar on the surface, are ultimately very different upon closer examination.

EDIT:

For the American release of this disc circa 1994, it's actually "Fear of the Heavens".

Idolores Jan 19, 2016

Idolores wrote:

I can't help but mention the first track on the Seiken Densetsu 2 OST. This one here.

I've seen three translations so far for track 1,  "天使の怖れ".

1: "Where Angels Fear to Tread"
2: "Fear of the Angels"
3: "Angel's Fear"

My Japanese is incredibly rusty. Somehow the first one seems a bit too poetic to be accurate, and the next two, while similar on the surface, are ultimately very different upon closer examination.

EDIT:

For the American release of this disc circa 1994, it's actually "Fear of the Heavens".

. Weird. I could swear I read it as "Where Angels Fear to Tread somewhere".

Amazingu Jan 19, 2016

”Where Angels Fear to Tread" is a song from Seiken Densetsu 3, not 2, and it would be a VERY liberal translation of 天使の怖れ, so I think we can disregard that one.

Apparently the name is a reference to a novel by Gregory Bateson named "Angels Fear" (without the apostrophe!), so I'd say that's the correct translation.

The_Paladin Jan 20, 2016

I could be wrong, but they may have looked at my re-examined tracklist and then chose to either not use what I had or did something else, but some are very minor quibbles of grammar.  A couple references that should be noted from my translation that the vgmdb apparently didn't use...

Track 13 is The Divine Invasion, referencing the work by Philip K. Dick.  43, which is correct, is also a Dick reference.

Track 35 is referencing Verklärte Nacht or, Transfigured Night, by Arnold Schoenberg.

I'm pretty certain there may have been more, though I'm not remembering right now and sadly I can't look at my message board translation notes from CC for quick reference.

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