Things I wouldn’t do if I started translating DR today
(There are hundreds of other things I would do differently — I’ve gone on record saying I can’t stand reading most of the original LP — but these are some easily identifiable bullet points)
- Change Chihiro’s title from “Programmer” to “Hacker”. Wasn’t necessary. (For the record, Nidai’s “Manager” -> “Coach” absolutely *was* necessary).
- Use “…” for stuttering (“N…Naegi-kun! W…What are you doing?!”). It looks bad in English and the only reason I’m still doing it in SDR2 is for consistency.
- Keep every fucking Japanese “eh”. They don’t work like English “eh”s at all, and make no sense in a translation. Astute readers probably noticed I’m not keeping them anymore in SDR2, and I’m seriously thinking about going back to the beginning of that LP, where they still reign, and replacing them with something more sensible.
- Explain jokes in translation notes. Jokes are supposed to be funny, and they aren’t when you have to read an explanation. This is actually a complicated subject depending on what kind of a joke it is, but I feel I have a pretty good idea about how to handle almost anything now, which makes the SDR2 translation far, far superior.
Things I would still do
- Honorifics, but only because I got to explain them in footnotes. I think this game benefits from having them intact for the same reasons the Persona 4 translation team argued for their game, but had this been a patch instead of an LP I would remove them.
- Monobear and Hope’s Peak Academy. I’m pretty sure the official translation would have used Monobear too if Spike-Chunsoft didn’t insist on Monokuma. Hell, if I could think of a good idea, I would have changed “Usami” to something else as well.