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Author Topic: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
GenkiPatto-
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Post Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 16, 2012, 15:03
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We have received many inquiries from people interested in how Cherry Tree High Comedy Club (CTHCC) was localized and so we have gathered the following handy, dandy FAQ to the main points of the translation!
(Apologies in advance if this is is difficult to read – this forum plug-in isn’t very good at formatting!)

 

Q. What was the translation approach?
Q. What changes were made? How close is it to the Japanese?
Q. What was the original Japanese title for the game and why did you change it?
Q: Why / how did you change the character names?
Q. What are the original character names and their English equivalents?
Q: How did you explain elements like there being a Japanese shrine and castle in a US setting?
Q. Please give an example of how the humor was localized.
Q. I have a question about the CTHCC translation – where can I ask?

 

Q. What was the translation approach?
We made a deliberate decision to follow the approach of what is widely perceived as the ‘best in class’ game localizations: the Phoenix Wright / Ace Attorney series.
The Ace Attorney series titles are ‘Westernized’ rather than straight translated. So, just as Ace Attorney Westernized character names and transplanted the game from ‘city somewhere in Japan’ to Los Angeles, CTHCC character names were Westernized and the setting changed from ‘town somewhere in Japan’ to ‘town somewhere in the USA’.

 

Q. What changes were made? How close is it to the Japanese?
Tweaks were made to make the English flow, but we worked hard to maintain consistency with the Japanese dialogue, in meaning and especially the tone. Tone is particularly important in CTHCC not only because of the comedic nature of the game, but there is pathos in each of the character’s storylines – usually some kind of sadness they carry that is explored and resolved.
In Japanese, the game is light-hearted and fun along the way, with some sad or reflective beats and then the emotional pay-offs come when the characters are recruited. We believe we’ve done a good job of preserving these in the English localization.
The dialogue itself is faithful to the Japanese and there were no changes to the plots or story. The characterizations are the same as the Japanese, even for the Merry family who were Canadian (and therefore foreigners) in the Japanese version, but changed to Swedish in the English version – culturally they are Swedish, but they still speak with accents and have the same personalities traits as their Japanese counterparts.
The only in-game graphics that were changed were shop signs and one of the conversation topic icons: the ‘History’ topic was a spinning top, which is iconic for traditional culture in Japan, but means little overseas; this was replaced with a scroll for the regular dialogue menus.
By far, the biggest changes were 1) the overall setting and, for consistency’s sake, the character names, food names, etc. and 2) the humor only where the Japanese humor would have been awkward or simply not worked well in English.

 

Q. What was the original Japanese title for the game and why did you change it?
The original Japanese title is 漫研 (“manken”, also まんけん in hiragana), which is a contraction of 漫才研究部 (“manzai kenkyuubu”) and which loosely translates as “comedy research club”. It’s an unusual combination of kanji and most Japanese people 1) wouldn’t understand it just from the phonetics and 2) if they saw the kanji would presume it is short for 漫画研究部 (“manga kenkyuubu”), which means “manga research club”. In fact, one of the characters in the game does just that.
Thus, the game’s name was localized to ‘Cherry Tree High Comedy Club’, as it’s easier to understand and a bit more explanatory of the tone of the game than ‘Manken’.

 

Q: Why / how did you change the character names?
For why, see ‘What was the translation approach?’
The approach we took was to prioritize conveying the sense of the original name or else capturing something of the character’s personality, as opposed to simply coming up with a name that sounds similar to the Japanese pronunciation.
For example, Hibisu Mairu (ひびす まいる) is a pun that means ‘every day a smile’ & our equivalent was ‘Miley Verisse’.
Karasuyama Chitose (からすやま ちとせ with the surname meaning “Crow Mountain”) is an unusual and well-to-do-sounding Japanese name and our equivalent was Octavia Richmond.
All of the English character names have some rationale or basis like that.

 

Q. What are the original character names and their English equivalents?

Here is a list of all of the CTHCC character names (not all appear in-game) and their localized equivalents:

[*********Minor spoiler alert*********]
日比須まいる – Hibisu Mairu – Miley Verisse
七穂歩恵美 – Nanaho Hoemi – Harriet Sinclair
凪羽頼子 – Nagiwa Yoiko – Sara Croft
犬坊天音 – Inubou Amane – May Bonbon
美月ハル – Mitsuki Haru – Cindy Smith
ラヴィアンメリー – Ravian Merii – Vivian Bergman
花形良基 – Hanatsuki Yoshiki – Tyler Perez
守方紳之介 – Kamikata Shinnosuke – Curtis Campbell
烏山千歳 – Karasuyama Chitose – Octavia Richmond
福見九州子 – Fukumi Kusuko – Elise Faircloth
楠木薫子 – Kusunoki Kaoruko – Dina Delaney
飛田給 – Tobita Tamae – Rebecca Ward
稲城孝司 – Inagi Takashi – Mikey Pebalz
マリアンメリー – Marian Merii – Marion Bergman
漫遊亭楽太郎 – Manyutei Rakutarou – Stan the Comedy Man / real name: Clarence Campbell
ゲンゴロー – Gengurou – Roland

 

Q: How did you explain elements like there being a Japanese shrine and castle in a US setting?
With very few exceptions, all uniquely Japanese elements have plausible context / explanations or make sense given the localization. This includes elements such as the timing of the school break, the presence of a Japanese shrine and shrine and castle, etc.

 

Q. Please give an example of how the humor was localized.
In every case, the priority was made to preserve the original Japanese joke unless it did not or could not be made to work in English. For example, Miley referring to herself and Harriet as ‘Heroines of Justice!’ and punning between “Manken” as a Manga Club and as a Manzai Club were retained. Also retained were Japanese cultural references where we felt they would be recognized by most Western players, such as references to Phoenix Wright, Street Fighter and Death Note.
In areas where the Japanese humor did not work, we replaced it with humor that stayed close to the tone or sense of the original Japanese. In some cases, Western popular culture references were used, such as Star Wars, Batman, Monty Python, net memes (not many!), etc., but not to the point of becoming obnoxious or indulgent.
Here is an example of a cultural change:
In this scene, Miley & Harriet are in their room; the phone rings, Miley answers and ad libs some humor to the person on the other end:

LITERAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Miley: Who’s there? Oh… it’s you.
Miley: It seems that the president wants to take us on.
He’s a fool…
Harriet: ?!
Miley: Yeah, I know. It’s just the kind of thing he’d come up with.
Miley:: Okay, bye. La jodaso stiana.
The above dialogue is in reference to a symptom of the fictional “High School 2nd Year Disease”, a Japan-only meme that originated from a radio show & explains why many high school kids of that age have over-inflated sense of self. (“La jodaso stiana” is a fictional sign-off code for people involved in the fake conspiracy implied by the above dialogue.)
Without any idea of the reference, this would be confusing to most non-Japanese players. In the localization, we retained the presidential level intrigue while shifting it to a video game reference:

LOCALIZED ENGLISH:
Miley: Who’s there? Oh, it’s you.
Miley: The president was kidnapped, you say?
Harriet: ?!
Miley: Why yes, I believe I am a bad enough dude to rescue the president.
Miley: I’ll take care of it.

 

Q. I have a question about the CTHCC translation – where can I ask?
Please feel free to post any additional questions, etc. on this thread! The FAQ will be updated as new questions or points arise.

Peroim_Fel-
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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 16, 2012, 15:48
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Quote from GenkiPatton on April 16, 2012, 15:03
Q. What was the translation approach? / Q: Why / how did you change the character names?

My position regarding this hasn’t changed, so I won’t waste time here again.

Quote from GenkiPatton on April 16, 2012, 15:03
food names

Ugh… not even the takoyaki was spared…

Quote from GenkiPatton on April 16, 2012, 15:03
With very few exceptions, all uniquely Japanese elements have plausible context / explanations or make sense given the localization.

Let’s see what crazy excuses you guys came up with here.

Quote from GenkiPatton on April 16, 2012, 15:03
net memes

I swear to [insert deity name here], if I see a “U MAD?” or arrow-meets-knee joke here, I’ll personally hunt down and beat to death every single person involved in this project.

Yeah, I’m more than a little skeptical about this…

GenkiPatto-
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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 16, 2012, 15:53
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Quote from Peroim_Feld on April 16, 2012, 15:48
I swear to [insert deity name here], if I see a “U MAD?” or arrow-meets-knee joke here, I’ll personally hunt down and beat to death every single person involved in this project.

Worry not!

Yeah, I’m more than a little skeptical about this…

No change there, then! :p

LAMV

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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 16, 2012, 18:39
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Oy. You know my feelings about this already, so I’ll spare you. I’ll still play because I’m interested in the game itself, but please don’t ever do this type of localization again.

S_Jake

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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 27, 2012, 20:28
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What, so only literal translations that only the most hardcore Japanophiles can appreciate are allowed? How does this help bring the game to a wider audience?

Veleskola

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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 28, 2012, 04:19
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Quote from S_Jake on April 27, 2012, 20:28<br />
What, so only literal translations that only the most hardcore Japanophiles can appreciate are allowed? How does this help bring the game to a wider audience?

Nah, bro you misunderstood. All we really wanted was the game to be in its original setting and have the original character names. You don’t have to be a hardcore Japanophile to appreciate a Video game takes place somewhere that isn’t in the west.
However what has been done has been done. And Nyu Media knows how we feel about that and therefore I do hope they take things into considering with their next project. So I think we should all purchase this game and support them because they did a great Job.

Also you can’t really bring this kind of game to a wider audience. People will make decisions based on what the game looks like, and if they don’t like Anime style graphics they aren’t going to buy it. People who are open-minded and may not have played a Japanese game before will try it and who knows maybe they will like it.

Also any games translation that was inspired by the fantastic courtroom adventure that is know as Pheonix wright just has to be awesome as well.

Image

Shike

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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 30, 2012, 10:22
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Quick question:

If the community found a way to edit assets, specifically the files containing the script, would Nyu Media have a problem with such discussion? I’m sure some of us would at least like to fix character names, location, and possibly foods for example . . .

GenkiPatto-
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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 30, 2012, 11:20
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Quote from Shike on April 30, 2012, 10:22
Quick question:
If the community found a way to edit assets…

Sorry, discussions regarding how to pull apart and change our developers’ product would be inappropriate for these forums.

I should probably add that to the forum rules…

Shike

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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 30, 2012, 13:13
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That’s a shame honestly – already have it to the point where I can make changes, but without community support it’s going to take too long since the dev software is pretty shoddy for quick editing.</p>
<p>Oh well, for those that want to fix their copies – Google is your friend and all that jazz. Or if someone wants to take on an external project away from the Nyu boards, maybe that would be okay . . . ?</p>
<p>Though I must say I’m a bit confused by this change in stance, seeing the last post here:</p>
<p>http://nyu-media.com/forum/games-group2/the-exceed-series-forum8/exceed-gun-bullet-children-is-untranslated-thread46/</p>
<p>So ultimately, I think we need a clear ruling on whether mods, patches, etc. are allowed or not. Most of these aren’t able to be made without modifying assets or MAYBE ( and a large one) gaining access to memory registers and making trainers/etc (I’ll be testing to find out if that will be an easier approach, at that point I may be able to do it on my own). </p>
<p>Still, definitely would like a ruling on do’s and don’ts for cases like this.

EDIT: using memory registers seems to crash CTHCC, hard coding would be the best solution unfortunately . . .

Jademonkey

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Post Re: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Translation FAQ
on: April 30, 2012, 17:59
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Normally, I’m not a big fan of heavy localization. I like to immerse myself in the world of a story as close to its original context as possible.

That said, I don’t think it’s always best for the artist’s intention to keep a setting the same through a translation. In a series like Higurashi, the artist’s intent was to present a different and alien setting to most players. The further that environment is from my own daily experience, the more effective the feelings of isolation and alienation the player is supposed to generally feel. My interpretation of CTHCC, as far as I’ve played, was the presentation of a world the player would be familiar with, something almost grey and mundane that would serve as a backdrop for the colorful misfit characters on display. ‘Miley is a rarity in this world that is like our own and through her, we are able to see it as more vivid and lively,’ I think that was 773’s intent.

Anyhoo, while I don’t think the setting should have been changed just because Phoenix Wright did it too, I have to admit it fits here.

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