|Reidman, incidentally this article is about Tomato, but the only |
picture I ever saw of him was on his old site and was of him
and a girl on the floor of his kitchen drinking vodka.
I never knew how Tomato got started learning Japanese, but I knew he was a translator for Funimation. Years later when work started on translating the sequel to Earthbound, Mother 3 I learned that Tomato had worked on translating other roms.
Many game translators start out as fan translators. Perhaps that's why the translation scene is left alone by the game industry. Tomato was one of these people, and a lot of that is chronicled in this article.In the article Tomato even talks about translating today:
"Yeah, whenever I'm playing a translation or watching something, I'm always on the lookout for new ways to translate phrases so I can improve my own translation skills. I even used to keep a notebook of neat translations for certain generic Japanese phrases."I think that is great advice to anyone learning a language, but then I realized something else; if there is anything we can take away from this quote it is probably that Tomato is in such a great position not because he has an awesome job, but because he really loves his job and because of that he can put so much energy and effort into it.
"I also often try to imagine what the original text was by working backwards from the translation. It's a fun language game in itself. But unless I've played a game in Japanese already, I can't really say if a certain translation is good or bad."
One of my favorite sites to read when I was a kid was Tomato's Mother 2 to Earthbound and Back Again (original site here). The site is once again, an example of the love and dedication that goes into doing something you have a passion for. It is about the localization differences between the same video game released by Nintendo in Japan and America. Nintendo has been, and probably still is very strict about self-censorship. This is probably most likely to maintain their family-centric image.
|In the American version of PunchOut |
"Soda Popskini" would warn you to be
careful because he would be driving
home later. Censorship or no
censorship, he's still an asshole.
Nintendo's history of self-censorship, while completely irrelevant to this site, is a huge interest of mine. In you would like to read more about it, here are some links of interest:
Nintendo of America's Video Game Content Guidelines
The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System
Wikipedia Article on Videogames Censored by Nintendo of America