Translation; Woes and Discoveries

Getting to translate Touhou Double Dealing Character into Indonesian, from two different English translation and heck lot of cross-checking with a Japan-English, has shown me that, well, Indonesian ain’t that bad a language, as I’ve ranted over in the previous post.

It’s not that its verbal and written languages are only about as friendly as oil and water, but because the language as a whole grows into a million different varieties. The Indonesian I speak in Jakarta can be rather different with the one spoken in, say, Sumatra or Sulawesi. But even with its million different dialects and variations, Bahasa Indonesia can still be understood anywhere in the country.

But when translating, there comes a problem of how to translate it. What words should I use? Using this word makes it sound stiff, but using another makes it sound too foreign, and the other alternative is too localized.

But I’m of the opinion that difference is good and to be embraced. I admit I had some fun trying to get over its tangles. Giving Marisa, and to an extent Sakuya, a speech pattern of their own is fun, as well.

And another thing. I used to believe that unless you work in law or the government or a language teacher, there is no such thing as a grammar and “proper wording” in Indonesia.

As it turns out, there is. And I am an overzealous grammar nazi.

The fun thing about translating the Touhou games is that I don’t think there’s an “official” Indonesian translation of it yet. Just think. When (if, really, if) my translation is widespread, I’ll be holding the reign of standardizing the terminologies in the game. Make me nervous a heckload, but… wow.

And for some reason, there’s another person jumping on the very small wagon of Indonesian translation. Hey, I made a new friend. Not bad.


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