Hello from Poe!
The newest Legends of Localization article, Tricky Translations #4: "I" & "Me" in Japanese, has already surpassed all other articles on the site. We knew it would be popular, but we didn't expect this!
A quick peek at the site stats really makes it obvious. Here's a look at the past few days:
And here's the whole year so far:
Also unexpected is how incredibly popular it is among native Japanese speakers - it's probably getting shared more in Japan than anywhere else right now. Some have even used Google Translate to read the article in Japanese, but Google changed the Japanese pronoun "ore" to the English word "ore" (like iron ore) before translating it to Japanese, lol. Just another example of how you can't trust machine translation for everything ;)
The article was linked to on this Japanese site and there's a lot of comments there if you want to check them out. Click 全てのコメント to see all of them. There have been lots of comments and laughs about the Scarmiglione example of switching pronouns. XD
Here's a further peek behind the scenes. Tony the Designer wasn't available to make the graphic that shows all the Japanese pronouns getting flattened to simply "I" and "me" in English. Mato is admittedly not very skilled in graphic design, so making this important graphic was a challenge.
Here's one of his first attempts. He named this image barf.png:
He didn't like the way it was "pointing" instead of "flattening". It also looks really messy.
He tried using PowerPoint to create something that might work:
Nah, doesn't work at all. Here's another PowerPoint attempt:
It's more visually organized, but it still doesn't get the point across. Finally, Mato came up with this:
That definitely does a great job of showing the "flattening" effect of localization. Hopefully Tony can swoop in sometime and make a prettier graphic! You can see how important he is for our book projects, hehe.
Mato started the research for this article 14 months ago. It was one of his goals for the year to finally finish it. I hope you all enjoyed it! Please share it if you found it interesting :D