Reader-san, I hope you’re feeling genki today! Okay, scratch that. During the translation of any Japanese medium, there’s a pretty diverse list of hurdles you’ll have to jump over for the sake of translation. For some colloquialisms, there’s no definitive way of translating them, which can lead to some pretty varied results. One such example is the use of suffixes in Japanese as a plot point or as the punchline to a joke. There’s only so much you can do with “Mr.” or “Jr.”, and in some cases, the latter might not even make any sense. This is one thing that Western players are going to discover quite quickly while playing SEGA’s upcoming English release of Judgment on PlayStation 4, as it was realized by the game’s localization staff today. Let’s take a look.
"Good to see you, Mr. Kaito. And you must be Mr. Yagami. Or would Mr. Yagami, Esquire be more appropriate?"
^ We chose not to do that. The English dub's goal was never to Westernize the game, but to make Japan more accessible. No matter the language, the setting doesn't change. https://t.co/KZUu9nDBIE
— Scott Strichart (@TriggerRedd) April 30, 2019
SEGA of America localization producer Scott Strichart, who is also handling the localization of Judgment, shared some examples on this via Twitter. In the latest video released for Judgment, we see a focus on character Kazuya Ayabe, a member of the local police force who you’ll be interacting with throughout the duration of the game. The English-language clip shows a particular interaction between both Ayabe and protagonist Yagami where we see the Japanese suffixes left intact. Strichart comments that, if they were to change that particular scene to use “Mr.”, it would quickly become messy and convoluted. Capping that comment off, Strichart adds that the English dub’s goal isn’t to Westernize the game, but rather, to make Japan feel all the more accessible without changing the setting.
Set to release exclusively on PlayStation 4 on June 23, 2019, those interested in checking out more of our coverage on SEGA’s upcoming Judgment, be sure to check out our full archives. Additional information on the game can be found via its official website.