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Why do Woolseyisms continue to run rampant in English localizations of Japanese games?

Content of the article: "Why do Woolseyisms continue to run rampant in English localizations of Japanese games?"

This is a bit of a rant.

If you don't know what a Woolseyism is, back in the SNES days a guy named Ted Woolsey was responsible for translating Square's biggest hits including FF6 and Chrono Trigger amongst others. But he's infamous (or famous, depending on how you feel about it) for his heavy-handed approach to translation and localization – often dramatically changing dialogue to remove "cultural odor" make them more palatable to Americans. So a "Woolseyism" is just that, changing a bunch of shit in your translation to make it appeal to Americans.

Maybe back in the day, there were some legitimate reasons for this – RAM space making the most sense, but really really really doesn't make sense to me today.

The reasons I bring it up is because I've had the misfortune of coming across two really shitty translations of games I've really wanted to play for a while.

The first, is Gunvolt Chronicles. This is the worst translation I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing (at least in recent memory). It's like a shitty Funimation dub from the 90s. They change characters names for no reason at all. Like for real, there's a character who is supposed to be named Gino, who is supposed to be Italian, the kana for his name reads <jino>, and yet they still change it to "Zeno". Even worse, a main character, they change the name from the already English word Cyan to "Joule". Then they just straight up ignore dialogue and write seemingly whatever they want.

But whatever, that game is just silly, but what really bothers me, and the reason I'm ranting is because of Octopath Traveler.

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Man, after playing the demo, I've really been wanting to play this game. Missed the first time it went on sale, so I snatched it up a couple of weeks ago.

At first I was just going with the flow on the translation. It wasn't good, but it wasn't unbearable either. Square invented the Woolseyism and they've stuck with it ever sense.

But then I got to the character H'aanit. Beyond the fact that the spelling "H'annit" is stupid (SE has a long history now of stupid spellings – I'm looking at you "Magicks") the way they translate her and the people of her village's dialogue is inane. People don't like literal translation (although I am not one of those people) because they think it makes dialogue seem stiff and unnatural, but SE often goes out of their way to flavor their localized dialogue that it becomes stiff and unnatural in the process. Beyond the fact that they're changing dialogue the fake old timey… no, excuse me "olde timey" is really distracting. It's almost as distracting as Kid's fake Australian accent. Like, no one does, nor ever has spoken like that. Putting "-eth" at the end of verbs and "-e" at the end of random words doesn't make the dialogue sound antiquated – it just makes it sound like the translators can't write. "Knowe" isn't a fucking word. And speaking of cursing, why the hell did they have Aerith cursing in the FF7 Remake?

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Do you all actually like this sort of thing? Wouldn't you rather experience the game as it was originally written? Is it actually true that Americans can't comprehend or appreciate things outside of their cultural bubble.

It blows my mind.

PS: The pig in Animal Crossing is selling radishes


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