I was playing Cyberpunk 2077 and noticed 安全出口 written on the emergency exit sign. I was excited to be able to attempt to read it in my head as あんぜんでぐち. Tried to look it up in my dictionary app Shirabe Jisho with no results. It has 非常口 for emergency exit. Then I wondered if it was Chinese. It comes up as what looks like a Chinese Wikipedia page for emergency exit. I know this isn’t too important of a distinction as the meaning is already obvious, but I was wondering if it is a legit translation or just a halfway accurate thing the game developers threw in there? I tried to figure this out myself but couldn’t really see a definitive answer.
I read it as “Safety Exit” and immediately thought something like, if you want to chicken out and leave, head this way. If you decided that you did not in fact want to ride that rollercoaster, take that ‘safety exit’ over there.
Yeah that definitely seems like Chinese, I looked around a little and found a Japanese dictionary entry about it: 安全出口の意味 - 中国語辞書 - Weblio日中中日辞典
Also this blog post talking about how the same characters aren’t always used to mean the same things, didn’t read all of it but it seems kinda interesting! 『安全出口』
Can’t really speak as to whether that was a mistake on Cyberpunk 2077’s part or not though
Probably is. It’s not as though Chinese doesn’t have a word to indicate ‘for emergency use’ more explicitly: we use 緊急 in Mandarin, albeit perhaps with different hanzi because simplified and traditional character sets are different. However, it’s true that it’s common enough for Chinese to use positive/euphemistic words to refer to things that have a purpose linked to unfortunate events: 愛心通道 (head over to the Lost in Translation thread for a photo) literally means ‘loving passage’, but actually refers to a wheelchair-accessible entrance/ramp for the wheelchair-bound and the elderly, who might not be very good with stairs. Similarly, 安全出口 has the advantage of indicating where safety may be found in an emergency. It’s just a stylistic choice, even if it’s amusing to note that Japanese is more direct than Chinese here, whereas I think it’s usually the other way around, as much as traditional Chinese politeness should dictate that indirectness be favoured when unpleasant things need to be brought up. Like I said though, Mandarin can be direct and use 緊急出口 in this case, which is what I’m more used to seeing and hearing, and 緊急 is arguably even more direct than 非常, which just means ‘extreme/extraordinary/different from normal/usual’.
I guess the real question is… where did this sign appear in the game? Was it in a zone that was supposed to be in Japan? Or a zone in China?
Would you believe it’s in California?
Although, to be fair, it is a fictional city.
Thanks for the interesting replies. Yeah the game is indeed set in a fictional version of California like the other person said. I think it’s supposed to be Japanese because there is some dialog and quite a lot of signage in Japanese scattered throughout. Cheers
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