While not quite exactly fluent yet, I have a lot of experience under my belt translating mangas from japanese to english. A combination of solid N3 grammar, dictionary use as well as common sense and help from some friends once in a while allowed me to do quite decently in that regard.
However, I’ve been offered a more unique (and certainly more challenging) project : to translate an english RPG Maker game into japanese.
That’s quite a lot of new things to learn! And a lot of things I’d like to ask your opinion on…
Obviously, the matter of keigo/sonkeigo is barely relevant when translating from japanese ot english. But when you do the opposite, what are the typical circumstances where you use one or another?
For example, generic messages such as : “You picked up a flower.” Would a typical game use casual or polite japanese? Same goes for item description or ability explanation…
I realize I’ll have to play a lot of JP RPGmaker games to get an idea myself but I’d still like to hear your opnion.
Made up words or expression such as monster names, attack names… Let’s take the example of “Beheader Pig”. A pig that beheads people. What kind of translation would be the more japanesey? Some made up compound like 首切豚 or something more like 撥ねり豚 (nominal verb+noun) …
Attack names such as “Fast Cut”. Would it make more sense to translate literally a la 早い切り(hayaikiri) or with compounds 早切 (sousetsu).
Any other idiosyncracy you could think of…
Thanks for reading. I’d really love to hear about the experience and feedback of people who similarly had to translate from english to japanese, especially videogames.