Seo-Mi Ha, Korean Translator
Tell us a bit about who you are, your background, and how you came to work on translating Forgotton Anne?
My name is Seo-Mi Ha, a localization specialist at Mayflower Entertainment. I am in charge of localization into Korean to share what we think are great games with the Korean audience. I've been interested in video games since primary school and specialized in English at university so I thought it would be great to put my linguistic potential into translation. We found out about Forgotton Anne at BitSummit 2018. One of my colleagues played the demo version at the show and thought it was a great game that we should bring to the Korean audience.
There is a lot of text to translate in Forgotton Anne. How did you approach the task?
We played through the entire game in English to have a better understanding of the game first. For a game such as Forgotton Anne, with a lot of text, it was not the best idea to jump right into the translation without any prior information. Without prior information it is easy to change a certain term or a character dialogue style down the road; backtracking to fix such modification adds to the work time and it is always easy to miss something.
What are some of the specific challenges you faced bringing Forgotton Anne into your native language?
Puns. It was not easy to find a good pun that did not change the meaning and the tone of the original English text but still fit as a good pun in Korean. Also, the names of Forgotlings. Many Forgotlings are named after the original object they are and directly translating them into Korean was not always the best way. So it was not easy to decide which character names should stay as they were and which should be translated.
Were there any word or terms that proved particularly awkward or humorous to translate?
Going back to the previous question, translating puns was both challenging and funny at the same time. Especially when working on Plumbum’s dialogue. Plumbum, not being the brightest character of all, was not an easy character to translate dialogue. I intentionally used broken sentence structures, following the tone of the original English dialogue, to keep his strong but slow character. But it was not easy to make the sentences feel natural because they could have easily looked like mistranslated sentences.
I specifically remember trying to find a good way to localize Plumbum calling Anne “endorser” instead of “enforcer”. Instead of directly translating the word “endorser” we decided to use a Korean word that sounded similar to the Korean translation for “enforcer”.
What do you think about Forgotton Anne and translating/editing it?
I believe that Forgotton Anne was one of a kind, with a beautiful animation style and a story that complements it. It was easy to fall in love with some of the characters. Each character has different unique characteristics, and their voices provide a different atmosphere, so for me it was very enjoyable to create each different tone and style of dialogue.
How do you expect your culture will take to Forgotton Anne in your language?
I have watched some streamers and reviewers play Forgotton Anne and I really enjoyed their reactions and comments. They have definitely enjoyed the animation style and how a small decision can affect the storyline much later on. It was also enjoyable to see people trying not to distill and save certain Forgotlings, but yet failing due to a mistake. And almost at the end of the story where the clock "tick-tocks" was very impressive because it really made players look back at what they had done so far through the mirror. Korean players tend to play one game twice, three times or more to see different results (or to complete achievements) so I think this part makes the players play the game again.
Any message you want to enclose to players in your language?
It was a great honor working on Forgotton Anne and to see how people enjoyed the game. I really hope that people will play the game more than once and try making different decisions to enjoy different outcomes.