Faraway Story Translation Notes

Sorry, Charlotte... I think I'm a goner... Before I go, young missy... Tell me your name in Japanese...

(Spoilers for the entire game thus far. Don't read unless you've finished version 0.75!)


The title of the game used 悠遠, which can easily refer to a long time or a long distance, and it's clear both are applicable. Internally (and from use of the abbreviation "ES"), it could be seen the "proposed" English title was Eternal Story, but Ramuramu seemed to recognize that this wasn't an ideal one when I discussed it with him (and changed the internal English name in the following update).

Truthfully, I had been thinking of calling it Far-Flung Story for the entire duration of my Japanese playthrough, but I realized right at the start of translation that Faraway was a lot more suitable. FFS, though, Far-Flung certainly would have made it extra distinct. And I do kind of like how it ties in with the way you travel between many "far-flung" places instantaneously, but I guess that's not that important in the grand scheme of things.

...In Japanese, the game had a lot of lines like this. ...That is, there was such a huge percentage of lines starting with an ellipsis that it was completely absurd. ...Basically any scene that had any measure of seriousness did this a ton, though it could appear anywhere, really. ...I literally removed them all with a program before I started translating so they wouldn't so much as tempt me to actually keep them, except when they were actually appropriate. ...You're welcome.

The Files included official English romanizations for a lot of things internally, but I modified a number of them that were just, well, not good. A few examples:

- Port Fina was "Porto Fina" (and indeed, it is "Poruto" rather than "Pooto"), but this sounded sillier than simply having a port city being referred to as "Port ___." It also felt like something that people might misinterpret as a translation mistake.
- Marinet was literally transcribed as "Marine" (mah-ree-nay), but obviously that would be mispronounced in the "aquatic" way, and it seems pretty clear the name comes from "marionette." (The t here is intended to be silent, keeping the same "nay" pronunciation. It's fine if you say "net," but the "marinated" jokes don't work as well if you think that.)
- The English name for the Philosopher's Stone was listed as "Elixir," presumably because of a misunderstood quick Google search or something. Also note how the sword used to be break the stone is called Elixir.
- I didn't think anyone would have wanted her to be named Shylmina.
- I think Espilce was typoed as "Esplice" a few times in the original, but yeah, it's "eclipse" backwards. Natius is a confirmed spelling, but I'm unsure if that one means anything. It has an anagram of "sun," I guess?
- I shouldn't have to explain why I changed "Fany" and "Tity."

I should probably clarify that the second "e" in Ellevark is silent - it's just "el-vark." This probably would have been extra-apparent if his nickname had been spelled Elle, but I feel as if Ellevark would be too insecure for that. As for, uh, Cross-Cryude, it's クロスクロード (kurosu-kuroodo), so make of that what you will. Before I noticed the official spelling, I was thinking maybe Crosscloud, but...

Ellevark used out-of-place English words sometimes, though not really to the extremes that some characters in Japanese media do; it's just an occasional thing meant to make him seem weird. While I passed over some minor uses of English that might be considered "within reason," for those that weren't, I translated them into random other languages so their weirdness remained intact. (But I did not really change them otherwise. "Siete pronti? Si, si" seriously was just アーユーレディ、イエス、イエス - "are you ready, yes, yes.") Technically he already did span more languages than just English in the Japanese version too ("mein gott" was that, not "o mai goddo"), just not very often.

Karnel initially calls Pia "Pia-san," then is convinced to go to "Pia-kun" after Valgido is beaten (though he does use -kun a few times prior, which might be a mistake), and then goes on to use it for the other girls. And indeed, Karnel and Ellevark don't use honorifics for each other, nor does Ellevark for Pia, so Ellevark thinks it's dumb that Karnel won't just drop them entirely for Pia. Also, technically Pia says "Ell-san" instead of just "Ell," but I didn't often put "Mr." for that except when it felt right.

Celestials were 神族, literally "god race." The "proposed" English translation was Creators, but that's kind of eh. It doesn't really work very well with people's reactions to Ellevark telling them he is one, either. Ellevark seems to deny Mimi calling him "God" because there are lots of gods, which he is one of, and if there's any one captial-G God, it's Origin.

Ragnarok was generally always referred to as simply 昔話大戦, the War of Myth/Legend. However, the name Ragnarok was given as the translation of this in the Terms File, and the description noted that Ragnarok is the war's actual name (even though nobody actually uses it outside of that). This same sort of thing applies to Yggdrasil, actually, although it's different from the Ragnarok situation in that it's already well established in Japanese media that 世界樹 (world tree) = Yggdrasil.

The name of the Sage's Cave uses 賢者, technically the same word as "Philosopher's Stone." But I felt that translating that word as Philosopher in that case would give too much away; it would stick out and make the fact the stone is there more obvious, basically. Besides, Philosopher is long enough of a word that even just using it for the stone feels like the word is getting enough use as it is.

Scarlotus Luna was 紅蓮華月, literally "Crimson Lotus Flower Moon" (though "Flower" can also be used like "Gallant"). It being such a prevalent term, I tried to come to something with the necessary meaning that didn't sound too unwieldy.

Crowa is totally a chuunibyou. It's not extremely in-your-face, but his skill names for instance are definitely some 12-year-old cool nonsense - they're kanji with katakana readings which may or may not have anything to do with the kanji. For instance, 黒影幻視 (Dark Shadow Vision) read シャドウ (the English word "Shadow"). Or 覚醒 (Awakening), read トランス (Trance).

When Mimi gives Ellevark the Dragon's Khakkara, Pia "misreads" the kanji 錫杖 (shakujou) as 楊枝 (youji), toothpick. I'm not sure what that implies about the way in which they know the names of items... A similar case is when Ellevark introduces himself to Fenny as a Celestial (神族), she thinks he said 親族 (relatives), and he tells her "wrong pronunciation" - since they could both be read as "shinzoku." (Though it's unclear whether the correct reading for 神族 is "kami-zoku" or "shin-zoku.")

Sausage d'Saucesome was ソーセージ・ブリクソォス (Sausage Burikusoosu). "Burikusoosu" seems to be a play on "burikuso," a slang term for "extremely," and "sauce." Though the presence of "kuso" is suspect.

The first Chapter 14 Projection Mirror conversation makes a joke about the Midage Unit being "contradictory" because they have both the ultimate spear and the ultimate shield. While this makes some sense from the angle of "they can't both be the literal ultimate," it's also a play on the Japanese word for contradiction being 矛盾, literally a combination of "spear" and "shield." Hence "A literal contradiction, huh..."

The "digestive things" Ellevark talks about in the second Chapter 14 Projection Mirror conversation are specifically Seirogan. So yeah, they do look like... that.

Mimi makes a joke in Chapter 15 about Karnel being a "kyuuti" (cutie) alchemist, a mishearing of "kyuutei." "C-o-u-t Alchemist" may be a stretch, but I'm still kind of surprised I could go with something that close.


Vital Drink EX's description made an allusion to the slogan for Oronamin C Drink, "Genki hatsuratsu (full of energy)!", then remarked how that sounded familiar and it would be "dangerous to go any further." Well-known long-standing drink slogans are kind of limited, so I went with Red Bull.

Snacker Snapper was ウマタイ (Umatai), which is a pun on "umai" for tasty and "uma" for horse, combined with "tai" (snapper). This is also why the description mentions people calling it "shimauma," zebra.

The Holyswordfish was 聖刀魚, which literally does just mean "holy sword fish." But swordfish in Japanese isn't literally "sword fish," so that wasn't what it went for. Instead, they wondered how you're supposed to read those kanji together. I turned this into the question of how to break up the words.

Desert Halibut's name was written with "dezaato" in Japanese, which can literally be either "desert" or "dessert," allowing for the pun to be even smoother than in English.

The thing with the EX and DX sweets is basically the same as Japanese - claiming that EX stands for various English words starting with "ex," or with "d...x." The curveball, "DX? It's a library!", is a joke about DXLibrary, which is used in many Japanese indie games, as well as Wolf RPG Editor.

Flute Grass was 風奏草, literally meaning something like "grass played by the wind," and a pun on the last two kanji both having the reading "sou." I turned it into a play on "grass flute."

The Match description did indeed originally reference Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl.

Fountain Pen in Japanese is 万年筆, "ten thousand years brush/pen," so its description joked "can you really use it for that long?" Luckily, they're called something fairly strange in English too.


The Silver Hammer's description joked about it being usable by the elderly, apparently because in Japanese, "silver" is sometimes used in relation to senior services and such. I turned it into a misreading of silver as "sliver."

The Flieswateur Fan was 軍配武士三和土, which is a mess of kanji like "warrior" and "peace" which I suppose might look passable, but then the description reveals the name part is read as ムシタタキ, "bug swatting." (Also, it's technically a "gunbai," a fan used by a military leader.)

The Cross Shield's description made a joke on "kurosu" (cross) and "korosu" (kill). But in English, I can just use the same word to similar effect!

The description of the Fullmetal Gloves is naturally a Fullmetal Alchemist reference. While that one is pretty unsubtle, there's also the Relentless Training mission where they suggest the participating members might lose an arm, and Karnel wonders how he would do alchemy in that case...

Cowboy Hat's description seemed to be a reference to One Piece's "I'm gonna be king of the pirates!", so.

"Lame-Ell Armor" wasn't really in the Japanese at all, naturally, but I couldn't just pass it up with that name.

The Ball Bell was Tama no Suzu, so Mimi made a joke reading it as "Tama's Bell": "You can wear it even if your name isn't Tama." (It's a fairly common cat name, like Bella seems to be in English.) After much struggle, I went with a rough pun on Isabella.


Squarry was クチリ (Kuchiri), which seemed to be a play on "kuchi" (mouth) and "risu" (squirrel). Since it carries items in its mouth, I made it a squirrel who carries.

Mol was just モグ (Mogu), taking off the end of "mogura" for mole.

Moolmorm was モルモーム (Morumoomu), and from all the relevant descriptions, it's pretty clear that's the "intended" romanization. What with the "morm" coming from its caterpillar resemblance, and the "mool" from the thread it produces.

Squeakart was トロッコチュウ (Torokkochuu), simply "minecart" plus a mouse-squeak onomatopoeia. The description didn't really seem to say anything about the squeaking of the cart originally (since it wouldn't be the same word), but that seemed appropriate.

Chik was ピヨ (Piyo, from chick chirping), and Koocoo was コッケー (Kokkee), a play on the (rather similar) Japanese equivalent of "cuckoo."

Quietoad was シズミガエル (Shizumigaeru), and "shizumikaeru" is literally just a verb meaning "to fall silent."

Grizzly's description originally said "Mori no kuma-san... No, it's not cute enough to be called that." Mori no Kuma-san is the Japanese version of I Saw A Bear the Other Day, a children's song which ends with the bear giving a girl the earrings she dropped. (Not sure how that one happened.) Anyway, the point is "cute bear," so Winnie the Pooh it was.

Shadoo was クロコ (Kuroko), a sorta-cute-sounding name based on "black." Yeah, I know Shadoo is that thing from Super Paper Mario. But let's just forget about that. Bloos were アオコ (Aoko), so they follow the same pattern.

Amphibiurstoad was モリモエアガエル (Morimoeagaeru), so right off the bat you can tell it's completely absurd. It's a mashup of "moriagaru" (to rouse or swell), "moeagaru" (to flare up or burst), and "kaeru" for frog. The description also makes a joke about how the name contains "mori" (forest) despite it being a desert creature. I swapped that to using "amphibious," kept the thing about touching it causing a "bursting" pain, and even managed to incorporate its element, "earth" (urs). And of course, it's just as terrible to pronounce as the Japanese name. Perfection!


Seal's description was originally a joke about "seal" meaning "sticker" in Japanese - basically, "that name makes it sound like you stick it on something." I could've gone with the animal too, but that's kind of questionable territory in a fantasy world where they joke about "Sharks" being some kind of monster.

Posted August 19th, 2015

#faraway story

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