The Sandman Translation Notes

Dreams of war, dreams of liars, dreams of dragon's fire... (Spoilers for everything!)


Uri seemed slightly unsure whether to go with Sandman or Sand Man. The former does make it slightly inconsistent with the other titles, I guess. But Sandman is the clear winner - I mean, it's not Enter Sand Man.

In the game itself, the only appearances of "Sand Man" were the title screen and the health display in the final battle (the latter of which I changed). He was called "Sandman" in English numerous places in the Japanese version, like the fairy encyclopedia and the English letter to Sophie.

It may be kind of obvious, and I did it in TCM too (though it came up less because of the role of the Crooked Man), but I decided between "Sandman" and "the Sandman" entirely by the context, as it's always just "Sandoman" in Japanese.

It ended up being that Sophie usually calls him "the Sandman" and all the fairies just say "Sandman" since they're more familiar with him. Makes sense to me.

Something similar (but also not) is that Sophie always called her dad Papa and mom Mama, regardless of her current attitude toward them. This seems to be fairly common in Japanese for kids her age.

I do feel that in English, "papa" sounds pretty awkward for a teenage girl to say in most cases. But I think it fits her development to end up calling him that; they were distant for so long and only at the end of the game realize how important they are to each other. They've "missed" a lot of years in their relationship, and Sophie simply remembers calling him papa as a kid - Uri's notes talk about how in the good ending, Sophie gets back her childhood instead of being a "fake adult." ("Papa" also fits the closeness I'm led to believe they have after TSM.) Calling her mom Mama is a similar case, since she died so early in her life.

When her dad/mom isn't actually present, though, I usually changed it to "dad" and "mom." This same shift exists in a small way in the Japanese version as well; Richard's name in the textboxes at JP Gordon is "Dad" (父), but it switches to "Papa" in the ending.

Sister Mary was just namelessly "Sister" in the Japanese version, which was awkward enough ("I have to go see The Sister. You know the one.") that I asked Uri if she could have a name, and she provided me that one.

Apparently Uri didn't want to bog down Japanese players with another name if it didn't particularly matter, and it doesn't read as awkwardly in Japanese, so it worked out there. Only English players get to know this Great Secret.

As with The Crooked Man, I just kept all the images as-is, though there's not much Engrish ala the school newspaper in TCM this time. Well, actually, I did fix the town map which said "Loren Cathoric Private High School."

The Strange Men series takes place in America and everyone speaks English. Well, usually. So the letter from the Sandman was always English too; Uri contacted me during development to translate just that note for the sake of the image.

...However, for some reason, the item description called it "clumsy English" - which would make sense given how he learned it - except Uri gave it to me without context and no instruction to make it read that way. So I changed that to poke fun at how overwrought it is.

BlumBear and the movie titles were all in English already, of course. I also went with Uri's names for the JP Gordon & Chase rooms as given by the security console. Well, except I spelled out "Meeting Room." Look, when you work in finance, you can't afford to spell MTG as "meeting."

The line "she was shot by Ban Crobber or something" is because Sophie is apparently unfamiliar with the word "ginkougoutou" (bank robber), given she says it ぎんこーごーとー.

Lullaby was "Komoriuta," but they're sometimes called "Lala" (or "Lulla," I guess) in the code, so it's clear that's the desired English name. There was a bit of blurring between "a lullaby" or "Lullaby" in places because, well, Japanese, though it does seem apparent Sandman only made one Lullaby. (Which probably no one else ever thought, but I felt that might be the case when I first saw the reveal.)

The effect for Lullaby taking Sophie to the fairy world is called... "To Never Never Land." The fade effect used in the fairy world is also labeled "Fade (NNL)." And while we're talking about secret names for things, the event for using the cardboard box is simply called "Snake."

It should be noted that "yousei" can mean fairy, sprite, or elf. So that could be why a few creatures that may not normally be considered "fairies" are called that. Hey, Pokemon's got my back.

Nixie calling Sophie "squirt" was "gaki," brat. Squirt suits how she uses it to imply Sophie is young and inexperienced but not necessarily a jerk, and it's a water pun!

The Dusts just talked in all katakana. They're common enough (and cute enough) that all lowercase seemed the best way to go.

The Glimmers are just called "light fairies" in Japanese, but were given the English name Glimmers in the encyclopedia.

I'm sure everyone appreciated Shirley's "crooked neck" remark, but also note Lullaby mentioning that David "used to be a cute little boy with fluffy hair." Yep. Yep. (Of course, Fluffy was still young Duke, but he's not just young Duke...)

I wasn't expecting so many silly names in this game. Fortunately, that's my forte!

Posted March 7th, 2014

#the sandman

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