Your Turn To Die Translation Notes

Just a random question, but you know what tasuuketsu is?

(Contains big spoilers for everything up to Chapter 3, Part One, as well as Island Existence. Don't read until you've completed it!)


The title "Kimi ga Shine" (pronounced "shee-neh," not like "shining") basically means "go die, you in particular." Something as simple as "You Die" super didn't work as a title, so I basically settled on "Your Turn To Die" to emphasize the actual context of "picking someone who has to die," with the sense of inevitability that someone must. Also notable is that it's "kimi," which is a pretty familiar and affectionate word for "you"; I very briefly considered "Die, My Dear" as an alternative that focused more on that part, but it didn't stick at all.

"Sonobeno High School" is a pun on "sono hen no"; basically, it's like calling it "Bog-Standard High School" (literally "somewhere-around-there," as in you can find one like it anywhere).

Sara's student ID number "SAMURAIONNNA" means "samurai girl/woman," though it has an extra N. Sara does talk in kind of a brusque way not typical for a high school girl, hence others getting a samurai sort of impression. But it's not like she's using archaic Japanese or something.

"Jou" being "Joe" isn't really a localization so much as an intended distinction in the Japanese. His real name is given the reading ジョウ, while what he's normally called is ジョー. They're pronounced the same, but there's an implied casualness to the latter. Incidentally, while Sara's name similarly matches a Western name, it's always サラ. While that's certainly pronounced "Sah-rah" in Japanese, I wouldn't say "Sare-uh" (Sarah) is necessarily invalid in English - sometimes the intent of names like that is to "be" the English name.

Originally (and in my initial release, since I didn't catch it for a while), the number written on the wall in the First Trial was 1374. This can be read in Japanese as "i-mi-na-shi" -> "imi nashi" (or maybe "i-mi-na-yo" -> "imi ga nai yo"), which means... "there's no meaning." I changed it to 3141 because - relative to 3.141, the first few digits of pi - it's "pointless." This same number reappears in Chapter 3 Part One, so it's changed there too.

The word "keiji" means "detective," though different kanji are used for Keiji's name. However, early on, there are a few instances of people calling him "Keiji-san" using the kanji for "detective." I think the implication is they think his name is written like that, as one of the instances is in Nao's introduction: In the event you heard Keiji's introduction first, she says "[detective]-san," but if you haven't, she says "that policeman (different word)." Just a weird, quirky thing, though it could even be a typo.

Though not always, Keiji usually refers to himself with "omawarisan" - a friendly, sometimes kiddy word for "policeman" - rather than a standard personal pronoun. This seems to be a conscious effort to cement himself as "the friendly policeman" to the group, so it was obviously important to get this across. While in numerous cases it was too awkward to not just go with "I" (and especially "we" for "omawarisan-tachi"), I often did word things to have him mention "Mr. Policeman" or "your friendly policeman." As for the other characters, Gin and Kanna usually call Keiji "omawarisan" instead of his name... and so does Nao, which feels kinda weird. For her, I usually translated it as "the policeman" or something instead of "Mr. Policeman."

When Kai introduces himself, he calls himself a "shufu," which Q-taro mistakes as "shefu" (chef). So while it basically works regardless since he's holding cooking utensils, there was an added linguistic reason for it. "Shufu" means either househusband or housewife; they have the same pronunciation, but different kanji. Kai uses katakana for it at first, then when clarifying to Q-taro, uses the "husband" kanji. At any rate, I opted for "homemaker" since Kai is just a servant rather than married, and I'm unsure if he'd use "househusband" to imply he is - instead, I had him say he's "akin to" one. Though incidentally, Sara's dad tells Kai he's initiated into the tradition of "housewives" specifically, probably because he's giving him a housewife's apron.

Q-taro's name is probably, on top of just being generally absurd, a joke on "BBQ," as made evident by the roster listing him in Japanese name order as "B.B. Q-taro." ("-taro" is also a very generic suffix for masculine names, similar to "-mi" or "-ko" for feminine names.) Alice's mockery/misremembering of his first name was originally 丼太郎 (Dontaro), a joke on "Q = kyuu = gyuudon (beef bowl)." In one instance, though, he does outright call him "Barbecue-Taro."

Q-taro's mixed-up accent is pretty much exactly what you'd expect: he mixes a lot of different dialects. I'm not 100% sure if everything has a legitimate source, but one of the common bits that stuck out to me as unfamiiar and thus maybe made-up, the sentence-ender "zeyo," is apparently Tosa-ben, so what do I know. I wouldn't be surprised if Nankidai had some over-the-top fun with it (I mean, I did), but it could just as well be dedicated to accuracy.

Reko's name is romanized alternatingly as both "Reko" and "Reco" all over the files and data. (Post-translation, official merch has seemingly canonized it as Reko.) But since the stage names of the band members were given in all-caps English letters, with Reko's being "RECO," I figured it made sense for Reko to be her real name and RECO the stage version of it, playing on "record." While her first name is generally always given in katakana, the roster gives it in kanji as 澪子. There did seem to be some potential of this being read as "Reiko" and that being her true legal name, but Nankidai posted some character profiles where those kanji are explicitly given the reading Reko, so it seems unlikely.

Alice's name is similarly split between "Alice" and "Arisu." (Post-translation, official merch has seemingly canonized it as Alice.) Like all the character names, it's normally katakana, but on the roster is written in hiragana, somewhat implying it as more Japanese than English. (If you're familiar with bad VN localizations, yes... I'm talking about Katakana (Alice) and Hiragana Alice (Alisu).) But I don't think there's a solid reason to go with Arisu. "Arisu" only seems significantly different from "Alice" (and thus perhaps "easier to see a male character having") when seen in English, and the name is clearly supposed to suggest female given the initial misunderstanding. Why he has that name is still ambiguous and may remain so, but simply enough, it's the name he's using.

Alice has two pretty distinct ways of speaking, as should hopefully be apparent in my translation too. Either he uses the pronoun "ore" (masculine-leaning) and acts all tough, or he uses "atashi" (feminine-leaning) and sounds, well, pretty girly. (Specifically, he uses "onee" language.) Reko calls him out early on for talking in a weird tone, but it could be argued which one she's actually referring to; in the childhood flashback at the start of Chapter 2 Part Two, he's talking more femininely than not.

Somewhat similarly, Reko normally uses "ore" but also uses "watashi" (neutral) at times. She tends to do so when flustered, showing weakness, or just being nice, though it's less common than Alice using onee speech. The fake Reko in Chapter 2 only ever uses "ore," and this helps indicate the difference between the two Rekos when they meet.

Kanna sometimes uses "watashi" like normal, but often switches to referring to herself in the third person. (And when in this mode, she even says "jibun no ___", effectively "her ___", instead of "watashi no ___", i.e. "my ___".) This is common for young kids in Japanese media to do (though Gin is younger and uses a normal "boku"), which may suggest some significance to why she does it. Since there's a distinction being established there, it's preserved instead of her always just using first-person. That said, there were cases where there was no pronoun but English called for one, so I had to decide whether she was still in third-person or not - I tended to go with "not" unless it was established by the surrounding context.

The dolls always had pretty punny names, so it was appropriate to make them English puns. Doing this also makes their names stand out as different and made-up compared to everyone else with their Japanese names, just as the dolls' original names are clearly made-up.
- Sue Miley = smiley, Hoemii = hohoemi (smile)
- Rio Ranger = rearranger, Toto Noel = totonoeru (to put in order, to arrange)
- Rio Laizer = realizer (both for "realizing what he's done" and "fully-realized"), Coco Roel = kokoroeru (to have knowledge of, or read literally, "to gain a heart")
- Tia Safalin = tears are falling, Hannakii = hannaki (half-crying/on the verge of tears)

Notably, I considered "Sue Miley" while first playing and before I encountered Toto Noel, who is typically just called Noel. So I felt that one kind of validated me using "first and last names" to achieve the puns.

Due to Japanese name ordering, it's likely that Alice stuttering "Ya... Yamada Gonbee" implies he was about to say "Yabusame Alice" before realizing he had to (badly) make up a name. So that's cute (and makes it all the more unlikely that he actually considers Gonbee anything but a fake name he made up right then, so as to conceal his identity as a murderer and Reko's brother). Incidentally, Yamada is an extremely generic surname, and Gonbee is a weird, super-antiquated name, as is mentioned.

Gin calling Sou "loner" was 陰キャ, short for "negative/gloomy character." (When Nao wonders if this term might apply to her as well, Gin claims she's the opposite: 陽キャ, a chipper character.) It's not perfectly accurate, but it was the best appropriately short term.

When summoning the things used to kill Joe, Miley calls them "Myoromyoro," which is presumably a joke of sorts on "nyoronyoro," and in fact, that's what the filename for that picture is. That word means "wriggling/slithering," though it's also the Japanese name for Hattifatteners from Moomin. So... it may actually be a reference to that??

The Hades Incident was the 天極事件 (Tengoku Jiken). It's a mashup of 天国 (tengoku, heaven) and 極道 (gokudou, refers to organized crime) that is still pronounced the same way as "heaven." It's basically interpreted as "the pinnacle of criminals." Given the English term "criminal underworld" and the notion of a "king" of it emerging, Hades seemed like a fitting equivalent, even if it technically represents the opposite thing... but like, it's a highly ironic use of "heaven" anyway.

The word 量 (ryou) can mean both "volume" and "quantity," so suggesting it as the type of unit for the Impression Room display resulted in Nao theorizing "35.5 boxes, 35.5 animals, 35.5 liters..." Obviously this didn't make much sense with either word in English, so I just changed them to other units of volume.

"Impression Room" used a homophone wordplay on "kanshou"; it's assumed to mean "appreciation/viewing/listening room" and written with that kanji at first, but Ranger reveals it to be "interference room" once you figure out what needs to be done. Impression Room isn't quite that smooth, but does have added relevance to the "pressure switch" aspect, making it seem as if Reko's initial epiphany about that explains the somewhat odd name.

When there's a knock on Sara's door at the start of Chapter 2 Part Two, the reason you can choose between thinking it's Keiji or Nao is because the voice says "Sara-chan," which both of them use. Of course, it's still silly in practice since their voices presumably don't sound alike.

The "Kain you believe it!" (sou nano Kai!) on Kai's computer is surrounded by clams because "kai" means seashell. (Though that's not the kanji used for his name.)

BACKDOOR.SMUT was the "Ecchi File." The word ecchi comes from the letter "H," as in "hentai," so ecchi carries the meaning of lewd/sexy/perverted. The twist was that the H actually stood for "hacking." So it was always pretty awkward and goofy, though whether Kai was intentionally thinking "if anyone gets their hands on my laptop, I'll make them think it's porn" seems a little more ambiguous in the Japanese (i.e. "I'll hide what this is by using the first letter, surely "ecchi" doesn't mean anything"). Also, my version is likely significantly easier to see coming if you've ever heard the term related to computers.

ASU-NARO comes from Asunaro, the Japanese name for Thujopsis, a type of Japanese cypress. It's associated with the phrase "asu wa hinoki ni narou" ("tomorrow, it will become a hinoki cypress"), i.e. the idea of something growing to become something greater. This thus ties into the "what I want to be today, tomorrow I will be" meaning of the name shown in-game.

Sou's name is almost certainly a play on "uso," lie. This is supported by the track name "Sou no Uso" ("Not So, Sou"). In addition to Sou being "uso," Hiyori means "sunny weather." This parallels Shin Tsukimi: Shin means "truth," and Tsukimi means "moon-viewing."

The names on the bar blackboard are actually ordered in the traditional order of kana (with Q-taro's "Q" being an English Q and thus stuck on the end). Under this ordering, "Sou" and "Shin" would fall into the same place. However, if these were to be re-ordered alphabetically in English, Sou/Shin would come either before or after Shunsuke, which would be pretty noticeable and interfere with the "intended clues." That said, I did leave an extra space after "Sou" in the blackboard image to indicate that it had been changed from Shin, a detail that wasn't there in Japanese since they're the same length.

(Below this point are new notes for Chapter 3, Part One.)

For those not aware, the Red Thread of Fate is in reference to a Japanese (east-Asian in general) belief about people fated for each other, usually in a "true love" sense, being connected by an invisible red thread. Usually not by the neck, though.

I left real Sou's default name as Midori, which just means "green." Since the default name helps establish an easier way for fans to refer to him (so better to keep it the same as the Japanese), and people could name him Greene or whatever themselves if they wanted, I didn't see much point in changing it.

The Japanese version has a pretty basic way of checking the name you give Midori against other characters' names (it only checks them in katakana, in fact). I added some code in the English version to make it case-insensitive and ignore dashes and spaces; this also helps with seeing the response for "Q-taro Burgerberg," which is slightly too long normally and requires removing either the dash or the space to fit. I considered checking Japanese name orders as well, but figured that would be like the Japanese version checking English name orders.

Finally, I added a few extra cases for naming. Both "Jou [Tazuna]" and "Joe [Tazuna]" trigger those responses, even if technically only Joe does in Japanese. Despite "Gashu" and "Satou" being there, "Gashu Satou" was left out, so I added it figuring it could only be an oversight. And I had "Sue Miley" and "Tia Safalin" give the same responses whether you use the full name or the last name (given they only had "a single name" in Japanese). However, based on the logic of him explicitly being fine with "Rio" (or, since Ranger/Laizer's "first name" differs in Japanese, Toto or Coco respectively), I had him be fine with "Sue" and "Tia."

When talking with Mai early on in the 4F locker room, she asks you to touch her cheek to verify her skin's softness, and you get the options "sawaru (touch)," "sawaranai (don't touch)," and "momu (rub/massage/grope)." The last one is clearly meant to suggest touching her breasts, hence her going "ah, not there!", but then it turns out Sara means her shoulders, as you'd use the same word for giving a shoulder massage. English isn't really able to pull off that chain of events as, uh, "elegantly," but I did my best.

In Japanese, tag is called "oni-gokko," and the role of "it" is called the "oni (demon)." This makes Midori's line about passing around "that dirty role" a bit less awkward, though it still kinda works in the sense of "someone has to die (we assume), and you're it."

In the flashback Keiji has in the coffin, Mr. Policeman says he wants to give his kid a "jou ni atsui" (passionate) man's name. So, I think it's pretty clear what that's hinting at. I couldn't think of anything quite as overt in English, but figured "a name you can trust" might bring to mind phrases like "average Joe."

Emiri Harai and Michiru Namida are actually pretty punny names as well, though it wouldn't really have worked to change them from Japanese. Emiri contains "emi," smile, and though it's more of a stretch, Harai could be be a play on "purifying/clearing away," or "chuui wo harau (pay caution)." The other name is pretty blatant, though: Michiru means "to be full," and Namida, though it's written with different kanji (並田), means "tears." (So I guess you could say she's actually "full-crying"?)

It's been noticed by Japanese fans that SAMURAIONNNA is an anagram of MINNA ASUNARO (everyone Asunaro).

On the consent form, "Asunaro" is written as the kanji for the type of cypress, which is not how it's written elsewhere (it's usually either katakana, or ASU-NARO in English letters). So the second jokey response you can pick after revealing what the form says was originally "These are some complicated kanji" (implying Sara doesn't know how to read the "Asunaro" part), to which Ranmaru responds "Aren't you in high school?!" I changed this to her thinking it was "devoting yourself to [type of cypress]" as a metaphor for caring for the environment.

The AI-Ceiver was the "AI Kourin," which... well, I'm not really certain what it's going for. It may be a play on "advent" (kourin) and/or "calling." (And it's called an "egg" in some places internally.) The English name plays on "receiver" and "conceiver."

Hinako's cut-off line about her coffin was "Kono hi..." (about to say hitsugi, coffin), which Q-taro presumes might've been "kono hitogoroshi" (you murderer!, specifically implying she's a human due to the "hito" part). The game doesn't say this, but "kono Hinako" could be another plausible interpretation if she were talking about herself pompously. (...But it was me, Hinako!)


Steam-Exclusive Mini-Episodes

(Kai's mini-episode) The name Sei (整) comes from the kanji for "totonoeru" (to arrange), the basis of Ranger's Japanese name, which is read "sei" in isolation. Like Emiri Harai and Michiru Namida, it's just supposed to be a normal Japanese name, so it wasn't something that would have felt right to change in an attempt to keep the wordplay/connection. (If I had, I might've gone with some anagram of "Rio.") As a compensation of sorts, I did have Gashu say he had "arranged" for Sei to join their family; also, Gashu's superior does use the word "totonoeru" in regards to him "getting his appearance in proper order" toward the end.


Your Time To Shine: Island Existence

Naming the side-game Your Time To Shine was pretty much just an invention of my translation, for a variety of reasons such as "I thought it would be a funny thing to call a YTTD side-game ever since it was announced" (due to the common joke of reading "shi-ne" like the English "shine"). It's also a bit more elegant than just saying "Your Turn To Die Sidestory" or whatever all the time. It turned out to be a decent fit, as it's on a tropical island, and allows all the characters to both be protagonists and get more time in the spotlight.

The side-game's subtitle (or main title, really) could be translated as "Survival Island," but since "seizon" can be read as both survival and existence, it seemed like it might be referring to how the "curse" erases people from existence. (Or how some people now only exist as part of the side-game.)

The Sunnies were the "Umiizu," a slight modification of "Dummies" that plays on them being on the beach (umi).

(Mishima story, fondness events with Kai) Kai's line at the end of his first fondness event ("Same hand-analysis time, same hand-analysis channel") was just a simple "otanoshimi ni" ("look forward to it") in Japanese. But it's pretty clear he's... channeling... a TV show vibe with the end of scenes 1 and 2, talking about "next time" (or "next episode" in that context) and giving a tease of what'll happen.

(Kai story, fondness events with Kanna) In her third scene, Kanna starts to say "okaasan," but tries to claim it's "o-Kai-san," since putting "o-" in front of something makes it more polite; thus, he turns that on her with "o-Kanna-san." I'm not super satisfied with translating this as "my Kai," but I think it works more than I expected.

(Kai story, fondness events with Reko) The word for ghost stories has "kai" in it, so the line I translated as a "you-kai" pun originally went like "the kai in Kai is from "kaidan."" (As it happens, though, the "kai" in youkai is that same kanji.) In the second event, Reko says she's not an "oni instructor" (basically meaning "drill sergeant"), so Kai says "speaking of oni...", but clarifies it's a joke about "oni-gokko" (tag), which makes Reko consider that it might be okay.

(Kai story, various fondness events) There were a bunch of puns on "Kai" being homophonous with "seashell." For one, that's why he describes his mood in terms of seashells. In the second Gin event: "You've lit a fire in [Kai-san] - now, I am as if a grilled clam..." (translated as a play on "kite") In the second Mishima event: "I never would've thought of putting a hole in [Kai-san]..." "And I've never seen someone call a seashell "-san"!" (added a line pointing out the connection for context, then translated this as "Mr. Shelly") And in Gonbee's events, they talk about being "the real Kai-san," which I mostly just translated as "Lord of Shells."


The Translation Revisions Corner

Over time, there are parts of the translation I've taken the liberty of changing, seeing as I have the opportunity to do so, and the game still being a work in progress anyhow. These have all been in the interest of general improvement, such as fixing mistranslations or improving wording, and I don't intend to make major changes (unless there was a major error). But some changes have resulted in confusion and assumptions about my reasons, so I decided I'd explain my thought processes here.

In the initial version of the translation, Sara calls Joe "gaudy" in the intro (as does Reko later), which he denies. This was a translation of "charai" that I concluded didn't feel quite right, with the intent being closer to "frivolous-looking" or "flirtacious" (which is why it's contrasted with him "taking it slow" with Ryoko) - honestly, I don't feel like he looks especially gaudy as the game's character designs go. (Revisiting these lines after the "Mr. Flirt" stuff in YTTS gave some added context.) Changing it has had some people responding like "Joe's not a flirt!", but indeed - that's why he's right to deny it.

Keiji's common deflection when questioned why he immediately trusts Sara used to be simply "Because you're cute." I didn't anticipate this being read as anything serious or genuinely trying to hit on her, but numerous people did, so I later revised it to "'cause you're just so darn cute" to better set what I feel the tone is meant to be. (Hard to explain, but besides the general context, the "ne" in "kawaii kara ne" helps establish its non-seriousness to me.)

The translation used to contain a few instances of the phrase "among us." It no longer does (though I left one in the YTTS intro). And the culprit is, of course, Among Us. Yes, I know it seems silly, or like I'm trying to ruin people's fun. (Some have also overestimated the effort it took me to do this, but it's very easy for me to Ctrl+F through all the game's text and change like 5 or so lines.) But there's a fundamental reason why I thought it'd be best to reword the phrase to something else: it's an opportunity for people to be "taken out of the story" during serious moments, one that simply did not exist in Japanese.

Especially due to the, uh, shared themes of suspicion, seeing someone say "among us" in this game makes for take-a-screenshot comedy where there's not really supposed to be. Of course it could be argued that the game and its translation will outlast people being brain-poisoned (positive?) by Among Us memes, but people are playing the game now, and I think there's no harm in just avoiding the use of a certain phrase.

(Content warning for discussion of racist anti-black language.) Gin's nickname for Kurumada in Japanese is "yankii gorilla." It's clearly meant to parallel Q-taro's nickname, just replacing "kinniku" (muscle) with "yankii" (delinquent); "gorilla" in Japanese is reasonably common slang referring to a burly person. To my knowledge, it does not generally have "racial slur" connotations in Japanese, and using it for Q-taro was fine - but calling a dark-skinned character this in English is obviously a different story. Yet I unfortunately didn't stop to consider that with my original translation (as the nickname was only used in one single instance), and also made a bone-headed choice of words for "yankii."

I deeply apologize for my mistake to all those who saw it; I made sure to correct this as soon as it was pointed out. I ended up going with "muscle punk," capturing the basic idea of Gin seeing him as like Q-taro but more crude. To be clear, the nickname used in the Chapter 3 intro never changed in Japanese (as it didn't really have this issue to begin with), though that's actually the only instance of the full nickname in Japanese - Gin generally just calls him "yankii" in the rest of the chapter (which came out after I'd fixed the name).

This is probably going to sound weird if you weren't there for it, but... During a large-scale editing pass when I implemented language switching, one thing I examined was the word "sheesh," but not for any meme-related reason - I just felt like I was overusing it as a translation for "mattaku" compared to how natural it feels for someone to actually say "sheesh." In the process of trying to vary it up with other ways of expressing "mattaku," the word "cripes" entered the fray, which got an unexpected negative reaction, so I changed any instances of that back to "sheesh." Sheesh, you really can't please everybody. (But still I try.)

Posted June 7th, 2019

#your turn to die

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