A common question I’ve been getting lately is about a small bit of text in the Final Fantasy X English translation:
Tidus: They say Seymour went to Macarena Temple.
Wakka: Macalania Temple.
This is famous among English-speaking fans – right in the middle of a mandatory, main event scene is a reference to the Macarena, complete with the weird-sounding “aye”?! Surely this wasn’t in the Japanese version, right?
First, for the uninitiated, here’s a music video of the Macarena song – it pretty much took America by storm in the mid-90s and hung around for years. The times were crazy.
So anyway, what did this Final Fantasy X line say in Japanese? I did some digging around and got some screenshots for comparison:
|Final Fantasy X HD (Japanese)||Final Fantasy X HD (English)|
And here’s how the text looks side-by-side:
|Japanese Version (basic translation)||English Version|
|Tiida: They say Seymour went to Malacania Temple.||Tidus: They say Seymour went to Macarena Temple.|
|Wakka: Macalania Temple.||Wakka: Macalania Temple.|
|Tiida: Yeah, that’s it.||Tidus: Aye.|
So in Japanese, it looks like Tidus (“Tiida” in Japanese, which apparently comes from an Okinawan word for “sun”) just mixes up “Malacania” for “Macalania” – an understandable mistake. In other words, the Japanese text doesn’t mention the Macarena or make a pop culture reference – it just plays the scene straight. The Macarena reference was added into the English release.
The Final Fantasy Compendium actually interviewed one of FFX’s localizers, Richard Honeywood, about this Macarena reference many years ago:
Actually, I can still remember when Alex was writing that line. I’m always a sucker for silly humor, and I’m a pop culture junkie. Of course, I laughed and agreed to it at the time, so long as the “Aye!” was done in a way that it wouldn’t seem really strange to people who didn’t know the song (or years later, when everyone has forgotten the old one-hit wonders).
The whole discussion is fascinating and entertaining (he even discusses fan translations and possibly me), so I definitely recommend checking out the full interview here. While on the subject, this 8-4 podcast discussion with him is amazingly interesting too!
Also, just for fun and further reference I’ve put both the English and the Japanese clips of this Final Fantasy X scene into a handy video:
Anyway, hopefully that solves the mystery of the Final Fantasy X Macarena!