A while back, Zindkeeper asked a quick question about the first Kingdom Hearts game:
Since we’re on the subject of ”Oh, this is…” phrases, and sorry if you already handled it before, but there’s been some awkwardness found in the original Kingdom Hearts’ translation. In Disney Castle at the beginning of the game, this happened:
Donald: “Daisy, can you take care of the…”
Apparently, according to one FAQ writer, this is completely wrong. Daisy was supposed to say “Take care” to Donald and Goofy in response to Donald saying something else. Could you possibly shed some light on this one, when you have time?
This was easy to look into, especially thanks to YouTube user Everglow8444, who has full videos of the Japanese and English re-releases. Thanks for being so thorough!
So here’s the line in question in both versions:
|Japanese HD version||English HD version|
The question is if this English translation is wrong, and the answer is… nope. It’s perfectly fine. It might seem a bit unusual for folks still studying the language though, so I can totally see why it might seem a bit odd at first.
In the Japanese line, Donald says:
It’s difficult to translate this line super-literally because it’s actually technically an incomplete sentence! Incomplete sentences are extremely common in Japanese and it means reading between the lines is an important skill you need when using the language. Part of the reason incomplete sentences are so common in Japanese is that verbs generally come at the end of sentences (“I dogs sell”), unlike with English (“I sell dogs”). And if the situation or context is already obvious, then including the verb isn’t really necessary.
Of course, this causes a problem when trying to translate, since in English we usually need to include the verbs, as they’re generally smack in the middle of our sentences.
So, with all that in mind, the Japanese line is literally saying:
Daisy, (missing verb) the Queen.
And given the context, it’s pretty clear the verb should be something like “look after” or “take care of”.
The English translation here keeps the line as an incomplete sentence by filling in the verb and leaving out the object:
Daisy, can you take care of–
It actually wasn’t necessary to keep the line an incomplete sentence in English, but perhaps there was lip flap or timing issues at hand too.
Whew! Hopefully that clears things up!