Darien asked a question recently about Pokémon X/Y. I haven’t played the game, but it’s such an interesting question that I HAVE to share it:
This one’s a little bit different, I think. In Pokémon X/Y, after beating the main game, there’s an optional set of quests you can do involving a detective agency in Lumiose City.
One step of this quest involves a woman (described as a tourist) who comes to the agency seeking help, but she doesn’t speak English — all of her dialogue is in untranslated Japanese.
I’ve taken shots of it and enclosed them; I’d be curious to know what she says, since the game never actually tells you, and I wouldn’t trust it even if it did — dialogue like this is notorious for being a spot to hide easter eggs. There’s quite a bit of it, so if it’s too much to ask, I dig that, but I thought I’d give it a whirl.
Wow! This is actually really cool! And I’m curious to see how it might’ve been handled in other languages – does the Japanese version have her speaking entirely in English, for example? I’d love to know!
Anyway, as I’m not aware of the full context and have no idea what the flow of these screenshots are or how they relate to each other, treat these translations only as crutches or as trivia tidbits!
Please! Please help me!
My dear little Pokémon was stolen!
Oh, you understand my language. Whew, that’s great! What a relief!
I understand this land’s language, but I can’t speak it!
The truth is, my dear little Pokémon was stolen at the station!
So, since I heard this was a detective agency, I came here!
Please, I beg of you!
Could you get my Pokémon back for me right away?
I- I’m sorry… But I’m in a hurry!
I can’t return to my homeland unless I get my dear little Pokémon back!
My plane is leaving soon, too!
Sheesh, what’s with that person?! He doesn’t understand me at all!
This is no time for me to be casually drinking tea!
Hurry and rescue my little Pokémon!
Whoa, what’s with this girl?
How rude, calling me old!
I guess people who dress filthy talk filthy, too!
Does this kid belong to that dumb man named “Looker” who left earlier?
……Hold on, old lady. What are you saying……?
Say what you want about me……
But I WON’T let you talk bad about Mr. Looker……
……Besides, there’s no way I’d be his kid.
That’s rude to him, you know.
You can understand my language?
Yeah, sorta, more or less.
When you hang out around this town you hear people talking in all sorts of languages, so I wound up learning it at some point.
Oh…… What a relief…… There’s someone I can communicate with.
Please forgive me for my rude remarks just now…… I was just feeling stressed out.
I was agitated because my dear little Pokémon was stolen, and it means more to me than my life……
I see…… So, where was it stolen?
This town’s station!
Some mean-looking people walked up to me, and before I knew it, they had stolen my bag and the ball inside it!
Do you think it might be…… them?
Y-you can’t be serious!!
Please, I beg you!!
Please get my little Pokémon back for me!
So there you go! Hopefully it makes sense for people who’ve played through the game. If I’ve messed anything up (like, who is this Looker guy? Is he possibly the little girl’s uncle?) let me know in the comments! And definitely let me know if you know how this was handled in other languages!
Update: BB Gang Zombie has sent me screenshots from the Japanese version of the game. Apparently the Japanese version and every other non-English version has this tourist lady speaking in English. So here’s a look at this scene in English!
Please! You must help me! My precious Pokémon was stolen!
Oh, thank goodness, you can understand me!
I can follow some of the language here, but I can’t speak a word!
Please, you must listen.
My precious Pokémon was stolen from me at the station.
I heard that this place is a detective agency, so I rushed right over!
Please find my beloved Pokémon and get it back for me immediately!
I’m sorry to be so abrupt. But I’m in a terrible hurry!
I can’t return to my home country without my darling Pokémon!
And my flight is about to depart!
What’s wrong with that man?!
He hasn’t understood a single thing I’ve said!
I didn’t come here to drink tea and chat!
I want my Pokémon back, NOW!
What’s wrong with this girl?!
She just called me an old woman! How rude!
What do you know, people with foul looks have foul mouths as well!
I’ll bet she’s the daughter of that useless detective, Handsome!
…Hey, old lady! Watch your mouth!
You can say all you want about me, but I won’t let you insult Mr. Handsome!
And I’m not his kid, I’ll have you know. You’re being very rude to him yourself.
O-oh? You understood me?
More or less.
You get to hear all kinds of languages on the streets of this city.
Growing up on these streets, I naturally picked up some bits and pieces.
Oh good. At least, there’s someone who can understand me.
Please forgive my hasty words earlier. I’ve been in a panic.
My darling Pokémon is more important to me than anything else in the world!
I just can’t hold myself together when it’s missing like this…
Hmm… Anything else? Where was it stolen?
At the town train station!
I was approached by a ruffian, and the next thing I knew, my Bag was gone–
and my Poké Balls with it!
A ruffian…at the station… That’s who it must have been…
Oh, please! You must help!
I beg you–please! Please find my precious Pokémon!
Neat! I wonder which was written first for this – the Japanese or the English. It’s also interesting to see the little differences that are hiding in the two versions, like singular/plural changes, plus the fact that they call him by his Japanese name “Handsome” while also using the English term “Poké Ball” rather than the Japanese term “Monster Ball”.
Thanks to everyone who’s commented with more info and sent me e-mails with more details!
If you liked this write-up and know someone else who's a Pokemon fan, I hope you'll share it online. People rarely seek out localization articles, so sharing really helps me a lot!