Muv-Luv English Localization

I assume most Muv-Luv fans have heard by now, but this is happening:

Yes, they will be launching a Kickstarter sometime in the next few months to release Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative in English.  The plan seems to be to start with a Steam release, with other releases to come later.  More details to come on Friday, when Ixtl will appear at Anime Expo to hold a press conference.  Unfortunately, I won’t be attending, since they announced this so late, but I’ll be eagerly awaiting details.

I wanted to post about such a momentous occasion, but I didn’t really have anything to add, so I held off.  However, their Twitter account has now posted a poll with an important question:

Everybody reading this needs to go to this poll right now and vote for “TSF Pilot”.  This is SO IMPORTANT.  I normally don’t ask anything of you guys, but I am asking you to make sure that this game does not go down the crapper less than 24 hours after the very first announcement.  If this game (and subsequently any future English games) uses the word “Eishi” I am going to cry.  Do the right thing, guys.

(Actually, technically “Surface Pilot” is the official translation, but I am willing to back any translation that gets it in the general ballpark, and “TSF Pilot” is what’s in the lead.)

(I also hope they recognize that all of the “Pilot” options should be grouped together and counted as votes against “Eishi”.)


3 Responses to Muv-Luv English Localization

  1. gg says:

    Hang on, can you explain why you believe that a Japanese TSF pilot in Japan shouldn’t use the term Eishi to refer to themselves? Isn’t this one of the points that were touched on in game?


    It would be like calling a samurai a knight wouldn’t it? Some words in Japanese are brought over into English where the context would be lessened otherwise by using an English term, and I think this would be the case here for Eishi as well.

    • type94 says:

      A samurai is a thoroughly Japanese concept, originating in Japan a millennium ago and imbued with nuance for which there is no English equivalent. The TSF was invented in the 1970s, by the Americans. Therefore the concept of “a person who pilots a TSF” was also invented by the Americans.

      This is not a Japanese-language product. This is supposed to be an English translation. And this is one of the most basic tenets of translation – you understand the concept being written about, and then pick the English word that expresses that concept. Words like “samurai” are only kept in English when, despite your best efforts, there simply are no English words that express the same concept. But how can it possibly be that there are no English words that express an American invention?

      Am I understanding you correctly to be suggesting that they might use “Eishi” specifically in Japan, and “TSF Pilot” for non-Japanese characters? I could live with that, if it was explained clearly and applied consistently. But both translators and readers are only human, and humans are lazy. I have no hope that a translator really would apply that rule consistently. And many readers aren’t going to want to read a different term for the same concept depending on who’s talking. I understood the poll question as choosing a single translation that would be applied consistently throughout this title, and any future titles.

      Yes, I am already looking ahead to future titles. And even if “Eishi” could be made to work in Alternative, it cannot work in the other titles, all of which take place outside Japan. If they choose to use “Eishi” now, they’re going to want to use it in the other titles as well, if they ever bring them over. That would be insane. One of the things I love most about the Muv-Luv franchise is its beautifully international quality, and locking in an international job title with a Japanese word would be a nightmare.

      • gabgrave says:

        Yeah, this is only in regards to the use of Eishi by a Japanese character ingame.

        I am in full argeement that having pilots from other countries call themselves that would be absolutely disgusting. I’ve tried to clarify on the poll where this will be used, but no reply yet.
        Technically the Eishi word is a Japanese only term when written, but they adapted it to call their pilots that ingame.

        You bring up a good point about international localisation, and I’m a strong advocate of that in fact. I do follow that in my work after all where I can. However, saying we support internationalisation while removing the Japanese term for pilots would be a contridiction in itself.

        But then again, that said, it’s obvious that what the Japanese did in the game is the same, from the way that all the characters despite their nationality call themselves Eishis and not Pilots. This might be an example of that laziness you mention. But I do believe that since we are doing this anew for an international audience, the effort can be made to include both set of terms as needed. After all, its not like the vocals are going to be in English, so seeing TSF Pilot and hearing Eishi is going be more confusing in my opinion. There is an explaination by Marimo in the class regarding the usage after all.

        I guess it depends on how lazy the translators get, in the end. To me, having all terms in full American English and phrasing is equally as bad as having the terms all in Japanese, and won’t be a true effort to internationalise things.

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