I am working on amateur translation for a videogame, this game was originally in Japanese and another team translated the texts into English.

Check out this video, from the English subtitles (activate the CC subs from youtube player to see them), seems the character uses some slang while he speaks


Because I don't know Japanese (yet!) I would ask you if the English subtitle reflects the way Keith speaks.

How do you classify the register of this character? Does he uses all the slang like it seems from the English subtitles?


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2 Answers 2


I would not say he uses all the slang visible in the subtitles because, in most cases, slang in one language does not directly translate to another. That said, I feel like the level of formality communicated by Keith in Japanese is reflected in the English subs.

Using the slang form of one word to communicate informality may not be possible in another language because that word has no comparable slang form, or may not even exist, so the translator will have to compensate somehow. Translators have to judge the level of formality in the source language, and provide a translation with a comparable level. Moreover, formality is not just using slang words and expressions, but also includes other forms of expression (ex. inflection and body language). This is lost, to some degree, when subtitled, and the translator may compensate for this by using slang expressions in the target language that may not be present in the source language, as is the case here.


I would agree with @aonophoenix.

It's not so much that the words used in English are the exact same as the words being used in Japanese. The English sentences mean the same thing as the Japanese, and are written in a way to try and match the level of formality while still retaining the same meaning, but specific words may technically be different.

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