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I am currently working on a certain game's translation. The dialogue goes like this:

Sōsuke: それじゃあ、お互いに愛称で呼び合ってみようよ
Riho: 愛称、素晴らしいですね。では、どのような呼び方をいたしましょう
Sōsuke: えっと、俺のことはダーリンって呼んでみて
Riho: ……やはり破廉恥なことではありませんか
Sōsuke: お、お願いだよ……里穂に呼んでもらいたいんだ、いや、りほに
Riho: それが私の愛称ですか?では……ダーリン

Which I then translated as:

Sōsuke: Then, let's call each other by pet names!
Riho: Pet names? That's wonderful. Well then, what should I call you?
Sōsuke: Uh...call me 'Darling'.
Riho: ....Isn't that too shameful?
Sōsuke: P-Please...? I'd really like Riho to call me that...no, りほに
Riho: Is that my pet name? Well then...darling.

I left the word to be translated as is. Should it be translated as "Rihoni"? Is that how nicknames work? Please feel free to correct my translation attempt. Thanks in advance.

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    The only puzzling part of this exchange is that 里穂 and りほ are normally read out loud in the same way. Do you have any idea how this is possible? Is this a voice conversation or a text chat? – naruto Apr 17 at 10:48
  • @naruto Sorry for the late reply (fixed an account problem), but I do not have any idea how this is possible, since Japanese isn't my native language. This is a conversation in-game; only the character named 'Riho' is voiced, though. – that dude Apr 17 at 14:56
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No, りほに should be translated has Riho. Since Sousuke is repeating himself, replacing her proper name by her pet name, and her name being inflected, に in りほに would be the particle. The change in orthography indicate a change in meaning.

  • The translated sentence would look like this: "P-Please...? I'd really like Riho to call me that...no, Riho", which does not sound right. Am I missing something? – that dude Apr 17 at 15:58
  • I get what you mean. Also don't forget that in English people tend not to call themselves by name nearly as much as in Japanese. The translated sentence could look more like ""P-Please...? I'd really like you to call me that...no, Riho" The right anwser to your original question you will ultimately find it in the game. How is Sousuke calling Riho later in the game? 里穂, りほ, or りほに? – Youmy001 Apr 17 at 18:50
  • I don't know why this got downvoted, since you did answer the question regarding the proper translation of りほに in this scenario. – that dude Apr 18 at 6:12
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I think he corrected 里穂に to りほに. That is, りほ is her 愛称, and this に is a particle like "by". It's hard to translate this into English...

I want you to call me darling, [Riho]{(里穂)}, I mean, [Riho]{(りほ)}.

Hiragana nicknames themselves are understandable because it looks cute and affable. The puzzling point is that she seems to have noticed her new nickname is "in hiragana" just by hearing it. Maybe they're somehow doing text-based communication, or maybe this is a tricky metafictional joke, or maybe the author of the game was simply lazy. You know the story, so I think you know what's happening better than us.

  • Would asking how to emphasize this correction be a separate question? You're right; it is indeed puzzling that Riho suddenly knew that りほ is supposed to be her pet name, so I wanted to see if someone could translate りほに while showing emphasis on what changed. I guess that's impossible. – that dude Apr 18 at 6:27

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