Original English:

We have codified the newfound energy source as Phazon, a V-index mutagen of which we have very little reliable data. Indications point to a meteor of unknown origin impacting approximately 20 years ago, expelling Phazon into the environment. This material appears to possess lifelike characteristics, mutating organic life-forms strong enough to withstand its poison.

Official Japanese translation:

新しく発見されたエネルギーの名前を「フェイゾン」と呼ぶことが決定した。 インデックスVに該当する突然変異誘発因子で、明確なデータは、ほとんど得られていない。 このエネルギーは、自然の生命体をフェイゾンの毒性に耐えうる強度へと急速に変異させる。

Curious about the bolded part. Am I reading it right that the Japanese version misinterpreted the original English sentence and is instead saying "This energy is rapidly mutating organic life forms giving them the ability to withstand the Phazon's poison." (I'm also aware that the first half of the English is completely left out in the Japanese version, no idea why they did that)

Also as a sidenote, does 生命体を〇〇強度へと異変させる make sense? It sounds off to me, but maybe it's a viable way to phrase it?


1 Answer 1


So according to this, Phazon kills most lifeforms instantly but mutates a few that survived into a stronger form.

This Japanese translation is not a literal translation, but it does not appear to be a mistranslation either, as it conveys the intent of the original English well.

According to the discussion in the comments section below, the problem amounts to the interpretation of "mutating organic life-forms strong enough to withstand its poison". The translator seems to have taken this strong as the complement of mutating, as if the sentence is saying "making life-forms strong enough" or "mutating life-forms into a stronger form". But if this strong is a postpositional adjective modifying life-forms, the literal translation of the sentence should be something like フェイゾンの毒性に耐え得る強度を持った有機生命体を変異させる.

Also as a sidenote, does 生命体を〇〇強度へと異変させる make sense?

Yes. Just as この映画は暗い内容だ or 彼は陽気な性格だ makes perfect sense in Japanese, この生命体は毒性に耐えうる強度だ is perfectly natural. Where English speakers expect to have, Japanese speakers may use だ or する.

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    Hmm, the impression I get from the Japanese translation is that it simply states that organic life forms exposed to Phazon gain resistance to it whereas the English version explicitly states that it mutates those that are actually strong enough to withstand it; this tidbit seems to be missing from the Japanese translation and thus makes the whole thing (to me at least) sound rather non-telling, as if I was to say something like "exposure to snake venom will make you resistant to it". Not saying that that's necessarily wrong or anything but it feels pointless to mention it at all.
    – Boolicious
    Aug 16, 2021 at 0:29
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    To me it seems that the "strong" aspect had been shifted from the original English "mutates those who are strong enough to withstand it" to "mutates them in a way that they become immune to Phazon" in the Japanese, making it sound like any life form could easily mutate into a form impervious to the material.
    – Boolicious
    Aug 16, 2021 at 0:31
  • @Boolicious Ah, now I think I got your point. Does the original English mean "mutates some lifeforms that happened to have been strong enough" rather than "makes organic life-forms strong enough"? Then the Japanese version may not be the direct translation although it's correct as a description of Phazon in general.
    – naruto
    Aug 16, 2021 at 0:35
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    @Boolicious Okay, assuming your gut feeling is correct, the JP translation is a mistake, at least microscopically. It should've been something like フェイゾンの毒性に耐えうる強度を持った有機生命体を急速に変異させる, right?
    – naruto
    Aug 16, 2021 at 1:48
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    @boolicious Yes, 'mutates' does not take a complement. The sentence is implicitly 'mutates organic life forms that are strong enough...', but the Japanese sentence implies 'to be strong enough'.
    – Angelos
    Aug 16, 2021 at 2:05

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