Translating Grand Kingdom an Interview With NISA Staff

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

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At NISA’s Press Event 2016 I had the chance to speak with a member of NISA’s translation team, Coco Tollini. She has been with the company for a year and was nice enough to sit down with me and answer questions about her time translating Grand Kingdom. We’ve also interview CEO of Monochrome Tomohiko Deguchi about Grand Kingdom and have a hands-on impressions piece.

What’s the most recent game that you’ve worked on?

I actually last worked on Grand Kingdom.

How did you approach translating this game?

Well I did a little bit of research first to get to know more about the game, but after that I just went head first into the story.

How do you translate these games to make sense to American audience, but still keep the tone of the Japanese text?

We do have teams and editors. What I do is translate the whole thing so that it makes sense to the editor and they’ll edit it so that it keeps it’s tone, but also allow it to make sense to the American audience.

Some companies take it upon themselves to take a game and instead of keep the tone of the Japanese text, they decide to make it their own and alter scenes completely. Is this being done in Grand Kingdom?

Not at all, we are being sure to make it true to the Japanese text. We still try our hardest to make it make sense. Since the game is not set in Japan, we had to make it make sense in a medieval world. So at times we had to change the spellings of some Japanese words just so that it can be read in English, but for the most part we like to stay true because that’s what we want as much as our fans.

How long did it take for you to translate Grand Kingdom?

It actually took a few months. It’s a very long process.

Does NISA ever keep tabs on their translators or ask you to work faster?

Nope not at all, they are really trusting of us and I think it’s good that they give us our responsibility. As long as the end product is good, that’s all that matters. That’s what I really like about our company, everyone is responsible for their own work and that makes us all want to work harder for each other.

So what do you like most about Grand Kingdom?

The story. Yea, it is full of battles and action, but when you get into the sub campaigns of the four great nations, each nation has really strong characters and I cried while translating it.

If someone wanted to get into translating for a video game company, what advice would you give them?

As far a translating, work hard on getting your Japanese speaking skills up. Also, have a good grasp on the English language because it’s very important being able to make it make sense in English. We’re always accepting resumes at NISA.

Thank you so much for your time.

You’re welcome, and thank you.




  • David S

    This gives me hope, but it is NISA, so i will approach with optimistic caution.

    • Dgnfly

      They also twist words and insert nonsensical jokes that weren’t even part off the game. or release broken games like The witch and the 100 knights.
      http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/3246/4672/original.jpg

      A lot are starting too comapre them too What nintendo does with translation.
      i would say Bandai namco is actually trying too listen and did a survey on sword art online translation so they could improve on it.

    • David S

      Oh, i’m aware of that, but they have done good work on some of their titles, so i won’t just write it off until I start seeing problems.

    • Dgnfly

      I’m very skeptical in that regard considering i buy NIS america titles a lot but i never thought they would suck to this extend.
      But with them doing phsyco pass i’m worried they will Fup the translation and with a VN its more important to get the text correct.