Czech originals vs English Localisations

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Daniel
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Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:10 pm

Czech originals vs English Localisations

Unread post by Daniel » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:55 pm

So, this is mainly a question for those who have played the Czech versions of Illusion Softworks and their offshoot's games:

H&D 1 / FFF
H&D 2 / SS
Mafia
Vietcong 1 / FA
Vietcong 2
Chameleon

With Mafia 2 was there even a Czech original version? It almost seemed like Take 2 had devoured them and shat out their corpse by that point... as you can tell from upcoming news about Mafia 3 not even being developed by them. Sad times.

Any others that i missed?

Anyway, how do the Czech localisations compare to the English.
With the settings of the game and the characters I often wonder if the games were written first in English or Czech. Certainly, the English seems well done so much that you wouldn't really know it wasn't the original language (although maybe it was).
They got decent English voice actors for H&D 2 from what I remember.

For the first game, I'm not sure there is even that much voice acting to speak of, and i haven't been able to find Czech footage of it (i'm guessing as most people play the inferior free deluxe version which probably doesn't have the Czech localisation). Does anyone have footage?

Obviously with H&D being set with you as the SAS it certainly feels natural for it to be in English and you don't feel like you are losing any subtlety or depth with the writing.

Normally, with old Japanese games you lose a huge amount in the English versions. And don't get me started on the Russian game Pathologic - that game seems amazing but very hard to understand what was going on in the demo. I'm not sure if it's partly because the demo seems to plonk you in half way through the game randomly, but the translation is utterly awful. The Stalker games feel like i am missing things not understanding Ukrainian and Russian too. Apparently they add depth by making the old "authoritative" types speak Russian, the others Ukrainian and the criminals in the zone a kind of highly colloquial Ukrainian / Russian dialect mixture.



I guess what I am trying to say is that it's almost like English and Czech were both worked on equally at the same time or maybe even English was their primary focus as that was a larger international market. It certainly doesn't feel like they just outsourced the localisation to people that didn't know exactly what was intended. At least from what i remember of the games.

Another thing that kind of makes me think the English was treated as a primary focus is that in the H&D games, the difference languages, German, Italian etc are all subtitled rather than dubbed, which i think adds a lot to the atmosphere. It makes it feel like they wanted to do it properly. I'm guessing there is no doubt Czech speech too in the English version in the Czech missions but i've never gotten that far in the single player yet :$ haha You could ask why Sygurd doesn't speak Norwegian but then considering he is your contact in the resistance it makes sense for him to speak English (though maybe a few Norwegian curses and phrases if he gets caught while with you would be cool - or maybe they did that, i can't remember).

I haven't gotten around to playing Vietcong yet but i'm guessing they all speak Vietnamese too.

Not being that good at languages, i couldn't tell you how "good" and "authentic" their scripts are for the other languages but from my very poor German it seems okay :)

From what i've seen of H&D 2, the English might even have had more work on it than the Czech - the Czech voice overs seem good for the large part, but then there are really strange parts where they seem to have just used some weird computer generated robot speech! hahaha!
To see what i mean, watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... jsU#t=1629
Or it could just be a problem with the recording?


TLDR:
I guess what I'm trying to say is that for most non-English developed games, i feel like I would want to learn the original language that the games were developed in to get a more subtle and in-depth experience to the script and story (generally subtleties are lost in translation).
However, with Illusion Softworks games, it seems that English (and the other foreign languages in the game) were given a high priority during the writing of the script and development and i would not be surprised if they were as good as or perhaps even better (given the setting) than the Czech localisations where the Czech replaces English even though the characters are English / American.

Getting the views from Czech speakers would be kind of cool as I could be talking rubbish as I can't understand Czech but it's just the impression I get from the English versions. And watching a bit of the Czech version of H&D 2 on YT.

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