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What language is "original" in the Witcher 3

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vesemas228

Booster
#41
Just randomly passing by and since this topic has been raised.. I think the video linked on the first page explains the only real defect with w3...

The fact that the English 'adaptation' actually became the 'American' adaptation.

The only flaws which my mind scored down while playing w3 was when a good number of dialog lines suddenly changed the Geralt character to be completely different in belief, attitude and tone to the character who was playing before the cutscene played. I can appreciate how for American people who are formed with these attitudes the sudden change would be a seamless event, but for other English cultures that contrast is actually abnormal and really jarring. You can tell the same thing happen with Triss in general who you do get used to, and Dandelion who is just horrible. The same characters that were as done in witcher 2 fit in fine, the slider towards mainstream (non fantasy rpg players), younger Americans was pushed too far I think.

Also part of the appeal of everything to do with witcher is to experience something different, the Eastern European myth flavours are the best part of the game. If witcher just copied lord of the rings or Skyrim in western territories it would have scored much much worse (mainly because the pillars of western fantasy are very good!). Trying to change the flavour is a poor effort. As long as its coherent and can make sense the different tone is a strong part of the appeal.
 

SigilFey

Moderator
#42
vesemas228;n9777121 said:
The only flaws which my mind scored down while playing w3 was when a good number of dialog lines suddenly changed the Geralt character to be completely different in belief, attitude and tone to the character who was playing before the cutscene played.
Anything in particular you can point out? I know there are massive differences between American and British context, expressions, "common sense", etc. but I also know that I am terrible at picking them out. (I misused "bollocks" and "dog's bollocks" for literal months before finally figuring it out. Aside from occasional, real confusion, it was great fun for others.)
 

Zyvik

Max-Tac
#43
SigilFey;n9787911 said:
Anything in particular you can point out? I know there are massive differences between American and British context, expressions, "common sense", etc. but I also know that I am terrible at picking them out. (I misused "bollocks" and "dog's bollocks" for literal months before finally figuring it out. Aside from occasional, real confusion, it was great fun for others.)
I can't remember any particular examples, but Geralt definitely uses some American slang like "crap" and "bullshit." Same for Triss and Dandelion. I actually don't mind Geralt's way of speaking since he and the other witchers grew up in isolation, so it makes sense that they would have a unique accent. Plus it increases their "otherness". But for Triss and Dandelion it's really jarring. Triss is a Temerian, but sounds nothing like any of her contrymen or fellow sorceresses. It just doesn't make sense.
 

sv3672

Max-Tac
#44
I am not particularly bothered by these, and in my opinion both Geralt and Triss are overall better and more relatable than in Witcher 2. The English voice actors are actually the same in both games anyway (Doug Cockle is in fact American, and I guess Jaimi Barbakoff as well, although I only found detailed information about Doug Cockle), and whether they sound more British or American does not matter much given that the characters are not supposed to be either.

Not sure about Dandelion, some people apparently find his character annoying, but it may have more to do with his quests than language or accent.
 
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Riven-Twain

Moderator
#45
sv3672;n9798251 said:
The English voice actors are actually the same in both games anyway (Doug Cockle is in fact American, and I guess Jaimi Barbakoff as well, although I only found detailed information about Doug Cockle),
I actually asked Borys, the English Adaptor, about these American accents, and was surprised to learn that when they first made The Witcher, when CDPR did not yet have full creative freedom for the localisations, they were required to use American accents for the main characters. As he told it, Scots was acceptable for dwarves, and elves could speak the Queen's English, because these were established expectations in fantasy, but most of the other major characters needed to be American. Rather odd.
 

Riven-Twain

Moderator
#47
iCake;n9799671 said:
I'm a bit confused here, required by whom or what?
From what I understood, it was their then publishing partner, Atari, although I may be mistaken.
 

vesemas228

Booster
#49
SigilFey;n9787911 said:
Anything in particular you can point out? I know there are massive differences between American and British context, expressions, "common sense", etc. but I also know that I am terrible at picking them out. (I misused "bollocks" and "dog's bollocks" for literal months before finally figuring it out. Aside from occasional, real confusion, it was great fun for others.)
Not sure, but for the sake of discussion.. it always followed a particular pattern.

- The usually neutral Gerald suddenly picks a side, possibly in a situation where being neutral would have been consistent with the previous narrative.
- The voice acting becomes uncharacteristically aggressive and forceful, you never hear the speech tones of those lines in any other part of the game.
- Often its at key plot moments (which makes you cringe the most). Your character is smart and witty but then turns dumb and simple right at the key points!

This is going from a few years ago memory, but I think the following scenes are good examples:

When he's talking to the nilfguardian garrison commander in white orchard, the game starts off with Gerald asking 'what side are we on' or something similar, then suddenly the only dialogue options are the nilfguardians are evil and its the first time you hear Geralt sound sarcastic and belligerent.

Might have been the same in some later scenes talking to the emperor, not sure, though that would make sense given ciri.

Definitely in the closing cutscene / play sequence of hearts of stone, when Geralt finally parts ways with master mirror look at how dramatic in tone geralts options are.. and different even to the lead up.

There was at least a handful more :)

Its all just reflection now I guess, while I was playing it really bothered me.. and ultimately because in witcher 2, they completely nailed it. Geralt, triss and dandelion. Given how different and out of place the changes were, you could almost tell they were done in a heavy handed mainstreamifcation pass they did on w3 given all the additional marketing. I suspected it was Microsofts influence, as that was the only key difference since the last game.

EDIT: sorry for all the typos, quick post and massive auto corrects :) hope you all have been well.
 
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sv3672

Max-Tac
#50
It has been a conscious change in direction to focus more on personal drama than politics like in the previous game, and that involved trying to make the main characters more relatable and "human", showing that Geralt is not always an emotionless mutant freak, which is also fitting to a game that was meant to conclude his (and probably also the other characters') saga. But I do not think this is necessarily something that was forced on CDPR by Microsoft or anyone else to cater to the mainstream, more likely the developers thought it themselves that the direction in Witcher 2 was wrong. Perhaps some of the lines could have been written or acted better, however, on the whole I still think the characters have been improved.
 

SigilFey

Moderator
#51
vesemas228;n9800811 said:
Not sure, but for the sake of discussion.. it always followed a particular pattern...

Its all just reflection now I guess, while I was playing it really bothered me.. and ultimately because in witcher 2, they completely nailed it. Geralt, triss and dandelion. Given how different and out of place the changes were, you could almost tell they were done in a heavy handed mainstreamifcation pass they did on w3 given all the additional marketing. I suspected it was Microsofts influence, as that was the only key difference since the last game.
I do remember a few scenes that made me "tsk" over a missed opportunity or a thrown line. (Also, I'm referring only to the English dialogue here.) To be 100% fair, the only part in the entire game that me cringe was the delivery of the child during Where the Cat and Wolf Play. I immediately went into director mode in my mind at that performance. But...nothing's perfect! :)

Some of the other stuff you bring up, I sort of see, but certain parts may simply be in context that not everyone has. (Like Geralt's reaction to the Nilfgaardian commander. Geralt has become averse to "noble authority" oppressing innocent people over the years... I thought his cutting edge was quite in character. I also thought the complexity of the mixture of respect / loathing for the commander was lovely.)

Many people are sensitive to certain tones and mannerisms, though. (Like most anime in authentic Japanese -- the speed of the speech and way of emoting drives me up the wall sometimes.) Culture, again.


sv3672;n9801501 said:
It has been a conscious change in direction to focus more on personal drama than politics like in the previous game...But I do not think this is necessarily something that was forced on CDPR by Microsoft or anyone else to cater to the mainstream, more likely the developers thought it themselves that the direction in Witcher 2 was wrong.
I'm very sure Microsoft had ~0% input. I don't know, but I would be willing to make a sizable bet. I think it's just that the themes of the last story were very heavily centered on the Lodge, Nilfgaard finding their angle of attack to start the war, the northern kingdoms dissolving into total chaos, and Letho running around killing monarchs. Politics and intrigue were simply the main theme of TW2. I see all of the concerns of TW3 to be far more intimate in their nature: finding Yen...finding Ciri...living through the war...avoiding the Hunt...generally trying to stay out of politics. It's not that political intrigue isn't a theme; it's just no longer the main theme.
 
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chipic

Junior Member
#52
It seems to me that CD Project Red sent Polish and English version to all of the localization studios, but as for Russian I believe Russian localizators used Polish version and all the Witcher books as the source. It is noticable very well when Janek (Ivasik in Russian) had gotten back voice he said in Polish "Mleko! Szyszka! Ślimak! Trusia! Koszyczek! Bździna! Ha! Jak do brzmi!" or "Молоко! Шишка! Улитка! Кролик! Телега! Корзинка! Пердеж! Ха! Как звучит!" in Russian which is 100% match while in English they used entirely other words.
The lore, names, places, swearings (Russian localizators really deserve a localization Oscar) were transmitted to the game amazingly, for a witcher books fan Russian localization was the diamond localization.
 
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SigilFey

Moderator
#53
chipic;n10287512 said:
It seems to me that CD Project Red sent Polish and English version to all of the localization studios, but as for Russian I believe Russian localizators used Polish version and all the Witcher books as the source. It is noticable very well when Janek (Ivasik in Russian) had gotten back voice he said in Polish "Mleko! Szyszka! Ślimak! Trusia! Koszyczek! Bździna! Ha! Jak do brzmi!" or "Молоко! Шишка! Улитка! Кролик! Телега! Корзинка! Пердеж! Ха! Как звучит!" in Russian which is 100% match while in English they used entirely other words.
The lore, names, places, swearings (Russian localizators really deserve a localization Oscar) were transmitted to the game amazingly, for a witcher books fan Russian localization was the diamond localization.
Here's my deduction:

Since the Polish and English versions of the script were produced simultaneously by two separate teams, the initial treatment probably said something like, "Johnny says a bunch of random words." The Polish team came up with their bunch, and the English team came up with their own bunch. The Russian script was then translated from the Polish.
 

SigilFey

Moderator
#56
meilspem;n10420682 said:
Polish then translated to English.
It's confirmed earlier in the thread that the Polish script was written by one team at the same time than the English script was written by a separate team. So both of those languages are the "original" scripts. All other scripts were then translated from one or the other.
 

PrincessMassacre

Junior Member
#57
As Benzenzimmern stated on Page 1:

Benzenzimmern;n9725951 said:
Generally most dialogues start as simple debug dialogue written in English by a quest designer (also based on (mostly) English quest designs, which are in the case of the main story based on a Polish story synopsis, which is then translated to English before quest designs are written), in which the important information has to be conveyed, so the quest is understandable from start to finish.
After that, proper dialogue is written and greatly extended by the writers in Polish. Once the dialogue is accepted in this first iteration, it is adapted into English. The first voice over we get is also done in English, but both English and Polish are the base for adaptations in other languages, depending on each language.

I hope that makes it clear. ;)
Being a native speaker of Polish, it's clear to me that the dialogues are actually written in English, before getting an English voice-over.

The Polish voice-overs are generic soap opera voices, commonly used in that industry; basically monotonous. They lack any sort of variety.

If the original VO were not English, it would have surprised me, as that's evident from the effort put into the English vs the Polish VOs.

Although the original script may be in Polish, it's actually the English dialogue which becomes master text, from which all other VOs are produced.

It makes sense this way, since it's easier to translate to other languages; English being universal.

IMO, the World should just speak English; save themselves a bunch of time. I speak Polish, English, French and fragments of other languages. English is the most efficient of them all, by far.
 
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Benzenzimmern

CD PROJEKT RED
#58
I think there's a few misunderstandings of my quote: There's not a separate English version of dialogues and a separate version of Polish dialogues that somehow exist at the same time with one getting more love than the other.
As I stated, the first real spoken dialogue in a Witcher game is always written in Polish. And the English version is adapted from that version later, so it is based on the Polish one. I don't speak Polish well enough to make educated comments on the final quality of its VO, but I can say that the actual writers are even involved in this process, get to observe some recordings, talk to actors, etc.
And as an example the German VO is also based on the Polish one.

The bigger differences you might notice are based on the term "adaptation". Not every colloquialism, saying, accent or general cultural theme that works in Polish necessarily has to work in English, German, Brazilian or French. That's why we have great teams that don't just translate the text, but adapt it to make it feel as natural as possible for the language. This process is of course much more difficult, but I think it's absolutely worth it.
 
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Deemonef

Tourist
#59
Benzenzimmern;n10485792 said:
As I stated, the first real spoken dialogue in a Witcher game is always written in Polish. And the English version is adapted from that version later, so it is based on the Polish one.
I think the question is answered with this one :)

Polish have to be the original language. There are many reasons. One reason, which... I didn't read here so far is, that there are "mistakes" in the game. But after I played the game in polish I learned, that these are no mistakes, these are mistranslations from polish to other languages.
For example: There is one dialogue from Ciri where she says, she drank the potion black blood. This was a firey debatte in the community, because Ciri cannot survive this. And then I played the game in polish, and there is never any mention about the potion in the dialogue. And this is not the only mistake.

So polish is the original language. The other languages came later. And that's why there are some mistranslations :)
 

SigilFey

Moderator
#60
Benzenzimmern;n10485792 said:
The bigger differences you might notice are based on the term "adaptation". Not every colloquialism, saying, accent or general cultural theme that works in Polish necessarily has to work in English, German, Brazilian or French. That's why we have great teams that don't just translate the text, but adapt it to make it feel as natural as possible for the language. This process is of course much more difficult, but I think it's absolutely worth it.
Then I'm going back to my original argument that your writers deserve massive laurels for so meticulously balancing word-choice and canter. It feels and flows like naturalistic speech, not like "video game dialogue". Obvious variety of character, very few stilted or forced expressions, such a wealth of moments expressed without speech -- it's clear the team has a vision and knows exactly how they're trying to bring it to life. Frankly, I'm absolutely tickled that they can pull it off so consistently, let alone in multiple languages, over such a HUGE amount of content.

I can use the old woman in White Orchard who asks you to get her pan as a prime example (and to avoid spoilers from later in the game). It's such a small, insignificant, detail quest that's very easy to just miss...and yet the word choice and speech pattern inherent in the dialogue -- the simultaneously grim and charming tone of the entire situation -- the comments she shouts to Geralt as he explores her house -- her reaction when he delivers the pan to her -- the light intrigue introduced with the actual letters and conspiracy, and the sign of just how complex and sad this war really is for the people caught in the middle --

--- Wow! Such a complex, believable character and situation. This is an elderly woman who is dealing with some mild senility, but is also someone who is obviously familiar with "wartime" situations. (This Nilfgaardian invasion is clearly not her first rodeo, given her overall calm about the whole predicament). And the use of language, so very unique to this one character and situation, makes the entire quest stand out so clearly from the rest of this gigantic game. That's the real kicker: almost every single quest in the game, regardless of how huge or how tiny, contains the uniquely memorable moments and characters which begin, at their core, as words on a page. That's where the energy that actors and directors "bring to life" truly comes from (and I can speak first-hand of what it feels like when I have nothing to work with in a script). That's what the art of true storytelling is all about. The writing team is masterful.


Deemonef;n10486052 said:
For example: There is one dialogue from Ciri where she says, she drank the potion black blood. This was a firey debatte in the community, because Ciri cannot survive this. And then I played the game in polish, and there is never any mention about the potion in the dialogue. And this is not the only mistake.
But, nothings perfect! ;) Although...from a purely technical standpoint (Elder Blood, pure Source, and all)...Ciri can do, quite literally, whatever she bloody wants. :wisegirl: