This article is from the Final-Fantasy and other Square Soft Games FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Nick Zitzmann) with numerous contributions by others.
Well, if you've played through this game, you've probably noticed that
the game was badly translated. Ted Woolsey did not translate the game
(he only translated FF VI and Chrono Trigger when they came to the USA),
instead, this game was translated by a group of Japanese translators who
must have not been totally fluent in English themselves.
Note that most of these "mistranslations" would have made some sense in
Japanese grammar, but were not translated with English grammar in mind,
and that's the prime reason why the characters appear to be speaking in
bad English. When Final Fantasy VI was released in the USA (as Final
Fantasy III), the translation had English grammar in mind, which is why
US FF III's translation looks so much better.
Here's a couple of examples...
- After Cecil and the party arrive in Baron for the second time and have
fought Yang, Tellah says something to Yang which was something like: "It
appears that the Baron was trying to use you while you were amnesiac."
(This sentence would probably be correct in Japanese, but looks funny
when literally translated into English.)
- This isn't a real mistranslation, this was really a badly chosen word
that the translators used and probably didn't know it wasn't used very
often these days, at least inside the USA. When Tellah fights Edward in
Damcyan Castle, Tellah says to him: "You spoony bard!" (He probably
meant "you foolish bard" according to my dictionary. I've also been told
that in the Japanese version, Tellah says "Kono yalou!," which means
"You *%&hole!," so they couldn't do a direct translation for obvious
- This one's my favorite. After the party returns to Baron just after
finishing the Tower of Zot, Cecil had to blurt this out: "Where is it?"
Then Rosa replies: "It is your room in Baron..."
- When you get to Baron the second time and talk to the guards in front
of Castle Baron, they reply: "What are you?" (Again, this part was
supposedly translated directly from Japanese, where the sentence was
literally "what are you?". But translated into English, it looks
incorrect and silly...)
- Yang keeps talking about a "surprise" when Cid is digging up the
Enterprise. Even if Yang was trying to say "secret" instead of
"surprise," it still wouldn't go very well.
- There were a few vaguely strange phrases in the game's intro, such as
the whole dialogue between the Mysidian elder and Cecil...
Elder: What have we done?
Cecil: The crystal or your life!
Cecil: Then take the crystal by force!
Note that many of the funny "Engrish" lines from the Super NES version
are absent from the PSX version, with the exception of Tellah's classic
"spoony bard" line.