Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided™

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The Czech language is so s****** up in this game
Not going to be complaining about the game itself, which is excellent on many levels in my view, just about this particular aspect. I am Czech, so let me comment on some of the most striking language weirdness/mistranslations the authors committed making a Prague v2.0.

1. Mramor Pilsner – well, I doubt it very much that a sane Czech person would call a beer brand that. Mramor means "marble" in English (marble furniture...). Beer brands are typically named after Slavic gods in my country, so we have a "Gambrinus" or "Radegast" beer etc. Whoever thought that "Mramor Pilsner" is a good idea for a beer brand probably lost their marbles back then:-).
"Svobody Beer" – correctly "Svoboda Beer or "pivo Svoboda" in Czech. "Svoboda is an equivalent to "freedom" in English and again – nobody sober would call a beer this weird.

2. "Dávný čtvrť" – because of a complex case system used in Czech, we would never say "dávný čtvrť" but "dávná čvrť" (This is called "congruence" in linguistics; the governing constituent dictates basic grammatical categories to the constituent being governed). Well, we probably would if this made sense in the first place because "dávný" means "bygone, long-time, ancient" in English and again, nobody here would give a quarter such an unlikely name.

3. "Hlvani" or "Hlavni", a misspelled variant of "Hlavní", meaning "major, main" in English. There is "Hlavní nádraží" in real Prague, an important public transportation hub.

4. The "Nezadávejte" sign found in metro stations is a literal translation of "do not enter" but in connection with keyboard typing, not in relation to "not being allowed to walk in/past". In this context, the correct wording is "nevstupujte".
"Authorised personnel only"is translated word-for-word, the correct formulation is "Nepovolaným vstup zakázán".

5. District/metro stations names. Prekazka, sometimes misspelled "Prekaska" means "an obstacle" in English. It is beyond absurd for a Prague (or Czech for that matter) quarter/district to bear a name like this. Whose idea was that? Google translate's:-)?
Poutnikova (a metro station name) does not make sense semantically, it means "pilgrim's",

6. Miscellaneous typos (or the wrong use of Czech grammar), such as "visoké" rather than "vysoké" ("napětí" or voltage), "suvenírmi" rather than "suvenýry", ("obchod se suvenýry or "souvenir shop"), "auodily" (correctly "autodíly"), "samoobsluze" (locative/dative case of nominative "samoobsluha"), "provede se prohlídkU" (accusative case) rather than "provede se prohlídkA" etc.

6. NPC names. Drahomír, Irenka, Alexej Volner, Marcie Sedlak (Correctly Marcie Sedláková) and many others that I have not been able to remember now. Rather unlikely names, not used very often, and they sound kind of bookish, somewhat funny.

7. "Chlupatí *ricks". A phrase uttered by one of the NPCs. "Chlupatí" means "the cops" in Czech slang. I wonder why use a combination of Czech and English in this particular case. It sounds totally out of place.

8. Ruzicka station. Correctly "Růžička station" or "Nádraží Růžičkové" can be heard pronounced "roozika" throughout the game. The correct pronunciation is "roo-zhi-chka". BTW.: the name means "a little rose" in English. On a similar note, the name "Václav" (Koller) is mispronounced "Veklaf" rather than ['Vat:slaf].

9. Útulek complex, sometimes misspelled "Utulek". This word is seldom used in relation to people, far more frequently to animals. A better alternative would have been "Úkryt" ("asylum", "shelter") or "Útočiště" ("refuge"). Either way, we would never say something like "Útulek/Úkryt/Útočiště complex" because it is an anglicised way of saying "komplex Útulek/Úkryt/Útočiště.

10. Soft drink translates as "jemný nápoj" in the game, the correct version is "nealkoholický nápoj" or simply "nealko". Another instance of a word-for-word translation.

11. My favourite: Hotel Narikala (correctly "Naříkala"). In English it means " Hotel She Was Crying or She Was Crying Hotel" and makes absolutely no sense in Czech. But I LOL'd real hard:-).

...and many others I cannot recall off the top of my head just now.

As I mentioned, the game plays awesome for me and I especially like its level design, atmosphere, side quests and the exploration aspect but more often than not the mangled Czech detracts from the overall experience I have been having with it (40 hrs in and counting). It looks like the devs decided to put the many names through Google translate to make their work easier, but the downside to this approach is a suffering ear and eye for someone speaking Czech.

It contrasts with a well-dubbed Czech spoken in metro stations and in some places in downtown Prague but then again you overhear police officers speak English with a Russian accent, which makes you cringe... kind of "helps" ruin the atmosphere instead of helping to build it if you ask me. This puzzles me all the more that the devs were apparently able to hire professionals to do a Czech dubbing for their game (I even recognise some prominent Czech voice actors here), while failing to bring in somebody to do some basic proofreading and make all the necessary language and factual corrections. It would almost seem as if there were no Czechs living in Canada...
Last edited by martin.duchoslav; Sep 15, 2016 @ 4:11am
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Showing 1-15 of 144 comments
martin.duchoslav Sep 11, 2016 @ 1:49am 
No countryman or anybody who has a grasp of Czech around here?
Last edited by martin.duchoslav; Sep 11, 2016 @ 1:50am
Icy Sep 11, 2016 @ 2:03am 
+1

Though my favorite is Konicky & Hracky Toys -> "Toys" means "Hracky" and that word is already there so why would someone say somethink like this.. major facepalm.

Oh, not to mention benches with "naturals only" signs.

English word order in Czech sentences, etc. etc., absolutely terrible.

But, having said that, I totally enjoy the game.
Last edited by Icy; Sep 11, 2016 @ 2:12am
MultiJay Sep 11, 2016 @ 5:53am 
Now this makes one wonder how the Chinese language/signs, etc. appeared to native speakers in Human Revolution. Better or worse? :-)
Fitne Por Sep 11, 2016 @ 1:43pm 
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
Not going to be complaining about the game itself, which is excellent on many levels in my view, just about this particular aspect. I am Czech, so let me comment on some of the most striking language weirdness/mistranslations the authors committed making a Prague v2.0.

1. Mramor Pilsner – well, I doubt it very much that a sane Czech person would call a beer brand that. Mramor means "marble" in English (marble furniture...). Beer brands are typically named after Slavic gods in my country, so we have a "Gambrinus" or "Radegast" beer etc. Whoever thought that "Mramor Pilsner" is a good idea for a beer brand probably lost their marbles back then:-).
"Svobody Beer" – correctly "Svoboda Beer or "pivo Svoboda" in Czech. "Svoboda is an equivalent to "freedom" in English and again – nobody sober would call a beer this weird.

2. "Dávný čtvrť" – because of a complex case system used in Czech, we would never say "dávný čtvrť" but "dávná čvrť" (This is called "congruence" in linguistics; the governing constituent dictates basic grammatical categories to the constituent being governed). Well, we probably would if this made sense in the first place because "dávný" means "bygone, long-time, ancient" in English and again, nobody here would give a quarter such an unlikely name.

3. "Hlvani" or "Hlavni", a misspelled variant of "Hlavní", meaning "major, main" in English. There is "Hlavní nádraží" in real Prague, an important public transportation hub.

4. The "Nezadávejte" sign found in metro stations is a literal translation of "do not enter" but in connection with keyboard typing, not in relation to "not being allowed to walk in/past". In this context, the correct wording is "nevstupujte".
"Authorised personnel only"is translated word-for-word, the correct formulation is "Nepovolaným vstup zakázán".

5. District/metro stations names. Prekazka, sometimes misspelled "Prekaska" means "an obstacle" in English. It is beyond absurd for a Prague (or Czech for that matter) quarter/district to bear a name like this. Whose idea was that? Google translate's:-)?
Poutnikova (a metro station name) does not make sense semantically, it means "pilgrim's",

6. Miscellaneous typos (or the wrong use of Czech grammar), such as "visoké" rather than "vysoké" ("napětí" or voltage), "suvenírmi" rather than "suvenýry", ("obchod se suvenýry or "souvenir shop"), "auodily" (correctly "autodíly"), "samoobsluze" (locative/dative case of nominative "samoobsluha"), "provede se prohlídkU" (accusative case) rather than "provede se prohlídkA" etc.

6. NPC names. Drahomír, Irenka, Alexej Volner, Marcie Sedlak (Correctly Marcie Sedláková) and many others that I have not been able to remember now. Rather unlikely names, not used very often, and they sound kind of bookish, somewhat funny.

7. "Chlupatí ♥♥♥♥♥♥". A phrase uttered by one of the NPCs. "Chlupatí" means "the cops" in Czech slang. I wonder why use a combination of Czech and English in this particular case. It sounds totally out of place.

8. Ruzicka station. Correctly "Růžička station" or "Nádraží Růžičkové" can be heard pronounced "roozika" throughout the game. The correct pronunciation is "roo-zhi-chka". BTW.: the name means "a little rose" in English. On a similar note, the name "Václav" (Koller) is mispronounced "Veklaf" rather than ['Vat:slaf].

9. Útulek complex, sometimes misspelled "Utulek". This word is seldom used in relation to people, far more frequently to animals. A better alternative would have been "Úkryt" ("asylum", "shelter") or "Útočiště" ("refuge"). Either way, we would never say something like "Útulek/Úkryt/Útočiště complex" because it is an anglicised way of saying "komplex Útulek/Úkryt/Útočiště.

10. Soft drink translates as "jemný nápoj" in the game, the correct version is "nealkoholický nápoj" or simply "nealko". Another instance of a word-for-word translation.

11. My favourite: Hotel Narikala (correctly "Naříkala"). In English it means " Hotel She Was Crying or She Was Crying Hotel" and makes absolutely no sense in Czech. But I LOL'd real hard:-).

...and many others I cannot recall off the top of my head just now.

As I mentioned, the game plays awesome for me and I especially like its level design, atmosphere, side quests and the exploration aspect but more often than not the mangled Czech detracts from the overall experience I have been having with it (40 hrs in and counting). It looks like the devs decided to put the many names through Google translate to make their work easier, but the downside to this approach is a suffering ear and eye for someone speaking Czech.

It contrasts with a well-dubbed Czech spoken in metro stations and in some places in downtown Prague but then again you overhear police officers speak English with a Russian accent, which makes you cringe... kind of "helps" ruin the atmosphere instead of helping to build it if you ask me. This puzzles me all the more that the devs were apparently able to hire professionals to do a Czech dubbing for their game (I even recognise some prominent Czech voice actors here), while failing to bring in somebody to do some basic proofreading and make all the necessary language and factual corrections. It would almost seem as if there were no Czechs living in Canada...

Proof that Eidos is actually incompetent (see:pc port)?

We need to know how they ♥♥♥♥♥♥ up czech signs
Chris Sep 11, 2016 @ 2:03pm 
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
but then you overhear police officers speak English with a Russian accent, which makes you cringe

That's hilarous. Interesting analysis by the way. I had no idea.
martin.duchoslav Sep 11, 2016 @ 2:31pm 
Eidos is definitely competent in making really engaging games but they were not apparently very fortunate picking the right people for the translation. Some Czech signs are indeed downright terrible. Some are pretty funny though. Well, whatever, the game itself is totally worth playing so I guess I just have to put my national pride aside and keep it at bay for the moment :-).
Nova225 Sep 11, 2016 @ 2:46pm 
Somewhere down the line the devs admitted to just using Google Translate. Wish I could find the exact quote.

Even some basic ones were really bad. "Do Not Enter" was worded more like "Do not input / set"
Vassago Rain Sep 11, 2016 @ 2:54pm 
I unironically love it when devs do this. Few things are as exciting as exploring your own - or a closely related - culture once it's been ran through some quick and dirty translations, and perhaps an office localization or two.
Fitne Por Sep 11, 2016 @ 4:38pm 
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
Eidos is definitely competent in making really engaging games but they were not apparently very fortunate picking the right people for the translation. Some Czech signs are indeed downright terrible. Some are pretty funny though. Well, whatever, the game itself is totally worth playing so I guess I just have to put my national pride aside and keep it at bay for the moment :-).
I did a bit more research and apparently Czech grammar is a ♥♥♥♥♥ to get a grip on.
Coldhands Sep 11, 2016 @ 5:02pm 
Originally posted by Nova225:
Somewhere down the line the devs admitted to just using Google Translate. Wish I could find the exact quote.

Even some basic ones were really bad. "Do Not Enter" was worded more like "Do not input / set"
Well, to fair, you're not supposed to do that either.
joxertm22 Sep 11, 2016 @ 5:05pm 
I just want to know what Tars' endline means.

Differences in language spoken in the imaginary future with one spoken millions of years ago do not interest me.
Last edited by joxertm22; Sep 11, 2016 @ 5:06pm
Jackson Galaxy Sep 11, 2016 @ 5:17pm 
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
No countryman or anybody who has a grasp of Czech around here?
Yup, Polish/Russian here (though I have family in Czech) you are right in many aspects. When it comes to slang, it's a matter of region, when it comes to cetain names, many characters like "Drahomír" I don't think are Czech but some other slovak nationality, and lastly something like the signs <,< I didn't even notice until you pointed it out. +1 for your detective work :P
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
but then you overhear police officers speak English with a Russian accent, which makes you cringe
In their defense, Czech is a hard accent to nail down without leaning into Russian.
Originally posted by Fitne Por:
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
Eidos is definitely competent in making really engaging games but they were not apparently very fortunate picking the right people for the translation. Some Czech signs are indeed downright terrible. Some are pretty funny though. Well, whatever, the game itself is totally worth playing so I guess I just have to put my national pride aside and keep it at bay for the moment :-).
I did a bit more research and apparently Czech grammar is a ♥♥♥♥♥ to get a grip on.
Maybe for an English speaker. As it's very similar to Polish and Russian, any slovakian language really. Though as a native Polish speaker, we find Czech funny as it shares a lot of OOOOOOOOLD-timey Polish words which we don't really use anymore :P.


P.s. I agree that it's weird more effort wasn't put into this aspect. I even noticed that some of the store names are completely ridiculous. I always thought it was meant to be a paraody of stores (like gta) but all this info points to them just not researching things to their full extent.
Last edited by Jackson Galaxy; Sep 11, 2016 @ 7:00pm
Sam Newberry Sep 11, 2016 @ 6:43pm 
Originally posted by martin.duchoslav:
This puzzles me all the more that the devs were apparently able to hire professionals to do a Czech dubbing for their game (I even recognise some prominent Czech voice actors here), while failing to bring in somebody to do some basic proofreading and make all the necessary language and factual corrections.
Russian gamers feel your pain, my friend. Game developers doing this all the time when trying to portray Russia or USSR - word-by-word machine translation, weird typos, silly names. We got used to it many years ago. Still wondering is it really THAT hard to find one native speaker to correct spelling...
Frosty Sep 11, 2016 @ 6:58pm 
The game was made by Canadians, so I guess be happy everything they say doesn't end in some weirdly translated version of "aboot?" lol
Mnemonic Sep 11, 2016 @ 11:06pm 
Using google translate is outright amateurish. One would expect AAA game production to have the budget to hire a native speaker to proofread the textures. I love the game, but these mistakes are literally all over the place and it really ruins my experience.
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Date Posted: Sep 10, 2016 @ 9:28am
Posts: 144