View Full Version : Bizarre German Version of MI2

07-12-2003, 08:23 PM
Some of you probably have played the German translation of Monkey Island 2, so you know that it looks very much like its English counterpart.

However, I've found this strange magazine article at kultpower.de (http://www.kultpower.de/) that shows a quite different version than the one released. At that site, select "PowerPlay Games," then "Monkey Island 2," then click on the picture to the right of the page to see screenshots of it.

The font for the nine verbs is totally different. Also, the Sentence Line and the conversation trees are all in bold font, unlike in the final game. In addition, there appears to be no purple background to the verbs and icons like there is in the actual game.

But the weirdest change is the order of the verbs. In the final German version, it looks like this (only in German):

Give Use Pick up
Open Close Talk to
Look at Push Pull

But on that site, the order is:

Give Look at Use
Pick up Talk to Push
Open Close Pull

This is one of the more mysterious things I've encountered. Especially the changing of the order of verbs . . .

I'd love more information on it, if anybody has some.

Edit: Found a screenshot of the final version here (http://www.bpb.de/snp/SPIELE/MONKEYI2/MAIN.HTM) for comparison.

07-13-2003, 01:08 PM
First of all, you can use this link (http://www.kultpower.de/powerplay_testbericht_extern.php3?im=monkeyisland2 .jpg) to view the scanned article.

I don't have that issue of PowerPlay (my earliest is of one year later), so I can't if the shadow from the font is really missing. But even so I'm pretty sure that the depicted version of MI2 was not sold. I only know the one with "Roman" font for the verbs and in the normal order.

You found those differences on your own? I was browsing Kultpower before - the LucasArts games in particular - but didn't notice anything!

07-13-2003, 01:30 PM
I bet they used a BETA version to "test" the game.
All of the German game magazines still do this today (even though they get massive complaints from us gamers).
That's why the final version looks different.

07-13-2003, 01:37 PM
The back of the German box sold for MI2 will do just as well as the magazine to see this. I know that it has pictures of the same version on it.

I don't have the box myself, but a large scan that I have of it seems to show no sort of purple background for the verbs and inventory items.

Just as a side note, there also is no purple background for the inventory items (not to mention 12 verbs!) in the MI2 Slideshow Demo, available in this thread (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=101484).

Ray Jones
07-15-2003, 12:27 PM
They made a cruel translation error which leads to nonsense ..

You know that "How many wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?" Dialouge??

in german they used a translation meaning BEAVER!

and it goes like "How many TREES would a BEAVER cut if .. " and then the Woodsmith goes like ". .blah .. BEAVERs dont cut trees" ..


Perhabs they dont know woodchucks here in germany (hey you translators) .. but i think their choice for beavers is very BAD!!
.. and its even more bad to say beavers dont cut wood/trees. This makes me mad since i first played the game!!
.. the wordplay totally got LOST. (it has no chance to get it to german)
.. WOODPECKER at least had saved the context..


07-15-2003, 02:39 PM
That wasn't a cruel translation error.

In Germany, no one knows woodchucks.

Woodpecker would be a very bad choice either, as no one really believes that woodpeckers cut down trees.

Beavers do cut down trees, but it doesn't really kill the joke. (I don't laugh about the word play but about the way Guybrush tries to get a real answer by altering the question.)

I can't think of a better alternative.

Ray Jones
07-15-2003, 04:01 PM
i know we dont know woodchucks in germany .. i did not know until I played the english version of it LAST year .. the german version i played AS it was released .. BUT i ever knew .. they could never have said BEAVERS in english because BEAVERS DO cut trees .. y'know? therefore i must not know WOODCHUCKs ok?? i meant if the would have taken 'SPECHT' (=Woodpecker) it would have made MORE sense saying blahblah dont cut trees .. m'kay?

so there is in german only the ALTERING QUESTION joke and in the ENGLISH version the woodchuck, the altering question and the WORDPLAY joke .. yeah maan ..

So .. CRUEL translation error .. ;)

07-16-2003, 12:52 AM
A lack of Woodchucks in certain geographic locations should not be an excuse. We don't have any native land mammals in New Zealand, but we still understand references to animals that live outside our fair shores.

// shrug //

07-16-2003, 05:19 AM
How about not translating games into different languages anymore? ;)

That way no word-plays would get lost due to poor translation and/or regional boundaries.
A welcome side-effect would be that people would want to learn English because they want to play games.
Also I would not have to import US-Versions of games for huge stashes of money :)

07-16-2003, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Wizball
How about not translating games into different languages anymore? ;)
You are joking, right? :rolleyes:

07-16-2003, 10:15 AM
Yeah, I ponder that a lot, too. In Finland for example they don't translate every TV show, movie and game, only the shows for kiddies.

The German kids get coddled too much. Therefore they grow up expecting to get everything in their own language (just like English speaking fellows do, by the way).

I was really amazed that the Harry Potter 5 books were (are?) on number 1 and 2 sales ranks on Amazon.de.

Um, Wizball, you do know about play.com (http://www.play.com), don't you? Actually you have to pay smaller stashes of money for the games they offer (their assortment is limited).

Ray Jones
07-16-2003, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by jp-30
A lack of Woodchucks in certain geographic locations should not be an excuse. We don't have any native land mammals in New Zealand, but we still understand references to animals that live outside our fair shores.

// shrug //

It hasnt really something to do with a lack of woodchucks around here i think ..

saying beavers dont cut trees is just silly. no matter which language ..! It's just not right!! ..

And i just never will get it why translating guys do such things.. I would kill any wordplay.. but changing the sense .. ends up in users like me hearing the translation and saying 'no this wasnt what they say in the original!' (btw.. it IS very hard to translate a whole game .. or such a thing .. )

07-16-2003, 08:58 PM
Hey Ray, did you read the PC magazine PC Player (http://www.pcp-forever.de)? Two of their editors, Boris Schneider and Heinrich Lenhardt, did the translation. That was before the birth of the mag, of course. On one of the cards in Phatt Island's library you can read their bitching about Ron's puns. I may look it up some time...

Wait a second, I just did a little search in SCUMM Revisited and found a text that is used for the phone hotline on Dinky Island:
"Also für die Witze in der deutschen Version könen wir nichts. Die hat sich der Übersetzer fast alle neu ausdenken müssen. Angeblich hat er oft über die nicht übersetzbaren englischen Witze geflucht."

The LucasArts hotline employee says that they are not responsible for the jokes in the German version. The translator had to conceive most of them from scratch. It is said that the he cursed the non-translatable English jokes.

@ Wizball: There's also CD WOW! (http://www.cd-wow.com), but they seem to have even less games.

Ray Jones
07-17-2003, 06:59 AM
yeah i remember that phonecall ..

and i dont say all jokes are misdone .. and some of them are quite straight translated .. only that little 'small' one in MI2 .. (i think there is another one in EMI.. but i cannot remeber really.. )

because beavers cut trees. pasta.


(dont be bothered just shoot me. or place me in front of a monitor and punish me to play the scene again and agian and again .. )