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View Full Version : The Curse of Monkey Island - tricky internationalization question


TheHutt
10-06-2009, 05:14 AM
I have been experimenting around with the "Curse of Monkey Island" installation (English CD version) and ScummVM and found some interesting stuff considering internationalization.

The main differences of the international releases of "Curse of Monkey Island" compared to the English one are:
- The version selection screen is different. The regular English version has an entirely graphic screen (wooden sign) with the texts painted into the graphic. The international versions show a "clean" wooden sign with the texts shown in the game font (see pictures below).
- There are additional text strings (translations for the chapter names).
- The pirate song "A Pirate I Was Meant To Be" is skipped. (Apparently, it was considered too hard to translate)

The text strings for the game are located in the file Language.tab, which is rather straightforward. I was experimenting by replacing the Language.tab with different language files. For the convenience, for this demonstration I used the included English Language.tab:

Left: English version, Right: International Version with English Language.tab
http://i025.radikal.ru/0910/02/3a8aa1d4c4aet.jpg (http://radikal.ru/F/i025.radikal.ru/0910/02/3a8aa1d4c4ae.jpg) http://s55.radikal.ru/i150/0910/0c/1a76b8f39dfdt.jpg (http://radikal.ru/F/s55.radikal.ru/i150/0910/0c/1a76b8f39dfd.jpg)

- If you set the game language to English in ScummVM, the Language.tab is not used at all. The strings are all in English, even if the Language.tab is a translated one.

- If you set the game language to either German, French, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese (haven't tried others), the International version will kick in. That is, you get the different font on the version selection screen, the extra chapter subtitles AND you won't get the Pirate song.

Left: English version, Right: International Version with English Language.tab
http://s52.radikal.ru/i138/0910/28/695937c9933bt.jpg (http://radikal.ru/F/s52.radikal.ru/i138/0910/28/695937c9933b.jpg) http://i039.radikal.ru/0910/9f/e86cef667893t.jpg (http://radikal.ru/F/i039.radikal.ru/0910/9f/e86cef667893.jpg)

- If you set the game language to some more exotic language, like Chinese or Russian, you will have the following: Language.tab will be used, but there won't be any subtitles for chapter names and the game selection screen will be original English one. This seems to be the preferrable feature for any unauthorized fan translations like this one:

http://i035.radikal.ru/0910/b5/f9f74dd77235t.jpg (http://radikal.ru/F/i035.radikal.ru/0910/b5/f9f74dd77235.jpg)

I used to think that the language specified in ScummVM is but a supplementary feature with no real function - it looks however like it isn't. Also, it looks like the same game binaries handle both the US and the international version and contained all the necessary resources (except for the translations themselves). However, I also have a question:

Is there a possibility to get both the localized scene selection screen (like in int'l version), the extra subtitles for chapter names (like in the int'l version), but with the Pirate Song intact?

LogicDeLuxe
10-06-2009, 10:22 AM
- The pirate song "A Pirate I Was Meant To Be" is skipped. (Apparently, it was considered too hard to translate)As far as I know, they rushed through the game and had no time for this. Interestingly enough, a few lines of the song are actually translated in the language.tab in the German version.

Another difference is the time announcement Guybrush does when you read the tower clock.Also, it looks like the same game binaries handle both the US and the international version and contained all the necessary resources (except for the translations themselves).Which was obviously the point. Makes translations much more easier than in older SCUMM games. However, some versions have dubbed voice acting, so that also cut-scene videos and voice files were altered.Is there a possibility to get both the localized scene selection screen (like in int'l version), the extra subtitles for chapter names (like in the int'l version), but with the Pirate Song intact?I once wrote a patch to do exactly that, but it patches the native executable, ie. it was not made for ScummVM. http://www.gratissaugen.de/erbsen/CMIPATCH.ZIP

TheHutt
10-06-2009, 02:42 PM
As far as I know, they rushed through the game and had no time for this. Interestingly enough, a few lines of the song are actually translated in the language.tab in the German version.
As far as I know, this affects not just the German version, but every version with a localized dub (French, Spanish, etc.)

Another difference is the time announcement Guybrush does when you read the tower clock.


Oh yeah! I forgot that one completely. In the English version, Guybrush actually reads the time, in the International version he says "Whoa, look at the time. Gotta scoop!".

Interestengly enough: if you change the language settings in ScummVM and load an existing game, you'll undo some of the changes of the international version, for instance, the way Guybrush looks at the town clock. However, it doesn't work for the Pirate Song: if you load a ScummVM savegame created while playing International version, the song will be skipped no matter what language you choose afterwards.

Which was obviously the point. Makes translations much more easier than in older SCUMM games. However, some versions have dubbed voice acting, so that also cut-scene videos and voice files were altered.
Yeah, I meant that by "translation themselves" - these are of course different on every disc. In case of Monkey Island, translations at least don't affect video; for Grim Fandango, for example, videos were re-rendered with localized intertitles (like "One Year Later").

I once wrote a patch to do exactly that, but it patches the native executable, ie. it was not made for ScummVM. http://www.gratissaugen.de/erbsen/CMIPATCH.ZIP
Does it keep the pirate song AND the other thingies like additional intertitles?

LogicDeLuxe
10-06-2009, 05:37 PM
Does it keep the pirate song AND the other thingies like additional intertitles?There are two patches in the ZIP. One should just enable the song, nothing more. And the other should ignore language.tab completely, ie. you will see the original skill graphics, no chapter subtitles, and all the onscreen text will be English. The time announcement script will work too, though the assembled numbers don't make sense with German voice, and probably with other languages too.
I don't remember all the details, since this was ages ago.

TheHutt
10-07-2009, 06:09 AM
Now that's interesting, thanks! True, the clock reading does not make sense in the German version (and I suppose, in the French neither).

ronzbig1
10-11-2009, 05:26 AM
Song is divided into files language.tab and comi.la2.