What I learned Playing Final Fantasy VIII - AUF DEUTSCH!

I've played Final Fantasy VIII a million times. It's easily the Final Fantasy game I've finished the most, and I would ALMOST be confident of playing with my eyes shut (maybe...). I've also been studying German for a while, and have a basic, yet sorely lacking, understanding of the language. So I thought - hey! - what better idea than to play this game in German.

Warning: this is a long post. There are 23 images in this post (including the above gif which I made because I love chocbos with all my heart). Sorry for making you scroll a lot. Also I play the entire game so YES THERE ARE SPOILERS!

I find game translations/localisations really, really interesting, and I went into this German playthrough of the game with hopes of getting some fun out of some of the translation choices as well as hopefully a bit of education, so I'll be pinpointing some things that made me laugh along the way. I do notice that things that make me laugh, or otherwise elicit a noticeably emotional response, are often things I'm more likely to learn and remember.

So first of all, here's a screenshot of this guy introducing me to the CC-Freaks (Card Club). Freak is also a word in German. Good to know.

As always, I got to card playing pretty fast, and at first I was taking screenshots of sentences I fully understood, just thrilled to comprehend something.

"Was? Du willst mit mir spielen?" = "What? You want to play with me?"

Shortly into the game, we are introduced to Seifer's (Cifer in German) catchphrase for Zell (Xell in German). In English this is "chicken-wuss", but in German we get "Hasenfuß" (literally "hare's foot"). This comes up often enough that it is now fully embedded into my mind, so I'm ready to insult German people, I guess (I promise not to call anyone a Hasenfuß).

I also didn't realise how much the game script has Zell angrily demanding "WHAT DID YOU SAY" or "WHAT DID YOU CALL ME", but what I find interesting here is the punctuation of this phrase and its frustrated delivery represented by bullets between each word. I can't say what punctuation is particularly German in nature (and I don't know what punctuation variants are and aren't used in the other European scripts for FF8), but it's interesting to note the punctuation choices that differ from the English script.

Even Seifer's laugh here differs from the English. "Hehe......" in the German script is "Heheheh..." in the English script. A small difference, but it might tell us a little something about the language.

There is also quite liberal use of words like "Arsch" and "Schieße", which seems to suggest that these are not super serious bad words in German. I'm not super sure about it, but they come up quite a lot and it's an amusing time.

"Gähn" means "yawn", but this screenshot shows a punctuation quirk that I really like - tildes are used to show speech that involves drawn out words. Selphie uses them a lot and it portrays her cute way of talking really well.

Of course, people also extend their words by adding more of the same vowel, like in this moment which I just HAD to include.

"You're-going to-like-me

becomes "Mich mögen, mich mööögen."

Here's Selphie being a train fanatic in German.

I believe in the English script Selphie calls Laguna "dreamy" when they first dream about him, but here she literally calls him her "dream man" (Traumann). Another small difference, yet such an interesting one.

This scene, and how these text boxes quickly appear on top of each other, is just somehow amazing to see in German. "Who, when, and how?"

I'm back to taking screenshots just because I understand what is being said, but there is something that feels very slightly different to me about Rinoa saying "Ich hatte Angst..." rather than "I'm scared". It just feels different somehow. That's the strange thing about language, and is one reason I find it so fascinating, because even if a character says what is ultimately the same thing in either language, there is some fundamental difference in the experience.

On a lighter note, I learned that the German for "dead end" is "Sackgasse".

German is a beautiful language, everyone.

I took this screenshot because it's an emotional moment that I can't resist. Squall, please don't feel alleine...

[me crying in German]

After they find out about Edea, their main antagonist thus far, being their old orphanage Matron (who they call "Mama" in German), the English script has them saying it's awful that they have to fight her. The German says this, which is more like "it's shit that we have to fight our own Mama".

Feels about right.

"Is Rinoa still sleeping?"

I just thought this was a cute moment.

Here's Dr. Odine (Odyne in German) saying something is problematic. The funny thing about Odine is that the English script portrays him as having a German accent. I'm not proficient enough in German to tell if they've given him any kind of accent, but it doesn't seem like he is portrayed as German here.

One thing I find interesting is the translation of "sorceress". "Hexe" is more akin to the word "witch". This actually reflects the Japanese script more accurately, as the word used in Japanese is 魔女 (majo), also meaning "witch". Calling Rinoa a witch rather than a sorceress kinda makes the fear of her state and possible destructive powers feel more real.

Here's Selphie using tildes to express her excitement. In English this line is "Woohoo, we're flying!"

Oh, by the way, I nicknamed Squall "frecher". I thought it would be fun to give him a German word for a name. It's not a word I'm very familiar with, but it means "naughty". I love to amuse myself.

Anyway he LIKES WITCHES [gasp].

And that leads us to the climax of the game. The final fight of the game, with Ultimecia (Artemisia in German). She calls us "Widerlich" (disgusting) before the fight begins. Possibly a better insult that "Hasenfuß".

Full disclosure: I reached her final form and then promptly died because I hadn't unlocked the resurrect ability yet because I was simply to lazy to go around her whole castle unlocking more sealed off abilities at that point. I think I did okay for having no ability to resurrect party members though, so I'm gonna consider this playthrough done even though I didn't actually complete the very final part.


So as a final note - I think playing through Final Fantasy VIII in German has been a great experience. It definitely has drilled into me some of the commonly used words (such as "genau" and "trotzdem"). It's given me an opportunity to involve myself in conversational German without feeling overwhelmed and confused by being directly involved in speaking or even hearing German (I can take my time to read each sentence). It's also taught me some fun words (SACKGASSE) which I will more easily remember from having a humorous or narrative context.

Ultimately, having so much context definitely goes a long way in helping me learn some German words. I certainly haven't learned a huge amount from doing this, but putting some things I already know into context, seeing how often certain words are used conversationally throughout this story, and the repetition of words combined with the familiarity of a story and characters I love - all of that contributes various bits and pieces of learning and progress for me and my German. And it's really fun, too. So yep, I'm glad I played Final Fantasy VIII in German. It's been pretty super.

Also, unrelated - this SEED girl in Balamb Garden's cafeteria during the Norg scenario is totally me:


Confused Eyebrow

I have done some paintings. Here they are. Please stop crying.

I wasn't able to scan the delicate, watery orange tones well, so you'll just have to imagine a nice gradient that COULD be there. Regardless, it was nice to mess around with paint after a while of not painting. I like how it encourages me to mess around with composition a bit more.

Some of these paintings were made on (slightly waxy) tissue paper, and some were on printer paper. Two slightly challenging things to paint on, but I love to get #REKT by art materials.

This one (above) was one of the strangest. It was all a bit of an accident, but I feel there is something mildly cursed about this image. What is going on? Why does the person's arm look like the bunny's single very confused eyebrow? What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.

And then of course we have a cat pondering its own astounding beauty. Normal.

Metaphysical Curly Wurly

I've been holding on to these scans for a little while, just not posting them and letting them sit in my pictures folder, cluttering things up with a darkened reminder of my face and that my face exists. I just haven't quite felt that natural feeling of "yes, I have some words to put next to this" until now. But y'know, sometimes it's nice to have files just sitting around, waiting to give you a little push of inspiration at the right time.

I've taken to having a folder of pictures saved because they inspire me in some way, make me laugh, or just show a really cute skirt. I know that's a pretty normal thing to do, but I usually don't tend to have a folder for this purpose, and now I do, and it's kinda nice. It just lets things ruminate for a while. Small thoughts swirl around lazily like little electric blips (b-b-b-b-b-b-boing boom tschak).

It's coming up to autumn (my favourite season), and it's as if I can feel the time passing. Things have changed subtly (and maybe unsubtly) as always, just a touch, just a whirr. But here I am with my same face and the same darkness and the same breath. I got the same twisting identity to think about, like some kind of metaphysical Curly Wurly, and the strange desire to obtain a lip gloss.

Sometimes... I Wear Things: 4 Outfits

Do you like outfits? I do. I sometimes wear them.

When I started blogging I wanted in part to document THE CLOTHES. And obviously, pony magazines, but of course that's just a given. Me setting up blogspot is a hazy and almost empty memory now, but I do remember being influenced by the fashion blogs (especially those that didn't feel editorial, but more casual and diary-like, which was more or less the standard for blogs back in 2011/2012).

For a while I did "Fitting Room Focus" posts where I went into fitting rooms, tried on stuff, and commented on it (you can use the search bar to delve into this old world if you wish). I loved doing those posts, but there is a different kind of comfortable ease when you're taking outfit shots in your own home rather than in a shopping centre where you've crammed approx. one million crop tops into a small space. So finally I am here again with an outfit compilation. I've been really enjoying taking outfit pictures, I think because I know it's working towards a way of documenting a particular aspect of time (and apparently that is my passion).

Let's go through each outfit then.

Above left: stripy kids top from a mysterious Amazon seller, trusty old skater skirt, and some tights with glitter stripes running down them.

Above right: ribbed grey top from Zaful (complimentary as part of a previous review post), basic tube skirt from H&M, long daisy necklace from Accessorize, gormless look model's own.

Above left: floral dress from River Island (RRP was about £25-30 but I got it for £8 after hunting it down on eBay like a big fashion vulture), brand new and very exciting pink velvet pleated skirt from Tesco, £8.

Above right: a very fearsome dragon from Jellycat (their cuddly toys are so soft, I really love them), stripy crop top from H&M, grey leggings were from a market for £3, and the necklace was a mysterious gift. Don't ask why I only animated this outfit (it's because I didn't think of doing it until I was editing this outfit).

★ヽ(。• ε •。)

So that's four recent outfits. It's pretty fun to see what I was wearing across a section of time, so I'll try to keep taking outfit photos and I'm thinking about maybe getting a new mini bag or two in different colours for [gasp] bag accessorising. Actually, I really want to grab this pink ita bag I've seen everywhere lately:

It's so cute. And I could fill the heart-shaped window with pictures of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, or perhaps just some nice dogs. That's the dream.

My Top Albums - August 2017 。 ♬ * ★

Here's a nifty graphic showing my nine top albums over the last month (made with tapmusic). Let's talk about them.

1. Jonghyun - She Is

This album is so smooth, blending some funk and jazz style into an overall relaxing yet rather soulful whole. The track 'Moon' always makes me think of lying in a bath or something. Just super comforting. And there's a mysterious space-y feel too.

2. Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age of Wireless

This is one of my favourite albums of all time. It combines a bustling yet gentle synth sound with a steampunk soundscape (machinery/radio noises, tech references) and a big in-album universe feel. It's rare that I listen to an album and imagine a vast world for it, but with this one you have to. Thomas Dolby is an immense storyteller.

3. Chairlift - Does You Inspire You

I love the way Chairlift include an element of parable in some of their songs here. 'Planet Health' describes a creepy utopia built on health-related buzzwords which we travel through with an increasing melancholy. The vocals, sounds, and concepts on this album are exquisitely intertwined, and of course this album gave us 'Bruises', a song sort of about tenderly treating small wounds but a song that also cuts into some complex emotion that maybe can't be put into words.

4. SHINee - I'm Your Boy

This is SHINee's third Japanese album and there's something about the cover I really like (notice how it almost blends in to Jonghyun's album above, a nice bit of serendipity). There is a lot going on here, but mostly it is a really solid pop album with a sprinkling of wackiness (Key's 'WA HA HA HA' laugh right at the beginning of the opening track gets me every time, and then you have 'Picasso' as a whole - what a song). This was a strange era for SHINee, but this album's overall composition makes it one of their best for me.

5. Paramore - Riot!

I've been enjoying Paramore's new, St. Vincent-esque album, but I always have this unending nostalgia for the album that shot them straight onto the cover of Kerrang! magazine forevermore. I love the energy, the great choruses, and the seamless tracklist on this album, and I will forever.

6. Picky Picnic - Ha! Ha! Tarachine

This is the definitive Picky Picnic album, with all their spooky synth kitchen children chaos sound perfectly captured. Sounds like if Devo were schoolchildren in a haunted house. It's the best.

7. Chairlift - Moth

Firstly, this is one of the prettiest album covers I have ever seen in my life (made by artist Rebecca Bird), and secondly: Chairlift continue with the wonderfully laced together sound they had conjured like secret magic from the beginning with this utter beauty of an album. They did well in retaining their intimate and close feel, whilst bringing songs out for a bigger and almost more disco-like sound. Favourites from this one are 'Ch-Ching' and 'Moth to the Flame' - both intensely danceable tracks.

8. Dolly Mixture - Demonstration Tapes

This always creeps quickly up my charts because it has quite a lot of very short songs, but regardless I love this album. It serves more as a collection, but it's the perfect avenue for Dolly Mixture as it feels like a sleepover or a jump around the bedroom for a homemade school disco. There's a hint of twee, but for me this mostly feels more matter of fact in delivery than twee or saccharine. There's an honesty in the unfiltered sound, and when you get to the spoken middle section of 'How Come You're Such A Hit With The Boys, Jane? it's its own great reward.

9. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame

One of the many things I love about Depeche Mode is the burgeoning sweetness that crawls through their dark and cloudy songs. This album is a fantastic example of this. 'See You' in particular has such a childlike pleading to it. This album oozes secrets and wheat fields (and a good harsh synth).


I wonder what albums I'll be listening to most over the next month. Any suggestions or predictions? Please leave them in the comments, or over here on last.fm.

Dog Butt

Ever wanted to superimpose a cartoon dog butt onto your face? Well, me too. It's always been my dream. Thankfully, the SNOW app has a filter for doing just that, so I spent far too long putting a happy dog butt (amongst other things) onto my face. Just as nature intended.

Please enjoy.

Okay, thanks for indulging me. Now go put a stylish dog butt accessory on your face.