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Assassin’s Creed 2 EP9: La lingua Italiana

By Shamus
on Tuesday Oct 4, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

In questo episodio di Attenzione Spoiler abbiamo acceso il dialogo per la lingua italiana, nella speranza di sfuggire all’orrore della traduzione inglese di default. Questo ha funzionato contro di noi quando ci siamo resi conto che il flusso non è leggibile, lasciando Rutskarn Mumbles, Rutskarn, io e Rutskarn all’oscuro di quello che stava succedendo. Tuttavia, dopo aver attentamente guardando Josh giocare la partita per un’ora siamo stati in grado di discernere che stava uccidendo le persone che possono o non possono averlo meritato.

Inoltre, questa traduzione viene a voi attraverso Google Translate. Oltre al cibo, io non parlo una parola di italiano.

Comments (179)

  1. krellen says:

    Translated back out:

    In this episode of Spoiler Warning we turned on the dialogue for the Italian language, hoping to escape the horror of the English translation by default. This has worked against us when we realized that the flow is not readable, leaving Rutskarn Mumbles, Rutskarn, and I Rutskarn unaware of what was happening. However, after carefully watching Josh play the game for an hour we were able to discern that he was killing people who may or may not have deserved it.

    Moreover, this translation comes to you through Google Translate. Besides food, I do not speak a word of Italian.

    • Irridium says:

      Oh, look at that. I though Shamus was asking us all if we wanted to take a trip to Australia and tip Kangaroos.

      Not sure why I read it that way, but there it is.

    • Shamus says:

      Wow. That is amazingly close to the original:

      “In this episode of Spoiler Warning we have switched the dialog to the Italian language, in the hopes of escaping the horror of the default English translation. This worked against us when we realized that the stream was unreadable, leaving Rutskarn Mumbles, Rutskarn, myself, and Rutskarn in the dark about what was going on. However, after carefully watching Josh play the game for an hour we were able to discern that he was killing people who may or may not have deserved it.

      Also, this translation comes to you via Google Translate. Aside from foods, I don’t speak a word of Italian.”

      Not bad for a two-step translation job. I don’t know what you used in your step, but it speaks well of Google that their translator did so little damage.

      • Factoid says:

        Google does a very smart thing when translating its text. In true google fashion they’ve done away with the idea of just doing dictionary comparisons and verb conjugations.

        They actually just scrape the full text of human-translated documents and look for similar phrases to pluck whole. The more their library of translated text grows the better their algorithm gets.

        • Ambitious Sloth says:

          That sounds like how chatbot works. Basically the same idea but instead of translated texts it just pulls from previous conversations it had.

          Thus you can “break” both by entering a phrase that the program has never encountered before. Though chatbot will give you a random phrase whereas Google Translate just goes for dictionary definitions and gives a bad translation.

        • Jon Ericson says:

          Even better, users can highlight bits of translated text and get alternate translations. For instance, in this text I got the phrase “we turned the dialogue for the Italian language”. Google offered “turned on” as an alternate. Further, I could substitute “switched” (which is what Shamus originally wrote) in a text box. Presumably, they are collecting data about which phrases people prefer to improve future results.

          I translated an entire sermon from English to Spanish using Google Translate to save time. It did a competent job initially and using the alternate translations I got a result that gets very close to what I think I would have written if I’d started writing in Spanish directly. It was a huge time saver and the sermon was well-received by native Spanish speakers.

          Good translations will always need the human touch, but Google now seems good enough to safely outsource quick and dirty translations.

          • Paul Spooner says:

            Forza ragazzi! Perché non è tutto questo in italiano? Ero davvero sperando di avere un intera sezione commento di analizzare attraverso di Google Translate.
            C’è qualcosa di tradurre da un’altra lingua che ti fa guardare oltre le parole e davvero cercare di capire cosa significa. Poiché non è possibile affidarsi così fortemente a spunti di serie essendo presente, si deve pensare di più a quello che viene detto.
            Forse ora farò tutti i miei commenti in italiano!

        • uberfail says:

          I understand it looks at UN type documents that are in different languages.

        • Primogenitor says:

          Except that it is (partly) broken by its own success. As more automatic translations services appear, the comparative texts become “polluted” with machine generated translations rather than human generated translations. So they’ve turned it off for the moment, assuming that it is as good as it will get.

      • StranaMente says:

        The way adjective and verbs work can’t really catch up in italian. It’s far more complicated to get ’em right than simply apply an alghorithm.
        By the way, what’s about Rutskarn appearing 3 times?

      • krellen says:

        I used Google Translate. I had to change a phrase option (you can click on phrases and pick from a drop down) to get it to say “we turned on the dialogue” instead of “we turned the dialogue”, but otherwise I left it as translated.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Buona cosa che quando si traduce attraverso lo stesso programma che restituisce il testo di partenza senza problemi.
        Anche se, potrei sempre lo alimentano attraverso un altro traduttore e vedere cosa viene fuori se mi annoio.

      • SleepingDragon says:

        Yeah, mechanical translation is becoming more and more advanced each year, seeing as I am trying to earn my living as a translator there are days when this leaves me worried for my job security. I mean, obviously not tomorrow but when am I gonna be in five or ten years? In fact most pros in the field already use various translation assisting programs.

        That said here is a babelfish variation, I really like the new title ;)

        “In this episode of Spoiler Attention we have ignited the dialogue for the Italian language, in the hope to escape to the horror of the English translation of default. This has worked against of we when we are rendered account that the flow is not leggibile, leaving Rutskarn Mumbles, Rutskarn, I and Rutskarn in the dark of what it was happening. However, after to have carefully watching Josh to play the game for an hour we have been in a position to discerning that it was killing the persons who can or they cannot have deserved it. Moreover, this translation comes to you through Google Translate. Besides the food, I do not speak a word about Italian.”

        • Low-Level DM says:

          Holy smokes. This is horrible. I mean, yeah, it can translate words, but when you take it all together like that… Just comparing to Google Translate makes Google seem that much more impressive. To whoever was talking about job security, you don’t have to worry if Babelfish suddenly takes over the translation business.

          • SleepingDragon says:

            Haha, yeah I know. The thing is babelfish is a relic mostly used by the clueless or for humorous purposes, even google’s thing is still something that’s available for free and it’s actually getting almost decent for casual translation. I mean, clearly you wouldn’t trust it with something that’s up for publication, but it needs less and less supervision.

        • Zak McKracken says:

          My hunch is that Google is using a more or less reversible algorithm, and babelfish uses a different one.
          I wonder what happens if you put the English original through Babelfish and back again.
          I just tried using google translate to turn it into Italian, then German, then English again, and then just English-German-English. In both cases, the German version is actually quite a bit worse than the final English one. I figure there’s some word-by-word translating going on that gives bad results in language x but can be restored to something that’s close to the original by the same word-by word translation that got it into this situation.

      • Dev Null says:

        I’m so disappointed. I did the same thing, expecting hilarity, and all I can say is circular translations used to be much more fun. On the other hand, you can run a mouse over it and see the discrete phrases that it has translated because it recognised them. Which makes me wonder why “killing people who” is an oft-used enough phrase that Google knows how to translate it…

        • Dragomok says:

          I’m also dissappointed. I was hoping it would be some kind of Troll Italian.
          Initially, I found the text quite funny and was giggling. But when I got to the third sentence I realised it was the actual language and, suddenly, the text stopped being amusing.

          Reminds me of the stories about Londoners who went on a holiday in other parts of Britain and found a footage of local horse market extremely humorous, thinking it was an episode of Monty Python (there was a period when it was broadcasted only near London – or so I heard).

        • Simon says:

          Since English and Italian still share a common origin and a lot of grammar, it’s easier to translate between them. The trick is to circle-translate with an Asian language, then you’ll still get hilarity. Like this!

    • Ermel says:

      On a side note, I am impressed by Google Translate. Translating something into any language and back used to be a sure-fire recipe for a mildly amusing, nearly incomprehensible desaster of a text in my day; the above reads really rather well, despite one or two slight glitches. We’ve come a long way there.

      Edit: Shamus beat me to this.

      • Fnord says:

        Quality varies quite a bit from language to language. My experience is that it works better for European languages than Asian ones. For example, the circular translation with Chinese:

        “In this episode, spoiler warning, we have switched to Italian language dialog, the default escape the horrors of the English translation of hope. This is our work, when we realized that the stream is unreadable, remain in the dark what happened Rutskarn Man Bosi, Rutskarn, myself, and Rutskarn. However, carefully watched Josh play the game for an hour, we can see, he killed people who may or may not be worthy of its people.

        In addition, the translation to you via Google Translate. Apart from the food, I do not speak a word of Italian.”

        And Japanese:

        “In this episode spoiler warning, in the hope of escaping the horrors of the English translation of default, the dialog is switched to Italian. We, on what’s going on, Rutskarn Manburuzu in the dark, Rutskarn, myself, and leave Rutskarn, worked against it when we noticed that the stream is unreadable. However, Josh looked carefully after playing the game we were able to identify the time that might have died or are not worthy of him.

        Moreover, this translation is the translation comes to you via Google. Aside from the food, I can not speak a word of Italian.”

        I don’t know if they have a smaller set of sample translations or if translating between European languages is just an easier problem.

  2. StranaMente says:

    I’m not sure I have the guts the see this episode.
    The english version is already a joke of the italian language, but as far as I remember the italian version was instead quite good, but with your comment?
    Am I ready to bear your jokes of my native language?
    Sure I am!

    • swenson says:

      Please tell us how good/bad the Italian is!

      • Fede says:

        The italian voice acting is clearly made by Italians. But, even if i’m Italian, I played with the English voices because they are hilarious.

      • StranaMente says:

        As far as dubbing goes, this is quite good.
        Some actors are worse than others, but the overall quality is high. Compared to the original it’s pure gold, for me, by the way… :-)

      • Aanok says:

        Eh, I kind of disagree with StranaMente, I feel it’s bad enough. The acting sounds forced and the dubbers have a really heavy accent from Lazio (Rome’s region). I do have heard worse, though.

        Italian dubbing can be very good. It was spectacular back in the 50s and the 60s (“First Generation” dubbers). Today it’s mostly good in movies, altough the vast majority of voice actors share their Roman accent with Mario, here. In videogames, though, producers always go for the cheapest way and, thus, Italian voiceover sounds generally bad. Actually, the whole localization is often lacking, as you can frequently hear idiomatic expressions translated almost literally, and a general lack of polish and accuracy.

        I usually go for English audio and text in videogames, but in the case of this AC, though, I would have definitely preferred slightly bad Italian over the butchering we were hearing before :)

        • NihilCredo says:

          IMO it sounds forced because for some reason there is a bit too little dialogue compared to the length of the cutscenes, sooo Itaa-li-an a-c-tors keeep taalkiing veerryy sloowwllyy, which sounds really unnatural and melodramatic.

          Agree about the accents. Maybe it’s ahistorical, but I had really been looking forward to a ton of Tuscan aspired Cs. Oh well, at least the Roman accent works great in Brotherhood.

          But even with all of that, I still think it remains on a pretty good level. Particularly compared to the horrible New York Italian of the English dubbing, which had me tear off my headphones in cringing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Do you remember what they did for the mario joke?

      • NihilCredo says:

        Just a straight “It’s me, Mario”. For obvious reasons, Nintendo’s Mario doesn’t have a particularly distinctive voice in Italian, so there’s really no joke to translate.

  3. The Hokey Pokey says:

    Is that really mumbles? She sounds different this episode.

  4. Tobias says:

    Italian mode. Interesting.

    The Subtitles are still in the annoying half Italian mode… WHY?? Do you not get how subtitles work, game?

    Why would you want to renovate the thief’s guild? It’s made of pure fantasy trope. Is there a in game justification?

    Of course they can build a perfectly balanced secret door. The ancient assassins had technology which baffled even the great Leonardo da Vinci. A secret shelf of incredible wight is nothing.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Sliding doors werent beyond smarter people of the age.

      It would probably involve something along the lines of chains pulled by water, or possibly a primitive steam pump. The engineering for it is not avaiable to the world at large but an organisation such as Assasins, with their hands on future tech, such a mechanism is not impossible. There have been even greater such works in previous eras.

      The only thing lacking is something on which that shelf slides, because wood/stone friction is going to be great.

    • Raygereio says:

      The Subtitles are still in the annoying half Italian mode… WHY?? Do you not get how subtitles work, game?

      I can’t check this as I don’t have the game installed, but if I recall right there are seperate language options for the voices and subtitles.

    • Having a thieves guild makes sense for the personal use of an assassin – the jobs have a lot of skill crossover, but for a villa, not so much. Maybe they only rob tourists? or maybe it’s a safe house for when they’re on the road and in return they don’t rob local houses

  5. tsylba says:

    funfacts : when you switch back from Italian to English language (with sub), one of the ‘real world’ character tells you there was a bug in the ‘subtitle engine’ or something. I was like O___O for a moment, really impressed by this details.

  6. Guthie says:

    I keep Dynasty Warriors on Japanese language mode so that the awful English translation and voice acting can’t crush my fun. There isn’t even really a story to keep up with, so it works even better than this. =P

  7. ps238principal says:

    Re: Rutskarn switching DVD language tracks to Spanish.

    “The Phantom Menace” is vastly improved by doing this (which isn’t hard, really), though Rifftrax is truly the only way I “enjoy” the film. Qui-Gon especially sounds muy macho.

  8. Burek says:

    Did Mumbles get a new microphone? She no longer sounds like a skulking cannibal from Fallout.

  9. Wtrmute says:

    It’s not very surprising to find out that they were able to get Italian voice actors with voices similar to the English ones. After all, most countries that are not the US have a lot of English-language movies and TV shows they must translate into their native language, so they generally have very good dubbers. It was probably enough to have Ubisoft contact some dubbing studio in Italy and provide them with some clips of the characters’ English dialogue and let the Italians do the selection and hiring of people who fit those vocal profiles.

    • Greg says:

      I think I read that Ubisoft just hired Italian voice actors for Ezio and the rest to begin with, rather than go through the hassle of trying to find voice actors who sounded similar to the English actors. It’d probably be cheaper as well, one set of voice actors, two different language options.

  10. Amstrad says:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum.

  11. Indy says:

    “Rutskarn, Mumbles, Rutskarn, myself and Rutskarn”. You’re still missing half the cast.

  12. Sekundaari says:

    You seemed to have a bit of trouble handling the horse. You should teach it to turn right after the Assassin’s Geed.

  13. Paul Spooner says:

    Avendo l’italiano rende l’impostazione sembrano molto più credibile. Si dovrebbe fare tutti gli altri episodi come questo.

    Inoltre, c’è una scenetta Brian Regan hai bisogno di vedere. Qualcosa su solo conoscendo le parole italiane per il cibo. “Carne in scatola e cavolo!” Bei tempi.

  14. Joe says:

    In regards to the several comments made by Mumbles and Shamus about how the Italian language actually sounds, a learned polyglot friend told me the following about Italian.

    Before the formation of the Italian nation, each Italian City-state had its own dialect, different to some degree or another from each other, similarly to how various former Yugoslavic nations speak different but similar languages (Bulgarians and Serbians will argue for days about their superiority to one another.)

    When Italy became a nation they had to pick one language from all of the dialects spoken by all the Italian city-states. What criteria did they use to pick this language? The robustness of the language? The diversity? The functionality?

    None of these. The Italians, being Italians, picked the most beautiful sounding of the Italian dialects to be the language for Italy. And that’s pretty dang awesome.

    • Fnord says:

      And it just happened that the “most beautiful” dialect was the one spoken in Florence, one of the more influential cities (and, in fact, the capital for a big chunk of the early history)?

      Really, the Italian language was a lingua franca for the peninsula even before the unification, widely spoken at least among the educated classes. It’s true that Florentine literature, particularly Dante, was widespread and popular, which helped spread that dialect. But Florence’s power and role in trade was probably important, too, in spreading the language, as well as spreading that literature in the first place.

    • Tse says:

      What the crap??? Bulgarians are NOT a former Yugoslavic nation! Bulgaria was founded in 681. The modern Bulgarian language is a mix of Bulgar and Slavic. It’s true that few Bulgar words remain after more than 14 centuries on the Balkans, but Bulgarian still has words no other Slavic country has. And we don’t argue with the Serbians about superiority!
      P.S. Maybe you’re thinking of Macedonia. Bulgarians and Macedonians argue a lot about the real origin of Macedonia. I’ll not go into specifics, I don’t want to start a flame war.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Bulgarians and Serbians will argue for days about their superiority to one another.

        Heh, there’s always someone to prove the stereotype, isn’t there. Gotta love the Internet.

  15. Jibar says:

    Thought I’d point out, the story of how the codex pages got thrown everywhere is explained in the Auditore vault downloaded from uPlay. If I remember right, the book is stolen and damaged by pirates unaware of how valuable it is, until what pages they still have are split between their Templar employers. It also explains that Marco Polo is an Assassin, and that the Auditores aren’t really nobles, their origin a lie concocted by Ezio’s great grandfather as cover to hide from Templars.

    • Kyte says:

      I think Project Legacy (the Facebook game) elaborates on this.
      IIRC, Marco Polo was an Assassin, Altaïr gave the Codex to a disciple who traveled with MP, pirates attacked, he let the pages get scattered, laid low and infiltrated himself into italian nobility as the Auditore.

  16. Johan says:

    Here’s my question, so Desmond has the memories of Ezio, and also the memories of Al-Tair, does he then ALREADY KNOW the answer to this codex puzzle and just has to play it through as Ezio? I guess (I don’t know how their “genes are memories” science works) if Al-Tair had a kid and THEN started his Riddler phase then maybe he wouldn’t pass those memories?

    And I must be an anomaly, I much prefer accented English to a language I can’t understand :/.

    • Entropy says:

      The genes are memories is simply that data for the memory is supposedly stored in the DNA. Since Desmond didn’t experience that bit of Altairs life in the Animus, he doesn’t know it.

      • Johan says:

        So theoretically he could just go back to his Altair playground, get up to where the A-man travels to Italy and does his shebang, and then use it to cheat on his Ezio playthrough?

        • Tzeneth says:

          Actually, later in the story we have a section of Altair’s life which leads to him having sex and us ending our connection with Altair, as we are connected through his genes

  17. A) can’t they just hack into altair’s memories as he’s making the thing
    B) That barred door in the basement looks like you could climb over it

  18. TM says:

    Being a student of Italian, this post was fun to read. I had also been certain the whole time you had gotten some Italian speaker to do this for you before I read that last line, so I have to say, Google Translate did a really, really good job.

    • Sam Crisp says:

      This has been the first piece of Italian writing I have read since I stopped studied Italian two years ago. Shamefully, I could only understand half of it. I could follow the grammar, conjugation and structure fine, but I had just forgotten what a lot of the words meant. And, of course, I was reading it at a snail’s pace. I was also impressed by the translation; it seemed pretty native to me. I wouldn’t have guessed it was a Google Translate job.

      This latest Spoiler Warning series has made me finally play that copy of Brotherhood I’ve had in shrink wrap for a while. I’m playing it in Italian language, but since its spoken so quickly, I have no hope in understanding more than a word here or there. I guess I’ve discovered how much Italian I’ve forgotten.

      Although I must say, I love how how you can hit Select at times in the game to learn more about the history of the particular structures and areas of Italy they have resembled in the game world. I wish that educational aspect of the game were more than just a cursory feature.

  19. StranaMente says:

    @Josh: After thinking about it for a while it dawned on me a good way to help you spell “Monte Riggioni”, it’s like “Ridge-oni” (like in ridge racer).
    As far as I know the italian spelling of “gi” doesn’t have a proper counter part, so you can spell it as “dge”

  20. Eddie says:


    Cependant, je suppose que la plupart du monde est monoglotte.

    • tengokujin says:


      한국말이라면 저도하죠. 근대 무슨 말할지…

      • Eddie says:


    • Zak McKracken says:

      Nu cred aşa. Cred că sunt mulţi oameni care vorbesc mai mult ca o limbă, dar nu sunt limbe care inţelegi tu.
      … I love this game :)
      And sorry if the above contains errors, I’m not as polyglot as I’d like to pretend to be.

  21. Dovius says:

    What I’ve never understood is how an Assassin can be relatively unknown, while at the same time playing real estate with an entire town, with nobody finding out.

  22. Vect says:

    Personally I would’ve found it hilarious to see them try to dub it in the Vaguely Italian-sounding Gibberish that’s all over the Mario & Luigi RPGs.


  23. Daemian Lucifer says:

    About the codex pages:
    Well how do you know that those chests in banks werent left there by some rich dudes with the exact same sentiment Mumbles had?They were holding them to sell to someone for big moneys.

    Also,how many priceless text and mummies were destroyed by people who just stumbled upon them and didnt know what those were?Yeah,not everyone thinks that those things are worth a lot.

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    About the bars and armour:
    Yeah,that one bugged me as well.I didnt mind animus,nor the pieces of eden,those were all consistent in the story,but this armour that was there for hundreds of years,behind just one set of bars,and is still better than anything you can make with more advanced tools,and the bars werent breached for all this time?That was really lame.If they used a forcefield and said something about it in the codex,like altair used a piece of eden to lock this artifact he crafted with the help of its power,but no,its just ordinary bars holding an ordinary(if well crafted)armour.

  25. some random dood says:

    So if the name is silly because you switch the L to an N, does that mean we now need to call Mumbles Kenny?

  26. CalDazar says:

    Yo no hablo español budín esponjoso caballa!

  27. Alex the Too Old says:

    My hovercraft is full of eels.

  28. Methermeneus says:

    τὶ οὗτις ἐν γλώσσᾳ Ἀγγχώρας οὐ λέγει; τὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἀλλόφωνον λέγει;

  29. Justin says:

    Forget about offending Italians, what do you have against Oklahoma? And why do you apparently think we have some bizarre regional accent? Most of the population actually has a midland accent, closer to Ohio or Indiana than Texas.

  30. Xpovos says:

    What other game, that I’m clearly supposed to know, but don’t, is Mumbles alluding to in this episode? And why does it make Shamus so upset?

  31. Hi there, all the time i used to check web site posts here in the early hours in the dawn,
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