“In general, I’m given pretty free reign in terms of what I can change or add. As long as it doesn’t disrupt the game or the plot, I can do more or less whatever I want. Usually, whenever you see a joke or pun in the script, there was a joke or pun in the Japanese, just a different one. I usually try to make the joke “type” and content/ideas match as closely as I can. For instance, in the storehouse when Alice, Clover, and Sigma are trying to figure out what to do with the card slot underneath the monitor, there’s a joke where (in Japanese) Clover says it might be for a “Suica.” A Suica is a sort of bus/train pass in Japan that you can also use to buy stuff, but it’s also the word for “watermelon.” The joke is that apparently Sigma thinks she wants to try and shove a watermelon into the slot. Obviously that wouldn’t make sense in English. The joke I changed it to also deals with Clover and Sigma misunderstanding what the other one is actually talking about, although instead of a watermelon, it’s a credit card and Snake’s…equipment.”
This interview covers a number of things re: how we tackle translation and localization, and brings in the perspective of the translator—not usually something I’m prepared to discuss, given that I can read all of one Japanese character (の).