Alexander O. Smith

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For other people named Alexander Smith, see Alexander Smith (disambiguation).
Alexander O. Smith
Born (1973-04-08) April 8, 1973 (age 42)
Vermont, United States
Residence Kamakura, Japan
Education Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College/Keio University, 1995
Master of Arts, Harvard University, 1998
Occupation Translator, author

Alexander O. Smith (born February 8, 1973) is a professional English/Japanese translator and author. While his output covers many areas such as adaptation of Japanese novels, manga, song lyrics, anime scripts and various academic works, he is best known for his software localizations of Japanese video games. He currently resides in Kamakura, Japan, where he operates his own contract localization business, Kajiya Productions, and is co-founder of a translation and publishing company, Bento Books.


Born in Vermont, Smith obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College/Keio University in 1995, and a Master of Arts degree in Classical Japanese Literature from Harvard University in 1998. He began working for video game designer Square Co. in the late 1990s, working as part of the localization team for several games, including Final Fantasy VIII, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Front Mission 3, and Parasite Eve 2. In 1999, he worked as the main English translator for Vagrant Story. Reviewers noted the high quality of the English script, in which Smith utilized various archaic English idioms and slang that distinguished the game from its straightforward Japanese counterpart. In addition to working as a translator for Square Enix, Smith has worked for Bowne Global Solutions (later acquired by Lionbridge), where he was contracted to work on several other video game localizations, including Bloody Roar 3, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

In addition to his work as a translator, Smith has also occasionally worked as a video game voice actor, usually in minor roles. In addition to providing English lyrics for the two songs "The Skies Above" and "Otherworld" on The Skies Above, the second album of the band The Black Mages, he performed the spoken intro to the song "Maybe I'm a Lion" on that album.[1] He has served as the assistant voice director for Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. He has also translated "Eternity" on the Blue Dragon Original Soundtrack, composed by Nobuo Uematsu.


Video games[edit]

Title Year Platform(s) Smith's role
Winter Heat 1997 Sega Saturn Cast & narration (with others)
Final Fantasy VIII 1999 PlayStation Localization specialist (with Yutaka Sano, Ryosuke Taketomi and Maki Yamane)
Final Fantasy Anthology 2000 PlayStation Translation support (with Sho Endo)
Chocobo's Dungeon 2 1999 PlayStation Localization specialist (with Brian Bell, Yoshinobu Matsuo and Shigeto Matsushima)
Front Mission 3 2000 PlayStation Localization specialist (with Sho Endo)
Vagrant Story 2000 PlayStation Translator (with Amanda J. Katsurada)
Parasite Eve II 2000 PlayStation Localization specialist (with Sho Endo)
Final Fantasy IX 2000 PlayStation "Melodies of Life" English translation (with Kako Someya)
Final Fantasy X 2001 PlayStation 2 Localization specialist (with Aziz Hinoshita), "Otherworld" lyrics
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter 2003 PlayStation 2 Translator (with Neil Ayerg)
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2003 Game Boy Advance English translation
Fire Emblem 2003 Game Boy Advance Localization (with Richard Amtower IV, Tim O'Leary and Scot Ritchey)
Final Fantasy X-2 2003 PlayStation 2 US recording producer
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time 2004 PlayStation 2 Translator (with Jason Franzman and Joel Sassone)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 2005 Nintendo DS Translator (with others)
Final Fantasy XII 2006 PlayStation 2 US recording producer, translator (with Joseph Reeder)
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney 2008 Nintendo DS Translation (with Nanica K. K.)
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift 2008 Nintendo DS English Translator (with Joseph Reeder)
Valkyria Chronicles 2008 PlayStation 3 English ADR writer
MadWorld 2009 Wii Scenario translator
Gyromancer 2009 Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 Editor
Vanquish 2010 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 English adaptation editing[2]
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together 2011 PlayStation Portable English translator (with Joseph Reeder)
Guild01 2012 Nintendo 3DS English translator for Crimson Shroud

Manga and novels[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Alexander (2009-11-09). "GameSetInterview: 'Localization Tactics Advance - Kajiya Productions on Translating Final Fantasy'". GameSetWatch. Archived from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  2. ^ Kellams, JP (2010-10-25). "Narrative Design in Vanquish". PlatinumGames Blog. Platinum Games. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Kingly quest". The Star. 28 September 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Kirchoff, H.J. (23 March 2011). "Rev. of 'The Devotion of Suspect X". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (25 February 2011). "Troubled Spirit". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Wolff, Carlo (7 February 2011). "Math and mystery in modern Japan". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 

External links[edit]