A Look at Untranslated Text in Video Game Localizations
Failing to translate everything is a common pitfall in game localization. These examples help explain why.
What’s up with The “I am Error” Guy in Zelda II?
Zelda II features one of the most famous game quotes of all time. But was it a mistranslation? What was it in Japanese?
What are Grilled Mormons Doing in Takeshi’s Challenge?
Is this Japanese restaurant really trying to cook religious believers? Or is it a mistranslation of some sort?
How to Pronounce Ryu’s Name
How do you pronounce Ryu's name? The question has baffled gamers around the world for decades.
Zero Wing Had 32 Weird Secret Endings in Japan
The infamous "All Your Base" game is jam-packed with secret Japanese endings. What do they say?
How Did a Kangaroo Sneak into Tales of Phantasia?
This is a last-minute nightmare scenario for any modern game translation team.
Does Japanese Final Fantasy X Feature the Macarena?
Does the world of Final Fantasy X really know about 1990s Earth music? Was it mentioned in the original Japanese script?
What Do These Weird Lines in Goonies II Say in Japanese?
This NES classic has some interesting text that doesn't seem quite right. What did it originally say in Japanese?
Does Japanese Pokémon Reference Stand By Me?
This classic American movie is mentioned in early Pokémon localizations. Was it in the Japanese games too?
Why Is Yoshi Sometimes Called Yossy?
Yoshi's name often appears as "Yossy" in Japan. Have we been pronouncing his name wrong all this time?
How is the Metal Gear Name Explained in Japanese?
A scene in Metal Gear Solid 3 explains the meaning of the iconic name, but does it make more sense in Japanese?
What Are These Japanese WarioWare Moves All About?
WarioWare's boxers, janitors, and bakers weren't in the original Japanese game. What did they replace, and why?
Is This Snowy Translation Really Literal?
A line of dialogue includes a translator's note about literal translations. What *is* a "literal translation", anyway?
The Legend of the Mysterious Letter W
The letter W often appears in Japanese text for no apparent reason. What does it mean?
Is That Written in Chinese or Japanese?
If you don't know Chinese or Japanese, these easy tips will help you differentiate the two!
Pearl Fey’s Gravy Accident
An important clue in this mystery game involves gravy, but what was it originally in Japanese?
What Does Japan Think of Metroid: Other M?
This game is often derided by Western fans and critics, but what do Japanese players think of it?
Funky Fantasy IV: A Machine-Translated Video Game Experiment
I Google-Translated an entire video game one day. The results were so surprising that I even wrote a book about it!
A New Way of Playing Japanese and English Games Side-By-Side
I worked some technical magic to play games in a weird new way. Here's how my prototype worked.
What’s With These Pooper and Retard Lines in Corpse Party?
Were these crude, offensive lines added to the English translation? What are they in Japanese?
Fan Translation: Does It Help or Hurt Getting Professional Work?
Here's a quick summary of my own experiences as a professional translator and a fan translator.