This Be Bad Translation #08, Tales of Berseria!


The main story in Tales of Berseria has a solid translation, but the post-game sidequests are filled with mistakes. Here are just a few examples!

If it’s anything like what happened with Tales of Vesperia, the post-game mistakes are possibly due to a separate and inferior company/translator being hired at the last minute.

Nearly Nonsense

A lot of the mistakes feel like a dictation program or a non-native English speaker transcribed some common English phrases but got them all wrong.

Grammar Issues

I Accidentally a Word

Sometimes you’re so busy, you leave entire words out of a sentence.


Thanks to Ian B. for sending in these screenshots! If you have any bad translation screenshots of your own or suggestions for future bad translation galleries, send them to!

If you liked this, check out This be book bad translation, video games!, my book dedicated to game translation disasters from the 1970s until today!
  1. I think the “bandit shrooms” one is supposed to be either “It seems kind of like” or “That seems kind of like”. I haven’t played the game, though, so I have no idea what the context of the sentence is.

    1. Yeah, I feel like it’s something along these lines myself. Given the other mistakes here, I’m even a little suspicious of “bandit shrooms” too, although it’s probably right (a quick Google search only returns 3 hits for the phrase though)

    2. Bartolo Polkakitty

      I thought maybe it was supposed to be something along the lines of “there are some kinds like “bandit shrooms” which can kill you in one bite…”, like she was trying to warn the guy with the gauntlet not to eat some mushrooms he found if he’s not sure what they are. It’s hard to tell without the rest of the scene to provide context, though.

    3. Could it have been “that sounds/seems kind of like”? I also don’t have the context but that jumped out as a possibility, given how particles were left out of so many other lines.

  2. The person who typed this in probably has bad hearing and was being told the lines by ear.

    1. That’s definitely very possible. I feel like they wouldn’t be entirely to blame though – someone further on down the line gave the OK to use the messed up text without checking it.

      1. It reads to me almost like the lines were entered using voice recognition software and not rechecked. I wonder if there was a massive time crunch.

        1. That’s the vibe I got here, it’s more “bad text to speech” than “novice english speaker”. They remind me of one story where a guy got fed up with so many mistakes and started cursing at his (early) voice recognition software, only for it to dutifully transcribe it was a “plucking pizza ship”

  3. “That’s so true she is” might have been an attempt at “That’s just who she is” or perhaps “That’s just [something] she is”.

    1. Good call! I think you’re probably right with “that’s just who she is”.

  4. I think in the first one, “it be” should be “a bit” and then rest of the line is fine albeit a little clunky. The one with rainbow is probably meant to say “[whatever they’re talking about] isn’t sunshine and rainbows … but as far as anyone knows, there’s not one case in all of recorded history”. The one about broth is probably “an excellent broth with a full bodied flavor, [verb]ed by the most discerning chefs”. Or it could maybe be “at least by the most discerning chefs” although that sounds kinda off, but I’m pretty sure that’s how the clauses are meant to be split up. I think “resilient, ha.” should be “resilient, huh.”

    1. Bartolo Polkakitty

      > The one about broth is probably “an excellent broth with a full bodied flavor, [verb]ed by the most discerning chefs”.

      My first thought was that “freest” was probably supposed to be “feast”, but that doesn’t make sense in the sentence. Could it be that the line was actually supposed to be “prized by the most discerning chefs”, but someone mispronounced “prized” so it sounded like “priest”, and then someone writing the lines down thought what they said sounded like “freest”?

      1. I was thinking it might be “praised”, though that doesn’t quite fit perfectly, either. You’d probably have to have a British accent, especially a Scottish one, to get it to come out sounded enough like “freest”.

  5. The “dumb old daemon” line also has “quiet” instead of “quite”.

    1. Oh, good catch, I had noticed that too but forgot to mention it amid all the other issues. Thanks!

  6. Bartolo Polkakitty

    I think it’s well known that the final areas of a game often end up being a low priority for the developers because it’s assumed that many of the people who play the game won’t get far enough to see those parts (Shigesato Itoi talking about Mother and Tim Schafer talking about Psychonauts have both said in interviews that the final areas of those games ended up being underdeveloped and excessively difficult because time and budget constraints didn’t allow them to put as much polish and fine details into those areas as the rest of the games had, or playtest them as thoroughly.)

    But this is actually the first time I’ve heard of that sort of corner-cutting happening in the localization process for a game (I don’t want to say the localization staff themselves are necessarily at fault for it, because it may just be a product of the schedule they were given by management, or as Mato said, the screwy translation of the post-game sidequests may not have even been done by the same people, especially since something similar apparently happened with a previous game in the same series.) In fact, as anyone who followed the dev blog for the Mother 3 fan translation knows, text in a video game’s data is typically stored in a largely arbitrary order that doesn’t make sense in terms of where in the plot that text appears, or what area of the game it appears in, so it would actually take significant effort just to separate the lines from parts of the game a lot of people won’t see from the lines from parts of the game that everyone will see.

    I hope what happened here wasn’t that the programmers went to the trouble of separating the dialogue for each part of the game into a different section of memory to make the localizers’ job easier, and then management looked at that and said “great, now we know exactly where we can afford to cheap out on the translation”, because that would be a depressing idea to contemplate.

    1. In this case I feel like it might’ve been that the dev team went and added/changed content after the localization team had finished their work, so some last-minute rush patchwork had to be done to get the new stuff translated in time. I don’t know why it would’ve turned out like this though – I’ve never seen anything like it before.

      1. I’m reminded of Ar Tonelico 2 on the PS2. While I was playing it, I noticed that the main story and the visual novel style dive sequences were generally pretty well translated, but the dialogue that happens during crafting items is almost complete nonsense half the time.

        I’m not sure if this is due to separate localization teams or not, but it always struck me as interesting because I didn’t recall having seen that big of a gap in quality between distinct parts of a game. It really does feel like those lines were cordoned off from the rest of the script somehow, and were either localized by a different team or at the minimum didn’t have the same level of editorial oversight.

        I also vaguely feel like I remember this happening in at least a couple of the Tales games I’ve played, where the main script was generally very good, but the optional “skits” of inter-party dialogue were noticeably worse. The fact that the skits were not voiced in the NA versions of Tales games seems to lend additional credence to support the theory they were separate and handled differently.

  7. If you listen to the (English) voice actors’ lines, you can hear those errors are not present in the dialogue. At some point it must have been translated, edited, acted out… and then different text was used for the subtitles. But anyone who plays with Japanese voices or who skips through dialogue would never know. I think playing through with the English voices could be illuminating.

    I have one speculation, although it seems unlikely. Every example I’ve seen is in the skits where the font is always uniform width. In the rest of the game, a variable width font is used. I wonder if at some point the skit dialogue had to be reformatted and it was entirely redone by someone without access to the script.

    1. As you say, the voice acting doesn’t contain these errors. I have no idea why either, but at some point they must have been forced to transcribe the acting using bad voice recognition software. Maybe they deleted the script by accident? Either way it sounds like something awful happened at the last minute.

  8. It really is embarrassing how they handled the most recent console Tales title, and the fact it’s a damn good one at that. These mistakes were just sad to see in the skits.

  9. Yeah, Bandai Namco just flat out doesn’t care anymore about their titles.

    Any chance of covering Hearts R? That one completely ruined the game for me.

  10. I played Tales of Berseria a while back and cringed at some of these too. Have you ever considered covering any of the Atelier games? Some of them seem to have something similar going on – the translations in the main story being just fine, but a lot of the side-stuff having translation issues.

  11. The thing that frustrated me the most with this? All of these lines were VOICED. THEY HAD A SCRIPT FOR THE VA’S. IN ENGLISH.
    The lines as spoken are corrected to what they should be.

    1. It could be that the script wasn’t required to be read word-for-word by the VAs, so the localizers took the voice recordings through a speech recognition filter to give them a baseline to work with so that the text on-screen would match the voiceover. Then with that in place to handle getting 80% of the text done, they started going through the script and reviewing it for correctness. Then they ran out of time.

      This is a lot like why Mass Effect: Andromeda’s animations are so weird — they’ve got automatic lip flap but the rest is manually done.

  12. I believe they also swapped around the names of Mystic and Hidden arts by accident.
    It makes more sense for magic attacks to be called “mystic” and finisher moves to be called “hidden” than the other way around.

  13. But Mystic Artes have always been a special attack that can only be triggered under special circumstances within the Tales series. I don’t recall Mystic Artes being any different in this game in that respect from any other Tales game, so I don’t believe this is an error.

  14. I didn’t know Senor Cardgage did game localization…

  15. Spitballing here, but:
    “The more you try to sever a way”… it was probably meant to be “shoo it away”?
    And “That’s so true she is” seems to be “That’s just who she is”.

    What a wild little cascade of phonetic mistakes. It’s interesting to try and decypher these.

  16. “As dumb old” is quiet a typo, to be sure. I’m glad you didn’t stay silent about that one!

    ~~There’s another typo there, too. ;3~~