This Be Bad Translation #17, Alice in the Heart ~Wonderful Wonder World~ !

36 Comments

This game is no longer available in English, but hopefully this peek into its translation will preserve its legacy
Alice in the Heart ~Wonderful Wonder World~ is one of the greatest unknown treasures of bad game translation. It’s a Japanese otome game loosely based on the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland story by Lewis Carroll.

An official translation of this game it made its way to English mobile app stores in 2014. Unfortunately, the publishers went bankrupt a few years back, so it’s no longer available anywhere in English.

The 40 or so screenshots on this page are just from the prologue, out of 688 prologue screenshots I took total. There are many more chapters ahead, so look forward to much more in the future!

Prologue

The game begins with Alice’s older sister reading a story. Alice gets bored and begins dozing, then a young man with rabbit ears abducts her. They jump down a hole. After a long fall, they end up in a tower.

The rabbit man forces Alice to drink some “medicine” and then refuses to let her go home. The ruler of the tower appears and argues with Alice and the rabbit man. After much arguing and fighting, Alice finally accepts that it won’t be easy to get home and she leaves the tower.


Once again, this is only the prologue of the game. I’ll be updating this article every so often with new screenshots.

Part 2 is now up! We head over to an imposing mansion and meet the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum. Then we attempt to date the rabbit.
36 Comments
  1. “Heroin, heroine” is the kind of mistake I’d expect from a native grade schooler, not a foreigner. Unless it’s literal and referring to waking up after a heroin dose.

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    1. In Dutch you’d use the word heroïne for heroin, so yeah some foreigners would genuinely make that mistake.

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      1. Wonderful wonder world magic fills the air
        Wonderful wonder world it’s a winner of you’re there
        Wild rides and water slides, roller coasters sing
        Being to life the new excitement, all your cars take Queen
        In Wonderful wonder world happiness is king

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    2. Interdimensional Observer

      I don’t think there is definite evidence to confirm or deny it, but heroin supposedly did get its name as an advertising ploy to say it makes you feel like a hero. This was before it became the drug of evil it is only known as now.

      So much good bad translation here. The best nuggets have already been identified. Although Alice is very calm as she thinks about if she has had any regrets in life. Couldn’t afford another facial expression?

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      1. NoLongerBreathedIn

        Not so much advertising ploy as the discoverer thought it made him feel heroic.

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    3. The drug and the “female hero” definitions use the exact same word in spanish, so that’s another language that could be tripped up by that. Also the name of the drug comes from the word “hero” to begin with. It’s not a weird mistake, but it is rather silly.

      Reply
  2. This constantly veers between “hilariously awful” and “nigh unreadable,” and I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to process it.

    That said, “Jumping Jesus” is a phrase that’d make for some good merchandise material.

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  3. “I inspire my fist” could be a pretty good line in certain contexts. This… isn’t one.

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    1. It sounds like something a Bard/Monk multiclass in a D&D game would say before punching someone.

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      1. What ho, Muscle Wizard! Might you cast us a spell?

        Ho Ho Ho Ho! Of course, young adventurer!

        I CAST FIST

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  4. I had to read it all twice before I figured out that the red text box is Alice speaking out loud, the gold text box is Alice thinking, and the blue text box is another character speaking. That made it a little easier to understand… but then I can’t tell what is supposed to be absurd in an alice-in-wonderland sort of way, and what is absurd because it was translated by a gibbon with a keyboard :S

    Reply
    1. I’ll be sure to point that out in my next update. Sometimes Alice thinks in a green text box too! D:

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  5. Isn’t that just Google Translate or something similar? It reads pretty much exactly like the Japanese wikipedia pages I auto-translate sometimes to gleam bits of info on obscure Japanese stuff.

    “Several tens of minutes” almost sounds poetical in a medieval sort of way.

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    1. I feel it’s a combination of bad human translator and bad machine translation. I don’t feel a machine would write “tow” instead of “two”, translate”Jumping Jesus” out of “!”, use the word “smooth’s”, etc.

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      1. “Jumping Jesus” came from “!”?

        So it seems like they looked up something to the effect of “English language exclamations of surprise.” I refuse to believe “jumping Jesus” was at the top of that list.

        I wonder if it’s a phrase one of the translators had heard somewhere, like in a movie or something.

        The icing on that particular slice of cake is that they ended that line with a period.

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  6. It’s weird, but having a bit of knowledge into Japanese speech patterns helps make this more comprehensible. It’s like the translation got partway out the gate before getting stuck and started flailing.

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    1. Yeah, I’m really getting a “Japanese speaker with an extremely rudrimentary understanding of English trying to translate word by word/setphrase by setphrase” from this.

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  7. “Jumping Jesus” reminds me of Phoenix Drive, an infamous (18+) fangame which seemed like it had a bad machine translation, except that it had Phoenix Wright saying “cool beans” repeatedly.

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    1. “Oh snap! I do not hear such a truth?!”

      This and Phoenix Drive both seem like the product of a native Japanese speaker with rudimentary fluency in English (in other words, they took English classes in high school a few years ago and did OK I guess) translating dialogue with a J-to-E dictionary and picking out the word or phrase they liked the best.

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    2. I will beat my rod til… a tank empties!

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  8. Beyond the bad translation, I couldn’t help but notice that Elliot March is HUGE!

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  9. Interdimensional Observer

    O oh o-tome it’s gold mine!

    Just so much bad translation to love here. The usual nonsensical poorly phrased English, but also some wacky non sequiturs, like the Mafia and woooorst shit lines.

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  10. Are we sure Blood here wasn’t supposed to be “Brad”, or possibly “Vlad”? They’d all be spelled ブラッド in Japanese.

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    1. I like where your head’s at.

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    2. I was wondering about that too. And the twins’ route is called “Bloody Twins”, but it could also technically be “Bratty Twins”. I’ll see if I can find some Japanese materials that show the names in English.

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  11. Puts down his tongue was probably “shitauchi” or making the “tch” sound.

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  12. “Julius swings the tool and looks unpleasant (Deeply unpleasant he looks).”

    That is some Yoda stuff right there.

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  13. “….. If I had someone like that, I wouldn’t let her go even if I had to loose both of my legs. I would swear to be gauged in my heart if I ever cheated.”
    “I fall myself. Just like needles do.”

    Ok, I’m guessing this is supposed to be a pinky-swear/swallow a thousand needles thing? Also, euurgh, you’re right about that “happy” ending.

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  14. Ordinarily I’d say the “(snip)” sounds like an editing note that had been accidentally left in, but that would require this to have been edited.

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  15. > (…I want a divorce.)

    I uh, can’t say I blame you.

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  16. I can’t wait for more of this! My friend and I find the best and worst otome and basically do a highlight reel for each other with the screenshots like this. So when I found this it was like stumbling in to a gold mine.

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    1. More is definitely coming! This is really fun, I’m glad you and your friend do this too 😀

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  17. “Encomium.”

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encomium

    Learning new words from bad translations is always fun. (I think Final Fantasy 4 single-handedly rescued “spoony” from complete oblivion.) But it always makes me wonder, how did they FIND that word? What crazy Japanese-to-English dictionary do they have that lists something THAT obscure? I imagine I’d be hard pressed to find a printed-on-paper English dictionary for English speakers that would have that. And if I did, it would probably be at least a foot thick and require both arms to lift!

    (I guess it makes a little more sense in the age of the internet, but it still seems like a weird thing to find unless you already have perfectly serviceable English synonyms to use as search terms.)

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  18. “(…and what the heck is swollen water?)”

    Were they perhaps aiming for something like “flush with cash”? I don’t speak any Japanese, but that’s the best connection I can make from talking about money to talking about “swollen water”.

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  19. So, are you in a slump or what? I’ve noticed that the amount of updates have been rather slow these past few months… Kinda hope to read more informative articles here and more often too.

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    1. Hey there! We’re ramping up work on a project that we can’t really announce yet. This is going to require a lot of Mato’s time and energy for a while, so updates will be slower. I’ll try to write articles when I can, but of course mine can’t be as informative as Mato’s. He’ll still be writing some informative stuff, just not as often.

      Reply

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