This Be Bad Translation #18, Summer Sweetheart!

11 Comments

Tip for finding bad translations in the eShop: look for text-heavy games that don't show text in screenshots
A dating sim popped up in the Nintendo eShop last month called Summer Sweetheart. It’s a Chinese game that was given a Japanese localization – including Japanese voice acting – that was then localized again into English.

Because the eShop version of Summer Sweetheart has jumped between multiple languages and cultures, the result is some seriously weird English text. Some translation problems are what you’d normally see in a poor Japanese-to-English translation, but other problems seem more unique. Maybe they’e the result of poor Chinese-to-English translations or even Chinese-to-Japanese translations.

Mato here! This game’s translation feels so much like the original translation of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, which seems to have gone from Japanese to Chinese to English. Compare the two articles and see if you feel the same way!

Anyway, let’s get dating!

Let’s Date a Sweetheart

There are two main girls in Summer Sweetheart to choose from as your roommate: a strong, opinionated cartoonist who recently graduated art school, and other one who thinks she’s a cat. The majority of the live-action videos you see is of your experience sharing an apartment with one or the other.

There are also many other girls you can meet on your strolls through town, whom you can befriend and ask out on dates. You learn new things about each girl the more time you spend with them, which helps you make better decisions on where to take them for dates and what to say to them.

Nearly every spoken line in this game has issues. Below is a gallery of just a few examples.

There’s much more

These are just a tiny selection of the strange translations in Summer Sweetheart, so if you want to see more, and you can handle awkward live-action videos of girls pretending the camera is a person, check out the game for yourself. I’ve also seen videos of people streaming the game for added fun. And if you discover any other Switch games with bad translations, share them in the comments or on Twitter so we can take a detailed look at them here!

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!
11 Comments
  1. More like “summer stock art”!

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  2. I’m betting they decided “puppy” was better than “pup” and did a Replace All on the script.

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    1. Most likely. This exact thing has happened in a few other bad Japanese-to-English translations, like Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers having lines such as “What a Damn itty operator” (as opposed to “sh*tty”).

      Reply
      1. Someone needs to teach them the power of regexes.

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        1. “Puppypies” is kinda cute though.

          Reply
  3. Did they change the characters’ names for the Japanese localization, or did they all have Japanese names in the Chinese original too? Or did they just happen to use kanji that worked as names?

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    1. I checked, and it seems that Natsumi has the same name in Chinese & Japanese (well, kanji-wise anyway – pronunciation is surely different) but everyone else was given all-new Japanese names.

      Reply
  4. Imagine going to your love interest’s door and just saying “By the way, I am visiting you.”

    That’s a power move

    Reply

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