This Be Bad Translation #18, Summer Sweetheart!

21 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!
21 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”).

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

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        1. “Puppypies” is kinda cute though.

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          1. Puppy, pies? Pies means dog in Polish. Is this a very convoluted pun?

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            1. That, or an ethically dubious dinner.

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  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.

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

    That’s a power move

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  5. I’d like to say that the recent release of Maitetsu: Pure Station for Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch is a great candidate for the next ”this be bad translation”, while some people might say that Maitetsu is ”readable”, there are many, many errors throughout the game, most errors are ”minor”, but they are very frequent, the many errors are the main reason why I can’t recommend Maitetsu: Pure Station to anyone, some examples are ”Not that I expected anything less from the from the current head of the Migita family– the chief brewer of Kuma Shochu.”; ”Makura-nee watches me happily as I hands begin moving with renewed purpose”; ”I open up it’s tiny hand. In its palm, a dull golden sheen gleams–”; ”W-Well, if you hadn’t dodge my slap, I…” and many, many more errors. Oh, and those errors are from early parts of the game, you don’t have to play the game a lot to find them…
    Mary Skelter 2 is another example of a Switch game with a bad translation, more or less…

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    1. Thanks! I’ll check ’em out 😀

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  6. Perhaps the ‘clavicle’ bit was referring to a door/car key? Clavicle is a (somewhat archaic) synonym for key. And I’m guessing the bare-shoulder dress is a strapless dress of some kind.

    Hopefully this information helps a bit.

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    1. Hmm, possibly. The game makes me kind of uncomfortable though, so I’m not keen to search through and find the Chinese. For what it’s worth, clavicle in Chinese is 鎖骨, literally “lock bone,” like the kind of lock you need a key for. That first character never appears as part of key though. Bad translations sometimes end up in weird places, though, as this website often shows.

      Reply

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