This Be Bad Translation #20, Selfy Collection: The dream fashion stylist!

43 Comments

I can’t resist a poorly-translated game whenever one pops up on the Nintendo Switch. Today I’m featuring a cutesy dress-up game, Selfy Collection: The dream fashion stylist. It’s sort of like the Style Savvy games where you’re the owner of a shop and you need to fulfill fashion requests from clients. Selfy Collection is much more fanciful, though, because everyone is requesting elaborate costumes.

The dialogue in the game sounds weird, as expected:

But the real gems are the costume translations. There are thousands of costumes, makeup selections, hairstyles, and accessories to buy in Selfy Collection. Most names are easy like “brown eyebrows” or “fluffy white coat”, but some translations go way off the rails. There are so many that I grouped them by category:

  1. Funny
  2. Unexpected Prostitutes
  3. Unlocalized
  4. Weird
  5. Word Salads
  6. Misspellings
  7. Overly Descriptive
  8. WTF

These are only a few of the hundreds of screenshots I took while playing this.

Funny

I couldn’t help but burst out laughing when I read these item names.

Unexpected Prostitutes

Part of the game takes place in a land modeled after the Edo Period of Japan, which took place between 1603 and 1868. The word 遊女 (yūjo) is used to describe a range of items here, and it has a real old-timey, historic feel to it in Japanese. A simplified translation might be “courtesan”, which is how the game translates two of these items:

But then it translates all other instances of yūjo as “prostitute”, which technically is another way to translate the word – but this is supposed to be an E-Rated game on the Nintendo Switch!

Unlocalized

Here’s a small sample of some unlocalized words and phrases I found. They can be confusing if you don’t know much about Japan.

Weird

These are costumes that are translated in a way that makes you go “huh”?

Word Salads

These costume names feel like someone took a bunch of random words and tossed them together to make a “word salad”.

Misspellings

Misspellings are a staple of every poorly-translated game.

Overly Descriptive

The names of these costumes are so descriptive that the size of the text had to be reduced to fit it in the limited space. Some of them also have the “word salad” problem.

WTF

I just, I don’t even know.


Despite all the weird translations in Selfy Collection, I had a blast playing it. There are so many cute costumes to coordinate for people, and so many different styles, that I wish the game had twice as many costume requests (and it already has a ton).

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 in a future article!


If you like reading about bad translations in games, check out this huge collection. Or, if you enjoy reading about funny translations in games, see here!

43 Comments
  1. I honestly wonder how this was rated E with the whole “prostitute” thing. I suppose it’s because it’s just a few items in a pretty obscure digital-only game, which likely went unnoticed as a result. Still, it’s rather strange that Fitness Boxing should end up rated T because characters’ breasts jiggle in a completely non-sexual manner, yet this game (unintentionally) references prostitution and gets away with it.

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    1. You’d think by now a requirement would be submitting the raw script to be run against automated content filters.

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    2. That reminds me, Children of Mana was rated 12 by PEGI for containing an item called the bastard sword.

      Reply
  2. Original gangsta san?

    I feel like “Eye of a Graceful Prostitute” could be the theme song of a rebooted, gender-swapped Rocky. The final fight would be against the undisputed champ Douche Meteor, who is totally the worst.

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  3. Article: “Some young girls were apprentices to courtesans during the Edo Period”
    Me (a One Piece fan): Oh, just like Otoko and Komurasaki!

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  4. “Douche Meteor” totally sounds like a band name.

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  5. Nora Stevens Heath

    I would love to see the original Japanese, in part because I suspect some of the errors come from a misparsing of kana-only words. The “dream grass” of “Forehead of dream grass” in particular feels like it was supposed to be the “musou” of hack-and-slash action games like Hyrule Warriors (to name just one). Since this game is geared toward younger players, an all-kana script would make sense.

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    1. Sure, I can grab some screenshots of the original Japanese for you. Which ones intrigue you the most?

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      1. Nora Stevens Heath

        Oh, any of them, really! The “Forehead of dream grass” for sure, and then a handful of your favorites. Please and thank you!

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          1. Wait, so the Douche Meteor actually is dūshu meteōru in katakana in the original? What were they going for and how do you get from that to meteor shower?

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            1. “Douche” is French for “shower”. Meteor in French is “météore”, which could fit the katakana, but if they were going for an entirely French name, they just used the individual words placed together rather than the actual term for a “meteor shower”, which in French is actually called “pluie de météores” or “meteor RAIN”.

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          2. A quick check shows that most of the “official” translations are in fact Google Translate results.

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  6. I didn’t know they made a console version! I’m only familiar with the DreamSelfy web app (which seems to be broken right now—but it’s Flash, so it’s going to be gone soon anyway). It ha(s/d) a lot of licensed content on it, though, so I shouldn’t be too surprised…

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  7. Looking at the “hekuchin (sneezing)?” line and how it includes both the original Japanese and a translation, I’m wondering if there’s a workflow issue pushing out the translation before it was done. Doesn’t it look like it was a note for internal use?

    Reply
    1. I wondered about that, too. There are a number of Japanese words that can be and are left as-is, sometimes controversially, especially in fan translations, but I don’t think hekuchin is one of them. If that really is a note for internal use, inline parentheticals is a terrible system and I’m not surprised errors slipped through. Either that or the romaji somehow got classified as English in the spreadsheet or database.

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    2. This game actually came out on the Japanese eShop with English, so when I saw it months later on the US eShop I was curious if they actually had someone else go over and fix it up. Turns out that was not the case at all and it’s the same version as the Japanese eShop’s. If anything, it was a rush internal job with no outside hiring for translation is my theory, maybe even someone’s side project they decided to push out like ‘sure why not’ without any proofreading cause who’s gonna proofread if anyone else doesn’t know english?

      Reply
  8. I think “Nice guy face” is called what it is, because that’s clearly meant to be the heroic All Might from My Hero Academia.

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    1. I came here to say this too! Considering they have an apparent Naruto reference with the “forehead of dream grass” item, I think this isn’t too implausible.

      Reply
  9. “Cat ear chinese zombie bill” should probably be “Cat ear jiangshi bell”…which still sounds like a word salad, but that’s because the item itself looks like a concept salad. What do jiangshi have to do with cats or bells?

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  10. “Favorite Torso Code” makes me think they abbreviated コーデ for “coordination,” as in this is a person’s favorite matching ensemble for the upper body.

    Also this game looks at a glance like an independent take on gamifying the Gaia Online dress-up doll, which honestly, that is not a bad idea for a game.

    Reply
    1. FGO (one of the most popular mobile games) makes the same mistake with “Mystic Code”.

      Reply
  11. Even though I can’t stand these vomit-brained translations done by lazy goofs, I can’t help but laugh at these particular results. XD

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  12. “Long-tailed Tit that sucks nectar” is my favorite quote from this article.

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  13. “Grilled sweet potatoes with autumn breeze” sounds delicious! I’d wear that.

    Also: “I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I took six arrows penetrating half the body”

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  14. You know, bad translations aside, I don’t have that much trouble imagining that a dress from a fancy collection would be called “Merciful Emotion”.

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    1. It sounds like the name for a late-game weapon in a Tales game.

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  15. The “Long-tailed Tit that sucks nectar” one, well, the bird is called that in English too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-tailed_tit . It’s a very cute bird, like a fluffy ping pong ball with tail feathers. The “sucks nectar” bit is a little more confusing though…

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  16. I’ll come to the defense of Six Arrows Penetrating Half The Body. It’s a very strange item, but looks like an accurate description!

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  17. So, have you been active lately, Mato and/or Heidi? It’s March 16 2021 already and yet this site’s practically dead for all intents and purposes. I understand you might be busy and all that but still…

    Reply
    1. The Legends of Localization team has been hard at work on a big book project. We’re busier than usual 😉

      Reply
      1. Perpetually Late

        Thnak for the reply. I was worried, too, but I didn’t want to disturb any of you.

        Reply
  18. Perpetually Late

    I meant “Thanks.”

    How did I mess up a one-sentence reply?

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    1. No prolbem 🙂

      Reply
  19. Check DeepSeaGirl: Story of Ari for a hilarious “translation”. The Intro when the mother says “I called to daddy, he can’t join with us” gave me the Human Centipede vibes. While the game doesn’t have much text, what is there is a real horrorshow.

    Reply
    1. Thanks for the tip! That does look funny, I’ll try it 🙂

      Reply
  20. I’m totally late to this but I think Mega Man X6 should be the next edition of Here Be Bad Translations. it’s very clear this game was rushed to completion with almost no budget and translated in-house by a Capcom intern.

    Reply

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