This Be Bad Translation #20, Selfy Collection: The dream fashion stylist!
Posted on December 1, 2020 by Heidi Mandelin‧51 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:
"The father of OG San doesn't know the real power of OG San."
"We said to you not good things and we were regretting about it."
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:
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:
"Eyebrow of a graceful courtesan"
"Mouth of a graceful courtesan"
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!
"Eye of a graceful prostitute"
"Faithful prostitute baby girl" (Some young girls were apprentices to courtesans during the Edo Period)
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.
(Today I learned shushu is the Japanese word for "scrunchie")
"Mega necklace" (This is a nice, simple joke in Japanese. Megane means "glasses" and the mannequin is wearing a pair of glasses on a necklace. So they combined megane with "necklace" to call this the "Mega necklace". Unfortunately, the joke doesn't work in English)
"red as the sun!" (The sun is traditionally drawn and depicted as red in Japan)
(Wafū is a Japanese term that means "Japanese style". It's used in the game to describe kimonos, paper umbrellas, and so on. It's strange that the term was left as-is in translation.)
(Hekuchin is a Japanese onomatopoeia for sneezing, so putting "Achoo!" here would have been better)
"Douche Meteor" (probably supposed to be partly French for "Meteor Shower")
"Eat Beret Pants"
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!
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.
You’d think by now a requirement would be submitting the raw script to be run against automated content filters.
That reminds me, Children of Mana was rated 12 by PEGI for containing an item called the bastard sword.
Not to mention it sneaks a “shit” and “crap” and a couple of “damn”s into the story mode if I remember right…
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.
Article: “Some young girls were apprentices to courtesans during the Edo Period”
Me (a One Piece fan): Oh, just like Otoko and Komurasaki!
“Douche Meteor” totally sounds like a band name.
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.
Sure, I can grab some screenshots of the original Japanese for you. Which ones intrigue you the most?
Oh, any of them, really! The “Forehead of dream grass” for sure, and then a handful of your favorites. Please and thank you!
You got it!
Forehead of dream grass: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2148.jpg
Eat beret pants: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2147.jpg
Douche Meteor: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2146.jpg
Beating City Girl: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2144.jpg
Cat ear Chinese zombie bill: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2143.jpg
Deep beautiful woman salary: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2142.jpg
Snorting musical score of singer: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2141.jpg
Winter snorkel coat: https://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_2140.jpg
Forehead of dream grass: 夢見草 ”yumemigusa,” literally something like “dreaming grass,” is apparently a fancy name for cherry blossoms. Supposedly because they’re beautiful and fleeting, like a dream.
Eat beret pants: “Erdbeere,” German for “strawberry.”
Douche Meteor: Definitely meant to be “meteor shower” in some European language. But there are a lot of languages with similar words, and I haven’t found one where that order would be correct.
Beating City Girl: It’s supposed to be a heart beating with excitement.
Cat ear Chinese zombie bill: 御札 can be either “osatsu,” paper money, or “ofuda,” a Shinto talisman. Besides that, well, it’s a Chinese zombie (jiangshi) hat with cat ears.
Deep beautiful woman salary: 沈博絶麗 “chinpakuzetsurei” seems to be an obscure, flowery word meaning something like “profoundly beautiful.” So it’s apparently a waitress or hostess of deep beauty? I don’t know. It’s a nice enough outfit, but I don’t see why it warrants such a name.
Snorting musical score of singer: Not at all sure about this. Best guess, it’s a singer who arouses interest. No idea where “snorting” might have come from.
Winter snorkel coat: Actually, it looks like this is indeed called a “snorkel coat” in both English and Japanese. News to me. Seems it got that nickname because the hood can be sealed up to the point that there’s just a small air hole left, though judging from image results, I’d say that’s exaggerating a bit.
Snorting musical score of singer was かき立つ唄方の譜面 in Japanese; “musical score of singer” clearly came from 唄方の譜面, which leaves かき立つ somehow getting translated to “snorting”.
I have a theory; a wild theory, but a theory nonetheless. If you misread かき as かぎ, you get “smell”. And if you really think about it, smelling is to snorting what your belly (はら) is to getting your guts in a twist (はらたつ).
It’s a really long shot, but it feels like the kind of wild connection somebody who didn’t understand かき立つ either would make.
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?
“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”.
A quick check shows that most of the “official” translations are in fact Google Translate results.
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…
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?
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.
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?
I thought of an appropriate translation for the “Mega necklace”: Neckglasses.
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.
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.
“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?
“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.
FGO (one of the most popular mobile games) makes the same mistake with “Mystic Code”.
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
“Long-tailed Tit that sucks nectar” is my favorite quote from this article.
“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”
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”.
It sounds like the name for a late-game weapon in a Tales game.
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…
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!
It’s a pity… This game with better promotion and, of course, a good translation would’ve been a perfect Style Boutique/Style Savvy competitor/successor.
I actually have the game’s script dumped in both JP and EN and “Schneidiasis dress” is “シュネイデーシス・ドレス” in Japanese. After some research, I found シュネイデーシス is actually συνείδησις, which means consciousness. So it would just be “Consciousness dress”
Whoa, thanks for that insight! And I agree, this game is very fun, it deserved so much more.
I found that just for pure luck actually haha. I actually noticed the “Pilates navigator” is “ピラティスの航海士”, so *maybe* it was supposed to be “Pirates navigator”? I don’t know (that outfit screams more “pirates” than “pilates” to me)…
I’m actually doing a Spanish translation for this game as an experiment, due to how the ENG one is almost unreadable, I’m using Japanese using DeepL for very basic context, then the rest comes from my mind haha (due to my 0 knowledge of Japanese lol) and I think it’s turning good at the moment
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…
The Legends of Localization team has been hard at work on a big book project. We’re busier than usual 😉
Thnak for the reply. I was worried, too, but I didn’t want to disturb any of you.
I meant “Thanks.”
How did I mess up a one-sentence reply?
No prolbem 🙂
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.
Thanks for the tip! That does look funny, I’ll try it 🙂
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.
While I agree, the translation is honestly one of the better points of the game. The fact that every stage features the same obstacle repeated ad nauseum (like Blaze Heatnix’ really riveting implementation of the same auto-scrolling miniboss… five times…) or implements a 40-second gimmick because they didn’t finish it (Shield Sheldon) enough… oh boy.
To say nothing of how boring most of the boss fights are. Infinity Mijinion, Shield Sheldon, High Max, and a boatload of others consist of hitting a boss, and watching it writhe in invincibility frames until you’re finally allowed to play and do something again.
Or how the weapons were literally pointless and almost always did less damage than the X-Buster or Z-Saber, ignoring the fact that Yammark Option was one of the only useful weapons because it possessed a different trajectory for X and Zero than their default weapons.
I love Mega Man. I always have, and despite low points like Mega Man X6, Zero 4, ZX, and Mega Man 11, I do love the franchise. But holy crap, when it gets bad, it’s really bad.
Sorry for the rant. MMX6 mentions always awaken something in me.
I emailed them when the game first came out in Japan bc I was experiencing a lot of bugs but they just replied saying “Sorry we’ll fix it”. Then when the English game came out the bugs still weren’t fixed and this time with awful translations so I messaged again, they were still just like “Sorry”.
So I think they just didn’t really care about this game and just had to make it and reach deadlines. It’s a shame because it’s really cute and had potential.
I just want to know how they got “Genocide Suit”!
All your images disappeared.
…and saying so brought them back, apparently. Nevermind.
The Japanese for scrunchie is シュシュ (shushu) as it comes from the French word chouchou.
In the Andersin shop there’s an eyebrow-eye-lips set called “Baylarina (eyes/mouth/eyebrows)” which… I assume they mean ballerina? I found it pretty funny