The design of today's video games is done in different parts of the world, and video game translation is becoming more and more sophisticated, it is difficult to determine the provenance of current games. great.
However, looking back at video games created 10 or 20 years ago, you will see that video game translation is not a priority. Many formerly popular games originated in Japan. Translations are often of poor quality and are only made if the game is sold to markets outside of Japan.
Early Stage Video Game Translation
At a time when video games from Japan became very popular among foreign audiences, localization was still in its early stages. Translation is not a priority and most of the time, the translation is done by the game developer or programmer, using a phrase book. It has become an accepted fact that many games from Japan will have mistranslations and typographical errors.
Budget and time constraints lead to rushed execution and poor translation, furthermore confusing and funny texts that sometimes make video games more memorable. Some games still last long after they have lost their original appeal. A classic example is Zero Wing and this game has the very famous saying, “All your base belongs to us”.
Zero Wing is an arcade game released in 1989. The origin of the mistranslated text, became a popular Internet meme. This is the European version of Mega Drive (Sega Genesis), released in 1991. This famous quote is part of the game's introduction translated from Japanese to English by Sega of Europe. The trailer cutscenes are only found in the European version for Mega Drive. Other translation errors in the game include "You have no chance to survive make your time." and “Somebody set up us the bomb.”
The Importance of Game Translation – Video Games
Poor quality video game translation shows that language is important in communication. In Japan, even if some people are fluent in English, they still want to speak in their native language. In some cases, such as in some packaged snacks, they intentionally mistranslate as a marketing ploy.
As for the video game translations, the arcade games of 10 or 20 years ago are translated in poor quality. Nowadays, game studios spend more budget on translation and localization of video games due to competition from other countries.
In the past, if the translation was not done by the programmer, game studios used to hire high school students to learn English to translate so they could immediately move their products to other markets.
Given the number of mistranslations in video games from Japan years ago, it can be assumed that they just wanted to make the game story somewhat readable to English-speaking foreign consumers. Making sure stories were understandable to other audiences was not a priority for Japanese game publishers at the time.
Furthermore, in the early days when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was very popular, having video game translation turned off wasn't a problem. Most players didn't put too much thought into the story. All they want is to get the highest score possible and pass as many levels as possible. But that's for other people's exact language and stories, encountering phrases like "A winner is you" isn't fun.
Professional Video Game Translations
The growth of video games is amazing. You could say that former video game developers had to do tests to gauge what worked, what worked, and what worked. There have certainly been many roadblocks before, including bugs in video game localization.
Translating video games is higher these days because game publishers include proper storytelling in the game development priority list along with the game's characters and overall design to enhance gamer experience.
Therefore, if you want to expand your game overseas, make sure that your game is localized correctly, to honor the local language and enhance gamers' gaming experience.
Worst localization mistakes
Gamers accept iconic localization errors as part of video game history. Because these worst mistranslations have led to the creation of various Internet memes that are still popular today since they were first posted and are sure to last. Furthermore, some of these arcade games are still available today, so translation errors are still seen, some of which you can find here.
I feel asleep.
This sentence is from the game Metal Gear Solid and is said often by the soldier. The dialogue was rather awkward even when the script was great, but due to hardware limitations, dialogue was limited. The codec conversations are short but enough to guide the player, but the glaring error is that the unconscious soldier falls asleep every 15 seconds.
A winner is you.
This sentence has become a classic greeting used by gamers (and non-gamers) when they congratulate their players. Pro Wrestling mistranslated this sentence. The text appears every time a player defeats an opponent. Even people who don't know the origin of the phrase have used it due to the popularity of the meme.
This phrase comes from Tellah in Final Fantasy IV, when he attacks Edward, a lover of Anna, Tellah's daughter. Outraged and blaming Edward for Anna's death, Tellah used the phrase to insult Edward when he was attacking the bard (a lyricist). Although linguists consider this a poor translation, it is an accepted and popular phrase that is included in several other Final Fantasy titles.
Let's attack aggressively!
This sentence is found in Contra 3: The Alien Wars. The opening of the game is quite cinematic in the approach of the game and the main characters, Lance and Bill are preparing to destroy the alien invaders. When Bill said it was time for revenge, Lance uttered the phrase "Let's attack aggressively".
This is not a case of a translation error but a grammatical error. Since the player is gathering heavy artillery to fight the invaders, the use of the word “aggressively” makes no sense since there is no way to fight the enemy with force.
What a tough one.
The completely mistranslated phrase, found in Fatal Fury, reads like this “What a tough. I think I used about 61.5% of my strength.” It seems the hero is a cyborg that can accurately measure the amount of power he has used.
Typing Error When Translating Games – Video Games
In some cases, video games may contain typographical errors. Such was the case with Double Dragon. The heroes of the game are twin brothers Billy and Jimmy, but for some reason their names became Bimmy and Jimmy in Double Dragon 3. The bug was kept throughout the achievement titles. In Double Dragon Neon released in 2012, Jimmy's name became Jammy, while Bimmy was kept. The developers have accepted the bugs of the past and used them in modern versions where Jammy and Bimmy are mutants of the original pair.
Other errors in video games
The video game translation contains many errors that are common in arcade games. Those errors seem funny, funny, bad, and amusing. Here are some examples.
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – I am error.
- Ghostbusters – Conglaration!!! You have completed a great game and prooved the justice of our culture. Now go and rest our heroes!
- Final Fantasy VII – This guy is sick.
- Fatal Fury Special – Your fists of evil are about meet my steel wall of niceness.
- Samurai Showdown – Victorly!!
- Ghosts 'n Goblins – This story is happy end. Thank you.
- Ghosts 'n Goblins – Being the wise and courageous knight that you are you feel strongth welling. In your body. Return to starting point. Challenge again.
- Ghosts 'n Goblins – This room is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progress!
- Bōsō Tokkyū SOS/Stop the Express (Japanese MSX version) – Congraturation! You success!
- Aero Fighters 2 – Fry to the rain forest and save the nature.
- Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun (Game Boy Advance) – What a polite young man she was.
- Tamagotchi (Game Boy) – Remember to flash the toilet.
- Samurai Ghost – Be careful!
- Magician Lord – You are very dangerous. Be dead down here.
- Beast Wrestler – Combine tow monsters.
- Blazing Star – Stay cool! Someone wakes the noise up!
- Ark Area – Congratulations for you. You are the great super and most exclusive player! Boy's be ambitious! With out the games! Let's try anything else!
- Evil Stone – Ha! Stupid man you are.
- New Fantasia – I will must be a winner!
- Art of Fighting – Initiate super death brow.
- Twinkle Star Sprites – Don't be brue, Ran
So, you've learned about the worst translation mistakes in video game translations ever. But let's face it, even though it's a mistranslation, you still enjoy playing these games, don't you?
If you're marketing your video game overseas, video game translation and localization should be among your priority tasks. Properly translated video games will help your company achieve the fastest. You can have a competitive advantage. You will get more customers and sales will improve as you not only give them a better enjoyment of the game.
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