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Monday, September 22, 2014

Lost In Video Game Translation

This edition of the weekly segment known as FUNNY MONDAY comes to us courtesy of the world of electronics.

Specifically video games.

Now, I wouldn't classify myself as being a hardcore gamer now, but back when I was a kid, video games were my life.  From the first time I inserted a quarter into an arcade video game to the moment that I bought my own Nintendo after months of saving, I can't imagine a moment in which I haven't played video games in my early childhood.

Of course, my love of video games didn't come without controversy.  My parents thought that I played them too much.  My teachers insisted that video games were not educational.  And some people actually insisted that video games were destroying society because they encouraged us to be more violent.

(Keep in mind that when I was playing video games, the most violent game on the market was probably "Street Fighter" or "Mortal Kombat".)

However, I take those thoughts of negativity and chuck them out the window.  To me, video games were fun.  They could be educational (believe it or not), and they certainly didn't have me holding up a 7-Eleven store for cash and candy bars.

Of could be because I had no interest in playing the really violent games.  Okay, I was a fan of "Final Fantasy", but I consider the puzzles and problem solving that you do in the game to be more interesting than poking monsters with pointy things. 

Like, for instance, I'm a huge fan of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, and I think it's just such a smart series.  You go into a courtroom to try and defend your client who has committed a terrible crime, and just the dry wit alone makes it so much fun to play. 

But of course, in order to fully appreciate this game, you have to do a lot of reading.  Some people I know don't like text-heavy games because they feel that reading takes away from the fun of video games, but I beg to differ.  Text based games can be just as enjoyable as games that have a lot of action.

But even in the best text based games, you can find spelling and grammatical errors.  Have a look at this screenshot from "Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies" which was released last year.

Ah, Bobby Fulbright...even under pressure witnesses can stammer and make absolutely no sense.  But I consider that to be a minor example.

After perusing various sites such as,, 11 Points, ArcadeSushi, Nintendo 3DS Daily, and GameFAQs, I've found sixteen examples of video game text that whether it be by mistranslation or just plain error that didn't quite come across the way that the programmers had intended.

So, are you ready to play "
Lost In Video Game Translation"?  Let us begin.

1.  ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US - Apparently, this classic lost in translation moment comes courtesy of the video game "Zero Wing", and for a while, it was considered to be such a blatant error that people reportedly wore T-shirts that had this phrase stitched across the front.  Of course, more were to come, but this example kicked it all off.

2.  Yes, don't forget to take good rest.  And, I give you my sincere.  Thanks for reading this post.

3.  "This girl are can't speak proper English.  Though, to be fair, this part of the game does take place in the Midgar slums of "Final Fantasy VII".  Maybe learning English isn't a priority there.

4.  "Lock me baby, lock me slowly.  Take it easy, don't you know..."

5.  Well...I suppose if you were taking a detour around the sun, you physically could "fry" over a jungle.

6.  You know, I have a soft spot for "Bubble Bobble".  I love the moment in which I schooled a bunch of seventeen year olds in how to really play the game right.  But what the hell is this opening trying to say?

7.  How does one "feel" asleep?  You can feel sleepy, but once you're asleep, you can't really feel anything.  And he can't even really say that he's fallen asleep because once you have fallen asleep, you can't really tell anyone that you have fallen asleep...unless of course you hear the secrets that they keep when they're talking in their sleep.  And only The Romantics can do that.

(Now I've got that song stuck in your head, don't I?)

8.  Ryu!  Thank God you're safe!  NOW, GO TO GRAMMAR CLASS!

9.  I don't know what's more disturbing.  The fact that they misspelled "Dimension X", or the fact that the Ninja Turtles used their milkshake to vaporize the Foot in the yard.

(Now I've got that song stuck in your head, don't I?)

10.  Steel wall of niceness?  Well, isn't that a clever oxymoron!

11.  I think this is English...I think.

12.  The sad thing about this ending screenshot that is filled with spelling errors is that it came from the NES version of "Ghostbusters", which was a TERRIBLE game.  It's almost like rubbing salt in the wound.  "CONGLATURATION!  YOU WASTED YOUR TIME!"

13.  I don't care how many times I play "Final Fantasy IV", whenever I hear Tellah scream "YOU SPOONY BARD!", I giggle like a six year old.

14.  I'm only assuming that when they mean "MESSIAH", they must mean "HERO".  Because let's face it...messiah is one of those ugly words that can have different meanings.

15.  How depressing must it be to go through life thinking that you're so much of a failure that your parents named you "ERROR"?

16.  A WINNER IS YOU!  Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

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