They say that a picture paints a thousand words and that a comical mistranslation inspires at least 3,000 memes. Far from being cast adrift in a sea of mediocrity, many mistranslations from video games have become the stuff of legend.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at 5 of the funniest mistranslations the gaming world has ever seen.
They say that you should kill your enemies with kindness, but this absolute head-scratcher of a threat from Fatal Fury Special arguably took this sage advice a little too seriously. Even now, we’re still trying to figure out whether Tung Fu Rae wants to take us down a peg or hug us to death. Either way, few mistranslations can claim to be this memorable, which is saying something as this game features other humdingers such as “scum should know it’s place”.
Whilst it would be understatement of the century to say the 1988 NES Port of the Ghostbusters video game didn’t hit the dizzy heights of the film of the same name, this hilarious mistranslation has long been woven into the fabric of gaming history. Although it’s scant reward for slogging it through this game, we challenge you not to be flattered by being told you’ve proven the justice of an entire culture.
In need of a better reward? Who you gonna’ call? A better translator!
X-Men may be fondly remembered for its straightforward, yet devilishly addictive gameplay, but it was this nugget of comically mistranslated gold that secured its place in gaming history. Add in a hilariously over-the-top piece of voice acting from Magneto, the self-proclaimed “Master of Magnet”, as well as foreboding background music, and it’s easy to see why this phrase has become a tongue-in-cheek favourite with gamers everywhere.
You know it’s going to be mistranslations galore and wall-to-wall unintentional hilarity when a game’s got a title like Exciting Hour. Predictably, this arcade classic didn’t disappoint, as it allowed you to lay the smackdown as the Insane Worrier, whose name is hardly likely to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents. If anything, it’s more likely to make them fret about his well-being.
Last but not least, we’ve got an absolute gem of a mistranslation from Evil Stone.
Whilst Spacey Industrial’s arcade beat ’em up featured a kick-ass story which revolved around the gods of Hell unleashing chaos, this mistranslation didn’t quite deliver the sucker punch it was going for. I mean, can you think of anything more insulting than having someone who can’t even spell “stupid” questioning your intelligence?
At ICS-translate, we appreciate just how important it is to get your message across in any language. Drawing upon their experience in video game translation, our expert team of native-speaker linguists will help you stay ahead of the game. Сontact us for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.