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Japanese game translations honored in new book

How a curious and celebrated dialect emerged

Clyde Mandelin and Tony Kuchar

A new book is out that looks at the history of Japanese-to-English video game translations, from the early years of gaming to today.

This Be Book Bad Translation Video Games celebrates some of the most famously strange translations and their abiding effect on gaming culture. On its website, the authors state: “The tight deadlines and shoestring staffs of early game development created a new video game dialect that is beloved, and still spoken, to this day.”

The book features lots of screenshots, explanations of why certain translations came out the way they did, and a list of games to try. It costs $15. Here are some images.

Clyde Mandelin and Tony Kuchar