If you just want to read Japanese to play games, you should pick up this book; it’s right up your alley!
The Legends of Localization team at Fangamer, who brought us such hits as Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda and Legends of Localization Book 2: EarthBound (which we've covered previously is back with a new, much smaller, much less intense book called This be book bad translation, video games! It’s a book about strange and entertaining mistakes in video game translation history.
If you’ve been following this series, this book is like a mini-version of Retro Game Super Translation Selection we also covered previously. However, this wasn’t written for a Japanese audience and translated into English. It was written with an English-speaking viewpoint in mind.
It covers the various issues surrounding all these sad, sad translations: why they exist, the effects they had, and why we really shouldn’t ever let computers translate our human languages.
While it doesn’t actually contain any Japanese or Japanese-English comparisons, like Retro Game Super Translation Selection, it does go into a brief history of Japanese and English, their interactions with each other, as well as common issues in commercial translation. And the book tells you why Japanese games include so much awkward, bizarre English, and why translations of Japanese games have so many super funky typos.
Plus, as with most content from this team, there’s historical context from the times these games came out so you can better understand why and how these translations came to be. I’ll let these examples do the talking:
If you just want to read Japanese to play games, you should pick up this book; it’s right up your alley! It’s great motivation because, hey, everybody makes mistakes, even giant game companies. Plus, you get to see the way Japanese does and does not work when it comes to translating it into English (and vice-versa).