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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Japan: What's the deal with all the English?

I have a question about Japan. Now Japan is cool and everything. All my favorite stuff comes from Japan. I know that basically everything in their culture since the occupation has some American influence. But really, what's the deal with all the English?

I mean, translation things, yes, that's fine. But these aren't 'one and the same's, these are complete replacement of basic commands with English, and no Japanese equivalent next to it. Take this screenshot from the original Metroid, the one that had a saveable game.


This is a Japanese only game, and I don't think there's any translation options on it. So this is the screen a native (and only a native) Japanese player would see. Anything wrong with it? There's only freaking English on here!

Only the title, and something second to the bottom is in Japanese (and that second to last character looks like an unfound). Everything else is in English - Samus's name, her energy, the day (whatever that is), and kill mode. This is what confuses me the most. Unless that thing above it is the translation, would a Japanese native know what kill mode is? Is it a special game mode? Is it a super hard difficulty? Will they click on it, and then suddenly delete all their games?

And this is everywhere. And it's for important things, things that you need to know in order to proceed. Is English taught so much that an average Japanese can recognize what's being said? Even in the 80's? I can't believe that. I certainly have no idea what any of that Japanese could mean, but in it's the right places so I could guess.

Anyway, that's just what boggles my mind. I wonder if some day it'll be a dual-language country like Canada. They seem to like American stuff so much that they've become some sort of hybrid.
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