A few months ago, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released and began setting numerous world records for video game sales. Unfortunately, the game also received negative publicity for including some frustrating mistranslations.
At the center of the issues is the “No Russian” scene, in which [the character] Vladimir Makarov is supposed to tell the player “Remember, no Russian.” In the story, this is a straight-forward message: as a Russian nationalist, he doesn’t want his men speaking Russian as they kill civilians. But in Japanese, it was apparently translated to, “Kill them; they are Russians.”
The result was that Japanese players were shooting the wrong characters in the game, causing the players to prematurely see “game over” flash on the screen. Note translator: be a little extra cautious whenever translating an order to kill or “game over” may not be the worst consequence of your actions. Fortunately, Modern Warfare 2 has been very highly anticipated, so all the publicity enabled confused Japanese players to quickly identify the problem and adjust accordingly. If only everyone could recover so quickly from such translation errors…
For expert help to avoid such errors, contact GGI for high quality localization of video games and multimedia.