Nintendo Switch Translator Struggled to Translate Suda51, and for Good Reason

YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

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During last week's Nintendo Switch Presentation, one of the translators on the English stream seemed to have a hard time translating notoriously eccentric game designer Suda51.

Thankfully, enterprising YouTube user iYakku has painstakingly put together a full transcript of the Killer7 designer's frenetic segment, available in the spoiler block below (via Nintendo Life), which makes it obvious why the translator struggled to keep up.

As best as we can tell, No More Heroes protagonist Travis Touchdown will be making his return on the Switch, in an unannounced title that will " become the singularity between indies and the Nintendo Switch," whatever that means.

Check out all the news from the Nintendo Switch Presentation, or let us take you through everything you need to know about Nintendo's upcoming new console.

Let It Die is Suda51's latest game, our friends over at Giant Bomb hung out with Uncle Death for a while in a Quick Look.

YEAHHHHHHHH!!!!

eh... guess that bombed

Suda from Grasshopper here.

Hello everyone.

Today's the big January 13th Ariake Showdown

I've been invited to this special match, not an exhibition.

I'm up here for a round on the stage to talk about my game.

Hang on, let me check the teleprompter.

Does everyone remember the man from Santa Destroy that Grasshopper and Marvelous created in their tag team game?

Right, Travis Touchdown.

Switch!

uh...

Ah...show the image please.

There it is!!!

This legendary anti-hero will be touching back down on the Nintendo Switch.

We're not announcing the title just yet, and not to change the subject, but...

So last year, all throughout the year.

I was at events like PAX and Kyoto's BITSUMMIT.

I went to all kinds of gaming events like those.

I talked to a lot of indie devs there about all kinds of things, and they were like, "Suda, man, what's the Switch like?"

Well, back then I think people were still calling it the NX.

I'd tell them "No no, I have no idea! I know as much as you guys", and they'd be like "Come on, tell us! Is it as easy to develop for as everyone's saying?"

I had to tell them "Just Wait".

"I'm under NDA with Nintendo, I can't tell you anything", there were lots of little scuffles like that.

But indie devs all over the world were excited for the Switch, even the ones in Japan.

The dev environment is probably as good as everyone's hoping for.

It's really good for... Mm... Well I get the feeling the Switch can even connect indies and major titles.

So, I'm gonna try making a game that'll become the singularity between indies and the Nintendo Switch.

And it'll be centered around Travis.

Travis co-starring with an indie star.

Mm... well to put it in simpler terms, in wrestling it'd be like shoot style versus hardcore wrestling.

Well, maybe not quite...

Well...

Like in Fire Pro Wrestling, Saeba with Kita.

Basically, I can't really explain it that well, but yeah!

Travis is gonna bust his way onto Nintendo Switch.

Suda51 from Grasshopper, out.

Thank you.

YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

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Dragon_Nexus

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There was an audible sigh from the translator right near the start. I think that was the point where he just thought "Sod it..." and said stuff that kinda sounds like something a games developer would say.

And his "Thank you very much!" in excitement at the end wasn't a translation...it was him genuinely thanking Suda for stopping.

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d9000

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Edited By d9000

Well that was a joy to read!

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FanboyMan

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No wonder the translator was struggling, I had a hard time keeping up with the words right in front of me LOL!

2 • 
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hystavito

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@fanboyman: :)

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whatsazerg

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Wow.... he only gave about half of the info. That was bad.

3 • 
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skemaal

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Two lines to sniff and some hard liquor will do that to you....

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inkman66

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Give the translator a break........................he was too busy laughing.

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WhoIsTheDrizzle

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Edited By WhoIsTheDrizzle

Sorry but the translator needs to go back and study Japanese more or practice translating. What suda said compared to what the translator said is pretty bad.

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Fia1

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Edited By Fia1

i cringed so hard when the translator just couldn't do it when i watched it live, lol, it feels like nintendo doesn't want to hire a quality translator for english speakers

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cornbredx

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Edited By cornbredx

It made sense to me. I don't understand the problem here. Maybe ya'll just don't understand people when they talk for real as the wordage here is more casual than business. Like he's talking to his friends.

Edit: ya, this translator seems bad at his job.

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swantn5

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keiji mutoh aka great muta pose for the win

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BrunoBRS

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he also struggled to translate the sega guy, and some other guy before those two. so i wouldn't blame it on suda.

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uncle5555

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@BrunoBRS: Exactly they had TWO translators working that event, they should have let the other guy just translate the whole thing himself, not sure why they didn't.

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snugglebear

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Wow I didn't get any of that when I watched the show live.

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5tu88sy

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Edited By 5tu88sy

My body is [not] ready.

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ArchoNils2

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He really shouldn't do presentations, he was just as awkward as that 99 knights guy

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chiefwiggum16

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Well that's his job so if he can't do it then he needs to find a new one.

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Shadow1477

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"Basically, I can't really explain it that well, but yeah!"

Only Suda could go on stage at a major games conference, say that he doesn't really know what he's making, and everyone would still have every faith in him.

What a fucking mad genius.

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Heqteur

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Well, to be fair, doing live translation on the fly is quite the usual job for translators. While it definitely isn't an easy job, I do have a few translators friends and they all said the same thing: "If you can't perform live translation on the fly without the help of a teleprompter, you're not a real translator; go back to translating text, where you can reread the same entence all you want to finally understand it."

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Articuno76

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Edited By Articuno76

@heqteur: To throw my two pennies into this subject as a translator myself. To be really pedantic, what you are talking about is interpretation, not translation. So your friends are both pro translators and interpreters. Or they are just pro interpreters (and amateur translators on the side). And the latter is more likely.

I say that because interpretation requires a different skill set to translation (other than the base language proficiencies), something your friends should have been the first to point out if they were professional translators.

Translation is not easier than interpretation because for all the time you are given to translate you are expected to turn in a higher quality, more natural end product. Interpretation, however, gets away with being more stilted because the speed and accessibility of it is what matters. That's not a knock on interpretation, it just has different end goals.

Translation quality hinges heavily on the translator's ability to write well in their native language (which is, unsurprisingly, why so many have copywriting/editing backgrounds) and a strong grasp of nuance, whereas interpretation doesn't (which is why so many interpreted and dictaphoned interviews we see are vague/misinterpreted).

I'd bet that most of your interpreter friends are not good writers (and being a native in a language does not mean you are automatically a good writer), so they look at translation and don't see the craft in it beyond the functional language conversion they are familiar with. And then see there is no immediate time limit. And then, they come to the conclusion that it's the same old language conversion they know, but easier.

And that's not even getting into standardised style guides (which vary by company/game), having to deal with the engine-based punctuation restrictions, character limits per line, and the fact that, unlike interpreters, sometimes we need to completely rewrite content at times (I'm thinking of tutorials here, as most Japanese games have poor tutorials that overexplain pointless details whilst missing the important ones).

To be honest, the quality of a good interpretation, whilst excellent for its intended purpose, would simply not make for a good translation.

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Setho10

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@heqteur: That is fair but when a guy isn't making sense and is contradicting himself, you start to question whether you might have misunderstood what he said. I mean look at that text. He says something and then says what he just said isn't true and then says he doesn't know what he is trying to say. Even a genius translator would have trouble translating that on the fly. Plus he is throwing in all of these wrestling references that even a native speaker might not be familiar with.

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SaturatedButter

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at 1:55 the translator just gives up.

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so_hai

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Eccentric presenter for an eccentric game with an eccentric protagonist for an eccentric console.

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

Dang that dude talked so fast. I was wondering what was said. This is awesome find.

4 •