This paper investigates the most effective ways of handling cultural differences in the Japanese-to-English game localization process. The thesis advocates for applying the Skopos theory of translation to game localization; analyzes how topics such as social issues, humor, fan translation, transcreation, and censorship have been handled in the past; and explores how international players react to developers' localization choices. It also includes interviews with three Japanese-to-English translators who have worked with major Japanese game companies to gain insight into how the industry operates today. Through the deconstruction of different aspects of Japanese-to-English localization, this analysis aims to help the game industry better fine-tune Japanese media to Western audiences while still sharing valuable aspects of Japanese culture. The thesis concludes that if Japanese game companies work to improve the localization process by considering more diverse international perspectives, hiring native speakers as translators, and approaching the English script as a creative endeavor in itself, they will be able to both broaden the minds of their global audiences and more effectively capitalize on the worldwide fervor for Japanese video games.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Technical Communication
Suvannasankha, Emily, "Open World Translation: Localizing Japanese Video Games for a Globalizing World" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 464.