Translator upset after unintended KKK reference removed from English version of Japanese game


I was going to reply with a yes (I always assumed that to be the case) but I checked Wikipedia and the company’s full name is apparently Yoshida Kōgyō Kabushikikaisha. “Kōgyō” means “manufacturing” so it’s the Yoshida Manufacturing Corporation.


YKK is short for Yoshida Kougyou Kabushiki kaisha (I guess technically it should be YK KK but whatevs).

ETA according to their website they used to be known as Yoshida Kougyou KK before becoming YKK Corporation in the 1980s.


This is informative, and obviously the “Y” is for Yoshida, but it works out nicely that an uppercase “Y” is a great part of any zipper company’s name or logo.


In previous BBBBS conversations we’ve talked about the KK nomenclature and specifically how KKK as an abbreviation for a Japanese company name would neither be uncommon nor in any way a reference to the Klan.


That is exactly the phrase that came to mind as I read this.


There’s also Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch which has nothing to do with Japan (they make turbochargers).


Owing to the wonders of hip and knee joint replacement, canes are so last century. And owing to the wonders of global warming, lawns may soon be history in many places too. Then there’s the decline in birthrate in the developed world. We need a new trope, fit for the 21st century.


Wait, isn’t “kkk” an onomatopoeia for laughter in Japan?


This story provides some more context and updates in addition to the Kotaku one.


I feel there’s a concerted effort on the part of some to diminish the art of translation

“Oh, but he’s not a translator. He’s a localizer.”

He’s not an artist. He’s merely a cog. A biological automaton.Easily replaceable of it gets ideas above its station.

But if you read interviews with translators, there is a creative side to it.

A good translator, though is careful to rely the intentions of the author, and if the author makes those intentions quite clear, than the translator should shut up about it.


I was thinking of Ted Woolsey, translator of Final Fantasy VI, Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger, when I read this.

He tried his best to make the translations work, and got shit from purists who didn’t like that obscure Japanese cultural references were removed. A few bad jokes aside (“Jurassic Pork”?), I thought he did a good job.


Oh, could be worse. Some people were apparently very upset that another Japanese game changed in the localization process so that the girls you were sexing up were now adults. The hill they wanted to die on was pro-pedophile. Although it is weird in this case, because the guy is insisting on being bad at his job because he thinks it’s funny.

Either way, it’s him deliberately being bad at his job. Frankly it might be worse as a localizer, because it’s utterly failing to make the cultural translation needed by ignoring the original meaning. After this, I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind would hire the guy, knowing his penchant for putting his own sense of what’s funny above the needs of the work.


He should shut up and bite the wax tadpole.


It’s Korean that uses kkk (ㅋㅋㅋ), or kekeke to denote laughter.

Typically in Japanese “w” is used for this - the more w’s, the more the lolz (and it’s not an onomatopoeia, but an abbreviation for warai).


Oh, right. Thanks.


Sportsmen in northern Illinois abbreviate the Kankakee river as KKK as well.


Yep. Or ㅎㅎㅎ (h h h) for sub-laughter amusement.


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