Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2032-6904
  • E-ISSN: 2032-6912
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Japanese popular culture in the form of anime, manga, and videogames, enjoys significant popularity with diehard international fan groups, who have often become acquainted with aspects of Japanese culture through fan-translated media. However, this base of knowledgeable fans stands unique amongst standard translation practice, which seeks to iron out cultural specificities to create a text that reads flawlessly for a mass audience. This article therefore sets out to explain how videogame translators adopt targeted translation strategies to make their products more marketable to either a mass audience, the members of which may be ignorant, ambivalent, or even hostile to Japanese pop culture products, or to dedicated niche fan groups whose interest in Japan has been stoked by unofficial translations that frequently position themselves as the only avenue for accessing an “authentic” text. The final releases for eight pairs of Japanese games from the Role-Playing Game genre will be analysed to illustrate how far-reaching translation decisions have been used to make individual games more marketable to either group.


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