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

Making English versions of foreign-language games is a complex process requiring cultural sensitivity and originality. In contrast to literary translation, it involves audio, visual arts, and careful technical edits as well as the words. When a localizer working on Japanese title Akiba Beat was displeased by one edit, he cried foul and demanded to be removed from the project's credits.

The "egregious change," as Tom Lipschultz called it...

...had to do with a parody of the Japanese light switch company NKK Switches. A sign in the original Japanese version of the game read “KKK witches,” a play on the phrase. He wrote on XSEED’s forum, “I personally felt ‘KKK witches’ was pretty funny for its shock value, but when I mentioned it to my coworkers, they... were not as amused.” ... he says his priority is retaining as much of Akiba’s Beat’s original meaning as possible.

When informed what "KKK" means to Americans, though, the Japanese creators were mortified and “immediately responded that they had no idea the sign could be taken that way in English,” and asked that it not be included in the English release. Lipschultz, however, doesn't think it's right to make the change.

Lipschultz knows that the removal of “KKK witches” from Akiba’s Beat is “insignificant,” and truly, one might wonder whether this is really the place to take such a stand. But, he says, his dramatic gesture was inspired by the well-trod Evelyn Beatrice Hall quote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

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