Localization Editor Highlights Persona 5's Translation Problems Through a Funky-Fresh Website

Localization Editor Highlights Persona 5's Translation Problems Through a Funky-Fresh Website

What, specifically, is wrong with Persona 5's translation? One localization editor is ready to take you to school.

Persona 5 has received many deserved accolades, but many players believe it falls short in one very important category: Its translation and localization.

Editor's pick

Persona 5 Has Ties to Literary History

Put simply, games are translated and localized so that audiences outside the game's country of birth can follow the story and characters. Translating a game is a huge responsibility, especially for an RPG with Persona's pedigree. People have a much harder time connecting to a cast that talks a lot of nonsense. Nobody (who's reasonable) expects perfection from localizers, but Persona 5's script is under fire for numerous translation errors, and dialogue that's riddled with plain ol' jank.

Jack Frost still works "Hee-ho!" into his sentences, so that's something.

What, specifically, are the problems? Why are they problems? How can they be fixed? One localization editor and Persona fan, Connor Krammer, put together a wonderfully stylish website that highlights specific moments where Persona 5 goes off the rails. He dissects the troubled sentences, offers possible reasons why they turned out so weird, and suggests replacements.

Krammer makes it clear he's a big fan of Persona 5, and that he understands localizing the game's reams of text is a huge job. But I think we can all agree that "Me close?" is not an acceptable way to ask another character's permission to huddle closer together. Nor should a game based around Japanese culture switch between honorifics willy-nilly, e.g. use "-senpai" and "Mr" in the same sentence.

On the plus side, smoothing out rough text isn't a herculean undertaking. Hopefully Atlus will offer a patch soon.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Who's Your Favorite Video Game Cat?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Morgana? Cait Sith? Tell us who your favorite video game feline is.

The 25 Best PS4 Games: Now Updated for 2019

Our rotating list of the best PS4 games, now updated again for May 2019!

Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers Announced for PS4 and Switch and It's Not What We Expected

This isn't the first Persona 5 spin-off, but it is the first Persona game on the Switch.

Persona 5: The Royal Japanese Release Date Revealed, Features New Characters and Areas

Poniko (Kazumi Yoshizawa) is revealed as a new character, and there are new Confidant Social Links.

More News

Spiritfarer's Art Director on Encouraging Relaxation, Exploration, and Just Chilling on a Boat

How Spirited Away led to a cozy management sim about the afterlife.

Borderlands 3's First Limited-Time Event Will Be a Free Halloween Ghoul Hunt

All Borderlands 3 players will have a few weeks to scoop up some creepy loot and take down a boney boss.

Street Fighter 2's Creator on Why Blocking Was Once a Controversial Issue

A creator and a pro sit down to talk blocking in fighting games.