It seems common enough for Japanese to attempt to use English, that we get some truly bizarre translations. Especially bad are older games that were non-professionally translated to what we came to call "Engrish", due to what could have been a misspelling of the very name for our language. I don't imagine this happens, or happened, very often in the reverse direction. Is there a word in Japanese for Japanese text that has been poorly translated from English (or any language)?

In particular, imagine a game that has perfectly normal Japanese, but you can choose the language, and the language list has "English" spelt "Engrish", giving you an early warning sign that this could be really bad (and possibly also really awesome, but not intentionally). I'm looking for the opposite mistake, where it's the Japanese that's poor, if it exists and can be understood in the same way.

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1 Answer 1


We usually use 変な日本語、おかしな日本語、怪しい日本語. Most of our supply comes from products made in non-Japan Asia (Thai, China, Korea etc.) and western tattoos :)

  • Tattoos are bad, m'kay? :) Thanks. I make freeware games, and I was wondering what I should do if I was to translate one myself. At this stage, it would inevitably be pretty bad, but I'd leave it in for fun. Not that any games I've made so far even have text, but I was curious. Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 5:12
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    Obligatory linkage: hanzismatter.blogspot.com/2011/08/steve-caires-of-engrish.html
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 6:03

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