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It is a convention for video games made in Japan, when loading data, to display the legend

NOW LOADING

Whereas titles made overseas generally stick with the more succinct

LOADING

Is there any linguistic reason for the addition of the word "now"?

  • 1
    Really? Huh. I never noticed, and I've played a zillion video games. At any rate, you can certainly find examples of "now loading" in non-Japanese games going back to the 80s if you look, and it seems unremarkable to me as an English speaker. Random example 1, random example 2 – snailboat Mar 16 '18 at 9:08
  • They use 読み込み中 too, but I think that has a meaning more like '' data reading" than "now loading", btw they use this phrase too. – Daniele Muzi Jun 11 '18 at 15:43
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I doubt there is a good linguistic reason for this. Probably someone happened to come up with "Now Loading", and other developers followed without thinking much about it. This is not surprising at all. After all, Japanese people have coined tons of wasei-eigo terms and kept using them without thinking about them.

Another similar example is "Sorry, this site is Japanese only"; around 2000, many Japanese people somehow believed this was a polite and natural English expression, and put this sentence at the header or footer of their websites. No one knows who started using this, but it did spread like an infectious disease.

  • +1 for "like an infectious disease". 😂 – Eiríkr Útlendi Mar 16 '18 at 20:38
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Whether you are asking about games that are in Japanese or in English, I would assume (pure speculation here) that, as the game was likely made for domestic consumers originally or by a Japanese team, 'Now Loading' was easier for non-English speakers to comprehend. When overseas games shortened the legend the Japanese likely saw no need to do so, as there is really no compelling reason to do so. Also, their Japanese customers are used to seeing it displayed in its entirety.

That being said, I have not noticed this particular difference that you have.

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