Wacky Words in Waku Waku Sweets

Waku Waku Sweets: Happy Sweets Making was released in the 3DS e-shop last month. Last week, someone on twitter shared this amazing mistake with us:

I’m supposed to butter the bread, not the pan. But “pan” (パン) is the Japanese word for “bread”, so there was an understandable mixup here. What happened is a lack of context. It makes perfect sense to butter a frying pan in a cooking game. It also makes sense for a cooking game to ask you to butter some bread. So the translators must have been translating from a script and didn’t have access to any other parts of the game. And then the QA team didn’t catch the mistake.

There are so many other mistakes in this game that I don’t think they had a QA team at all. Lots of grammar issues, stilted dialogue, unlocalized jokes, and incorrect pronouns. On the flip side, they use colloquialisms like “wanna”, “gonna”, “my bad”, and “you go girl”, which is pretty impressive. They also don’t try to turn the Japanese sweets into anything weird – they keep them as-is, which I think is great.

Expect to see more examples of translation errors from Waku Waku Sweets in future articles and books!

1 thought on “Wacky Words in Waku Waku Sweets”

  1. Well butter my tail and call me a… pan! I was literally just about to take a picture of this very error for tweeting at you folks. And here I thought this game was so obscure, no one else would have seen this actually-pretty-interesting error!

    I actually really enjoy silly Cooking Mama-style games, but they’re not the kind of games that tend to get a lot of attention in the gaming press. So they tend to be a great hive of odd translations and other localization oddities. The original Cooking Mama franchise is a great one for this, as for a long time Mama’s voice had a very, VERY heavy Japanese accent in the US. I haven’t picked up any of the newer games, but from the trailers, I gather Mama has a British accent these days. Which is better localization-wise, but not nearly as amusing.

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