|home | alphabetical index|
Fan translationA fan translation is an unofficial translation of a computer game or video game into a language that it was never officially translated into. This is usually accomplished by modifying the binary ROM image of the game, and utilizing an emulator to play it if it is a console game. It is sometimes an option for releasing a game outside its homeland. For fan translations of computer and video games, Japanese is usually the source language, and English is usually the target language, and fan translation is an answer to a Japanese's company's regional decision to keep a game exclusive to Japan. Most fan translators translate computer and video games into their native tongue.
Fan translation is perceived as having a number of advantages; in particular, it allows gamers to play, and understand, games that were never released in their native language. Many video games are marketed exclusively in Japan, for example; the text encoded in the ROM images of these Japan-only games can be translated to English or another language, for the enjoyment of English-speaking players and players who speak neither Japanese nor English. Not only is the practice fo fan translation is considered by many video game players to be a reaction to a disappointing regional decision, or the answer to a Japnaese's company's decision to keep a game exclusive to Japan, but it is also consider a sign of a demand for companies to start translating games into languages that the never bothered to translate into. Another reason for fan translation is that the English release is considered inferior to the Japanese release as to gameplay or script content or if the Japan-only game is an enhanced remake of a game that was released outside Japan or that has an original version that was already fan-translated into English. Some of the Japan-only games that have been translated into English through emulation include Dragon Quest V (SNES), Dragon Quest I & II Reprise (SNES), Cosmo Police Galivan (NES), Adventure Island 4 (NES), Tales of Phantasia (SNES), Final Fantasy II (NES, remade for Final Fantasy Origins), Final Fantasy III (NES), Final Fantasy V (SNES), Seiken Densetsu 3 (SNES), Live-A-Live (SNES), Bahamut Lagoon (SNES), and Radical Dreamers (SNES). In addition to English, other fan translations have also been translations into other languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Latin, Norwegian, German, Dutch, Russian, and Serbian. American subsidiaries of Japanese video game companies translate their games only into English. They do not bother to translate into Spanish, although Spanish is a widely spoken language in the United States. European video game companies seldom bother to translate their games into languages other than Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.