GemsReader helps you say stuff right
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Way back in 2007 we cobbled together a fun little list (opens in new tab) of frequently mispronounced game names. Far more obnoxious than the simple Mah-rio/May-rio switch, these names are routinely butchered and for a defensible reason theyre almost all nutty as hell.
We thought wed expand on that original feature, as 2007 is like 70 million years ago in internet time. So heres an update!
You say: Fax anna dew
Should be: Fah zanna dew
Xanadu is the name of a famous (nearly infamous) 1980 movie and soundtrack, a prominent mansion in Citizen Kane and an ancient Mongolian city that was also the inspiration for Kubla Khan. If you have to google some of those references, were not surprised now imagine a bunch of 80s children attempting to pronounce the Famicom version, portmanteaud into Faxanadu with no regard to our still-forming intellect. Made sense in Japan, but our feeble US minds had to dub it Fax anna dew and move on.
You say: Eye-co
Should be: E-co
Simple mistake, this one. Youre not horribly wrong by calling it Eye-co, but if youre going to be one of those people (and we all are from time to time), you should follow the Japanese translation. In this case, the I is like kiwi, not identical.
You say: Wise, Yeez, Y.S., Yis
Should be: Ease
Ys has been around for more than 20 years and people still cant say it properly, even though the games cheesy narrator clearly says the name in plain English. Y is a confusing letter to just slap an S on, which is possibly why the series hasnt become more popular if no one knows what to call it, they cant tell anyone to buy it.
You say: Swy ko den, Sue ick o dan, Swike odin
Should be: Swee ko-den
A great case of a publisher keeping the Japanese name when the obvious English option (Stars of Destiny) would have made it far easier on the many parents struggling to pronounce this massive vowel movement. Konamis never let up, having released Suikoden: Tierkreis just last year. Say what?
You say: Ur-guys, Air geez
Should be: Air-gites
We’ve heard this one manhandled for years, even though the announcer says the name at the title screen. Need more help? Turns out ehrgeiz is German for ambition, making this a second Square title with a German name (Einhander would be the other).
You say: Ninja Gay-den
Should be: Ninja Guy-den
Gaiden is a common term in Japanese videogames (meaning side-story or supplemental content), but most English speakers first exposure to the word was Ninja Gaiden, which quickly became Gay-den in uncouth arcades around the country. Two decades later and we think just about everyones figured it out.
The Magic of Scheherazade
You say: I cant even read that s**t.
Should be: Sha-hair-uh-zod
A title so confusing they spell it out for you twice once in a nearly undecipherable mess of Arabic pixels, and again in plain white letters. Neither is particularly easy to sort out at first pass, especially for young uns trying to ask for a game theyve only read about in Nintendo Power.
You say: Deuce Ex, Dee us ex, um, Day of sex?
Should be: Day-us Ex
Finally, a name we cant pin on the Japanese. This time its those conniving Latin-speaking folk whore to blame for years of actually, its pronounced hurrr hurrrrrr. Kind of like what were doing right now.
You say: Lou-mines
Should be: Loo min-ess
OK, we havent heard a whole lot of people call it Lou-mines. But if our years of retail experience have taught us anything, its that if one person mispronounces something, a hundred others will too. What do you suppose theyre searching for in the Lou Mines?