Sometimes one will find that in a work where the Translation Convention
is otherwise in effect or which offers translations of the important information will either suspend the convention or omit translation for the sake of including messages "hidden in plain view" by being expressed or written in another language. This ostensibly makes said messages available only to those viewers, players or readers that have sufficient knowledge of the language in question. This often coincides with Ominous Latin Chanting
(which, if translated, might sound about as ominous as reading street addresses from a telephone book); in Video Games
specifically, this is often concurrent with Enemy Chatter
As you may have guessed, this can be a very clever way of Getting Crap Past the Radar
. In fact, Hollywood censors once demanded English translations of any part of a screenplay written in a foreign language (whether that language was real or made-up) precisely to thwart this, since subtitles traditionally weren't used in American films even when a character was speaking a language other than English.
If the word still makes sense in another way then it's also a Multiple Reference Pun
This, of course, not only applies to actual languages, but also the various fictional
languages that have full-blown lexicons and can technically be translated — Quenya and Sindarin
, D'ni from the Myst verse
, et cetera.
This trope is not "This work happens to have a foreign language in it." It is "Hidden message in foreign language that is different from what might normally be expected in the context"
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Anime & Manga
- In one episode of Azumanga Daioh, Kurosawa-sensei is horrified that she is unable to understand anything of the math homework the girls are doing, which Yukari exploits to show off her incredible English skills (with her growing to giant size, an ocean parting to her sides, and a thunderstorm above her). The actual english is horrible, but appears to be a plea to Japanese people to overcome their fear of making mistakes, which makes them avoiding learning foreign languages altogether.
- Cowboy Bebop has plenty of those, from texts in foreign languages all over the place to Ed’s father’s name being ‘Excuse me, check please’ in Turkish.
- Video Girl Ai is a double-language pun, with "Ai" meaning both love and Artificial Intelligence.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: in the North American dub, Asuka holds an entire telephone conversation in German in the background of one scene; there are allegedly several in-jokes in her dialogue for German speakers who ignore the foreground action to concentrate on her.
- One episode features a GEHIRN report in English. Freeze-framing it reveals a short written history of Studio Gainax with periodic in-universe terms in all caps.
- In Wolf's Rain the signs are all written in Russian, and several jokes are there for the Russian-speaking audience. For instance, the "X" on Hige's collar is actually a Russian Kh (pronounced like the "ch" in "Bach", like his name). Hige is later referred to by Lady Jagara as "Number 23" – i.e. the 23rd wolf to wear one of her collars – and the Cyrillic X or Kh happens to be the 23rd letter of the (modern) Cyrillic alphabet. Coincidence?
- In Welcome to the NHK the main character prances through half the series wearing sweatshirts with the mysterious letters XYN – actually, a corruption of Russian "хуй" (spells out "huy" in Cyrillic). This just happens to be one of the few absolutely taboo words in the Russian language, literally the male penis, but also ranging in meaning from "fuck off" to "cunt" (the insult, not the matching organ) depending on context.
- Galaxy Angel does this in an episode where Forte is turned into a guy. Ranpha gives Forte a love letter in English. When Forte reads out loud in Japanese it sounds perfectly normal, however, the text on the letter itself is nothing but stock reports, making the joke much funnier.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, all books are written in English. If you ignore the occasional alchemical array, they are copied verbatim from Dungeons & Dragons player's manuals. Specifically, articles concerning alchemy.
- More English is a butcher shop whose menu includes beef, pork, chicken and mammoth.
- A military document has an excerpt from Ripley's Twelve Gates, a 16th century treatise on alchemy. Which excerpt? The one the that happens to also appear on the human transmutation circle.
- Similar to the Fullmetal Alchemist example, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has two such instances of random English text. In the first, a medical readout on Heero is actually the readme file for Photoshop's TWAIN plugin. In the second, the blueprints for Sandrock contain a number of Shout Outs to Mobile Suit Gundam, including references to Gundarium and the ALICE AI system from Gundam Sentinel.
- When you think about how TWAIN in Photoshop stands for "Thing Without An Interesting Name", Heero certainly falls under suspicion.
- In one point in the Master Mosquiton OAV, Saint Germaine is trying to convince Schrodinger (of Schrodinger's cat fame) to join his cause. Schrodinger throws a die, which rolls over the book he's reading; it is, verbatim, a page from a 3D modeling software instruction manual.
- In the second season of Emma, episode 3, when William's father summons him to his study, there is a brief establishing shot of the account book he's been reading over, with entries all in English. All of them are Beatles songs.
- The three Zentradi spies from Super Dimension Fortress Macross are named Warera, Loli, and Conda, which put together reads as, "We have a Lolita Complex" in Japanese... whether or not they actually do is open to debate. In the Robotech version they are called Bron, Rico, and Konda instead.
- In Macross Frontier, the on-screen displays populated with English filler text use completely irrelevant excerpts from, for example, the Adobe Flash Player (or Adobe CS?) EULA and an article about the appearance of Oakley sunglasses in some bicycle or motorcycle event.
- Except in the Sayonara no Tsubasa movie, Sheryl Nome's profile displayed is an extract from the wiki article.
- The English dub of Hellsing Ultimate has once instance of this: in the 3rd episode when Seras is escorting the Japanese tourists, the tourists have been redubbed in Japanese, and are apparently saying very rude things about the English staff working on the episode.
- The pre-opening credits sequence in Slayers Revolution has a pun on the Japanese possessive particle, "no" ("の" in hiragana) and the English and Spanish word, "no": the captions on the wanted poster for Lina are "AKUMA NO MIMI"*, "AKUMA NO KUCHI"*, and "NO BUST".
- Fairy Tail has a Shrouded in Myth Master of Illusion S Class Mage by the name of Mystogan (Mist Gun). In the High School AU OVA, he's the school gardener, and carries a pair of squirt bottles everywhere he goes.
- In Nabari No Ou, when Raimei and Raikou fight for the first time, Gau is listening to Strauss’s “Unter Donner und Blitz", which is German for “Under Thunder and Lightning”. Incidentally, Raimei's name means "thunder", while Raikou's name means "lightning". And what happens "under" thunder and lightning is a rain shower... in other words, Gau.
- Rental Magica has a Whole Episode Flashback, showing Adilicia's and Honami's past. A gravestone there has clearly legible text written on it in English. Problem is, the text is written with Norse runes. If you can read them, you'll find a few rows of Bible verses, Psalms 22:15-16 and 81:1-4 more specifically.
- In Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, all of the protagonists occasionally speak different languages, which are represented in the English version by Kurogane speaking in kanji and nonsense symbols, and Fai speaking in Cyrillic gibberish.
- Although only the nonsense symbols apply for this trope. The kanji are generally relevant to the situation, and if one can read them, provide hints as to what he's actually saying.
- The current trope image.
- Fantastic Four #542 includes Ben Grimm's adventures in France (his response to the super hero Civil War) as well as his attempts at speaking the French language (specifically, trying to say "It's clobberin' time" in French. He's less than successful).
Thing: That just means il est temps de foutre!*
Anais: You said "foutre". I think you meant to say, "Il est temps de battre!"
Thing: Oh. I guess I got excited.
- French comic Nelson has a few panels involving dog food called "Doggy style". Yeah, really. Most French just know what "dog" means.
- Zombilenium has an in-universe latin case. While blessing a dead woman who was actually turned into a vampire, the priest (who helps covering The Masquerade) says "free us from eternal death" in latin. The vampire director laughs and translates for the reader.
- In Spider Man vs. Wolverine, Spidey is in Germany, heading to the Berlin Wall, and spots a couple of German police and doesn't understand them.
Spider-Man: [thinking] Shop talk. Counting the number of people they've shot trying to go over the wall!
Guard 1: <I told her she's crazy! My mother's strudel got an award! It's fantastic! My old lady can't bake. Mankind would be better off without her strudel.>
Guard 2: <Fritz, I would just tell her.>
- As well as the costume he wears in Germany labeled "Die Spinne"
- The Dark Horse Comics Star Wars one-shot "Force Fiction" has the menu that Yoda is reading written in Trade Federation Basic. The translation is noted below:
IF YOU HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO TRANSLATE THIS ENTIRE MENU PLEASE TRY TO DEVOTE AND EQUAL AMOUNT OF TIME TO MORE IMPORTANT THINGS LIKE EXCERCISE OR GOOD CONVERSATIONS AMONG FRIENDS OR LOOKING AT SUNSETS OR TELLING THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM" . "THIS MESSAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE WRITER THE CHILDRENS [sic] TELEVISION WORKSHOP AND THE LETTER O". "BY THE WAY MICHELLE AND DREA AND SHELLY AND CHRIS AND EVINRUDE I LOVE YOU ALL" . "WRITER KEVIN MARANGON* SOCIALIST KARL MARX.
- Alan Moore likes to make use of this trope, which one could expect from well, Alan Moore. In The League Of Extra Ordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier there are two Dutch Dolls who state why they're with the Gollywog
"Zijn geslacht is enorm." (His sexual genitalia is enormous.)
"What did she say?"
- A recurring character in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is the surgeon Dr. Hundtkinder. The name can be translated as "dog child"... or "son of a bitch". Larry Hama really likes these kinds of puns and bonuses.
Live Action TV
- Beck's song Hotwax has the following chorus: Yo soy disco quebrado / Yo tengo chicle en el cerebro. It translates to "I am a broken record / I have bubblegum in my brain."
- "The Macaronic Carol" by Shari Ajemian and Sarah Newcomb alternates between lines in English and Latin. The English lines are all about how much fun it is to carol gaily in fields of snow; the Latin lines are things like "my feet hurt", "it's cold", and "I want to go home".
- Knorkator, another German metal band, has one song entirely in Thai. However, the lyrics are entirely about Alf Ator's then girlfriend and now wife telling how she was asked to write a song in her native Thai and she has no idea what that song should be about. But it doesn't really matter since nobody in the band or the audience will understand it anyway.
- Cheech Marin's rapid stream of Spanish in the middle of "Taco Grande" by "Weird Al" Yankovic translates approximately to: "Good evening, sir. Welcome to Enrico's Casa de Salsa. We have many delicious entrees. If I might recommend the burning Hell chicken, very delicious. Your eyes will burn up, your stomach will be on fire, you'll be in the bathroom for a week, do you understand what I'm saying, stupid silly gringo?!"
- The song "Die Eier Von Satan" by Tool features German lyrics delivered in an angry tirade over a cheering audience and grinding industrial music. The translated lyrics are actually a simple recipe for hash brownies. The lyrics also feature a German pun. The name of the brownies are "The eggs of Satan," with "eggs" being German slang for "testicles." The recipe, as the speaker repeatedly proclaims to massive cheers, includes no actual eggs.
- The first album by the Italian rock band Elio e le Storie Tese is titled "Elio samaga hukapan kariyana turu", which means "Let's all merrily fart and cum with Elio" in Tamil. The title of their later album "Italyan, rum casusu čikti" was taken from the headlines of a newspaper from Cyprus and means "It turned out that the 'Italian' was a Greek spy".
- There's some unexpected and untranslated French toward the end of Judas Priest's 1977 song "Saints in Hell": "Abbatoir! Abbatoir! Mon Dieu, quelle horreur!" ("Slaughterhouse! Slaughterhouse! My God, what horror!")
- A Russian phrase (Я сошла с ума - "I have lost my mind") is in the chorus of "All The Things She Said" by t.A.T.u.
- Their song "Gomenasai" (Japanese for "I'm Sorry") has the word, well, "Gomenasai" in it (it's misspelled on purpose). An English song with a Japanese title by a Russian band.
- Cracker's "What You're Missing" has a couple of untranslated Spanish phrases in the background vocals. First there's "con pelirroja", which would roughly be "with (a) redhead" - the phrase comes up just before red-haired bassist and backing vocalist Brandy Wood gets to Step Up to the Microphone for a verse. Later in the same song there's "protegido por monos", meaning "guarded by monkeys"; the phrase "guarded by monkeys" is sort of a Running Gag cropping up multiple times on the album Forever.
- The English version of Sabaton's song The Carolean's Prayer has some Ominous Chanting in the background. The chant is the same in the Swedish version, and the lyrics are "the Lord's Prayer" in Swedish.
- While Brazilian singer Falcão did an intentionally broken English translation of a cheesy and popular song about a black VW Beetle, he named it "Black People Car" - because difficulties in translating the local name of the car (Fusca) made him seek what Volkswagen meant in German, and it was "people's car".
- The Poxy Boggards' "I Wear No Pants" contains a Trilingual bonus. It switches from English to Italian to German, before going back to English. The non-English verses (besides the obvious translation of "I wear no pants" in each verse) translate roughly to:
Look at my balls!
Look at my balls!
Look at my balls!
(It's) not old macaroni!
(It's) striking to look at!
Striking to look at!
Striking to look at!
My big prick!
- Believe it or not, there was actually a feud based around the Bilingual Bonus; there was a brief period of time where WWE Divas champion Maryse (from Montreal, Quebec, Canada) would come up to Gail Kim and talk about how great a wrestler she is and how she respects her, etc., and then say something in French. This went on for a few weeks until Kim attacked Maryse, revealed she was fluent in French and that she had known the entire time that Maryse was trash-talking her to her face.
- There's a possible variation in this Ring of Honor promo preceding a Montreal show, as Colt Cabana requests the help of Kevin Steen (also from Quebec) in translating "I can't wait to party with everybody in Montreal, ROH style" — what Kevin tells him is "j'ai couché avec ma mère hier" ("I slept with my mom yesterday"). Colt seemingly acts oblivious to the joke other than saying 'sa' instead of 'ma', but Kevin immediately realizes that Colt just switced "my" with "his".
- Eddie Izzard, being fluent in a few languages, does an entire section on the Definite Article DVD about learning foreign languages by tape cassette. He even ends the sections by promising it's hilarious if you're bi-lingual.
: Ou est la plume de ma tante? Monsieur, ou est la plume de ma tante?* Izzard
: La plume de ma tante est pres de la chaise de ma tante.* Tape
: Oui, la plume de ma tante est pres de la chaise de ma tante. * Izzard
: How does this tape know what I'm talking about? Tape
: Ou est la plume de mon oncle? * Izzard
: La plume de mon oncle est bingy bongy boogy bongy. * Tape
: Non! Pas de tout! Je ne me connais pas bingy bongy boogy bongy! Qu'est-ce que vous dites?! Vous est un putain!* Izzard
: Je suis pas un putain. Je n'avais pas le sexe pour l'argent. Que c'est vous dites, vous cassette? * Tape
: Oh, oh pardon. Je suis désolé. Vous avez raison. [singing] Je suis seulement pauvre cassette. Et je, je n'avais pas le pantalon. *
Tape: Wo ist das Kind, mein Herr? Wo ist das Kind? *
Izzard: Das Kind ist in dem Flughafen. *
Tape: Ja, das Kind ist in dem Flughaben. Aber warum? *
Izzard: Well, I’m not really sure. Perhaps he likes the airplanes.
- And yet again in his Dress To Kill tour, when he discusses visiting France:
Bonjour. Je suis anglais. Je suis ici en vacances. C'est très belle ici, les couleurs, les bois; ah, très belle. *
Tu es un travesti?*
Oui, je suis un travesti, mais pas un travesti typical[sic]. Je suis un travesti executif... un travesti d'action.*
Très bien. * Mais la souris est en dessous de la table, le chat est sur la chaise, et le singe...le singe est disparu! *
Oh, le singe est là-bas. Regarde! Il est sur une bicyclette, il joue au banjo[sic], il fume une pipe. Maintenant il arrête, il lit un journau[sic], et maintenant il est dans l'autobus... il conduit l'autobus, and et Sandra Bullock est dans l'autobus. Il ya une bombe dans l'autobus.
Il faut conduire l'autobus plus de cinquante kilomètres par l'heure, et Keanu Reeves, il arrive dans la voiture...il n'a pas de cheveux, et Jeff Daniels est déjà mort. Et regarde! Il essaie à se jette[sic] dans l'autobus. Et Dennis Hopper, oh, Dennis Hopper, quel méchant! *
- Gabriel Iglesias has a routine about authentic and non-authentic Hawaiian luaus. When describing the non-authentic one, he describes a tour guide who is actually from Oregon and a bus driver who actually is from Hawaii, who calls her "my little punanny". Punanny means "vagina" in Jamaican patois.
- Bill Bailey also invokes this through a discussion about foreign ambulance sirens. Needless to say, he abuses the opportunity to hide some things in it:
Attention! Nous sommes blessés! *
Nous avons un homme; il s'appelle Jean-Michel, sa jambe est cassé. *
Avec une jeune fille; elle s'appelle Gisèle. Cest si belle. *
Ils ont montés dans un arbre pour faire l’amour. Il a adopté la position misionnaire; c'est populaire. *
Il est tombé. Sa jambe est cassé. Attention! *
- In the card game Chez Geek, the flavor text for the card "Caesar's Gallic Wars" says, in Latin, "Gaul is now divided into three parts. I believe Elvis is alive."
- In one of the d20 Modern adventures (Le Chien de l'Onyx (although in proper french, it would be Le Chien d'Onyx (The Onyx Dog)), a captive NPC you can free is called Delacey Otage (Otage is French for Hostage).
- W.S.Gilbert wrote a Latin chorus for the monks that march mysteriously through the opening song of ''The Mountebanks''. However, the lyrics are, in fact, grumbling about how awful it is to be a monk. The Mountebanks is from 1892.
- In The Musical of The Wedding Singer, as part of the finale, the characters recap the entire show, including one who sings a verse in Filipino. The next singer's verse, appropriately, is "For those of you who speak Filipino, you know that things ended up the way they should."
- The French class scene in The History Boys. It's completely untranslated unless they decide to put something in the programme, and dear lord, it's hysterical. Particularly when Dakin drops his trousers for reasons entirely incomprehensible to an audience that doesn't understand French...
- Princess Katherine's language lesson and the courting scene in Shakespeare's Henry V both contain untranslated French. The latter is funny mostly for King Henry's unsubtle mangling of the language. The former is basically a scene-long build-up to two predictable and filthy sound puns.
- The FPS Medal of Honor features some funny conversation between enemies. They are spoken in German without subtitles. One of them features a meta-joke in which a soldier wonders aloud whether he is real or a character in a work of fiction.
- The circa-1993 Finnish game Stardust named its Distressed Damsel after a local brand of margarine and the final dungeon after the makers' hometown.
- In World of Warcraft, with in-game languages. Every character knows two languages: their faction language and their racial language (except for orcs and humans, whose languages are used as faction languages for the Horde and Alliance respectively). Since some enemy NPCs in the game speak exclusively racial languages, only players of the corresponding race will have the Enemy Chatter rendered into English via Translation Convention — others will see gibberish.
- Hostile Troll NPCs in the Dwarvish starting area will shout out "Don't be stealin my weed" in Trollish.
- Starcraft's Expansion Pack's teaser movie was filled with Latin chanting about preparing for battle and praying for victory, as well as even-more-ominous French chanting about how victory is sure—just as the soldiers are callously abandoned by The Cavalry to be devoured by the Zerg.
- In Portal 2, Wheatley has a bit of Spanish dialogue. The Spanish translates to "You are using the translation software incorrectly. Please consult the manual."
- This even goes so far as to make it a Bilingual Bonus when playing the game in Spanish by saying the phrase in English. Team Fortress 2 does the same with Spy's lines spoken in French; if the player is playing with the French language on, his French lines are spoken in English.
- Also, in the credits, the turret song is apparently just a pun, but the lyrics, in Italian, are extremely appropriate.
- The arcade game Metal Slug 2 starts out in a Middle-Eastern desert town filled with Arabic signs. At the end of the level, where the first boss is fought, two massive banners dominate the street in the background, stating (in Arabic) "I have diarrhea" and "I need medicine."
- Freedom Fighters had some odd and/or awkward Russian-to-English moments. "First Hitting Brigade, GO!" being probably the champion. The funniest, however, was probably a poster, in parody of the famous Uncle Sam Wants You posters, stating that "The Red Army offers you wonderful opportunity." Small Cyrillic print in the bottom left corner of said poster revealed that said opportunity mainly consists of "Russian vodka".
- The Commander Keen computer games featured a language named the "Standard Galactic Alphabet" that was just coded symbols corresponding to English letters. In the first game, you'd run across signs that, when decoded, said things like "This is neat" and "Behold the holy pogo stick". The coded alphabet remained consistent throughout the entire series.
- Journey's One-Woman Wail credits song, I Was Born For This, consists of lyrics not only from many different languages but derived from several classic sources:
Stat sua cuique dies To each his day is given
(Latin, The Aeneid
Mæl is me to feran Time is it for me to go
(Old English, Beowulf
Aleto men moi nostos Lost is my homecoming
(Greek, The Iliad
C’est pour cela que je suis née I was born for this
(French, Joan of Arc
Kono michi ya, Yuku hito nishi ni
Kono michi ya, Aki no kure Along this road, goes no one Along this road, this Autumn eve
(Japanese, Matsuo Basho
C’est pour cela que je suis née, ne me plaignez pas
C’est pour cela que je suis née I was born for this, do not pity me I was born for this
(French, Joan of Arc
- Hitman: Blood Money has newspapers reporting on your deeds after each level, many in foreign languages. The foreign ones are full of jokes. For instance, in Spanish one says "No tengo ninguna pista que ha escrito", which is incorrect grammar for "I have no clue what I've written." (It should be "No tengo ni idea de lo que acabo de escribir.") Another, oddly, says "Read a book or play outside; to play a game will only make you dumber."
- Just Cause 2. Many names of locales in Panau are rooted in Indonesian or Malay. Most appear to be mundane and crude translations, but a handful of names were obviously conceived for comedic effect, such as the "Awan Cendawan Power Plant" or "Kem Gunung Belakang Patah".
- While the baddies in Resident Evil 4 and 5 mostly just employ Enemy Chatter in other languages, there is one instance in 4 that counts a bilingual bonus: some Zealots in Salazar's castle will wander around muttering the word "Cerebros" over and over, which is a cheeky Shout Out to zombie flicks like Return of the Living Dead, since it means "Brains" in English.
- Jade Empire features a pair of guard golems who can be disabled if you use the correct password. The password is 'xiaohua', which, if spoken with the correct tones, simply means 'joke' in Mandarin Chinese.
- The later Elder Scrolls games contain a book called "N'Gasta Kvata Kvakis", which is found in many Necromancers' lairs. The book appears to be gibberish. In reality, it's slightly modified Esperanto. The translation is just the description of an Esperanto newsletter.
- In Sam and Max: Reality 2.0 Bosco revealed the name of his "safe" bank as bancolavadero.com, in Spanish "lavadero" is a water sink used to wash clothes and the popular name for shady businesses which do money laundering.
- Thanks to its setting, the Monkey Island series is rife with this. Just to give an example, one of the central antagonists in Tales Of Monkey Island is named Marquis De Singe ('singe' being French for 'monkey', which Guybrush lampshades by calling him "De Monkey" in the fourth chapter).
- In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, the female PC is a princess, in a peach colored kimono. Her name, Momohime, means 'Peach Princess'. Peach Princess, eh?.
- In Deus Ex Human Revolution, in the Picus Montreal offices, you can find several e-mails written in French, with no in-game translation (unlike the accurately-accented Mandarin Chinese conversations in Hengsha). They deal with Picus' role in manipulating the truth and public opinion (with one Picus employee having doubts about if he's doing the right thing)... and a guy who wants his chair back.
- Splinter Cell Chaos Theory has a Japanese gang with a name that translates to "Red Herring", thus hinting at the later developments.
[After Sam asks for a translation]
Civilian: It's a kind of fish. A small, silvery fish.
Sam: You mean a herring?
Civilian: Yes! YES! That's it! That's the word! Red Herring!
- The opening cinematic of Final Fantasy VIII had Ominous Latin Chanting which subtly foreshadowed the plot of the game, namely that the Gardens were founded specifically to train the Legendary SeeD who will defeat Ultimecia.
- In Xenoblade Chronicles, the symbols that appear on the Monado are Chinese letters that correspond with whatever power the wielder is using at the moment. Initially, the symbol that appears the most in cutscenes is "Machine," referring to the blade's abiltiy to pierce Mechon armor. Later symbols include "Man," when Zanza upgrades the Monado to be able to damage organic beings as well in order to counter the Faced Mechon, and "God," when Shulk acquires the True Monado at the end of the game and wields it against Zanza himself.
- In the game Xenosaga, Albedo refers to MOMO with the term "Ma belle pêche"; which literally translates into "My beautiful/lovely peach", since MOMO means "peach" in Japanese.
- Dumbing Of Age gives us Marcie, who is mute and speaks in ASL.
- This strip of Irregular Webcomic! for Quebecois French speakers is ostensibly an extended joke about a mountie, a lumberjack etc etc etc walk into a bar. The second panel actually reads "This comic's author doesn't speak French. He just asked a volunteer from Internet forums to translate a few lines of dialogue for him"—Of course, part of the joke is that the French in question is riddled with obvious mistakes—and the fourth panel reads "Next time you want someone to translate your stupid jokes, please offer me something for my efforts, [expletive]!"
- Irregular Webcomic! author David Morgan-Mar and others had a half-baked idea to launch a site dedicated to half-baked ideas called "mezzacotta". Mezza cotta is Italian for half-baked.
- Unshelved used Braille once. The characters in the strip comment that whatever it being said is gross and that you can't say that in a webcomic. It actually translates to "soon the full text of every overdue comic strip will be available on our website so that everybody can enjoy them." *
- Rock Paper Cynic contains a strip that, according to the author, contrasts black humour with infantile joy by exploiting the Language Barrier between French and English. The strip has two separate scripts, running side by side, one in each language. The English is innocent and fairy tale like, while the French veers into darker territory.
- Specifically, the French story goes: "Bertrand was a blueberry. He was suspicious of the English-speaking population. He was a bit racist. He prayed to the gods to massacre his enemies, and one day... he saw them all die."
- Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki has this as well. The runes on Yuuki's belt? A contraceptive spell. Just remember that Yuuki is a gender changed, magical girl who gets into more "situations"" than the average person, and this could manifest as Fridge Brilliance.
- Homestuck has an interesting case with The Troll alphabet. It's actually upside-down Daedric Alphabet from The Elder Scrolls. The first name suggestion translates as "Turdodor Fuckball." The "real" name, however, translates as "Trollplanet" which is an accurate description of the world... but which makes the caption a blatant lie, because it claims the guess was exactly right... and that the name of the world is Alternia. The attempted insulting name for Karkat translates as "Bulgereek Nookstain". During their fight scenes, the word "GRIEF" appears instead of the kids' STRIFE.
- With the introduction of Damara Megido, who speaks mostly Japanese (albeit Google Translated-Japanese) and little English, Homestuck now has Bilingual Bonus with an Earth language.
- This xkcd has a Bilingual Bonus in the alt-text in Lojban. It roughly translates as "Fedora man is going to conquer the world." Roughly, though, since you know how imprecise English is. It actually roughly means that he's teasing, but can we still be friends?
- In the beginning of Issue #12 of The Dreamer, Benjamin Tallmadge says to Nathan Hale in Latin, \"Poena absentiae non excusandae probatio collegii dies quinque et admonitio publica est. Decem pro furciferis Linoniae.\"
- In this strip of Penny Arcade, the Mandalorian roughly translates to: Train your sons to be strong, but your daughters to be stronger, learn mandoa fool. Now hands up how many had to use Google translate or similar to get that?
- A minor one, but in this Darths & Droids comic, the title is in binary. When translated to ascii, it reads "Sunset."
- The Wotch gives us the character Ivan Bezdomny. His last name is the Polish or Russian word for homeless.
- The original Ivan Bezdomny from The Master and Margarita was a parody on contemporary poets and writer: Bedny, Golodny and Gorky — "poor", "hungry" and "bitter".
- In this strip of Ctrl+Alt+Del, Lucas' binary quote translates to "get lost, fucktard".
- In a strip of Chopping Block, Butch meets a French speaker who he thinks is either telling him to kill for Beelzebub, or asking where the bathroom is — he opts for the first to be safe. If you understand the French, it turns out that, against all odds and logic, Butch actually guessed right.
- In Cuanta Vida, the BLU Spy is called "Bleu". Bleu means blue in French, but also means rookie. Bleu is a Naïve Newcomer.
- The Fox Sister: For Korean speakers, Soot Bull's name will reveal a Punny Name.
- The Senkari has Runes, German, French and even some Latin appearing untranslated at times.
- In ARCHON, non-human first names tend to be words in another language. Notably elven names are Welsh and orkish names are German. Overlaps with Meaningful Name.
- In the Whateley Universe, the story "Quoth the Ninja, Nevermore!" has a Bilingual Bonus. The superpowered ninjas raiding the school (as a Yama Dojo graduation exercise) form a Five-Man Band, and their names are all jokes in Japanese. Their given names are all types of food, as in tons of anime, while their last names all have hidden meanings.
- While RAKSA of Chaos Fighters: Chemical Warriors-RAKSA is the nickname of Rakion Kalsa, Malay speakers can tell that this novel revolves around mercury.
- Mystery Guitar Man's first line in almost all of his videos is in Portuguese, some are specific references only Brazilians will understand. And while there are English subtitles in his videos, the line in Portuguese is never translated nor written.
- From SCP Foundation, SCP-335 is a set of 150 Magic Floppy Disks, with names written on them. The last one has the Japanese name "Hajime," which means "first."
- H+ has several characters who speak Finish, then there is a lot of Italian going around, both of which, if you understand the language, gives you an idea of things going on in the background.
- In Demo Reel, Rebecca's Italian bosses call her a "stunad", which she happily thinks is their language word for "bright". In context, it really means "bimbo who'll take the fall when they get found out".
- In the same Kim Possible episode Ron has to take care of a sack of flour, the Stoppables adopt a daughter whose name means "flower" in Japanese.
- In the South Park episode "Good Times With Weapons" the kids are playing with the weapons and imagine themselves as anime characters, complete with a song in Japanese made by Trey Parker (who speaks fluent Japanese), "Let's Fighting Love". The song also has several odd statements in Gratuitous English (including the titular line), and most of the song is profane (but grammatically correct) nonsense and the singer admitting how bad the song and his English are. (You can find a translation here.)
- Japanese jokes aplenty in "Chinpokomon" – Chinpoko is Japanese for "very small penis."
- Several episodes feature a fictional video game console, the Okama Gamesphere. "Okama" being Japanese slang for "gay man."
- In "Chickenlover", the alphabet poster above the school blackboard reads "DiOsMiOhAnMaTaDoHaKeNnYbAsTaRdOs", which is Spanish for "Oh my God, they killed Kenny, you bastards".
- The stop sign that Barbrady sees is 멍청이, Korean for idiot.
- Also in Pinkeye, the button the Cosmonauts accidentally press to crash the Mir space station is labelled "hoopsie" in Cyrillic script— a possible transliteration of either "oopsie" or "whoopsie".
- In Futurama when Amy Wong gets mad, she will often speak Chinese in a tone implying that she's swearing. However, she's actually saying very innocuous phrases and just using an angry tone.
- Binary code is also used with Bender here and there; among other things, his apartment reads '$' and a binary message in blood is the number 666.
- In one episode of the new (2010) series, the crew travels in time and Prof. Farnsworth takes a stop to kill Adolf Hitler. Just before Farnsworth's death ray blows him up, Hitler is yelling in an official speech: "Betrachten Sie meinen Schnurrbart!" "Look at my moustache!"
- One episode of The Fairly Oddparents shows snails being eaten at a cafe in downtown Paris; the name of the cafe is "Cafe Abattoir", a French loanword.
- In Hey Arnold!, Oskar Kokoshka has a Meaningful Name. While kokoshka means "hen" in a number of Slavic languages and is a common surname, kakashka translates to feces or "piece of shit", which precisely describes him.
- Baseball player Yunel Escobar made an interesting choice with his eyeblack.
- The software company Piriform makes freeware cleanup tools, including Recuva, a tool for recovering lost files after you accidentally delete them. Piriform is Latin for "pear-shaped", British slang for Gone Horribly Wrong. (The company logo is also pear-shaped, confirming that this is intentional.)
- Every New Zealand government department is given an English name and a Māori name. Inland Revenue, which administers tax collection in the country, got given a Māori name meaning "The Depatment [of] Tax", which unfortunately translates as "Te Tari Tāke"*. Cue whenever there is a tax increase, some cartoonist will call it Te Tari "Take Take Take".
- The Other Wiki has this.