Sailor Moon: Moon Tiara Vaporize!
Luna: Serena, weren't you supposed to say "Moon Tiara Magic"?
When a dub uses inconsistent naming or story telling in translation. Usually done either because of poor translation, tricky romanization
or because of Executive Meddling
Unlike Dub-Induced Plot Hole
, this doesn't include changes in a Cut-and-Paste Translation
that later don't make sense because of either cultural/language differences or new developments in the plot. This just changes the exact same thing over and over because the localization team can't seem to decide. There may not even be anything wrong with the last name they came up with.
This often happens in anime where characters practice calling their attacks
, as many anime dubs feature a character who has tons of attacks in its source given all the same name in the dub, or where a single attack gets renamed Once an Episode
Inconsistent fansubs exist, but are much rarer; while it may have been a problem when hardsubbing (making the subtitles an actual, permanent part of the video) was the norm, the growth of softsubbing (which entails using subtitles that can be freely turned off in the manner of a DVDs) has made it a simple matter to correct and re-release an episode to keep terminology consistent.
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Anime and Manga
- The Icelandic translations of Disney comics, while keeping the names of major characters consistent, regularly change the names of all minor characters who only pop up here and there, the different translators seemingly not bothering to check if this character's name has been translated before. This happens now and then in Swedish editions too.
- When The Carl Barks Collection were published in Sweden, exisiting translations were used wherever possible, but the editors did go back and make sure that things like Scrooge's money bin and Number one dime had consistent names throughout.
- The Hebrew translations of the Tintin series are inconsistent both within and between albums as to what Captain Haddock is called. This applies to both his title — which bounces between the anglicism "Kepten" and Hebrew translation Rav haḤovel — and his name, which is usually a straight translation of the word for the haddock fish (Ḥamor haYam — literally "sea donkey"), but is sometimes written phonetically as "Hadok".
- Star Wars is a major sufferer of this in several languages, partly due to its age and changes in countries' dubbing practices during the franchise's lifespan.
- In both the French and Italian versions of the original Star Wars movies, most characters and vehicles received a Dub Name Change. However, in translations of the prequels and later Expanded Universe material, most of these changes were reverted.
- In the case of French, Darth Vader is a unique case; both France and Canada share one dub of the original movies, made in France, in which Vader's name (the only "Darth" character at that point) is changed to "Dark Vador". Although later translations in France kept this change and carried it over to new characters ("Dark Maul", etc.), the French-Canadian versions of the new movies, series and packaging blurbs on merchandise not only kept "Darth", but also used Vader's original English name. This actually happens a lot in French Canada when new entries to old movies and TV series are dubbed. Before the 1990's, most French translations were done in France. Nowadays, most of them get a local dub in Quebec; series that got early instalments dubbed in France can have later ones dubbed in Quebec (Indiana Jones, The Lion King and Family Guy come to mind).
- For the Italian versions, there was actually a poll to determine whether Darth Vader (known as "Dart Fener" in Italian) would use his original name in the Revenge of the Sith dub. "Fener" won with 55% of the votes, although "Darth Vader", for some reason, is still used in most Italian merchandise blurbs. (Not to mention the fact that other Sith Lords would use "Darth" rather than "Dart" as a title.)
- The German Star Wars franchise has some serious problems with consistency. Sometimes English titles like captain and lieutenant are swapped with the German versions, sometimes not. Sometimes Poggle the Lesser is Poggle der Geringere, sometimes not (even within some episodes in The Clone Wars). Sometimes Tarkin is a Grand Moff, but sometimes it gets woolseyised to Mufti (interpreter or expounder of Islamic law). Even the comics, full of a staff of promoted fanboys it is not safe to say if the Home One is Heimat Eins or not. Jango is called with English pronounceiation everywhere except for The Clone Wars where it is Ijangoh.
- Same for the Hungarian translations. Nobody is sure whether the Millenium Falcon's name should be left in English, or if the dubs (there are several) of the Original Trilogy are correct by naming it "Ezeréves Sólyom" ("Thousand Year-Old Falcon"). Light sabers also get to be referred to as "Laser swords" a lot, and although the dubbing studio made an effort to keep the voices and name translations of the Prequels and the cartoon shows consistent, they still switched them around needlessly. The dub of The Clone Wars, for instance translated the clone nicknames at first, then decided to go with their English names, only Rex is voiced by the "standard" clone voice actor from the movies, and the voices of secondary characters also keep changing depending on the episode.
- The Spain dub of the original trilogy can't decide whether to pronounce the I in Jedi as in English or in Spanish (more or less like "jeddy"). Since in the prequels it's always pronounced as in English, you might think this is an artifact of the scenes dubbed later for the special editions, but the inconsistency shows up much more often than that.
- Some gag dubs of Dmitry Puchkov (AKA Goblin) are this way. For example, in the dub of the first The Lord of the Rings film, Gimli is named Gimler (referring to Heinrich Himmler), but in the second and third films' Gag Dubs, he is named Givi, a stereotypical Georgian name. Also done in the Gag Dub of The Matrix, where Matvey (Morpheus) claims to be travelling aboard an armored train (called KV-1, even though it's a tank) in the vicinity of Berlin, although later he claims to be aboard a submarine.
- In case of Gimli's name, it was a retcon. He was given a Georgian accent, and dwarves in general became the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Caucasian republics (much as elves became the counterpart of the Baltic states), so a Georgian name made more sense for him than the name of a Nazi officer. His name was also changed to Givi in the Re Cut version of Fellowship.
- In the Netherlands, the first Lord of the Rings film's subtitles (in the cinema, anyway) used the same names for the characters as in the Dutch translation of the novel — such as Merry being called Merijn. The other two parts, however, used the English names. Likely, this was after protests from people who had seen the film but not read the book.
- In Spain, Doc Brown's "1.21 jiggawatts" mispronunciation was kept as "Gigovatios" on the first film, but the third one used the correct "gigavatios". Inversely, the first move calls the Flux Capacitor "Condensador de Fluzo", with "fluzo" being a made-up word. Third movie properly translates it as "flujo", but Popcultural Osmosis only uses "fluzo", probably because it's more associated to the film.
- The Hungarian dubs of the Saw movies shift back and borth between using "Kirakós" (Jigsaw) or "Fűrész" (Saw) for the killer. The Hungarian words for jigsaw and saw have no relations, so it comes out of nowhere when the Jigsaw killer is called "Fűrész" (Saw).
- The Swedish translation of the Discworld books, while generally excellently flowing and providing good localization of English-specific puns and jokes, does have some annoying inconsistencies: for example, the translation of "the Dungeon Dimensions" alternates between Källardimensionerna ("the Basement Dimensions"), which keeps the meaning while losing the alliteration, and Demondimensionerna ("the Demon Dimensions"), which sounds awesome but loses the important point that the Things in the Dungeon Dimensions are nothing as rational and anthropomorphic as demons. However, the worst is probably the translation of "sourcerer", which is translated in three equally bad ways: urmagiker ("source-magician", keeping the meaning but losing the pun); häcksmästare ("hedge-ician", creating a bad pun that has nothing to do with the meaning... not that "sourcerer" is that awesome a pun), and finally, in the sourcerer-centric book Sourcery, svartkonstnär ("warlock"), which is neither funny nor descriptive of what a sourcerer does.
- The Finnish translation for the Dungeon Dimensions varied for awhile between "Tietymättömät tyrmät" ("Unknown/Endless Dungeons") and "Umpi-ulottuvuudet" ("Sealed/Closed Dimensions), finally settling for the latter. The Finnish translation of Mort also went against every other translation's conventions, by for example translating trolls as "jätit" (giants/ogres), even though there's a perfectly good direct equivalent "peikko", which is used in every other Discworld book, and wizards as "taikurit" ("magicians"), even though that term is more commonly used of stage-magicians than the real deal, especially in a fantasy setting.
- The Harry Potter books started out changing "jumper" to "sweater", but quit at some point, creating a strange ambiguity. For all one knew, Lupin actually was intended to be wearing a child's dress, because surely if they meant a warm, woolen pullover which is worn by all sorts of people, they'd say so, as per usual.
- The American editions of the first couple books saw fit to change Dumbledore's fondness for sherbet lemons into a fondness for lemon drops. So in the American edition of the second book, the password to Dumbledore's office becomes "lemon drop". However, "sherbet lemon" was left intact in the fourth book, causing Harry to "remember" the password to Dumbledore's office being "sherbet lemon" despite the fact that that only happened in the British version of the second book.
- An entire book has been written about problems in the Italian translation of Harry Potter. Some infamous examples of Inconsistent Dub:
- In Philosopher's Stone, Terry Boot mantains his original name, in Order of the Phoenix he becomes "Terry Steeval" (an anglicized version of "stivale", i.e. "boot" in Italian)
- In Fantastic Beasts, the Thestral is called "Testro", in Order of the Phoenix it's called just Thestral.
- Goblins are usually translated to "folletti", but sometimes they are called "goblins", in English.
- But the best is a name which is translated inconsistently within the same book. In Order of the Phoenix, the Crumple-Horned Snorkacks are called "Snorticoli Cornuti" in a chapter, and then "Ricciocorni Schiattosi" in a later chapter.
- In the Swedish translations of book 1-4, Neville grandmother is translated to be his "mormor" (maternal grandmother, literally "mothermother"). From book 5 and onward, after Neville's heritage is revealed, it is changed to "farmor" (paternal grandmother, literally "fathermother"). The translator commented on this in an interview.
- In the Catalan translation of book 2, "Tom Marvolo Riddle" is changed to "Tod Morvosc Rodlel". Later on, when the name appears in full (or just as Tom Riddle), it seems the translators remember to change it, but not when Dumbledore calls him just "Tom" in book 5.
- In different Italian translations of the Dune saga, the Golden Path is translated sometimes to "Sentiero Dorato" and sometimes to "Via Aurea".
- Turkish ones too, sometimes retaining the original English terms and sometimes translating them with no apparent consistency or pattern.
- Italian translations of Tolkien's works suffer the same problem. Examples: orcs are "orchi" in The Hobbit, "orchetti" in The Lord of the Rings; Bilbo's sword, Sting, is "Pungiglione" in The Hobbit, "Pungolo" in The Lord of the Rings.
- It's a matter of setting things right. The english "orc" is very similar to the italian "orco" ("ogre"), but they indicates different creatures. In the The Hobbit translation they used the false relative "orc = orco", while in The Lord of the Rings they used the right meaning.
- The same can be said for the Hungarian translations. This lead to so much confusion, in fact, that for The Hobbit, they released a revised translation, integrating the terms popularized by The Lord of the Rings books. Then, when the LOTR books received a revision of their own, Hobbit saw its fourth and (hopefully) final re-translation. See here for a comprehensive list of name variationsnote , and here for a less in-depth list, which also includes the English terms.
- In The Bible, there is an observance known in the Hebrew text as "Pesach" and the English as "Passover". In the Greek, it's called "pascha", an obvious derivative of the Hebrew word. One time, however, for no apparent reason, "pascha" was translated "Easter" in the King James Version. You don't find this term anywhere else in The Bible, and it doesn't tell you when, why, or how to observe it, or even to observe it, even if "Easter" was meant, which seems unlikely.
- Christian Bible translations are notorious for retconning Christian ideas into (someone else's) holy book that simply does not jive with them, be it through deliberately insincere translations, translations from Greek ambiguity that completely ignore the original Hebrew, or anachronisms such as the above. The King James translation of 1 Maccabees (which, for the record, does not form part of the Jewish Biblical canon, but the original Hebrew version has been preserved) casually mentions Jesus in the line of Old Testament Israelite leadership. (Of course this is meant to be Joshua).
- The infamous Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings by Ĺke Ohlmarks couldn't make up its mind whether one place was named Isengard, Isendor or Isendal. The river Entwash was first named "Slamma flod" ("Muddy River"), then "Bukteĺn" ("Bendy Stream") before finally becoming "Ente älv" ("Ent River").
Live Action TV
- The Russian dub of Stargate SG-1 alternates between three different renderings of the name "Daniel", among other things.
- For a couple of episodes, the Hungarian dub of MythBusters kept referring to Buster both by his original English name (which is normally used in the dub) and "Tulok" ("Bullock"). Even the narrator was surprised about it, as you could tell by his voice. However, it is a dub that has the voice cast alternate from episode to episode...
- The first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers gave some of the weapons and vehicles on the show more than one name. For example, the Dragonzord Fighting Mode (the Dragonzord/Sabretooth Tiger/Triceratops/Mastondon Zord combination) is also referred as the Mega Dragonzord (not to be confused with a different Dino Megazord/Dragonzord combination) and the Dragonzord Battle Mode.
- The European Spanish dub of Friends renders Joey's "How you doin?" catchphrase a different thing everytime it shows up, which kills the point of a catchphrase on the first place.
- The Hungarian dub of Star Trek: Voyager's 7th season was an example, but thankfully a second dub rectified the problem. It was handed over to a Romanian dubbing studio called Zone, notorious for its very cheap and lazy dubs. It was not only inconsistent with the dubbing of the rest of the show (new voices for everyone, new name variations, new expressions), but also with itself. It was so bad, in fact, that the TV station issued a public apology to the fans and re-dubbed the entire thing with the original cast some time later.
- The Korean dub of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger refers to Samurai Sentai Shinkenger as Power Rangers Blade Force. This contradicts an earlier dub name the team received in Kamen Rider Decade where they were known as Power Rangers Samurai Force.
- The Spanish translation of Garfield, on the strip's own site, took a few years to figure out how to translate Doc Boy's name. Sometimes he was the literal Spanish translation ("Chico Doc"); other times, his name was unchanged.
- When the old "red book" Dungeons & Dragons game was translated to Finnish, the translators of supplement books often didn't bother checking the original rulebook for consistency. The result was that these books would sometimes refer to unfamiliar spells or monsters, to the confusion of players who had no way to figure out that e.g. "Epätodellinen voima" and "Illuusio" were both referring to Phantasmal force. This could even result in different terms getting conflated together, e.g. Polymorph and Shapechange both getting translated as "Muodonmuutos".
- The Phantasy Star series may as well be the most extreme example of this trope.
- Alyssa was localized as Alis, then Alisa
- Lutz was translated as Noah, but was then changed back to Lutz
- This one has spawned so many arguments in the fandom, it's not even funny. What it basically comes down to is that in the Japanese version of the first game, Lutz is your friend, and in the second game, he comes out of cryo-sleep to aid Alisa's descendant, Eusis, in the same quest, a thousand years later. In the English version of the first game, Noah joins you on your quest, and then a thousand years later, some naked guy named Lutz gets himself out of cold storage to dump some exposition on Rolf and company. In the fourth game, in both versions, Lutz is a legendary godlike figure worshipped by the Espers, but players of the English version are likely to wonder what the hell happened to Noah and how did Lutz get this kind of publicity if he spends all his time in a box waiting for heroes to show up.
- Lutz/Noah's master's name changes even over the course of a single game.
- Dark Falz/Dark Force
- Still better than Dark Phallus, which is apparently the romanization the original development team had in mind.
- Minor example from Final Fantasy VI: a scholar early in the game tells you how people who used magic were called Mage Knights. By the time you actually meet their descendants later, they're called Mage Warriors. Later retranslations fixed this.
- In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, the Good Guys had the "Firestorm Defense", which used a "Firestorm Generator" and "Firestorm Walls". In the French localization, it becomes the "ANTI-Firestorm defense", but is *still* powered by a "Firestorm Generator".
- Extremely common in various long-running RPG video game series, where item, spell or monster names that are the same in Japanese are localized differently in different games.
- Final Fantasy: The spell Esuna has appeared as Heal and Esna. Holy has appeared as Fade, White, Pearl and Holy. Potions have also been Cure (Potion) and Tonic. Are they Golden Needles or Soft Potions? Remember when Thundara was called Lit2? And who can forget Cactuar/Cactrot/Sabotender, and Coeurl/Cuahl?
- In the series' defense, the item, spell, and monster names are consistent within a given game. Since none of the games are actually in continuity with each other, this is a borderline case, if that.
- Also, the reason "Thundara" was "Lit2" has more to do with character limits in the early games than inconsistency. Final Fantasy only allowed four characters per name, whereas Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI allowed five and six, respectively. The Holy situation is also related to Nintendo's former draconian policies involving any sort of religious content. In all these cases, the localization team had to work with the resources (and within the limits) they were given, and it was only until the PlayStation era that they could be consistent with the Japanese naming schemes. In fact, it's only Final Fantasy VII which is the truly inconsistent installment, since it was translated by Sony.
- In Spain, Dragon Knights (AKA "Dragoons") seem to change name depending of the game: "Dragon Knight" on Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and its sequel, "Dragontino" ("Draconesque", and no, it wasn't "Dragonesque Knight, that would make too much sense) on III and V, and "Draconius" on IV (The FF translator loves Gratuitous Latin). Curaja can't keep its own name consistent either; the previous spells are always "Cura", "Cura+", and "Cura++", but in IV it's "Cura+++", in I "Cura++2" And the crowner, III changes the entire system to be "Cura, Omnicura, Cura+, Omnicura+" for the hell of it. Thanks for making this simple, Square. Thanks. And we won't even get on how VII had completely different translations from later games, though that might be forgiven since VII was a "Blind Idiot" Translation from the English version and the others are translated from the Japanese versions.
- Even in English, the translation of "Dragon Knight" was inconsistent for a while, being translated directly in Final Fantasy IX and translated as "Lancer" in Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy V (Playstation versions of both). Pretty much every other game refers to them as "Dragoons", despite the word "dragoon" meaning something very different in English normally (and you can blame Final Fantasy IV for that one, being the first game in the series to have the class and be translated into English... sorta.)
- Final Fantasy also flipped flopped on what to call the status effect characters slipped into when their HP reached zero. Names ranged from disabled, dead, swoon, wounded, etc. It wasn't until Final Fantasy VIII and later that the series stuck with using KO or Knocked Out to represent a character who has fallen in battle.
- Breath of Fire: The first game was translated by Square, the later ones (sometimes very poorly) by Capcom. The goddess Tyr became Myria in her second appearance (the latter is actually correct); recurring character Deis was sometimes called Bleu (Originating with the Square release of the original, and kept as an Artifact for the Capcom translation of Breath of Fire 2); and Winlan/Windia/Wyndia was supposedly the same place in each game. Gobi/Maniro/Manillo is another case — all Capcom can be accused of is poor romanization, and yet again it was Square who was the root problem, picking a name out of thin air rather than using the original Japanese name; most cases of Inconsistent Dubbing in Breath of Fire can be traced back to this, actually — although some of these were necessitated by technical limitations, there's actually no particularly good reason to change Deis to Bleu.
- A few more that are legitimately Capcom's fault: Baba/Bunyan, Great Tree/Yggdrasil.
- Unusually averted in Chrono Cross, where Luminaire and the Flea/Slash/Ozzie trio, for instance, were translated the same as in Chrono Trigger.
- This becomes even odder when a character shows up in Chrono Cross with the Japanese name of Slash, making the translators change his name to Nikki in order to accommodate the returning purposefully-mistranslated Slash from Chrono Trigger.
- The final boss of Dragon Quest IV was originally called Necrosaro, but was renamed Pizarro for some of the Dragon Quest Monsters games, and is going by Psaro in the latest DQM and DQ 4 remake.
- And, unlike some cases of this, none of these actually match the original Japanese name; "Death Pisaro" is just plain too long for English versions, even if they want to be faithful.
- The guy actually goes by multiple names, complicating it further. In the original, he is Pisaro, who becomes Death Pisaro when he decides to exterminate humanity. The first localization has him as Saro/Necrosaro, while the most recent one calls him Psaro/Psaro the Manslayer. He loses the upgraded name when he joins your party.
- In Final Fantasy VII, there's the whole Aerith/Aeris thing; Square, in most of the Compilation, has settled on Aerith, however there are a few lapses. One page for the updated PC rerelease of the game refers to her as Aeris, while another calls her Aerith.
- The English translation of Dynasty Warriors consistently uses the traditional East Asian name format of Family Name first, then Given Name. Samurai Warriors instead consistently used the Given Name, Family Name format more common in the West. Since they each used it consistently, this wasn't too much of a problem... until Warriors Orochi, where you now get characters who are inconsistently named using one format or the other, depending on the source game.
- A bizarre example between Super Smash Bros.. Brawl and Smash Bros. Dojo, which apparently have their own separate translation teams. For one, the game pluralizes the recurring enemies in the Subspace Emissary as "Primids", while the site perfers just "Primid" (made even more jarring when the Trophy Stand update had a screenshot of the Big Primid trophy that includes the game's pluralization). Additionally, the game level "Outside the Ancient Ruins" is referred to on the site as "Outer Ancient Ruins" in the Secret Element List update, and the Mysteries of The Subspace Emissary update calls what is named the "Island of the Ancients" in the game the "Isle of Ancients". To be fair, however, the site did correct some of its own errors later on, as at one point, Samurai Goroh and the Wario Bike and Drill Rush attacks are called Samurai Goro, the Wario Chopper and the Triple Dash.
- The Italian site also has Ike's Aether being named "Twilight". (Well, it is pretty sparkly...)
- A minor inconsistency in Super Mario Bros. 3: the items "Kuribo's Shoe" and "Jugem's Cloud" are obviously named after the enemies otherwise translated into English as Goomba and Lakitu.
- This was averted in later ports of the game. Kuribo's Shoe has since been renamed "Goomba's Shoe". However, a reference to the item in Super Paper Mario (in the form of of the name of one of 100 Samurai-like characters that can be fought, each one referencing something from the series' past) used the translation "Shoe of Kuribo".
- Same thing for Birdo in Super Mario Bros. 2. The English manual describes Birdo as a guy wanting to be a girl, but this of course was lost in translation. Nintendo kept Birdo as a female for quite a while until a few recent years where they describe Birdo's profile as vaguely being either gender.
- Also, the manual for SMB 2 switches the names of Birdo and Ostro.
- This is a huge issue with enemy names between games and sub series. For instance, Super Mario Land, Yoshi's Island, Super Mario RPG and a couple of others did a pretty poor job at translating anything, leaving us with Mario enemies given Japanese names instead of English ones in the 'dub' (Mario Land 1), Big Boos the size of normal ones (Mario RPG), misnamed fish (how Cheep Cheeps and Fishbones were called Flopsy Fish and Jean de Fillet in Yoshi's Island) and a whole host of Paper Mario examples where traditional Mario enemies got new names for a single game. Like Lava Bubbles in Paper Mario (which are just Podoboos).
- Also, Kamek in general. His English name is the same as the Japanese species name for a generic Magikoopa, meaning that there's a whole host of examples where either he gets mistaken for a different Magikoopa by the translators (Super Mario RPG, Mario Party 9) or has a completely different character end with the same name (Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga with Psycho Kamek). This makes even figuring out what games he appears in near impossible.
- Suikoden Tierkreis. Dear god, Suikoden Tierkreis. If you're lucky, the name will just be spelled one way and pronounced another. If you're not, the pronunciation will also vary depending on the character speaking. Two examples that spring immediately to mind are Shairah/Shailah, and Kureyah/Claire.
- The Tales Series has been getting better about standardizing the translations of certain techs that have been passed from main character to main character since Tales of Phantasia, but we're still at the point where we need a guide to list the various English names of some shared techs. Or even the same tech on the same character as a result of remakes and cameos. At least they've generally settled on what we're calling tokugi, ougi and hi-ougi.
- The most common inconsistency comes in the incantation for the lightning arte Indignation. Whereas the Japanese version retains the incantation across games due to nostalgia, the fact that the various English localisations are rarely produced by the same team means that the incantation is inevitably translated differently each time.
- The Spanish translation of Tales of Symphonia changed the names of many skills, enemies and even some characters (Such as the dwarves), but Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World used the English terms. In most cases, this was a good thing, since some names were too imaginative and clashed with the rest of the game. On a negative example (Still on Dawn), Arc Words "Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality" was translated literally for 75% of the game, but suddenly changed to "With courage and galantry, any dream can be made true" (Which is not quite the same, mind you) right before the battle against Brute, then kept this way until the Final Boss, where they go back to the first translation.
- The remake of the original Wild ARMs game, Wild ARMs: Alter Code F, despite being developed eight years after the original, still infamously had a poor translation. Perhaps the best example of this is Cecilia's middle name; she is referred to, at various points throughout the game, as Cecilia Lynne Adlehyde, Cecilia Raynne Adlehyde, and Cecilia Lynn Adlehyde. It's very jarring.
- More jarring example: Alhazad's gender, which is referred to both as "she" and "fellow". Why is this jarring? Because, not only is Alhazad referred to as a male in both the original's translation and the Japanese version of the remake, but he also constantly makes creepy advances towards a certain female even in his first appearance, which should have been a huge tip-off on his gender from the start.
- The Legendary Starfy refers to Shurikit as both a "he" and a "she" at different points in the game. Officially, she's a girl.
- Capcom seems to like being inconsistent about terms in Mega Man Battle Network and its sequel, Mega Man Star Force. The most notable ones are the By the Power of Grayskull! quotes: in the first Battle Network game, the sentence was "Jack In! MegaMan.EXE, Transmit!". In later games, it became "Jack In! Mega Man, Execute!". Star Force followed too - in the first game, the quote was "EM Change, Geo Stelar, ON THE AIR!". By the third game, it became "Transcode! Mega Man!".
- Doesn't help the fact that the first quote became "Jack In! Mega Man, Power Up" in the anime version.
- Also, are those viruses Mettools or Mettaurs?
- They're Mettaurs. They're only Mettools if they're not cyberific. I guess.
- At least the Transcode thing was justified: Between the second and third game, Satella Police created Wizards (EM Beings and robots at the same time) and had projects running to register all EM Wave Change people (Like Megaman, Harp Note etc). Thus, to EM Wave Change now, Subaru had to use the name he registered. Or something like that. It's a little vague.
- Translations of chip names change pretty often too. One very important chip went from the straightforward "Steal" to the ugly "AreaGrab". (The anime split the difference with "AreaSteal".)
- Program Advances were called "Morphs" by characters in the first game, though the word "ADVANCE" would appear when using one.
- Atlus is usually good about this, but flubbed a scene in Endless Frontier: Super Robot Taisen OG Saga that mentions a character from a previous game. That character, a woman named Lemon, gets translated as Raymond. It doesn't help that Atlus wasn't sure at first which continuity the game was meant to tie into, if any.
- The same game also has a character using a weapon called "Goshiki Zankanto", which is a Shout-Out to another character's Reishiki/Sanshiki Zankanto. The previous games had translated them as Type 0/Type 3 Colossal Blade, but since Kaguya's dimension is Wutai, they left everything in Japanese.
- Despite an otherwise wonderful translation, Monster Hunter Tri can't seem to decide whether the little leech-esque monsters should be called "Gigi" or "Giggi."
- The Fighting Mania arcade game based on Fist of the North Star can't decide between using "South Star" or "South Dipper" as the English name for Nanto. While technically "South Dipper" is the correct choice, since Nanto is a Chinese asterism equivalent to Sagittarius and not a single star, "South Star" is more consistent with the way Hokuto is always translated as the "North Star" in the franchise itself.
- In the Resident Evil series the Progenitor Virus (shiso uirusu) is also referred as the Mother Virus and the Founder Virus.
- The Supervisor unit from Resident Evil 3 is referred as the "Monitor" unit in Umbrella Chronicles and as the "Observers" in the English version of Resident Evil Archives.
- In the Pokémon games, the key item that allows you to find hidden items has been inconsistently translated. In Japan, it's always been known as "Dowsing Machine." From Generation I to III, it was known in America as "Item Finder," but ever since Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, it's been translated as "Dowsing Machine." In fact, in HeartGold and SoulSilver, it's called "Dowsing MCHN."
- When the franchise first debuted in Quebec, the local French translation was inconsistent to begin with. The games were in English only, Quebec-translated French material such as the anime and books used the English names for Pokémon and characters, and France-translated material such as the TCG cards, manga and CD-ROM software used the French names (from France). However, around the Master Quest season, the Canadian French dub of the anime was cancelled. A few years later, the European French versions of Pokémon HeartGold And SoulSilver were released in Quebec due to agreements with the local language cops, again using the French names. All games released since have been getting the same deal, effectively "de-canonizing" the English names in Quebec. Contrast with the Star Wars example above, which started out with France's translations and phased them out in favor of a Quebec translation with the original names.
- The English language setting of Rockman 4 Minus Infinity uses the appropriate Dub Name Changes, though there are some inconsistencies:
- In the cutscene after defeating Dr. Cossack, when Mega Man goes after Dr. Wily, his name is initialised as "R" (for Rockman).
- Dr. Light is called "Dr. Right" in the intro to the third Wily Stage.
- When Mega Man first speaks to Kalinka upon rescuing her in the third Wily Stage, his name is again initialised as "R" (for Rockman).
- If Proto Man comes to give Mega Man the Wily Buster during the final battle, his name is displayed as "Blues".
- The Spark Chaser is abbreviated to "Earth" on the weapon select screen, after the Mega Man Killer you got it from. Problem: Earth's name was changed to Terra when Mega Man V GB was translated into English.
- The localization of Ys I and II for the TurboGrafx-16 CD changes Dogi's name to Colin; however, they changed it back to Dogi for Wanderers from Ys.
- EarthBound changed the name of a minor NPC from the Balloon Monkey to the Bubble Monkey during the localization process in all but one instance: viewing the description of a Pak of Bubble Gum from the menu will still call it "the Balloon Monkey's favorite".
- In Final Fantasy XII, the subtitles and the spoken dialogue often end up being very different. This happened because the subtitles were translated long before the voices were recorded; the differences between the two are the result of the voice actors rewording lines to make them more natural or in-character.
- BlazBlue normally has an incredibly well-done translation, but due to Executive Meddling on Arc System Works' part, the new scenarios from Continuum Shift Extend have several instances where the actual script and the text that is shown in the game do not match up. Characters even end up saying different things entirely.
- Some of these are intentionally mistranslated to add humor though.
- The Spanish localization team(s) for the Mario & Luigi series are terrible with keeping track of Fawful's name: he's called Esbirro Jijí in Superstar Saga, Fawful in Partners in Time and either Grácovitz or Fawful depending on whether you are playing the European Spanish or the American Spanish translation of Bowser's Inside Story.
- Rune Factory Frontier. Earlier (and most later) Rune Factory games were translated by Natsume — which is well-known for not being the most accurate translator around, among other issues. Frontier was a direct sequel to the first Rune Factory, but was translated by the usually much better XSeed Games. The problem is that XSeed didn't really bother to research Natsume's translation for the original game to maintain consistency, leading to things such as Tori becoming Tart (closer to her Japanese name, though "Torte" would be even closer) and the Sechs (Pronounced, roughly, Zeks) Empire becoming the Zzyzx (Pronounced, roughly, Zai-Zeks) Empire. When XSeed got another shot with the series with Rune Factory 4, they made sure to remain consistent with the Natsume translations, and mocked the Sechs/Zzyzx issue in the game's manual.
- A Western example of this sort of thing happens in Ralph Bakshi's animated version of The Lord of the Rings. The voice actors refer to the character of Saruman as "Aruman" half of the time. This was an originally an intentional change, to make sure the character wouldn't be confused with Sauron, but they flipped between names at random. Also, in spite of Tolkien's detailed notes concerning the pronunciations of certain character names, in the book itself, many of the voice actors pronounced them differently — and in different ways depending on the actor.
- The character Motor Ed of Kim Possible has the Verbal Tic of peppering his sentences with the word "seriously". When translated into Swedish, "seriously" can become two words, both with practically the same meaning: "seriöst" and "allvarligt". For some unknown reason, the dubbers went with having one of the two Motor Ed-centered episodes translating "seriously" to "seriöst" and the other translating "seriously" to "allvarligt".
- Trying to follow the Brazilian Avatar dub is a little harder than it should be thanks to this trope.
- The most poignant inconsistency is the translation of the term "bender". Since there is not a precise equivalent of the term "bender" (which has one or two extra meanings in English) in portuguese, the dubbers opted for "dobra" (folding), which sounds as weird as it would be in English when referring to elements. While the term was midly popular, it was gradually changed to "dominador" (manipulator), which doesn't carry the exact same meaning, but definitely makes more sense.
- As far as pronounciations go, the dub really can't make up it's mind. Iroh will be pronounced interchangeably as "Eye-roh" and "Ee-roh"; Mai will be either "May" or "My-ee"; Suki will be either, well, "Suki" or "Su-KEE"; Ty Lee will be either "Tye Lee" or "Tee Lee" etc. It's surprising to see how Aang kept his English pronounciation consistent.
- The minor character Pipsqueak got his nickname translated ("Tampinha") sometimes, and other times kept as is.
- In the Norwegian dub, it seems like they couldn't quite decide if the show was supposed to be named "The Last Airbender" or "The Legend of Aang", as it kept switching back and forth between the two titles.
- The Rai/Cinelume English dub of Winx Club correctly referred to Bloom's home world as "Domino" for the first 3 seasons, but switches to "Sparks" for season 4 to match the 4Kids English dub, which had been calling it that from the beginning. In addition, the Rai/Dubbing Brothers USA dubs of the first two movies also use "Sparks". Fortunately, the Nickelodeon dub ignores all that, and just calls it "Domino".
- In the first season of the Norwegian dub of Winx Club the witch/fairy Mirta was called "Mista", but in season 2 they started referring to her as Mirta.
- This also happened in Singapore English dub in the episode where Mirta was introduced. It was fixed afterwards.
- Far too many Hungarian dubs to list. Most of the time, it's the result of switching dubbing studios or translators, although one has to wonder why the voice actors don't point out the inconsistency.
- One of the more interesting and recent cases is that of The Fairly Oddparents. Originally, there were two dubs produced for two networks (Nick and KidsCo). When the Disney Channel started airing the show, they sort of "blended" the casts of the two dubs together. Timmy retained his Nick voice, some second-rate characters got new voices that matched the originals better, but mostly everyone else sounds like in the KC dubbing.
- It appears the stations made an effort to bring consistency into the dub(s) — for the new episodes, Nickelodeon ditched their dubbing studio (Labor) and brought over the Disney cast (hired by studio SDI), along with the name translation that the SDI dub used. There still remains some inconsistency, though: despite being voiced by the same actress in both the original Labor and SDI dubs, Wanda's voice is much higher-pitched in the new Nick dub (weird), and while the original SDI KidsCo and Disney dubbings didn't bother translating the songs (not even in subtitles), the Nick version does dub even the singing scenes.
- X-Men cartoons in Hungarian. Hoo-boy... First, the original dub of the '90s animated show that aired on Fox Kids disregarded the comic book name translations, angering many fans (for example, Wolverine became Wolf, Storm became Cyclone, etc.). Then, X-Men: Evolution followed on Cartoon Network, with a fantastic dub, but kept the Fox Kids names, and season 4 didn't get dubbed. The X-Men live action movies followed suit, and thus the new names became widespread, so that now the general public recognizes "Wolf" as the character's basic name. Sometime later, the un-aired episodes of the '90s series receive a wholly new dub, and didn't bother with translating names, but only kept a handful of the original voice actors. Finally, to everyone's surprise, a different channel demanded Evolution's dub be finished, after a long wait that lasted for about half a decade. Unfortunately, even though all of the original actors were still accessible, only a select few characters kept their voices, they got some names wrong at certain points, and a few of the old voices returned in different roles. The final episode also contained a quite noticeable goof-up; namely, Jean's voice completely changed for just one scene.
- Whether it was scripted or not (would be unusual if it was, though), the Hungarian voice actor of Cartman pointed out the sudden name change of Big Gay Al in one episode. They ran with it.
- Italian dub of The Fairly Oddparents is filled with this. Crimson Chin was named Crimson il Mentone at first, then C-Man, then Crimson Mentone. His enemy Bronze Kneecap was Ginocchiera di Bronzo, then Ginocchio di Bronzo, and finally Rotula di Bronzo. Remy Buxaplenty's name got pronounced in two different ways ("Ray-mi Bucks-a-plenty" the first time, "Ray-mee Books-a-plenty" in every other instance)
- The first episodes of American Dad! in Spain translated Snot's nickname, but after 10 episodes or so they kept in on English for no reason.
- The Mexican dub of Phineas and Ferb translated OWCA- Organization Without a Cool Acronym, accurately as OSBA- Organización Sin un Buen Acrónimo for the Summer Belongs to You special. Later mentions, where the acronym's meaning isn't mentioned, it is just OWCA. At first it can be considered a good thing when OWCA's logo appears, (saying 'OSBA' when a sign clearly says OWCA can be a bit confusing), but it's still jarring, since in the nineties Disney used to edit signs on their movies and cartoons to fit the language it was done for, an action which ironically, with current technology, is even easier.
- In the Scandinavian dubs, [i]none[/i] of the text is translated, but sometimes, a narrator reads the signs in the Danish versin, but that is very rare. The reason for this might be that the video for all countries is shared, but not the audio.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was first localized in Hungary on promo DVDs. When they started airing the show on television, a completely new dub got produced, using mostly different voice actors and translations (though there is some overlapping). Fans are still arguing over which one is better/worse, as not all of the changes seemed to have been actual improvements.
- The Italian dub just cannot decide if translate "Cutie Mark" as "Simbolo di Bellezza" or keeping it in English.
- The Hungarian Family Guy dub, which apart from the problems listed below is one of the best dubs currently running on TV, has an annoying habit of changing around the voices of many second or third tier characters, only keeping the more prominent voices consistent. What's also strange is that although they often manage to get the original voice actors of various Cameo guests from different shows (including actors you rarely hear on TV nowadays), they often fail to do the same for in-universe characters from The Cleveland Show or American Dad!, whenever they have a Crossover. An explanation for this might be the fact that AD's dub is handled by a different studio, and the people dubbing FG simply don't recognize its characters, and so don't check whether they already have actors attached to them or not.
- Thanks to some fanmail, the FG dubbing team has promised to use the correct AD voices in the future. American Dad's dub on the other hand still assigns new voices to every crossover character.
- In the German dub of Recess, the Diggers start out as twin brothers, then become identical best friends, and switch back to being twin brothers. In the original version, they were only best friends who happened to look identical (Rule of Funny).
- In the first few airings of the German dub, and in a translation of one of the Disney Adventures comics for the show, Gus was named Paul. The dubbers recognized their mistake and redubbed those moments with his correct name.
- Season 1 of the Polish dub of Codename: Kids Next Door had the 5 characters called by nicknames (something that was scrapped from the English version after the previews, but persisted here) rather than their real names, however it starts to use the real names from Season 2 onwards perhaps due to them being more and more relevant to the story.
- Apart from abandoning the foul-mouthed Woolseyisms, the Hungarian King of the Hill dub changed John Redcorn's name to "Vörös Kukorica" (literally "Red Corn") in season 7, and started calling the Mega Lo Mart shopping center by its English name rather than "Giga Plaza", which was the name used in the earlier seasons.
- The Russian dub of Avatar: The Last Airbender just couldn't decide how to tactfully rename the character Suki, whose original name is a swear word meaning "bitches" in Russian. She was called Dzuki in the first season, Suyuki in the second, and Zuki in the third. The Russian fandom typically calls her Suyuki regardless.
- Happens in the Dutch Dub of Spongebob Squarepants; most notably with Squidward's rival Squilliam Fancyson, who was allowed to keep his English name for his debut episode but was renamed "Octon te Verwend" in a later episode. Also happens to the Crusty Crab, which is usually translated as 'Krokante Krab' (the literal translation) but also sometimes 'korstige krab'.
- Transformers in Hungarian is screwed beyond comprehension, just from the sheer amount of different people and studios its comics, cartoons and movies have gone through, without the slightest trace of cooperation having taken place between them.
- For years, the only TF media available were the Marvel comics, which introduced classic name translations that the fans grew to be familiar with (although some, like Wheeljack, Blaster or Powerglide did switch their names around a bit).
- The G1 cartoon never got dubbed, only the movie, twice. Neither used the Marvel names, and neither bothered to keep any of the voices consistent, as they changed literally from scene to scene. A studio called Masterfilm created the second dub, and would in later years return to ruin a number of other TF media, much to the dismay of the fan-base.
- Then, Transformers Energon rolled around, and also made up new names for the characters (most infamously "Optimus, the First" and "Robotika" in place of Decepticon).
- In 2013, Energon saw a redub, which has a much more severe case of this. The dub at first attempted to reinstall the Marvel translations, but after a while, it randomly switched back to using the old-Energon names, seemingly alternating between the two variations depending on the episode. The voices similarly keep changing. Further, this makes it even more inconsistent with its prequel Armada and its sequel Cybertron.
- By the time of Transformers Cybertron, fans had gotten into contact with the translator and persuaded him to change some names to their original Marvel counterparts, but this only happened to a select few characters. And even those that had their Marvel names reinstalled got to be called by their Energon names at times. Oh, and Landmine received a new name for just the intro, which differed from both his Energon name and the one the actual Cybertron series used. Yes, the dub was dreadful, and besides the name screw-ups, it kept changing the voices (even the genders) around far too much for comfort.
- The Ultimate Battle special, released on a DVD that they gave away with the toys. It's the same: Only some of the original Marvel names were used, the rest were a confusing mishmash of Energon names or completely new ones. Yet even within the confounds of this twenty-minute special, they couldn't manage to keep the names and voices consistent. Although a number of the original voice actors from the Energon and Cybertron shows returned, they did so in other roles, like Kicker's actor suddenly voicing Ironhide, and Thunderbolt's actress playing every female character, including her own... but only for one line. Afterwards, she spoke in a male's voice. The dub was made by Masterfilm.
- "Bayformers" is another example. Although the dubbing was still very low-quality, border-lining incomprehensible at times, it finally used the Marvel names! (Save for a couple of instances when they accidentally left in English terms.) A more serious inconsistency kicked in when the man voicing Optimus Prime, renowned Hungarian voice actor Tibor Kirstóf, got sick and died around the release of ROTF. For the record, he was the second Hungarian Optimus Prime voice actor to have passed away (the other being the equally famed Lajos Kránitz from the first dub of the '86 movie).
- Titan Magazines released a series of comics based on the Transformers movie franchise, and when these were imported to the country, they got the cheapest translation job imaginable. Inconsistent terminology, name changes, the dialog not making any sense... yeah, the works.
- Transformers Animated just very nearly avoided inconsistent dubs. Yes, the show itself never got dubbed, but the single toy commercial that aired on TV and the McDonald's promo couldn't decide whether to use Marvel names or go with the dreaded Energon translation.
- Then, Transformers Armada, Masterfilm's latest attempt to ruin Hungarian TF media forever. The dub was made completely independently from its sequels, Energon and Cybertron, thus had a wholly different voice cast. And despite the live-action movies having made the Marvel names household terms, Armada's dub still opted to start from scratch, and continued to give new names for each of its characters. What more, this dub has a lot more mix-ups than in the English dubbing, and even the characters themselves don't know whose voice they should be speaking in at times.
- Transformers Prime's dub is a step in the right direction, but it again falls flat. On a positive note, for the first time in the dub of a TF animated series, they refer to the Decepticon faction by its original Hungarian Marvel name, and a chunk of the terminology introduced in the movie dubs, heck, even some of the voices (for the first time ever) have also remained intact after the medium-shift. However every other name is left in English. This is justified: the distributors forbid changing the names, probably to ensure that the TV characters would share a name with the toy products — same thing happened to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, whose dub is full of English terms, whereas the dubs of the earlier shows translated the names.
Problem is, with the two languages being so different, the pronunciations are very clunky. Had the higher-ups not intervened to keep the translator from using the now-famous Hungarian names, this might well have been the first aversion... were it not for the sorry fact that even within the cartoon's own boundaries, inconsistency reared its head in the form of sound editing bloopers regarding Soundwave's synthesized audio snippets and other miscellaneous effects, as well as the varying translations of Ratchet's Catch Phrase. What more, a couple of terms introduced in the movies have also been left in English (Wreckers), and the character known as the "Fallen" went from being called "Bukott" to "Ördög" (Devil). Allegedly this can be traced back to an older name-list that a fan put out for the translator to use.
- The dub of Transformers Rescue Bots, which is the sister show of and takes place in the same continuity as TF: Prime, is a step back, there being no consistency between the two dubs. Here, Optimus Prime has a different voice (two voices, actually) and the names are once again translated... except for Prime's... though it is translated in the intro... differently than in any other dubs... and at times the others are left in English as well... or are translated differently. At least Cybertron and Bumblebee are called by their Marvel names. The production was handled by a different dubbing studio than any of the previously localized Transformers shows' dubs, but that doesn't explain the in-show inconsistency.
- A rather harmless, but interesting example: There is no consistent way to pronounce Donald Duck in Germany. Early dubs and the first hosts of the TV show Disney Club pronounced Donald's first name like a german name (you can listen to this pronounciation here). Sometime in the mid-90s, the dubs of the cartoons and Quack Pack changed it to the english pronounciation, maybe to sound more modern. Some of the new hosts of Disney Club changed also to the english pronunciation, but others would keep saying "Donald" the german way. Since the time of Mickey Mouseworks, the dubbers switch all the time between the german and the english prononciation. Well, at least not during the same episode, but some shows say it this way, other cartoons and ads the other. And some fans even insist on pronouncing "Duck" like if it were a German word. But these fans are a Vocal Minority. *phew*