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aka: Inconsistent Translation
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 onigiri in the Pokémon anime. Sometimes they're donuts, sometimes they're cookies, you never know. In one episode they actually called them rice balls, presumably because said episode actually showed them being made, so it's even harder to pretend they're something else. Until 4Kids dropped the Pokémon license, they painted over them in later episodes so they looked like subs or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, even in an episode where a plot point involved a rice ball rolling away. Ever see a sandwich roll down a hill? How about vertically? And then jumping several inches?
- The "rolling down the hill" incident was the final episode of season 7, and it was also the first case of visually editing the onigiri. Before that the onigiri were left alone visually, but they were called sandwiches/cookies/donuts/popcorn balls/eclairs/etc. 4Kids continued this bizarre visual editing though season 8 until they lost the show (after which they've been left alone and consistently been called rice balls by TPCI).
- In the original Japanese, Brock's parents were both deadbeats who abandoned the family. In the dub, only Brock's father was a deadbeat, and it's said his mother passed away (in a rare reversal of Never Say "Die"). In the episode, it was not a problem since Brock's mother did not appear. However, in an episode that aired five years later (eight in America), Brock's mother suddenly makes an appearance. The previous notion of her having passed away was completely ignored.
- The Elite Four member Lorelai was renamed Prima in the dub. This didn't introduce inconsistencies to the anime itself since she only appeared once, but many viewers didn't realize she was the same character from the game. Word of God has it this was because a two-syllable name was required to match the lip-sync.
- In the "Legend of Thunder" movie, two of the main characters are named Eugene and Vincent. The problem is that when the same characters appeared earlier in the TV show's dub, they were called "Eusine" and "Jackson". Eusine's case was especially bad since he was a character from the games themselves, so the error was even more glaring.
- The Brazilian dub is particularly egregious. They almost never seem to keep the attack names the same, even getting to the point of mixing them up.
- The same happens in the Mexican dub. Attack names switch back and forth between literal translations of the English names to the names used in the [European] Spanish games. It is worse with cities, which change from literal translations to made up names to European Spanish names to unaltered English names. Not to mention that Pokémon pronunciations change from one episode to another, and even during the same episode, Pokémon names are pronounced differently depending on the character.
- The Norwegian dub of Pokémon started out by translating all terms and attacks from English into Norwegian. While the recurring terms were generally translated consistently, attack names that popped up every 20 episodes or so were all over the place, and words that have no direct parallel in Norwegian, like "Gym" and "badge" tended to jump between equally correct translations constantly. By season 9 they started keeping most terms in English, and aside from this sounding relatively dorky in the first place (with mispronunciations being common), the translators often had trouble differing between actual Pokémon terms (like "Flying Pokémon") and just generic descriptions (like "bird Pokémon" and "forest Pokémon"), keeping them all in English. Other times, they'd translate obvious game terms, like the names of the Battle Frontier facilities, while leaving terms like "nurse" in English.
- The Spanish dub did a Tropes Are Not Bad version of this, where most moves kept their game names, but "Counter" was correctly translated as "counter attack", not "something that counts".
- In Pokemon Special, nobody can seem to remember their Pokemon's nicknames for the first three arcs. Also, the translators can't decide whether or not (EN)Blue's sister is named May or Daisy. Especially bad since the English release was over a decade behind the Japanese at that point.
- The English dub of Gundam SEED Destiny transforms Kira's calm character into a naive and cocky person with some lines. In the original Japanese "I won't fight (ZAFT). Don't make me fight (ZAFT)." was changed to "I won't kill. Don't make me kill." even though he already made it clear he would shoot down anybody in his way in Gundam SEED. The video games series Dynasty Warriors takes this to the extreme when he says "Thanks to this sword Lacus gave me, I can start kicking butt!"
- Mew Lettuce from Tokyo Mew Mew has one attack, Reborn Lettuce Rush. Mew Bridget from 4Kids' Mew Mew Power was given 2 attacks; the second one just being the same attack flipped the other way.
- Don't forget that 4Kids made Pudding/Kiki a homeless girl in her first appearance, but when we actually DO see her house, they changed it to "We THOUGHT you were a homeless girl!" proving that 4Kids did NOT watch ahead, but still changed important plot points anyway!
- The Portuguese dub is anything but consistent. After episode 26, suddenly, all the voices changed, and the character names changed, all the attack names changed, etc to match the Japanese version more closely than the first half of the series (which was based off the 4Kids dub). The French, Hebrew, and Serbian dubs also continued past the point where 4Kids left off. They were mostly consistent on that regard, but the Serbian dub had other problems, such as the characters' attack names changing almost every episode!
- The Tokyopop translation of the English manga is also bad with this. Ichigo's age changed from 11 to 12 to 13, and back to 11. Her weapon name also changed from "Sutoro Bell Bell" to the slightly more accurate "Strawberry Bell Bell" after the first chapter (the correct name is just Strawberry Bell). Kimera animals were also called "Chimera animals" in the first volume and Kirema animas in all subsequent volumes.
- As noted in the page quote, The Nineties English dub of Sailor Moon practically turned this into an art form. Expect any attack, villain organization, MacGuffin,etc to have multiple names. Most egregiously Moon Princess Halation from R was called Moon Scepter Elimination from its first appearance until dub episode 65, then after a 3 year hiatus that ended with the show Uncancelled, it was called Moon Scepter Activation for the final 17 episodes of the season. Moon Princess Elimination in the R movie and finally Moon Scepter Elimination once more in the first episode of S.
- The consistency problem got even worse in the last two seasons due to production of the show being rushed in order to get 77 episodes dubbed and aired within a 6 month time frame.
- Even the manga has its moments, most noticeably a page in the Dream Arc when it was first printed in Mixx/Tokyopop's Smile. The Outer Senshi kept their names - Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna and Hotaru. While Haruka is playing with Hotaru, she calls her Jenny. This happens only on that one page and never happens again. Another page referred to Haruka as "Alex Haruka" and "Alex", which thankfully also got corrected in later printings.
- While we're on the subject of Sailor Moon, the By the Power of Grayskull! and Calling Your Attacks phrases in the Russian dub are a complete mess. First, the fourth and fifth seasons were dubbed by a different team, which scrapped almost all previous established translations. And even in the first three, they were often translated inconsistently. More weirdness arises when you notice that all five transformation spells used by Usagi, after going through some translation variations, were set to exactly the same phrase. Talk about logic.
- Pales in comparison to the Brazilian version. While later seasons were slightly (but only slightly) more consistent, Sailor Moon R was a total mess (done by a different studio than the first season) to the point that brazilian fans still make fun of it to this day. Pretty much every single attack name had at least two variants, though mainly the "Moon Princess Halation" attack which had a different name per episode. A favorite was "By the Powers of the Moon Princess' Tiara!". Because her tiara has everything to do with the attack.
- In the first season, the term "Sailor Senshi" was usually translated as "Sailor Guerreiras" (Sailor Warriors). After the Uncancelling and studio swap, suddenly they were... "the Sailor Moons" (which made the In the Name of the Moon speech ridiculously Narmy, since Sailor Moon said her name three times note ). After 70% of the R season it was changed to sometimes-Sailor and sometimes-Sailor Guerreiras, and so it stayed for all subsequent seasons.
- The French manga is terrible for this. Attack names are translated differently almost every time (or not translated as the case may be — sometimes they're left in their original English form), and on a couple of occasions, even the characters' names are inconsistent. (Eg, Setsuna, who is called Severine in French, is once referred to as "Setusna".)
- One especially bad English dub example is the Moon Gorgeous Meditation. When Sailor Moon gets a proper animation for it, it's named accurately. However the first two or three times she uses before Pegasus gives her a power-up, it's refereed to as "Moon Super Moon Target." In the Japanese dub, she didn't say anything.
- In the English dub of Rurouni Kenshin, the actors inconsistently pronounce the Japanese names of characters and techniques.
- In the Hispanic American Dub, the Sakabato has three names. the Correct but less used "Espada de filo invertido" (Inverted blade Sword), something just plain wrong "Espada de Doble Filo" (Doublle edge sword), and the one they decided to use the most "Espada sin filo" (Edgeless sword), not a true translation but it works.
- Kaoru in the first episode: One scene she has remorse for not having asked Kenshin his name before he left, the next scene she calls him by name without he even telling her, and then latter she finally does ask him for his name.
- Yahiko's name, the first time it was uttered, the character itself pronounced it as Yah-ee-co. Every subsequent use of his name is pronounced as Yah-he-co.
- In the English dub of Naruto, after his battle with Neji, he says that he couldn't graduate because he couldn't master the shadow clone jutsu. What he was supposed to say was just 'clone jutsu', the shadow clone jutsu is a forbidden technique not taught to academy students.
- When ANBU was first mentioned in the Swedish release, it was called Lönn Spec, short for Specialstyrkan för Lönnmordsteknik (The special force for assassination technique). In all subsequent mentions, it was changed to Hemliga falangen, The secret phalanx.
- In the uncut English dub, Rock Lee takes a bottle of sake believing it to be his medicine, yet Guy and Tsunade call it "elixer" a couple times before correctly referring to it as sake. They called it "elixer" because the T.V. broadcast couldn't mention alcohol, so the mistake was most likely not caught before the episode was released.
- English dub: At first, the hero of Jiraiya's novel was translated as saying "Give up, huh? Yeah, about that..." instead of "Give up trying to make me give up!" When Naruto defeats Pain, he says the latter translation instead of how it was translated before. This, unfortunately lessens the emotional impact of the scene somewhat since you don't find out Naruto was quoting his master's novel until a later scene where Nagato reads the book, and the hero says the latter translation.
- The word "tanuki" seems to present a particular problem to translators. Sometimes it's a straight romanization ("tanuki"), and other times it's spelled "tanooki". Often they say "raccoon", even though they're completely different animals. Tanuki and tanooki are both acceptable romanizations of that word. In Pom Poko, they were called badgers/raccoons, and there are notable exceptions in InuYasha and the English manga for YuYu Hakusho where they actually use the English name for the animal, raccoon-dog. The English dub of Kodomo no Omocha averts this by simply using the word "tanuki".
- Cannon chips in Mega Man NT Warrior wavered between "Cannon" or "Laser Blast". They had a continuity for about three instances on whether the chip was used in "summon" mode or "weapon" mode, but that scarcely excuses it, especially when they neatly broke that. Oh, and "High Cannon" and "Mega Cannon" are called fairly consistently. I think there was even a combo sequence involving "Laser Blast, High Cannon, Mega Cannon" that sounded incredibly stupid. They did that with the names of the characters too, with powers and character names diverging incredibly from the English translation of the very game series it's based on, leading to many characters having two completely different English names.
- The English dub of Ryuusei no RockMan was no better. Misora Hibiki became Sonia Strumm in the game and Sonia Sky in the anime dub. Harp was Lyra in the game but still combined with Sonia to become Harp Note, yet the dub changed the name to Lyra Note. Then there was a random moment where MegaMan called his attack as "Rock Buster."
- The 2nd game uses "Gospel" (After Bass's Evil Counterpart for Rush) for the villains and doesn't change it in the English version (where the original "Gospel" is known as "Treble" in the main series). The fact that their logo is a giant G and "Treble" not being a good name for an evil organization is believed to be behind this. In the anime dub, the name was changed to "Grave", since the censors probably didn't approve "Gospel".
- The Digimon dubs quite a problem with this, with the names and attacks of characters alternating between the ones used in the show in Japan and the ones used in the merchandise (or previous show appearances) in America. Digimon Adventure 02 is terrible about the same characters - not different Digimon of the same type, but the very same characters - using different names for the same attack. (Bonus points if the name was used for a different attack last time we heard it.) Since Digimon is big on Calling Your Attacks, to the point where it's often speculated that a Digimon cannot use an attack without saying it, it's very glaring when yesterday's Flaming Fist is today's Fire Rocket.
- Different attacks would also be called the same thing a lot as well. WarGreymon's Terra Force is the giant fireball throw, Great Tornado is his spinning drill attack, Mega Claw is his hack-and-slash technique. The dub called ALL of those attacks Terra Force at some point or another, except when it called Great Tornado Mega Claw.
- ...which was most of the time. Great Tornado was never given its merchandise name, so when his Evil Twin, BlackWarGreymon, showed up, his Black Tornado attack was no longer named after the attack it was the Evil Counterpart of.
- In later dubbed series, this occurs ridiculously often between the dub of the television show and the US merchandise - for example, Dynasmon is referred to as Dunasmon in the card game, while Crusadermon retains his original name of LordKnightmon. As of Digimon Frontier, it's clear that Bandai of America simply stopped caring - of all the Digimon introduced in Frontier, absolutely none of them are listed as having the same attacks in the merchandise as they do in the anime, or in the Japanese media for that matter! Then there are the name inconsistencies - aside from the aforementioned Dynasmon and Crusadermon, Bandai also makes mistakes about "Lanamon"note , "Sephirothmon"note , "Velgrmon"note and most annoyingly of all, "Kerpymon"note . The kicker here? According to Adventure dub director Jeff Nimoy, Bandai actually gave the dubbers what names to use for things, at least in the Adventure days, so either they stopped caring and doing that... or they were deliberately fucking with the dubbers by changing names after giving them.
- In the first airing of a 02 dub episode, a bunch of YukimiBotamon were referred to by this name, but the on-screen text showed "SnowBotamon" (English name used in Bandai's merchandise). Later reruns corrected the text, but the confusion remained.
- In Tamers and Frontier, the show writers seemed to be much freer to go their own way with terminology. Characters often get new names and attacks, or retain their Japanese ones, when The Merch was totally different. This is often seen as a good thing, though - the folks who'd made the trading cards had no idea what the animators would go on to make the attacks do when brought to television. Once things were left to the writers, we saw the end of the oddities that came from using the Bandai names sight unseen in season one, such as attacks that could not possibly have been named with the eventual onscreen actions in mind (Twin Fang = Saber Leomon firing his hair.) and seemingly meaningless names that were actually Engrish for straightforward ones (Kurisarimon = Chrysalimon.) or even keeping the Japanese ones where the Bandai merch ones were lackuster or just different.
- Meanwhile, in Digimon Data Squad, Falcomon's dub-Ultimate form, given the name Crowmon in the show, is inconsistent with the name it had been given in previous games: Yatagaramon. In addition, the aforementioned Crusadermon was - allegedly at the behest of Toei Animation - renamed LoadKnightmon - not Lord, Load. However, they're actually letting him be a guy this time.
- Data Squad also switched some of the Royal Knights' attack names to the Japanese ones, instead of ones established in previous American series; for example, what was Gallantmon's "Shield of the Just" in Digimon Tamers became "Final Elysium" in Data Squad. But at least they didn't suddenly start calling him Dukemon - something that would not have been out of character for that season.
- A full list would take all day. In Data Squad, it's like nobody had watched the previous series. Monster-of-the-week Digimon are almost guaranteed to use the Bandai of America names and attacks in defiance of the long-established terms - often with Mons who were much more than monsters of the week in series past. By this point, Digimon who have appeared in most series and had their names and attacks kept consistent are very few and far between; Agumon is the only one which immediately comes to mind, and as the one in Savers is a different subspecies it would actually have had an excuse to have different attack names!
- The Brazilian dub has all the aforementioned flaws but is much worse. The dubbers can't decide if they keep the japanese names or the Bandai of America ones. One scene of Digimon Adventure 02 is particularly egregious:
Kari: "He is coming back!"
T.K: "As Myotismon? Or Venom Myotismon?"
- Digimon Xros Wars, known in the US as Digimon Fusion, has been suffering from this lately, namely when it comes to deciding which names they want to use for Digimon and the pronunciation of said names. In one episode, Frigimon is dubbed as its original Japanese name, Yukidarumon, but it's changed right back to Frigimon in the next episode. Syakomon pronounces its name as SY-a-ko-mon, but the wording that appears right as it introduces itself spells it as Shakomon, not Syakomon. Most egregiously, when Mikey (Taiki in the Japanese version) uses Agumon's Digicard, Agumon's name ends up being spelled Augumon as soon as its name appears on the screen!
- Transformers Armada referred to the giant battleship Decepticon as both Tidal Wave and Shockwave, depending on the episode. That show had more than its share of dub errors, though.
- Energon couldn't even bother to keep things consistent between lines of dialogue, let alone from episode to episode. In addition, for multiple episodes, no one could decide which Autobot was Cliffjumper or Downshift. It boggles the mind, really: production was rushed, and the translation that was incomplete, true, but an incomplete translation explains only times when a line didn't match the Super Link original. Here, there were times when the lines made no sense whatsoever as a response to what had just been said, or directly defied what we were witnessing onscreen at the same time.
- Worse, Cliffjumper even acquired Downshift's voice once.
- Energon takes it Up to Eleven, but that doesn't mean Armada is guilty only of reverting T Idal Wave to his Japanese name once or twice. Megatron's partner Mini-con is named Leader-1, in homage to the main good guy from Challenge Of The Go Bots. However, the name Leader-1 would be applied to almost any Mini-con at least once. Also, many a Mini-con reverted to the Japanese name (Swindle gets called Grid once, etc.) Rush-job applies here, too.
- This mostly fell by the wayside by the time Cybertron rolled around, chalking this up to Screwed by the Network. However, Cybertron had a few inconsistencies with Energon due to not originally being a sequel, which makes this particular example straddle the line between this trope and Too Long; Didn't Dub. There is, however, a straight-up example in Crosswise, who was called Smokescreen in the first few episodes he was in, though this was fixed for later broadcasts of said episodes. (He was going to be a new Smokescreen, you see, but once they decided Cybertron would be a sequel to Armada and Energon... well, Armada Smokescreen looks nothing like Crosswise, acts nothing like Crosswise, and existed too much to have actually been frozen in Arctic ice for millennia prior to Professor Suzuki discovering him in Cybertron, which is Crosswise's origin.)
- In a subtitle example, one fansub group making Transformers Headmasters English subtitles at first used the Japanese names for characters and factions. About halfway through, they switched to the American names.
- The Hungarian dubbing of Armada and Cybertron topped the faults of the English version by making absolutely sure that at least one character in each Armada episode would deliver a line in another character's voice, and confused the Mini-Con names even further (for instance, Sparkplug didn't get a name for 10+ episodes). Cybertron (dubbed years priorly and by completely different people) also kept changing its voices around a lot, and handled the infamous Override gender-switch by having the character be male at first, then suddenly changing "him" into a female with no explanation.
- The English dub of Cardcaptor Sakura suffered from this due to its fragmented episode run on Kids' WB!. Any cards that came from episodes not shown were explained through flashbacks that often portrayed the capture as happening differently from the actual episode. When the rest of the episodes were shown in other Anglophone countries, the flashbacks ended up making it look like Sakura was bad at remembering things.
- There were a few times in Yu-Gi-Oh! where it took a while for them to figure out how to translate card names. Celtic Guardian's first appearance referred to it as "Elf Swordsman" (which is its original name), and Harpie Lady was referred to as "Harpie's Lady" a few times early on.
- In the Italian translation of the manga, Celtic Guardian is randomly called "The Elf Warrior", "Elf Knight" or "Elvish Knight", and Harpie Lady became "Happy Lady".
- Not forgetting that "Monster Reborn" was called "Reborn the Monster" for a large portion of the first series.
- Lampshaded in The Abridged Series in which one episode Yami refers to the card as "Reborn the Monster", and both times a message is seen on screen showing "Monster Reborn".
- Again in the Italian version of the manga, In the first panel Ghost Kotsuzuka is named, the named is translated as "The funerary ashes ghost". In every other panel, is just Ghost Kotsuzuka.
- The Mexican Dub was considered one of the best dubs, but had the bad luck of changing Dub Studios and directors (fortunately, the main voice cast didn't change). Despite of eventually correcting Reborn the Monster to Monster Reborn, the Mexican dub keep naming the card the same way ("Renace el Monstruo") for quite a time. Then, for some reason, they started to call the card "Ressurrection of the Monster". Also, they used to name Obelisk the Tormentor using a literal translation (which, in this case, was okay), Obelisco el Atormentador, but the second time the card was named, it was called "Obelisk el Atormentador" for no reason. After a bit of time, they named the translated card "El atormentador Obelisk". Not to mention the Dark Magician Girl, who at first was called "Maga Oscura", which was okay, but after some studio change, they started calling her "La dama del Mago Oscuro" (which can be translated as "Lady of the Dark Magician", and the way it sounds implies they are a couple). Probably the translators were Shippers.
- The English translation of the Azumanga Daioh manga has quite a few cases of this. Perhaps the most notable example is that the subject Yukari-sensei teaches is initially changed to Spanish, but later on is kept as the original English (probably as the translators realized that the substitution would ruin some gags later on).
- The English dub of the show has it just as bad. Yukari becomes a "language" teacher. One of the foreigners becomes Spanish, while the one who sets up the Blah Blah Blah joke imitates the Engrish of the Japanese version. All other instances of Engrish are mutated into generally easy French and Spanish phrases, with at least one instance where the characters just add an "-o" to the ends of normal English words (though this was obviously intended to get by on the Rule of Funny). It only actually really ruins one gag, though.
- Additionally, while Chiyo is always referred to as "Chiyo-chan" in the dub, Chiyo herself refers to "Miss Osaka", and "Miss Sakaki", etc. On the other hand, "Yukari-sensei" being called "Miss Yukari" is understandable, especially since one episode (in the original Japanese version) has Tomo(-chan) calling her "Miss Yukari" in English.
Yukari: AI HABU NASHINGU MOA TSU TIICHI YUU!note
Tomo: SANKUSU, MISU YUKARI!note
- Almost every manga TokyoPop has ever translated, ever. This goes double for Sailor Moon.
- Their anniversary re-release of Magic Knight Rayearth actually fixed the issues with this it used to have, and also repaired some things that were omitted or intentionally mistranslated in the original release. Said release was already one of the best from the period when they were still called "MiXX Comix", which isn't saying much.
- ADV's English dubs of the two Zone of the Enders anime (the OVA "Idolo" and the TV series "Dolores, i") are a consistency freak's nightmare. Pretty much every instance of name-dropping from the three video games is horribly butchered: the organization BAHRAM is called Bufram, villain Nohman is addressed as Norman, the events of the first game are said to have happened on a colony called Antiria instead of Antillia...there's even one brutally egregious case of "Orbital Flame" instead of "Orbital Frame" in the first episode (though later episodes do not repeat this mistake). On the upside, the English voicework apart from these annoying inconsistencies is excellent; at the very least it's leaps and bounds beyond the borderline "Blind Idiot" Translation made by Konami for the two PS2 titles...
- The Death Note English dub at first varied between leaving the word shinigami untranslated and translating it as 'god of death'. They eventually went with the former. This was probably intentional, so it would be clear what the word shinigami meant.
- The same thing is done in the manga. The words 'gods of death' are also used in a message from Kira to L while written in English in the manga. The word 'shinigami' could not have been used in that context.
- The half of the episodes of GaoGaiGar that were dubbed were very inconsistent about a lot of pronunciations. For instance the the last syllable in the titular mecha is sometimes pronounced "gar" and other times it's "ger". Sometimes it seems to vary by character.
- The Bleach dub can't seem to make up its mind whether the little girl modsoul is named Linin, Rinin, Rilin, Lilin, or something else entirely. Officially, it's "Lirin", but the voice actors seem to make a point of pronouncing it ambiguously, making it sound almost like "Ririn".
- The dub of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a minor, but still incredibly bizarre case where the name in the dialogue for a certain contradicts the subtitles that were show half a second earlier. The mecha that was transformed at the end of the 25 episode was called "Super Galactic" by the translation of the Boss Subtitles, but then all the people called it "Super Galaxy".
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha suffers from this, with Fate's familiar being named either Alf, Arf, or Aruf depending on the disc. Although the season one dub consistently calls Nanoha's weapon the Raging Heart, the subs start with Raging and then switch it out for Raising, which was also used for the A's dub.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, the Belkan Intelligent Device Graf Eisen has the abilities "Panzerschild" (armor shield) and "Panzerhindernis" (armor obstacle), and the intelligent device Laevatein has the ability "Panzergeist" (armor spirit). Geneon's subtitles translate "panzer" as "tank" for Graf Eisen's abilities, but translate it as "armor" for Laevatein's ability. The fact that there aren't any tanks in this show, and that these are all defensive abilities, might suggest that it should be "armor" (or "armored"; the correct adjective forms would be "gepanzert", "gepanzertes", and "gepanzert", respectively).
- "Panzer" doesn't mean only "tank", but also "armor" and "shell", etc.
- During the final battle scene of the The Movie 2nd A's commentary, the cast (including Fate herself) mistakenly call Fate's Plasma Zanber Breaker "Jet Zanber", which is a completely different atack.
- It's not an inconsistent dub (in fact there isn't a dub at all), but there's contradiction among the subtitles, the eye catches, and various other things at two whether GunBuster (both the machine and the series itself) is supposed to be two words (Gun Buster), one regular word (Gunbuster), or a CamelCase word (GunBuster).
- The Ranma ˝ manga by Viz ran into this during the "Aging Mushrooms" (called "Mushrooms of Time" in the English version) storyline. After consuming one of the titular items, which make you as old as the mushroom is long (in centimeters,) Ryouga turns into a little 6 year-old kid. Later on, he's fed a 3cm mushroom and becomes a three year-old, and he gets back at Ranma with the "Explosive Pulverization" technique (the Bakusai Tenketsu, which Viz itself had always translated as "Breaking Point") and he gains a three year-old's lisp. Even worse, when he eats a 10cm mushroom, he keeps the lisp even though he didn't have one when he was six.
- The Hiryuushoutenha ("Flying Dragon Ascend-to-Heaven Blast") gets a new translation every time it's called out.
- The Mahou Sensei Negima! manga had some problems with this, especially in the first few volumes. They're fairly minor for the most part but there are two gratuitous instances: Chamo is variously referred (by the same characters) as an ermine, rat, weasel, or ferret, before they finally confirmed him as an ermine. Then there was the early incident where Negi's father was referred to as the "Southern Master" for a volume before the translators realized that it makes no sense and switched to the correct "Thousand Master". Fortunately, more recent editions of that volume fixed it.
- Don't forget Takamichi's note for Negi on Evangeline. It's supposed to read "talk to me if she becomes a problem," since she's an evil vampire with a personal vendetta against Negi, specifically. The official English translation is "Ask her advice if you're in trouble," making it seem as though Takamichi was trying to get Negi killed.
- Chachamaru's surname was said to be "Rakuso" at first, then "Karakuri" later on.
- They really couldn't decide on what Nodoka's nickname was either: the early volumes used "Library Girl" or "Librarian" before switching over to the more literal "Bookstore".
- Fortunately, the more recent Omnibus editions of the early volumes fix all of these problems, due to being re-translated by the same people doing the current translations.
- The Dark Horse translation of School Zone can't seem to decide whether it should be Yokai, Youkai, or Monster. In the summaries of previous volumes and character bios, they even manage to render it as Yosuke — apparently confusing Nanka Youkai with Nanka Yosuke, the person it's possessing. There is also a character who's named Yoshiko in the first volume, and Miko in the later volumes.
- The Shaman King Brazilian dub suffered from this in spades; the only attack that got a consistent renaming was Ren's Chuuka Zanmai ("Golden Tower in Action" in the dub), every other had a different name per episode. For example, Yoh's trademark attack (Shinkuu Budda Giri) was called Budda Slash, Budda Attack, Amida Style Attack, Amida Attack, Shinkuu Budda Giri, and "Haaaryyyaaahhhgggh!".
- Fullmetal Alchemist has a joke of sorts wherein characters generally believe that May Chang's pet miniature panda is some kind of cat. Some of the English dub episodes had it be correctly identified as a panda, whereas a later episode used the cat confusion.
- They also weren't sure whether a country should be called Ishval or Ishbal, and then they tried to stick an R in there somewhere once. See the series' Spell My Name with an "S" entry for further giggles.
- Some number of episodes into the dub of Brotherhood, the characters abruptly start referring to the Gate (as it had been called not only up to that point in the show, but throughout the entire 2003 anime series) as "the Portal" for no adequately explained reason.
- While the Australian translation is generally quite good with consistency and manages to translate most names correctly, it can't decide whether the name of the lizard chimera working under Greed is Bido or Pete. Also Xerxes was called Lebis the first time it was mentioned but was changed appropriately in every subsequent mention. The American version is much worse...while not in the anime, the manga translation referred to the country as "Cselksess." Where they got that from is anyone's guess.
- Also in the Australian version, the Briggs mountains were called the "Bux" mountains when first mentioned. They also got Julio Comanche's (The Silver Alchemist) first name wrong, calling him Joliot.
- The One Piece manga was affected by the 4Kids dub starting up, changing Zoro's name to Zolo. Considering there was also copyright problems with Zorro, it probably would've had to happen eventually, and it's been that way since, making this a relatively minor example.
- The English manga is inconsistent with Buggy the Clown's Verbal Tic, hade ni, which Funimation consistently translates as "flashy" (for example, "Die flashily!"). Most of the time it's not even used, but other times it's been translated as "gloriously," "humor me," and "lavishly."
- The Hungarian dub of Dragon Ball Z had trouble with the name of the Kamehameha, going through at least six different names, including "Lifeforce Wave", "Highest Power", "Magical Force", "Magic Ray", "Personality Beam" and the simple "Lightning", and switching back and forth between them, sometimes within the same episode. Since Hungarian dubs are usually pretty good compared to most, it's possible that this was a quirk carried over from the French dub.
- It probably was, since the Spanish dub is also based on the French one and also has that issue ("Cameame Waves"? "Vital Wave"? "Infinite Light"?). The opposite also happened, with "Vital Wave" (The "normal" name for the Kamehameha) also being used for the Kikouhou, the Taiyou-ken, the Kaioh-ken, several unnamed ki attacks, and more. The Taiyou-ken (Solar Fist) also went by several names, such as "Solar Beam", "Solar Fist" (Gasp!), "Photoelectric Waves" (Said by Goku, go figure) and the crowner, "Final Flash". By Cell. One episode BEFORE Vegeta used the real Final Flash. Not even the titular McGuffins are safe, being "magical balls" (Most things are simply "magical X" on this dub for some reason) but sometimes becoming "crystal balls" or even "dragon balls". There's also calling Saiyans "Space Warriors" and Super Saiyans "Super Warriors", but then using "Super Warriors" for vanilla Saiyans in some movies, and actually calling them "Saiyans" (In English) on early GT. Even the manga fell to this one, calling them "Saiyajins" in Gratuitous Japanese at first, and by extension "Super Saiyajin" later on... until the Androids arc, where they used "Super Warriors" like the anime. Sometimes. To the point of using both terms on the same page. The manga also called the Genki Dama "fireball" on its first appearance and "Energy Ball" everywhere else. And that's not even getting to current video games being translated from the USA versions resulting in even more name changes for minor characters.
- The Mexican dub had also its own share of inconcistencies: First, in early episodes, both Pilaf and Shen Long had no name (they were referred to as "The Emperor" and "The Dragon God", respectively), until the Red Ribbon saga when their names were finally said. Uupa on his first appeareance was called Nube (lit. "Cloud") and was a girl; by the next episode he was aptly renamed Uupa and got a gender change. Later, in the Z series, Dr. Gero was strangely called Dr. Maki and after a few episodes he reverted to his Japanese name. But maybe the worst offender is planet Namek, which during the Saiyan and Freezer sagas was named "Planeta Namekusei" ("Planet Planet Namek", in a weird case of Gratuitous Japanese). After the arc had ended the planet got renamed as Planeta Nameku. Also, secondary characters changed voices every now and then.
- In the English version of Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo went by the pseudonym "Ma Junior" at the World Martial Arts Tournament, with his reasoning that it was what he used last time he entered the tournament. In the Dragon Ball dub, he went by the name "Junior" (No "Ma") instead. Also, in the edited version of Dragon Ball Z Kai he uses the "Special Beam Cannon" on Raditz, only for it to be the "Makankosappo" in the next episode's flashback. This was averted in the uncut dub in that case, however was later invoked when Goku uses the "Solar Flare" and Krillin does the "Taiyou-ken".
- Let's not forget the infamous dub error where Raditz was said to be faster than the speed of light, yet much later on Goku's instant transmission was described as allowing him to move at the speed of light. (Both of these are inaccurate FYI, as in the original Piccolo just said that Raditz was amazingly fast and Instant Transmission, like its name implies, is actually instant).
- Another oddity of the Hungarian dub was Frieza's name, which was at first translated as Dermesztina ("Freezetina"), but was changed to Dermesztő ("Freezer") when it became apparent that he's a guy. Some changes also took place when they started dubbing Dragon Ball GT — most of the French carryover names were left as they were, but the Trunk was restored to Trunks, as was Mr. Momo to Mr. Popo. Also, Vegeta finally began calling Son Goku by his Sayan name Kakarot, while in the dub of Z, he constantly referred to him as Songoku, save for a single episode in which Kakarot was rendered as Cachalote (pronounced "Kaah-shaah-low" in the dub) — another oddity of the French dub, which all other redubs based on the French version shared.
- Yet again an inconsistency stemming from the French localization: Maron is sometimes called Marlene.
- In the Danish version, spawned from the French version, most of the translation errors of that version are fixed... but a new one is added in the form of the so-called Gendi Kama.
- The Slayers: Super-Explosive Demon Story manga, as translated by Central Park Media, has some inconsistencies in how names are spelled:
- The silver beasts are initially called "Zanafer", then later called "Xanasphar". (Most other versions of Slayers spell it "Zanaffar".)
- The city with the Flagoon tree is initially called "Sylarg", then later called "Sairaag". (Most other versions of Slayers spell it "Sairaag".)
- The priestess from that city is called both "Sylphiel" and "Sylfeer", seemingly at random. There was even one page that had both spellings used on it. (Most other versions of Slayers spell it "Sylphiel".)
- The Latin American dub of Saint Seiya, despite its otherwise excellent quality, has this problem with the techniques of a few characters. For example: Shaina's technique was called "Thunder Claw" in the original japanese, while in the aformentioned dub she would go around shouting "A mí cobra!!" and/or "El poder de la cobra!!" (lit. "To me, cobra!" and "The power of the cobra!") as a direct reference to the visuals accompanying the technique. Particulary egregious is the case of Shiryu who had the same technique with four different names.
- In the Asgard Saga, Hilda's castle Valhalla was pronounced waruhara in the Japanese version. Ergo, the dub would call it either Waruhala, Warukaya, Varukaya, and once, but only once, Valhalla.
- Eureka Seven has a couple of minor inconsistencies. For a large part of the series, the name of the Scub Coral aliens is translated as "the Coralian" (in the plural), before it's switched over to "the Coralians." Also, Dewey's flagship is called the Galaxy on at least one occasion, but is later kept untranslated as the Ginga.
- Matthieu mispronounces Eureka's name in episode 6.
- The English dub of FLCL seems incapable of making up its mind as to whether or not to use honorifics. One scene they'll be all over the place, the next, nada. Might be more Rule of Funny though.
- The first volume of the Rave Master manga names Haru's Morph Weapon sword by its Japanese name, "The Ten Commandments." After that however, it's always referred to as the "Ten Powers" instead.
- The English dub of Inuyasha has been known to switch between using "Lady" or leaving the honorific "-sama" untranslated. When it's really bad, they do this in the same sentence.
- Fun fact about the Brazilian dub: at first the series was translated by Fernando Janson, who kept the terminology pretty consistent throughout the first half of the series. For the second half, he shared his translation duties with Fred Correa, who apparently did not bother to research the established translations of terminology and made up new ones (sometimes inconsistent within themselves). Thus, the second half of the Brazilian dub is known for being consistently inconsistent: for example, the term "han'you" (Viz: half-demon) would change between "half-youkai" (Janson), "semi-demon", or simply "hybrid" (Correa). Attack names also became a mess; Inuyasha's Bakuryūha (Viz: Backlash Wave) would vary between "Explosive Wave" (Janson), "Frontal Attack" (????) and, in one bizarre instance, "Bakuryuja" note .
- Fortunately you can tell which translator is working on the episode you're about to watch: if Inuyasha opens the episode with (the accurately translated) "I'll destroy Narak[u] with the Tessaiga!", it was Janson. If he does so with (the bizarrely reinterpreted) "We'll destroy Narak[u] with our steel teeth!", it was Correa.
- The second English adaptation of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (entitled G-Force) was a rush job, as Turner wanted to get the show done as quickly as possible for less cost. It is unknown how many writers besides Fred Ladd must have worked on the dub, but translation and dub name inconsistencies were prone to crop up:
- Director Anderson is referred to as "Anderson" in some episodes, while others refer to him as "Commander Todd".
- The country of Hontwarl was called "St. Pierre" in the first episode it appeared in, while the next two episodes suddenly called it "Satania".
- In an example of attempted censorship, Dirk's parents are initially said to have "almost" been killed by Galactor, while the flashback scene of their deaths was edited out. A later episode states that Dirk's parents were in fact assassinated that many years ago, possibly because the writers realized they could no longer hide that plot point.
- The English dub of Gate Keepers translates the villain Akuma Hakushaku's name as "Baron Akuma." In the sequel series, Gate Keepers 21, he is called "Count Akuma" instead.
- [adult swim] bumps for Lupin III (Red Jacket) were inconsistent in how they mispronounced the title character's name — the ones that didn't pronounce the name as "Loopin" instead took the III literally (as in calling him "Lupin Three").
- The English dub of Cyborg009 used "Professor Gilmore" and "Doctor Gilmore" very interchangeably, along with the actors experiencing difficulty over whether to pronounce 008's actual name (Pyunma) as "poon-ma" or "pyoon-ma". The dub of the "Gilmore's Notes" episode also had its script heavily diverge from the original, with the dubbed Gilmore claiming that he never got to meet the four first-generation cyborgs (001-004) as they were frozen before he came on to the project. A later episode would show this not to be the case. He also claims in the dub that 003 is over 80 years old, when she'd more likely be chronologically in her 50s for the time period that the adaptation takes place in (2001-2002).
- The Pu'Awak sister Dinah was referred to as both "Dinah" and "Deena" when her name was brought up, owing to some possible mispronunciation trouble. The Latin American dub went with calling her "Deena".
- The scriptwriter that handled the "Gilmore's Notes" episode, rather than re-using the sound and lines for the stock footage clips, opted to write new dialogue for the clips— some of which did not match up to what was said in the previously-dubbed episodes. For instance, one line of 004's was rewritten to have him say to 009; "Look at me, I'm just a freakshow!".
- 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".
- 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.
Films — Animation
- 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 Brazilian dub of My Little Pony Equestria Girls changes the title of the movie to Garotas de Equestria. This is all fine and good... but then Rainbow Rocks came along. The official preview on the Hasbro channel uses the localized title, but then in the movie itself the original English title is used instead. This problem is increased in the mobile game, where a completely different title is used for the Equestria Girls minigame. This was never a problem in the European Portuguese dub, where the English title is used from the get-go.
Films — Live-Action
- 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, for Back to the Future, 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").
- The Dutch translation of Artemis Fowl has some problems with this. For starters, there isn't a difference between the word 'elf' and 'pixie', until the fourth book, after which 'pixie becomes 'elfje' (Little elf, Dutch doesn't have a word for pixie). 'Warlock' is first translated with the 'heksenmeester', but when they turn out to be a breed of demon, they become 'demonenmeester', before shifting back to 'heksenmeester'. And the spelling of the elves' language is 'Gnomisch' for the first books, which later on changes to 'Gnommisj'.
- 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 Castilian Spanish dub of the second season of Game of Thrones changes Yara Greyjoy's name back to Asha, as she was named in the A Song of Ice and Fire source novels. The third season, however, keeps Yara. Adding to the confusion, "Yara" doesn't appear in this season until the last episode, while Theon keeps talking about her during his captivity.
- 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, GDI 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 I 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.
- Most of the English spell names became standardized by Final Fantasy VIII, becoming closer to the original Japanese names, but there were still some odd inconsistencies here and there. Like the "Scan" spell, which eventually became "Libra", but only years later.
- 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 later dropped. 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 and credits sequences for SMB 2 switch the names of Birdo and Ostro.
- This is a huge issue with enemy names between games and sub series. For instance, Super Mario Land, Yoshis 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).
- Watt from the first Paper Mario is officially female, but is called a "he" in some dialogues in the English version.
- 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!".
- 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.
- 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.
- Koga' daughter is known as Janine in most of her appearances. However, while a younger version of her appears in a cameo role during FireRed and LeafGreen, the Fame Checker item lists her name as "Charine".
- 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 Turbo-Grafx 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 had an incredibly well-done translation for the first few games but, due to Executive Meddling on Arc System Works' part, the new scenarios from Continuum Shift Extend have several instances where the script read by the voice actors and the subtitled text that is shown in the game do not match up. Characters even end up saying different things entirely. Chrono Phantasma takes it even further, to the point that many suspect that They Just Didn't Care.
- 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.
- Starting in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Sun Cosmos were renamed Yellow Cosmos for unknown reasons. However, you can still buy seeds for Sun Cosmos, and when you plant them, their name changes to Yellow Cosmos. So the seeds have a different name than the flowers they grow into!
- This could also fit under Overlapping and is a BIG Lampshade Hanging. The Hungarian (fan)translator of Roommates (Lakótársak) and Girls Next Door (A Szomszédlányok), as both are Mega Crossovers and heavy on Shout Outs, developed the Catch Phrase "Keep/Compare notes, damn it!" because of this trope (it's The Rant-Inducing Slight if you will).
Ashe's artist comment on Misto:
See the musical "Cats" for more information — I have yet to pick up a copy of Eliot's book. Translator's addition:
I read it... but sadly the Hungarian translators of the musical and the book never compared notes
- She also created an additional Running Gag from the characters being puzzled because of it... like poor Princess Buttercup wondering if she is really called "Boglárka" (film) or more like "Pitypang" (book).
- 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".
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Trying to follow the Brazilian 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 its 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 Russian dub 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.
- Winx Club:
- The Rai/Cinelume English dub 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, 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:
- 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 Portuguese dub refers to bits as either coins (moedas) or cents (cęntimos). The localization of the mobile game keeps the original name untranslated.
- 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.
- 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 Krusty Krab, 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, nor bothered to keep any of the voices consistent, as they changed literally from scene to scene.
- Transformers Energon rolled around in 2004, 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 hads a much more severe case of this. It at first attempted to reinstall the Marvel translations, but after a while, 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. Even those that had their Marvel names reinstalled got to be called by their Energon names at times. 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. The dub was dreadful, and besides the name screw-ups, it kept changing the voices (even the genders) around far too much for comfort. Cybertron was also redubbed in 2014. This version also a mix of Marvel, old!Energon and Bay-verse names, and again, Landmine has multiple designations. Leobreaker also christens himself with a different name than what's used in the rest of the show.
- The Ultimate Battle DVD special: Only some of the original Marvel names were used, the rest were a confusing mishmash of Energon names or new ones. Even within this twenty-minute special, they couldn't manage to keep names and voices consistent. 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.
- "Bayformers": Although the dubbing was 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. One persistent naming inconsistency is Cybertron's name: "Kibertron" in movie #1, Cybertron in the rest.
- 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.
- Transformers Animated very nearly avoided inconsistent dubs. The show never got dubbed, but the single toy commercial that aired on TV and the McDonald's promo couldn't decide whether to go with the Marvel or old!Energon names.
- Transformers Armada's dub was made completely independently from its sequels, Energon and Cybertron, thus had a wholly different voice cast. Despite the live-action movies having made the Marvel names household terms, the dub still opted to start from scratch, and continued to give new names for each of its characters. What more, it has a lot more mix-ups (both names and voices) than the already infamous English dubbing.
- Transformers Prime: 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, even some of the voices 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, whereas the dubs of the earlier shows translated the names.
Aside from 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. 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.
- Transformers in Italian:
- G1 has some inconsistencies here and there:
- First, Red Alert was shortened to "Alert" in the toyline, but changed into "Giaguaro" in the TV show.
- The TV show itself had some name confusions here and there, with Sideswipe and Sunstreaker trading their names back and forth and Huffer being called "Piedone" in an episode but "Turbo" in the rest of the series.
- At the end of Season 2, the Aerialbots, Stunticons, Combaticons and Protectobots are introduced with their original names (Except for Menasor, now named "Ultrax"). Then in the toyline they got new Italian names, and Season 3 used them instead of the original ones... sometimes. As a result, the jeep Combaticon kept switching name back and forth between Swindle and Crusher, for example.
- Characters introduced in the movie... eh. In the '86 movie every character introduced keeps his original name... except Wheelie, who inherits Wheeljack's name for some reason, and Rodimus Prime, who is still called Hot Rod. Then in Season 3 everyone gets a new name (except Arcee, whose name is now pronounced "Archie").
- In Headmasters (the Italian dub follows the Japanese series for license reasons, since Italy had the Takara license for the toyline), names start to get weird: Arcee and Ramhorn get completely different names, Kup is called with his Japanese name and other characters switches between Italian and Japanese names (confusing enough? The Japanese names for Optimus Prime and Defensor, Convoy and Guardian, are the same as the Italian ones for Ultra Magnus and Metroplex).
- Masterforce recycles names of older characters for the new ones, so confusion galore: Ginrai is Optimus Prime ("Commander"), Minerva is Streetwise ("Phantom")...
- Beast Wars is the last Transformers dub in Italy that changes the names of the characters... and that makes no problems, until we get to the part with Autobots and Decepticons. Everyone of them is called by his original name rather than the Italian one, and Starscream and Ravage actually get new Italian names!
- In 2007, the '86 movie got a new dub: everyone has his Italian name... sorta. Well, Arcee uses her Headmasters name ("Saturnia"), while Ravage, Laserbeak, Ratbat and Rodimus Prime keep their original names. Also, for non-naming issues, Optimus Prime says one line in Ultra Magnus's voice while Ultra Magnus also says a line in... Armada Cyclonus's voice?
- Also, don't ask about Frenzy and Rumble's names. Not only do they get shuffled around (and Frenzy actually gets two different names during the series), but also Frenzy's regular name is "Tremor" in the cartoon, yet according to the Italian edition of the Marvel Transformers Universe it should be "Tremot".
- Then there's the Italian release of the Legends Transformers (the Classic Pretenders without their shells); they are Bumblebee, Jazz, Grimlock and Starscream, but rather then their usual names ("Maggiolino", "Tigre" "Tiran" and "Astrum") they're called "Folgore", "Saetta", "Drago" and "Tornado"... which are axctually the names of Hot Rod, Wheeljack, Hot Spot and Air Raid.
- 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*