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Japanese Ranguage

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You didn't even notice the bit about the child bridenote , did you?

"You must understand, Mr. Lucas, that this man is Japanese and he has difficulty getting his tongue round his r's."
Captain Peacock, Are You Being Served?

Serf-demonstlating velsion hele.

Where a joke is made about pronouncing "Rs" and "Ls" incorrectly in Japanese, or other pronunciations. When this trope is used, the letters are often reversed where the sounds they are making are not ones that would cause that problem—e.g. "R" (when pronounced "are") being replaced with "L", when a long "ah" sound would be more likely.

The above is a bit extreme, but there is some truth to this: Japanese has neither the English R nor the English L — it has a sound that might be best described as a combination between an R and L,note  leaning a bit more towards "l", if not for the incredible variation it sees in various dialects of Japanese. So, a native Japanese speaker who's not fluent in English can have difficulty telling when to use an R or an L, or will simply use their native R/L sound (which quite often sounds like the wrong letter to an English native) or an L in all cases. The biggest hurdle for Japanese natives is often making the tongue movements necessary for a sound that simply doesn't exist in their native language (equivalent foreign phonemes that English speakers struggle with are things like French "r",note  or Welsh "ll" note ). The same is true of Korean — it has Rs and Ls, but these are different allophones of the same phoneme, which is pronounced as an L when it's at the end of a syllable (which doesn't happen in Japanese).

Exactly why the creators of Romanization decided to just use Rs for everything is a mystery for the ages.

There are other "pairs" in Japanese like this, such as V and B, H and F, etc. Likewise, there's no sound for "th" in Japanese, so S sounds are used instead. Unsurprisingly, this is a big hurdle for Japanese natives learning English; e.g., "thunder" is often written and pronounced "sanda", "sander", "sunder", etc. However, this particular example rarely occurs (as a mistake).

The Japanese L/R can also occasionally sound to English-speakers like a D (specifically, the "tap" that replaces unstressed /t/ and /d/ in North American and Australian English), but not much seems to be made of this in media.note 

Also applied to other Asians — even if the accent doesn't fit,note  or with exaggerated accents of their own.

Closely related to Inconsistent Spelling. Often used as part of Asian Speekee Engrish or Intentional Engrish for Funny. And, of course, one must be careful talking about this or invoking it deliberately, as doing so can come across as intensely racist. (Which it is, fundamentally.)

This sort of problem can occur in non-Asian languages as well. In Spanish, both "V" and "B" are pronounced like the English "B" (except between vowels, in which case there can be a sort of subtle cross between the two that doesn't exist in English — and that most Spaniards eschew anyway as soon as they leave kindergarten). It goes to the extent that many native Spanish speakers have a hard time differentiating between the two in their own language, and this can become a trouble when speaking English. Curiously, Japanese also has this exact issue in addition to the L/R thing. Also, Arabs struggle to pronounce "P" and "V", replacing them with "B" and "F" respectively — see more on Arab Beoble Talk. Central and Eastern European languages can have a similar problem with "V" and "W" — see Vampire Vords.

Generally it's an honest mistake; the humor comes from onlookers. Words in katakana are spelled phonetically with a set of standard characters which ignore the original non-phonetic spelling. When the word in katakana is transliterated normally, it may be unrecognizable. The translator must have a good understanding of how the word is spelled in both katakana and the original spelling. This becomes especially difficult with completely made up words, leaving the translator to interpret the correct spelling of a word that may have no correct spelling (or be vaguely similar to an existing word). Alternatively, they can pray an official transliteration appears eventually. Usually it does, but not always! Sometimes not for years even for major works (Transformers has this problem), and basically never for many smaller works (such as obscure one-off OVAs). This can result in the interpretation ending up totally different from what was intended.

When a Japanese character can speak English perfectly, but talks like this for the reason of Obfuscating Stupidity and/or for amusement, it is Elective Broken Language.


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  • An old Jell-O commercial from the 50's shows a Chinese baby trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks while the narrator speaks Japanese Ranguage. This is a good demonstration of the trope applied to Chinese accents: all the R's become L's, but the L's are untouched (it's not Jerr-O).
  • A Japanese commercial for Jelly Beans (cell phones, not the candy) was accompanied by a song about... Jerry Beans.
  • When the Isuzu automobile first came on the market, a commercial had a customer frustrating a Japanese Isuzu dealer with his failure to be able to pronounce the name of the car right. The dealer, resignedly says to the customer, "That's okay, kid. I can't pronounce "Chevroret."
  • At the time when JVC's VHS and Sony's Betamax formats were battling it out for dominance in the home video market, Philips tried to push their own format, Video 2000, in the UK by having comedy duo Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones front a radio campaign where Jones, as a quick-talking salesman, tries to sell it to Smith, a slow-witted customer who is obsessed with the latest Japanese technology, by pretending the company is actually Japanese and is pronounced "Firips". Listen to it here.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Usually, whenever the opening or ending theme of an anime has a moment where the singer sings English, you'll tend to find an example of this, due to the abundance of common English words with either "R" or "L".
  • Used a lot in Assassination Classroom with regards to Irina Jelavic, a Serbian assassin who teaches English for Class 3-E.
    • During her introductory arc, Class-E makes a half-baked attempt at shortening "Jelavic-Oneesama" to "Vic-Neesan". Their inability to pronounce the "v" properly, compounded by Irina's unpleasant personality, earns her the nickname "Bitch-neesan" (later "Bitch-sensei", when she wins their favor) for the rest of the series.
    • Later Invoked by Irina, who as the language teacher spends an entire lesson trying to get the students to avert this.
    • When facing some astronauts in the Japanese dub, Nagisa and Karma are still prone to this while the astronauts speak in proper English.
  • In Asteroid in Love, when the club are in JAXA Space Center in Tsukuba, Mikage asks the staff about the requirements for an astronaut for Mari, and Mari thanked with a "Thank you very much" in heavily accented English. Since one of the requirements mentioned by the staff is being good in English...
    Mikage: You need to work more on your pronunciation.
  • A good example here could be Beck, where the interplay of plot and music is very frequent (since the protagonists are a rock band). Very notable when it's Koyuki's turn to sing; all of his songs are in English... A language he, let's just say, doesn't master very well. "Moon on the Water" is a very good example, in which the word "gently" can easily be misheard as "gentry".
  • In the Mazinger series:
    • Mazinger Z: Due to this, Baron Ashura was called Baron Ashler in the Spanish dub. And sometimes Count Brocken's name is mispronounced like Blocken. Oh, and Dr. Hell's name is written "Heru".
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: In some cases, a translator will simply give up and transliterate raw. This trope affected the main character, Duke Fleed, whose name was written like "Dyūku Furīdo". Several of his enemies also suffered from it: "Blackie" was written "Burakki" (as raw as it gets), and Gandal was turned into Gandar.
  • Lucia and Rina from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch are sometimes called Ruchia and Lina.
    • Madame Butterfly has had her real name transliterated as "Lanuha", "Ranfa", and others.
  • In the Samurai Champloo episode "Baseball Blues", the interpreter Doubleday talks like this. Like everything else in the episode, it's played for comedy.
  • The opening credits of Slayers NEXT feature a map where the city of Seyruun is spelled "Sailoon".
    • Given that no two people can seem to agree on the proper spelling of names in Slayers, this hardly comes as a surprise, and this is far from the only place where this crops up.
    • This is actually the proper spelling, as the name of the nation is meant to reference the similarities between Amelia and Sailor Moon.
    • Then, of course, in the second episode of Try, Amelia's fist reads "HUNGLY" in one frame.
  • Durarara!! subbers often accidentally put "Dulalala" on the title in the opening sequence.
    • The title refers to Celty, a Dullahan, so spelling it Durarara is itself an example of this.
    • It's also supposed to be the onomatopoeia for the sound of a motorcycle ("Drrrr"), so it's basically an untranslatable pun that would be "incorrect" either way.
  • There's a fair chance that Japanese Ranguage may have been involved in the naming of "Kallen" from Code Geass. When pronounced it sounds more like "Karen" and was in fact used by some fansubbers. However, the official transliteration is Kallen, which could possibly be due to someone aware of the problems with Japanese Ranguage and overcompensating. Granted there's no actual evidence for this, but it is at any rate a theory held by a decent enough portion of the fanbase, and there are fans that reject the "Kallen" transliteration outright.
    • It was explicitly used in some fansubs, where she called herself Kallen when referring to her English bloodline, and Karen to Japanese.
      • It should be noted however, that Karen is a common name in both the English and Japanese languages (though in Japanese the E sounds even more like a short I), in English it was derived from Katherine (from a Scandinavian diminutive), and its Kanji [ 可憐 ] means lovely when referring to a girl or flower.
  • In one episode of Love Hina, Keitaro and Naru are studying English, and trying to figure out if a particular word is pronounced "correct" or "collect".
  • Done in the Hetalia: Axis Powers dub for the voice of Japan, as part of the dub exaggerating the National Stereotypes comedic basis of the series.
  • In Gravion, there is the message "Planetaly Defence System All Destroyed A Decased Citizen 10,000,000 STATUS CLITICAL!"
  • In Hellsing, during the Brazil arc, we see a news report that has the words "LIO SHOCK" in big bold letters, even though it takes place in Rio de Janeiro. Also, when Alucard disguised himself as a Mr. "J.H. Brenner," in one panel, we see that his name was misspelled "Blenner." It should be noted that these problems only existed in the manga, and in the anime, no such issues occur.
  • Ah! My Goddess: This trope, combined with the Japanese confusion between "B" and "V", led to Verdandi/Verthandi becoming Belldandy from the original Japanese to English. Belldandy, or more appropriately, Berudandi, is the closest Japanese can get in regards to a phonetic spelling of the Norn's name in Japanese kana. Considering when the series first started, both Fujishima and various translators let the error stand, since that's how fans knew the name. The Scandinavian translations get the various names of the deities correct. It should also be noted that the translators started getting the names correct for new deities and such over the course of the series.
  • A recurring instance of this comes in many Mecha series, where the giant robots' heads-up displays will read "ROCK ON" instead of "LOCK ON". Banpresto included a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of this in the Game Boy Advance Super Robot Wars games, where Wing Gundam Zero's targeting display says "ROCK" on the left side... and "N ROLL" on the right.
    • The anime series for the second Super Robot Wars: Original Generation game seems to be turning this into a running gag, as the term "ROCK ON" appears twice within the first four episodes. Then again, if "AN ERROR" is any indication, it may be a legitimate mistake.
    • Lampshaded in some scenes; you can see that Japanese mechs ROCK ON to their targets while the European mechs LOCK ON instead.
  • Heavy Metal L-Gaim: Speaking of mecha, an infamous Japanese scan claimed the L-Gaim Mk. II featured a Morvabul Flame, which is a seriously impressive example (for the record, it's supposed to be the much less epic-sounding "movable frame").
  • The late 70s anime Captain Future was adapted from an American pulp science-fiction series. Unfortunately, these American roots were unknown to or ignored by the makers of the German dub, resulting in pseudo-English character names re-translated from Japanese: female sidekick Joan Randall turns into Joan Landor, Marshall Ezra Gurney becomes Ezella Garnie, and Arch-Enemy Ul Quorn goes by the name of Vul Kuolun.
  • No one is quite sure if Ling Yao's bodyguard is Lan Fan or Ran Fan in Fullmetal Alchemist. Likewise, the city controlled by Father Cornello is called Reole in the English manga, but Liore in Brotherhood and Lior in the 2003 anime. The former is likely the intended spelling, after Réole, a commune in southwestern France. The Ishvalan people are sometimes called Ishbalans.
  • Vampire Hunter D gives us the term "dunpeal", which is what happens when the word "dhampyr" is subjected to this trope about ten times.
  • The heroine of Gunsmith Cats is named Irene Vincent. Her nickname was originally Larry - the author wanted a name that sounded exotic and foreign, so he picked the name "Larry", not realising it was a male name. When the series was translated into English, the Ls and Rs were flipped to make it Rally, which fits as she's into cars. However, Kenichi Sonoda still insists that it's Larry (he corrected a fan at a convention once, saying "It's Larry, not Rally"). Larry is also the name of her father, so it's possible she took the name from him and the author knew what he was doing all along.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: Kaji's attempts to speak to Americans in Rebuild 2.0. Everyone else who speaks English in the film is really quite good, but Kaji is ear-crunchingly awful. If it weren't for the subtitles he'd almost be unintelligible.
  • Subbers of Inuyasha can't seem to decide between "Kilala" and "Kirara". The official English spelling is "Kirara", but the actors in the dub clearly say "Kilala".
  • Ravi/Labi/Rabi/Lavi from D.Gray-Man. Even the official publishers don't know how to translate this guy's name! And then there's Arystar Krory, whose name is supposed to be a reference to Aleister Crowley ("Alistair Crawley" could be an acceptable version)...
  • On the same note, Maito Guy/Might Guy/Mighty Guy/Maito Gai/Mighty Gay from Naruto.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Tomo and Osaka comment that Bruce Lee's name sounds like "Blue Three," causing them to imagine him beating up Blue One and Blue Two.
  • The B-V version of this trope is probably the reason Black Lagoon's female lead is nicknamed "Revy." "Reby" would be a more natural shortening of "Rebecca," but "Revy" is the official transliteration for some reason. "Levy" also crops up in some transliterations. That aside, since it's originally a Hebrew name anyway, it can be safely spelled Revecca too; the Hebrew letter for the 'b' sound is also one of the Hebrew letters for 'v', and the original Hebrew name was Rivkah.
  • K-On!:
    • In the trailer for the K-On! movie, Ritsu shouts "Lock 'n' LOLL!!"
    • K-On! creator Kakifly took his pen name from the name of fried oysters, "kaki fry", yet spells it with an L when using Roman letters. He has also written out Ritsu's name as "Ritu" on at least one drawing. Note that this isn't actually a mistake, but the correct way this kana should be romanized according to the official Japanese "Kunrei-shiki" romanization system, while the more familiar "Ritsu" is romanized through the system devised by James Curtis Hepburn, an American physician and missionary active in Japan during the Gilded Age.
      Hepburn system is much better known in the West, but in Japan both romanizations are actively in usenote  and often freely interchanged even within the single word, aided by the fact that since it is faster to type "tu" than "tsu", for example, a simplified form of Kunrei system called "Wapuro Romaji"note  is used to enter Japanese text on the keyboard.
  • Some Japanese writers are aware of this and intentionally use it for comedic effect. In a Case Closed episode, Kogoro Mouri thinks his daughter Ran Mouri is referring to herself when she tells him that she set up a wireless LAN (local area network) in his detective office.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The character Krillin is named Kuririnnote  in the original Japanese version and even the official English manga. The official transliteration from Japan is "Klilyn"; for a time in the anime, he wore a baseball cap with "Kulilyn" printed on it.
    • Similarly, Buruma; ("Bloomer", to go with the underwear Theme Naming present in the Briefs family) is romanized as "Bulma", though this might have been done for the obvious reason. Her first appearance has her wear a shirt with "BULMA" in big letters across the chest, cementing that translation more or less for all time. Vegeta's daughter Bura (Bra) became Bulla, likely for the same obvious reason.
    • Also, Vegeta's Garlic Gun became "Gallick Gun" in the English dub.
    • In the anime, Piccolo's name appears as "Piccoro" on Dr. Gero's interface.
    • And, of course, there's Shenron, the dragon of the titular Dragon Balls. Or as his name is pronounced in Chinese, Shenlong.
  • In Kaze to Ki no Uta, Serge is knocked out with a liquid from a bottle labelled 'ETHEL'.
  • This is actually a minor plot point in Death Note. The unknown person killing criminals throughout Japan is called "Kira" by the media, but Light notes that it's supposed to be "Killer". In the live-action movie, Lind L. Taylor is an American, and actually pronounces it "Killer" as he gives his speech challenging Kira.
  • In one episode of Dog & Scissors, an extended scene featuring Maxi has a US Liberty coin behind her. Unfortunately, it's misspelled as "Riberty".
  • Sailor Moon occasionally had this problem, usually due to translation errors. Queen Metaria is the most famous example - Word of God is it's "Metaria", which is a Latin word meaning roughly "sealed", and it's spelled that way in the title card of one of the episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal. However, all official translations and most fan translations mistake it as a reference to metal (mainly because many other villains in the series have names referencing metal), and spell it Metalia or Metallia. (Later reprints of the manga used the spelling "Metaria", on Naoko's insistence.)
    • There's also an alarming number of people who spell Queen Serenity's name as Queen Selenity - she does at one point say that she is an incarnation of the Greek goddess Selene, but "Serenity" is actually a word, as well as a reference to a lunar landmark, the Sea of Serenity.
    • Kaolinite has been translated as Kaorinite, Kaori Night and Kaori Knight.
    • Ptilol tends to get this a lot, her name being mangled as Puchirol or even Petite Roll in one case.
    • The Amazoness Quartet (except for JunJun, who escaped unscathed) also got this - CereCere became CeleCele, PallaPalla became ParaPara and VesVes became BesuBesu in the dub and BethBeth in the subtitles. They're named after asteroids which were named after Roman goddesses - Ceres, Pallas and Vesta, respectively.
    • Geneon's subtitles gave the name Byruit to Viluy.
    • Calaveras was occasionally spelled Caraveras or Karaberas.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • One character is called Malik (an Arabic word meaning "ruler"), whom the English dub calls Marik. Fans can't seem to agree on what it should be, though many compromise by using Malik for his normal self and Marik for his Superpowered Evil Side.
    • One card monster gets a three-for-one deal: a sea monster named Ribayasan.
  • Lua and Luca (Leo and Luna in the dub) in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds are often called Rua and Ruka in fansubs.
    • One episode had a Villain of the Week named... either Lotten or Rotten. Even the series itself couldn't decide, since it was spelled both ways on-screen at various points.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the world whence all the bad people come is spelled out on-screen many times as "Varian", and cards relating to that world have a V in their name. Yet for some reason all the fansubs and Wikis seem to think it's "Barian".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has a character whose name is displayed on-screen as "Layra" many times, yet fansubs insist on calling him Reira for some reason. A lot of fansubs also use Selena instead of Serena, despite the fact that again her name was clearly displayed as "SERENA" onscreen many times.
  • The German translation of One Piece spells Luffy's name (for the unfamiliar, that's pronounced "Loo-fee", not "Luff-ee") as Ruffy, pronouncing it like "Ruff-ee" rather than "Roof-ee". According to a translator Q&A in the manga, this was intentional, since "Ruffy" (as in "rough") sounds more like a pirate name than Luffy. Other translations also did that before reverting to the official Romanization.
    • The 4Kids English dub of One Piece changed Zoro's name to Zolo, since Zoro sounds too similar to Zorro (whom the character was named after anyway). Zoro's family name, Roronoa, is also an example of this, being a mangling of the real-life French pirate's name l'Olonnais.
    • There's a town the Straw Hats visit rather early on that is officially named Loguetown. The author spelled it this way deliberately, intending it to be a pun on prologue and epilogue, since the town itself is nicknamed "The Town of Beginnings and Ends". Many fansubbers and the 4Kids Entertainment dub missed the joke, and called it Rogue Town.
    • There are also arguments as to whether the desert town is spelled Alabasta or Arabasta, though Alabasta is the official spelling.
    • Almost no one gets poor Mr. 2 Bon Kurei's name right - 99% of translators both unofficial and official call him Bon Clay. (Word of God is Bon Kurei is the correct spelling, as he's named after a Japanese holiday, like the other female members of Baroque Works, since Mr. 2 is considered both a male and female agent).
    • And then there's the story of the final island and likely location of One Piece. In Japanese it's spelled out as "Rafuteru" in katakana. Fan translations AND official translations referred to it as "Raftel" for several years. However with a double hit of One Piece Stampede and Chapter 967, it's revealed that it's meant to be called "Laugh Tale". The chapter revealing that whatever Roger found on the island, it made him and his crew laugh until tears came out of their eyes.
  • Similar to "Zolo" above, 4Kids mistranslated the name of the character Silica in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!/Kirby of the Stars, named after the nonmetallic element of the same name, as "Sirica".
  • Also in the same vein, the Brazilian dub of YuYu Hakusho also uses L's rather liberally, with three good examples right off the bat: Rinku and Roto from the Jolly Devil Six (the dub keeps the team's Japanese name, Rokuyukai, which is the third example). All three of these names (which Team Urameshi encounter as their first opponents in the Dark Tournament) are pronounced in the dub with L's in place of R's (although Word of God points out that Rinku's name came from Link, the dub still keeps the U at the end of the name).
  • Fans of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders can't agree on whether one character's name is Avdol or Abdul. (They're both right - in Arabic, the letters "b" and "v" and the letters "u" and "o" are interchangeable, so the name can be correctly spelled Avdol, Abdol, Avdul or Abdul.)
    • Subs tend to spell N'Dour's name as N'Doul, despite him being named after Youssou N'Dour, although this case might be an intentional copyright dodge as even official translations tend to do, because the series is crammed full of musical references, so adaptations have to tread lightly to avoid copyright violation lawsuits (which could also factor in Mohammed being called Avdol, since Hirohiko Araki took his surname from Paula Abdul, even though Abdul is a common Arabic name).
    • Some of the Stands in the series exploit this deliberately to make a pun, such as Kobayashi Tamami's Stand The Lock in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable (named after the song "The Rock" by The Who) and Miuccia Miuller's Stand Jail House Lock in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean (named after the song "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley).
  • The Pioneer translation of Shakugan no Shana spelled Wilhelmina, an actual Dutch name with historical significance, as Wirhelmina.
  • A rather hilarious example (which has been shown on several forums dedicated to Engrish fails) happens in one episode of Tantei Gakuen Q. In it, Dan Morihiko explains that the "Q" in "Q Class" stands for "Qualified", at which point the word "QUARIFIED" is displayed on-screen in front of him in big letters, appearing one letter at a time.
  • One member of the main trio in Little Witch Academia is a Finnish girl named "Lotte". While the Japanese actors themselves actually do a very good job of properly enunciating the L in her name, there's one instance where it was mistakenly written out as "Rotte".
    • Professor Finnelan should probably really be named Finneran.
  • The Japanese language occasionally mixes up H and F as well, because the kana for fu belongs to the H-family both in hiragana and katakana. The One-Punch Man anime has Genos taking extensive notes (some in English) on everything Saitama does in case it's related to his Game-Breaker power, including a labelled diagram of the angle at which he rests on his huton.
  • There's a sign in the background in an episode of Trigun that says "Coffe & Restlant!!".
  • In one episode of Outlaw Star, there some text that says "Congraturation!". There's also an instance of "Heart Blake" but strangely, in a later scene it's corrected to "Heart Break".
  • 12 Beast: The setting is usually referred to as Live Earth, but the original name might be Rebirth (live rhyming with shiv).
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold: The villain "Marinche" in the English version is clearly intended to be the historical Malinche, but is called the former in the English and Japanese version. In the French version (and remember the series authors and producers were all French) she is correctly called "Malinche".
  • In promotion for Listeners, many, many sites said that the mecha pilots in the show were called "Prayers." They're actually called "Players", as fitting with the show's whole music motifnote  and praying doesn't come up, nor is there a religious theme.
  • The Netflix subtitles for Beastars render Louis as "Rouis" (the dub pronounces it the French way, "Louie"), and the episode descriptions if not the actual dub render Haru, a female character, as Hal.
  • Pioneer's subtitles for Serial Experiments Lain spell Alice's name as "Arisu."
  • One episode of Pokémon: The Series had Ash and friends playing Pokémon Golf. When their caddy stepped up to show his skills, he told them he just needed his "kurabu". The kids interpreted this as his golf club, but he instead grabbed a Poké Ball and sent out his Crab (Krabby), which he proceeded to use as a club.
  • Defied in Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star: While the Cures are learning English, Saki pronounes "water" as "watel", and Mai quickly corrects her.


  • In the live American version of Monty Python's World Forum sketch, the question about the Eurovision Song Contest is changed to "Jerry Lee Lewis has had over 25 solid gold hits in the U.S. of A. What's the name of the biggest?" Lenin doesn't answer, and so Eric throws the question open. Mao Zedong hits his buzzer and responds "Gleat Barrs of File?", which is the correct answer.

    Comic Books 
  • The Trope Namer is a Silver Age-era The Flash comic (seen above) where Barry Allen goes to Japan and is greeted as "Barry Arren-san." The Clue from Ed. said that the it came from "Difficurty of pronouncing "L's" in Japanese Ranguage"
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Used in an even more insane and racist and insanely racist way with Egg Fu and Dr Yes, the Oriental Eggheads who frequently try to capture Wonder Woman in their Diabolical Moustahce Trap.
  • Voltaire's (not that Voltaire) comic Deady Big in Japan features this, for the most part in lieu of actually speaking Japanese. It even lampshades it, when they refer to a "Escuratuh Attendent" and the bottom says "Escalator Attendant, for those who don't speak Japanese". Of course, he's pretty good about getting the accent right, instead of just replacing Ls and Rs, still.
  • American Born Chinese is a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang that features Chin-Kee, a hollibel Chinese steleotype who tarks rike this. This trope is actually being deliberately invoked in-universe, as Chin-Kee, who is in reality the legendary Monkey King (It Makes Sense in Context), actually speaks perfect English, and is speaking in this manner for reasons that are never adequately explained.
  • Every Asian in Mortadelo y Filemón (And most stuff from Spain for that matter) speaks with the "L in place of R" variety, regardless of their country of origin. Then again, they look so racistically caricaturesque it's almost fitting.
    • Curiously lampshaded in "El premio No-Vel", when the Villain of the Week's assistant is annoyed by the misunderstandings caused by talking this way and decides to try another variety using C instead of P. It instantly backfires when he calls his neighbor Paquita "Caquita" ("little poo"), and she responds by punching him.
  • A oriental Martial Arts expert in a Spirou & Fantasio comic used "L"s instead of "R"s (in the original French version anyway).
  • In Hotspur, the Wolf of Kabul's Tibetan sidekick Chung was armed with a cricket bat he called "clicky ba".

    Fan Wolks 

  • Kim Jong-Il in Team America: World Police talks like this, as emphasized in his song "I'm so ronery".
  • A Christmas Story: "Tis the season to be jorry. Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra, ra, ra" May be a lampshading, since the old Asian man immediately yells at them, "Not 'ra-ra-ra-ra' — falalalala!", and gives up when they fail to get it right. And they may have been simply jerking their boss's chain for the Parker family's amusement, as they immediately switch to another L-heavy carol, rather than something else.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's movie UHF does the supply-closet gag with an entire karate team leaping out and screaming "SUPPLIES!".
  • Referenced in Lost in Translation (Charlotte asks, "Why do they switch the R's and the L's?"), and briefly used ("Lip my stockings!").
    • In the same movie, a Japanese man asks Bill Murray's character if he knows "Lat Pack". Bill replies, "Oh, Rat Pack?" to which the Japanese man nods.
  • Back to the Future Part II: In 2015, Marty McFly is shown to be working for a Mr. Fujitsu, who pronounces his name as "Mock-Fry".
  • Invoked intentionally by the Chinese Uncle Benny in Lethal Weapon 4: "Flied lice!? It's called fried rice, you plick!"
  • Happens a large number of times in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, owed to the fact that none of the film's Japanese cast members were fluent in English, effectively making this an Enforced Trope.
  • A plot point in Chinatown. "Bad for glass".
  • The Last Samurai has Algren's new hosts struggling to pronounce his surname.
  • In the film Under the Rainbow, Billy Barty's spy character is supposed to meet a Japanese spy using the code phrase, "The pearl is in the river." When a Japanese visitor tries to help an old lady whose necklace broke and her pearls fell into her dinner plate, the businessman tells her, "The pearl is in the river (liver)." Naturally, the spy mistakes him for the contact.
    • Interestingly, the real Japanese spy pronounces the phrase correctly, confusing the spy.
  • In the 1945 film First Yank in Tokyo, the sinister Colonel Okanura tells his American captive, "Ah so, you are surprised I speak your ranguage. You see, I was educated in your country, at UCRA."

  • Two-part joke:
    Q: What do you call a woman with one leg shorter than the other?
    A: Eileen.
    Q: What do you call a Japanese woman with one leg shorter than the other?
    A: Irene.
  • What do you call Lady Gaga's Irish-Japanese stepsister? - Rady O'Gaga.
  • A Greek man loves going to a certain Chinese restaurant and asking what the special is. The special is always fried rice, and he loves hearing the waiter say "flied lice" - it makes the Greek laugh and laugh. The waiter HATES this, and is horribly embarrassed by it. When the Greek has to leave town for a month on business the waiter works with a speech therapist and tries hard. When the Greek came back and asked what the special was, the waiter said "The special today is fried rice. How's THAT, you clazy Gleek??"
    • A common and slighty more off-color variant is omit the man's Greek ethnicity and replace "Gleek" with "plick."
  • There were three men working for a construction contractor, two Americans and a Japanese man, and the contractor told the first American to dig out a hole to lay a concrete foundation, and the second American to mix the concrete, and the Japanese man to go out and get the necessary supplies to dig the hole. He comes back the next day, and sees that no progress has been made, so he goes to the man who was supposed to lay the concrete and starts yelling at him, but he says "It's not my fault, the other guy never dug the hole, so I couldn't lay the concrete." The contractor goes to the other man and yells at him, but he says "It's not my fault, the Japanese guy never got me the digging equipment." Annoyed, the contractor looks for the Japanese man, but he is nowhere to be found. Frustrated, he sits down, and suddenly the Japanese man pops out and yells "SUPPRISE!"
  • A Japanese woman goes to an eye doctor. The doctor tells her, "I'm sorry, but you have a bad cataract." The woman says, "No, not cataract. Is Rincoln Continental!"
  • A Japanese chemist in Cold War-era New Mexico was heard to remark, tongue firmly in cheek, that translating English to Japanese was difficult.
    "R or L? R or L? Hard to tell. Sometimes seem compretry landom."
  • John Pinette, after getting kicked out of a Japanese restaurant due to his Big Eater tendencies, was told "You eat like Fee Wirry!".
    • A Running Gag in his comedy. While coming off a waterslide too fast, he skidded across the water and was launched out of the pool, flying through the air.
      John: You know that scene from Free Willy where he jumps over the kid? I cleared four! There were some Japanese tourists there, and God bless them, I made their vacation. [pointing up, Japanese accent] "ISSA FEE WIRRY!"
  • From Tumblr:
  • Two women are talking at the office. "I just don't understand it," says the first woman. "No matter what I do or what I wear, I just can't get a date!" "You should see my doctor," said the other woman. "I had the same problem in the past, and he really helped me out." So the first woman makes an appointment, and goes to see the doctor, who is Japanese. In his office, he tells her to take off her clothes, turn around, and bend over. Finally, he says, "I am sorry. There is nothing I can do for you." The woman is upset and asks, "Doctor, what's wrong with me?!" He responds, "You have Zachary." "What's Zachary," the woman wants to know. The doctor replies, "Face rook Zachary rike ass."
  • A guy asks a Chinese girl for her phone number. She says, "Sex! Sex! Sex! Free sex tonight!" He says, "Wow!" Then her friend says, "She means 666-3629."

  • In Good Omens, Newt Pulsifer has a car called a Wasabi, an early example of Japanese car manufacturing. And it talks, voiced by someone who, according to the book, was clearly not a fluent speaker in Japanese or English.
    "Prease to frasten sleat-bert."
  • Robert Anton Wilson's Schroedinger's Cat trilogy has a character who gives an impassioned pre-hanging speech with all the Ls and Rs swapped.
  • The Destroyer: Remo Williams did this to intentionally anger his master Chiun, even though there's no indication Sinanju shares Japanese linguistic patterns.
  • In the Beverly Cleary book Emily's Runaway Imagination, set in the '20s, a classic episode of Age-Appropriate Angst results when Emily runs into the one Chinese man in town while walking her dog, whom he greets as Plince. She unthinkingly corrects him that it's Prince, and although he's nice about it, all the other adults start asking her how Plince is every time they see her.
  • In one of the Jennings books, Pettigrew makes an Incredibly Lame Joke about a Chinese stamp-collector. The punchline is "Philately will get you nowhere".
  • Henry Beard's Latin for All Occasions is basically a phrasebook for those times when you need to speak classical Latin. For times when you're in a Chinese restaurant, he helpfully translates "Do you have 'flied lice'? Ha ha ha!" as "Habesne olyziam flictam? Hae hae hae!"
  • The President of the United States in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator calls a wrong number twice, and both times ends up speaking with East Asian men who talk like this.
  • Rabbit at Rest: A little bit of unalloyed racism in a 1990 novel, as Mr. Shimada, the Toyota exec who comes to Harry's dealership, says stuff like "froor pran" (floor plan) and addresses Elvira the saleswoman as "Rovely rady!".
  • In James Clavell's Shogun, the stranded English sailor, James Blackthorne, becomes "Anjin-san" precisely because of this; his name is impossible for Japanese to pronounce correctly.
  • In the novel Voyage of the Javelin, about a young man from late 19th-century New England who joins a merchant sailing crew on a round the world voyage, this becomes a plot point as one Chinese-born crewman tries to warn everybody about pirates as they pull into an Asian port, but everyone ignores him thinking he's telling them about the harbor pilots. The ship gets attacked and suffers casualties.

    Rive-Action TV 
  • Similar to Anime, if a Japanese Live-Action Show theme uses English (mostly seen in Toku), then there tends to be some of this. For example, in the main theme of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, there's a moment where the singer is supposed to say "Let's go! Let's go!", but instead says "Ret's go! Ret's go!" (even the subtitles say "Ret's").
    • Similarly, Tokumei Sentai Go Busters has the Monster of the Week called "Metaloids" and the heroes' partner robots as "Buddyloids" but the fansub groups prefer using "-roid" instead because of "android".
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. The villainous organization is called "Deboth". While it sounds awkward, Toei insisted on using that spelling despite it having been called Devoss/Deboss before and one of the rangers made a pun which the latter spelling is more appropriate.
    • One episode of Choujuu Sentai Liveman had a pizza parlor whose front sign announced their "deliverly" service.
    • In Choujin Sentai Jetman, the Black Condor's Jet machine is called Jet Condor, but can be seen with the writing "JET CONDOL" on the side.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has the Tajadol Combo. It's obviously supposed to be Tajador, being a combination of Taka (Eagle), Kujaku (Peacock) and Condor, but the official spelling used by Toei is Tajadol. Note that they also refer to the Condor Medal as the Condol Medal, and OOO's sword weapon is the Medajaribur.
    • Kamen Rider Double also suffers from this, with Kamen Rider Accel's weapon being officially named "Engine Brade" by Toei. (Though it could be a pun on "brake", since it kind of resembles the brake handle on a motorbike.)
    • In Kamen Rider Kiva, the official spelling is Garulu, though subs tend to use Garuru. The real spelling wasn't made clear until the next series, Kamen Rider Decade, which had the name written on the Form Ride card in English letters.
    • In Kamen Rider Drive, the main villain's final form is a golden copy of the main character's primary form; naturally, virtually all of his merchandise refers to it as "Gord Drive."
    • The fourth Kamen Rider to be introduced in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid is themed after a racing game, so fans commonly translated his name as Kamen Rider Racer. Then the series came out and revealed that the official spelling is Kamen Rider Lazer.
    • The Kamen Rider Zi-O movie features villains who have names based on the non-main Heisei Kamen Rider series' names. One of them has a name which is a play on Kamen Rider BLACK RX, shortening "Burakku Āru Ekkusu" to "Bārukusu". This caused no end of headaches for the fansubbers, trying to render this name in English letters. Various spellings such as Barx, Burks, BRX and Barlux were used, and some even tried to preserve the reference by naming him Barlckx. The official spelling was later revealed in a magazine as Barlckxs, adding an s to the end for some reason.
  • The Odd Couple (1970): The boys befriend a Chinese wrestler (Jack Soo) who brings Felix and Oscar Jewish takeout- "chopped river", "rox" and "bager and cleam cheese".
  • Seinfeld: Jerry's girlfriend, Donna Chang (who changed her last name from "Changstein" and is from Long Island and very occidental), says "ridicurous".
  • The "Erizabeth L" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, where a stereotypical Asian director (claiming to be the Italian director Luchino Visconti) helms a production of Elizabeth R and insists that his actors pronounce it his way. This extends to the on-screen title.
    • Monty Python also had a song on their audio recordings which was the old standby Anglican hymn "Jerusalem" with all the L's and R's swapped, thus retitling it "Jelusarem". ("And did those feet, in ancient times, wark upon Engrand's mountains gleen...")
    • Chapman again played an Chinese stereotype in the "Cycling Tour" episode, who had difficulty pronouncing Cornwall. "Colrnlrnwarrll..."
    • Chapman seemed to be fond of portraying the Chinese stereotype, as in the School Prize-Giving sketch where he portrayed a Chinese Maoist impersonating the Bishop of East Anglia and awarding the prizes to "Peopre's Repubric of China!"
  • Top Gear (UK): Jeremy Clarkson sometimes indulges in this. For example his version (based on prior urban legend) of how the Mitsubishi Starion got its name is that the American advertising agency misheard the Japanese executive saying Mitsubishi Stallion, and ends with a comedy "marverrous". Then again, he switches into an equally daft American accent; "Ok, weeee'll have the BROchures prinned tonight!"
    • He also mentioned once that the Nissan executives had asked if The Stig could do a "rap" in their new car, and he replied "No, he likes easy listening. Oh, a lap!"
    • James May commented on the love that is felt all over the world for the traditional "blitish spoltcal".
  • Used (subverted?) in Da Kath & Kim Code (movie-length Christmas special of Kath & Kim). As the family is sitting down for dinner one of the characters says "this chicken is bloody rubbery". The others think he's making one of these jokes, but the "chicken" turns out to be the latex fake breast Kath had lost earlier in the episode.
    • In the "China" episode of Giles Wemmbley Hogg Goes Off, Giles attempts the same joke, which the waiter interprets literally and starts apologising for profusely, whilst Giles feebly explains what he was trying to do.
  • Jasper Carrott did a routine referencing this about how if a group of British people go to any far-eastern restaurant somebody in the group will impersonate the waiter too loudly "Flied lice, ha ha ha! As if he's deaf! He gets it every night of his life. He goes straight to the kitchen and pisses in the soup, it's your own fault!"
  • In an episode of Are You Being Served?, a Japanese Tourist came into the store with his "Cledit Caa" (Sooooooo!). Captain Peacock's attempts to communicate with him are at least as hilarious as the tourist himself ("You wanty buy?" "Whaty-wanty?") Also:
    Captain Peacock: And this, Honourable Mr Lucas.
    Tourist: Rucas (bows deeply) Sooooo!
    Lucas: No, no, no, Lucas.
    Tourist: Rucas!
    Lucas: No, Luuucas—
    Captain Peacock: (interrupting) You must understand, Mr Lucas, that this gentleman is Japanese. He has difficulty getting his tongue 'round his "r"s.
    Long Beat
    Mr. Humphries: You know, I would have thought that it was just a matter of practice...
  • Get Smart had a Chinese villain who called himself "The Claw." Unfortunately, he had trouble getting this across properly. His catchphrase was "It's not 'The Craw,' it's 'The Craw!'" It gets better. In the Spanish dub of the show, the villain's name is (correctly) translated to "La Garra", and his catchphrase becomes "¡No es «La Gala»! ¡Es «La Gala»!".
  • One episode of Have I Got News for You had a joke featuring this, resulting in one of the panellists complaining about "razy lacism". The Dutch version, after an item about an escalator being stolen in China, had a pun featuring this. Sadly, it doesn't work in English.
  • In the pilot of Modern Family, Mitchell and Cam introduce their adopted Vietnamese daughter, who they've named Lily. Dimbulb Phil thinks she'll have trouble saying that name.
  • Used on The Benny Hill Show, where you'll get things like "breast" instead of "blessed", "whore" instead of "whole", etc.
  • On an episode of They Think It's All Over, the panellists were shown footage of a Japanese shouting competition and asked to translate the sentence being shouted into English. Team captain and former cricketer David Gower decided to poke fun at opposing captain and former footballer Gary Lineker's brief stint playing for Nagoya Grampus Eight by suggesting they were shouting, "Get that Rineker off, he's clap!"
  • Barney Miller: In "Strike: Part 1", the NYPD is going on strike. Dietrich makes an offhand comment to Japanese-American Yemana about how Japan has a lot of labor unrest. Yemana says yes, he has an uncle back in the old country who's a union activist and has spent time in jail.
    Yemana: I guess you could call him a rabble rouser.
    Dietrich: Or a rabor reader. [Yemana frowns] It's ethnic humor!

  • Official PlayStation Magazine featured a fake Japanese game contest commentator who employed this trope. As a joke, he once denied being one of the writers in a "lacist" persona.
  • In a Cracked Mazagine spoof of Black Sheep Squadron many years ago, Capt. Boyington is disguised as a Japanese person. He gets almost found out at one point, being asked, "Are you sure you're Japanese?" To which he replied, "Of course. Didn't you notice I'm reversing my Rs and Ls?"
    • As a matter of fact, the real Pappy Boyington did speak passable Japanese. He used this for entertainment during his time as a POW, taking advantage of the fact that few of the camp guards spoke any English. Boyington would approach a guard, smile, and compliment him profusely in Japanese. The guard would smile and thank him. Boyington would then switch to English, maintaining his smile and ass-kissing tone while insulting the living shit out of the oblivious guard (subjects included, but were not limited to, homosexuality, bestiality, questionable parentage, and who may or may not have fucked the guard's mother), who would continue to smile, nod, and thank him, to the endless amusement of the American and Australian prisoners.

  • The DragonForce Gag Dub video "Herman Li is Cool" exaggerates Herman's accent by making him speak like this.
  • The final gig of X Japan's 2010 North American Tour happened to be located at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Yoshiki Hayashi had to talk about this in a promotional clip. The result? ROWSWAND BAWWROOM, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Japanese rap group RIP SLYME make use of this trope in their name for a Pun-Based Title; the Japanese pronunciation of "Rip Slyme" is close to identical to the pronunciation of "Lips Rhyme".
  • GACKT's tour named YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz. Or, as Gackt calls it, "YELLOW FLIED CHICKINZ." Fans have started referring to the concert as "Yellow Fudge Cakes" after Gackt's...interesting pronunciation.
  • Rucka Rucka Ali (pronounced in the song as "Rucka Rucka Ari") is intentionally making fun of the various Asian stereotypes in "Ching Chang Chong".
  • Rin and Len from Vocaloid are sometimes mistaken for Lin and Ren. Luka is also sometimes called Ruka.
    • Miriam's genderbend is called William. In English, the two names don't seem to rhyme (genderbend names are usually supposed to rhyme with their real counterparts), but since the Japanese pronounce Miriam "miriamu" and William "uiriamu", they do actually rhyme.
  • Played for laughs with Allan Sherman's song "Lotsa Luck":
    When you buy a tape recorder of the automatic kind,
    Lotsa luck, pal, lotsa luck.
    If it's simplified for folks who aren't mechanically inclined,
    Lotsa luck, pal, lotsa luck.
    There's a small instruction booklet that's a hundred pages long,
    And on page one, you get stuck.
    It says, "If unsatisfactory,
    You must bring this to the factory,"
    But the factory's in Japan,
    So rotsa ruck!
  • The YouTube upload of the third Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood opening theme "Golden Time Lover" calls it "Golden Time Rubber".
  • Intentionally invoked by the Japanese band Flied Egg.
  • The Japanese band One OK Rock's name is a play on "one o'clock"

  • Japan has a particular fondness for the Dullahan, an Irish legendary spirit who's similar to the Headless Horseman. However, there's a tendency to mistranslate its name back as Durahan. The Dragon Quest series and Monster Rancher are among the series to bear Durahans where they really should have Dullahans.
    • Vagrant Story uses both spellings inconsistently, depending on whether you're fighting the Dullahan or looking him up in the bestiary.
      • Also, check the Durarara!! example in the Anime/Manga section.
    • Golden Sun gets the name right... but the attack where its sword turns into a lightningbolt the size of the screen is translated as Formina Sage, which the last one would correctly translate as Fulminous Edge.

    New Media 
  • The NFL blog "Kissing Suzy Kolber" does this with their fictionalized Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (an Korean-African American) character.

    Newspapel Comics 
  • There's a The Wizard of Id strip where a stereotypical Asian person gets tossed into the prison, and strikes up a conversation with perennial inmate Spook. He remarks that he's hungry, and would "rike big dish of flied lice". Spook tells him the food's bad enough already, don't go giving them ideas...
  • Beetle Bailey: Are those new Japanese cars any good? The standard test is to slam the door closed, and if it says "PLUNK", the car's all right. Naturally, the Japanese car's door goes "PRUNK".

    Plofessionar Wlestring 
  • Sometimes this isn't all bad. Though inaccurate, rolling elbow isn't as fearsome sounding as Roaring Elbow! is it? Ironically, it was an English speaker, Joey Styles, who turned this from Engrish to its standard name while observing Masato Tanaka in ECW.
  • She's known as Malia Hosaka, except in FMW, where she was Maria Hosaka.
  • Due to long stints in Japan, Low Ki's Finishing Move, Ki Krusher, is also known as the Key Clasher, despite him never calling it such.
  • This is why Fergal Devitt became Prince Devitt when he went to Japan, as opposed to say, any delusions about his royalty, though he may in fact have those as well. Prince only has one r in it, so the Japanese fans could remember how to say it, but they seemed perpetually confused about how to say Fergal.
  • Cherry has sometimes been billed as Che Li in Ice Ribbon, Neo Women's Wrestling and Dramatic Dream Team.
  • Daijo: Osaka Women's Pro Wrestling will alternatively print veteran wrestling clown Piko's name as Doton Bolshoi and Dotonborishoi (it's in reference to Dotonbori Pro and Command Bolshoi, so it really is a matter of preference)
  • After coming to New Japan to join Bullet Club, Tanga Roa's name has alternatively been spelled as Tanga Loa. Again, not such a bad thing since his Tag Team with Tama Tonga is called Guerrillas of Destiny.
  • One time when this wasn't portrayed as a joke and was extremely racist was during the ill-advised WWE title run of Jinder Mahal, who cut a very derogatory promo against Shinsuke Nakamura and included this as one of his insults, causing him to completely fall into X-Pac Heat. Fans even began chanting, "That's too far!"

  • In the "Uxbridge English Dictionary" round on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, one go-to joke is "[Word beginning with L or R]: A Japanese [Rhyming word beginning with R or L, or sometimes W]". These days it tends to produce murmurs of discontent from the audience rather than laughter, though.

    Tabretop Games 
  • Munchkin Fu, the version of the game that parodies martial arts movies and anime, has the card "Engrish Transrate Plobrem".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a few examples:
    • Invoked with the Jerry Beans Man card - since he's an anthropomorphic jelly bean, his name is a pun on "jelly beans" and the English name Jerry.
    • Buster Rancher is clearly supposed to be Buster Launcher.
    • Is it Northwemko or Norsewemko? The official card's name is Divine Grace - Northwemko, but people can't agree on what it "should" be.
    • Then there's the Koa'ki Meiru archetype. It's actually supposed to be Core Chimail, being a portmanteau of "core", "chimera" and "mail", but for some reason the literal katakana spelling is the official one.
    • Blackbird Close ("Burakkubado Kurosu" in the Japanese card), based on the artwork, is clearly supposed to be Blackbird Cross instead, as in, "crossing into the sunset". The artwork is also meant to resemble one scene in the anime when Crow rides on his Blackbird to cross from Satellite side into Top side. Whoever translating the name must have been translating without checking the artwork, let alone the origin of the artwork.

  • Christmas Eve speaks like this in Avenue Q, plus idiosyncratic grammar. Her pronunciation of "recyclables" as something along the lines of "lee-psych-er-a-burrs" is incomprehensible to anyone but her husband. One of her songs is "The More You Ruv Someone (The More You Wanna Kirrem)."
    • Steleotypicer, but rike she says, "Evelyone's a ritter bit lacist!"
  • Used for a joke in "Gliding Through My Memoree" from Flower Drum Song, with an obviously Asian girl being passed off as Irish:
    Frankie: Say something Irish.
    "Irish" Girl: Ellin go blah.
  • "Message from a Nightingale" in The Drowsy Chaperone, a King and I knockoff whose cast recording the Man in Chair accidentally plays instead of the eponymous Show Within a Show, abounds with this. Lampshaded by the Man in Chair, who notes the actor playing the Emperor is the same one performing Chaperone's comical Latin lothario:
    Man of a thousand accents. All of them offensive.

    Video Games 
  • Truth in Television: The endings to many Japanese-developed video games of the '80s and '90s managed to misspell "congratulations" along these lines. "Congraturation" was probably the most common, perhaps most famously in Challenger and Ghosts 'n Goblins; "conglaturation" showed up in the Ghostbusters NES game; and Ninja Kid II, a.k.a. Rad Action, even managed to misspell it "conglatullations". See also A Winner Is You.
    • Ghostbusters for the Master System, while generally better than the NES game, had Gozer's name transliterated as "Gorza".
    • Similarly, Samurai Shodown 4 conglaturated congraturated congratulated the battle winner with a message of "VICTOLY!"
    • The King of Fighters: "Laund bun! Lady... Goh!"
    • Another one from SNK is that they can't seem to know how to write "capoeira" (the Brazilian martial art style, which is used by Richard Meyer and Bob Wilson in the Fatal Fury series, as well as Soiree from KOF Maximum Impact): most of the time, they write it as "capoella".
    • Also crops up in anime sometimes, though a little differently. On more than one occasion screens had announced missile lock with 'Rock On,' unintentionally invoking a different trope at the same time.
      • Video games have done this too: in one of the Mega Man arcade games, Wily telegraphs an attack with a moving crosshair that adds a small "ROCK ON!" label shortly before firing. Unless it turns out to be a pun on the protagonist's Japanese name. A crosshair labeled "ROCK ON" also appears in the Attract Mode of the Data East mecha action game Act-Fancer: Cybernetick Hyper Weapon.
    • An interesting example exists in Guilty Gear, where the special blocking technique that avoids chip damage but uses up the super bar can be transliterated as Faultless Defense or Fortress Defense, both of which describe the technique accurately. Also, a variant of a Lag Cancel move that requires super bar energy can be either False Roman Cancel (False because it resembles the real one but uses half as much energy) or Force Roman Cancel (an FRC can always be used, even if your attack misses, while a regular RC can only be used if you make contact).
      • Arc System Works apparently likes puns based on this trope, considering that BlazBlue can be read as "Blaze Blue" or "Brave Blue" from the kana.
  • Brain Age: Many American players found themselves having to say "Broo" when the game wanted them to speak "Blue" into the mic.
  • Dragon Quest: The hero Roto, or Loto.
  • The original Shadow Hearts has the problem of the translators turning all R's into L's, and all B's into V's. There's a character called Halley - didn't it occur to anyone on the translation team that his name might be Harry?
    • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has the same problem with a spell: Lily's Jail or Release Jail?
  • Final Fantasy IV:
    • A lot of fans are pretty sure that Rydia was meant to be Lydia, a much more common English name (everyone else (with a real name) has an English name).note  The mistranslation seems to have stuck, since it does sound appropriately exotic for the not-at-all-mundane character in question.
    • A similar L/R and B/V mishap happened with one of the four Archfiends: the female wind-based member is supposed to be named Barbariccia, but as with the other three, the reference to The Divine Comedy was initially Lost in Translation, so she ended up being named "Valvalis" in the SNES version (due to the strict 8-character limit for enemy names) and "Valvalicia" in the PS1 version. It wasn't until the GBA version that this was finally corrected from there on out.
  • Cooking Mama's eponymous character speaks with a very heavy accent.
  • The name Gradius was a transriteration of "Gladius". In the arcade version of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, the sword you start the game with is called the "gradius".
    • For those who don't get it: gladius is Latin for (a type of) "sword". The kind used by a gladiator, which Latin word has survived into English unchanged.
    • Some sources call the fourth boss of Gradius IV "Belial", while the manual for the PS2 Compilation Rerelease calls it "Viral", and the Shadow Gear is called "Club" (Crab) in some Japanese material.
    • And Lord British / Road British in Salamander / Life Force.
  • The Breath of Fire series is infamous for poor translations, especially the second game. This gives us such items as the "fishing lod".
  • In the NES version of Double Dragon, the name Roper is romanized into "Lopar" in the manual. The NES version of Double Dragon III has Bimmy Lee - something that Double Dragon Neon took and ran with.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Multiple characters in the game have names that are much better puns in English.
      • Bloody Brad in Metal Gear is a much funnier sounding name in Japanese phonation - Buraadi Buraado.
      • A point in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is that Big Boss is going by "Vic Boss". In Japanese, biggu to bikku is much closer-sounding, and "vic" as a shorthand for "victory" is commonly understood. In English it's contrived and also nonsensical. Made even more strange by the fact that one of the phrases the player can have Snake say in battle is "VIC VOSS" (which in Japan is just a slightly different pronunciation of the same sound).
    • The main heroine in the MSX version of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is named "Horry". Later releases of the game spells it "Holly", but not before the "Horry" spelling showed up in the Previous Operations text-only recap of MG2 in Metal Gear Solid. Speaking of which...
    • Metal Gear Solid:
      • Otacon notes that REX was a joint venture with Rivermore National Labs, while this might be a Bland-Name Product, it is more likely a mistranslation of Livermore National Laboratory. This is backed up by fact that Otacon mentions the use of NOVA and NIF lasers, both projects done by Livermore National Labs.
      • During development, the character Deepthroat was known in the script as 'Deep Slaught' due to mistransliteration of the kana. This did eventually get fixed before the game came out.
      • The Kaiju parody giant Genome Soldier from the Integral/VR Missions expansion pack and Updated Re-release is called "Genola". This was probably supposed to be 'Genora', as '-ra' or '-rah' is used as a slightly cheesy suffix for giant monster names in Tokusatsu.
      • The Japanese version of the game, Revolver Ocelot's name is spelled "OCEROT" on his lifebar.
      • Ocelot's nickname of "Shalashaska" was a mistransliteration of sharashka from Russian to Japanese to English, a kind of pre-1950s Soviet labour camp for scientists. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain attempts to salvage this by explaining that the word sharashka was linked to the word shaska meaning saber. It still doesn't explain how the 'l' got in there.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
      • An interesting In-Universe plot point/Genius Bonus use of this - the name of the Government Conspiracy, "La Li Lu Le Lo", is based around the Japanese syllabary - Japanese phonemes are listed in 'a i u e o' order and the Japanese have no letter 'l', meaning that the organisation is named after letters that could but don't exist. This is related to the conspiracy having edited information to the point of stripping away whole letters in the alphabet so people can't think about it. Of course, the characters are all in-universe speaking American English...
      • In a strange aversion for Distanced from Current Events reasons, Kojima confirmed that the spelling/writing of Raiden's name was changed at the last minute from kana to kanji so that this would not transliterate his name into (bin) Laden, as the game was released shortly after September 11, 2001. Hideo Kojima was very nervous about this as the story (coincidentally) involved terrorists attacking New York.
      • There is a credit for "Viblation effects" in the opening credits. Of the English version. Of both the Tanker and Plant chapters. And this wasn't fixed in the Updated Re-release either.
      • Fortune's voice actress's name is misspelled in both the credits and Boss Subtitles as "Maula Gale" rather than "Maura Gale".
      • Olga and Sergei Gurlukovich were probably supposed to be Gorkavich, a real Russian name. Agness Kaku's unedited translation used "Gorkavich", but it was changed afterwards to fit with the reference in the previous entry.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, one of The Boss's credits as "the Mother of Special Forces" is that she was one of the reasons for the formation of "Rayforce". The real-world organisation is called Layforce.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots did a cross promotion with Assassin's Creed in which Altair's costume could be unlocked for Snake. The trailer announcing this ended with Hideo Kojima saying "Did you rike it?" in a hilariously thick phonetic accent, which the Internet leapt on for YouTube Poops and other such injokes. Noticeably averted in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, in which Kojima's Author Avatar says "Snake, what took you so long?" with an accented but still clear 'l'.
    • Teliko's unusual name in Metal Gear Ac!d seems to be an attempt at an in-universe version of this - her birth name is actually the ordinary (if old-fashioned) Japanese woman's name "Teruko", which she supposedly disliked. However, when joining SWAT her name was misspelled 'Teliko' on her application form, which she decided to keep. Never mind that the mixup isn't between '-ru' and '-li' and that Teliko would have been writing her name in English characters anyway...
  • Persona 3: The opening song "Burn My Dread" (and many other songs in the game) mostly avoids this, despite the singer's very thick Japanese accent, though she does clearly pronounce "ghostly" as "ghostry" in the line "My ghostly shadow".
    • In the Japanese voice track to Persona 5, Ann occasionally speaks Gratuitous English which can sometimes fall into this trope, such as "Get leady!" when summoning her Persona.
      • The Updated Re-release, Persona 5 Royal, had voice acting for the scene in which Ryuji tells the player about the maid service. In the Japanese voice acting for said scene, Operation Maidwatch is named by Mishima, in a hilariously thick accent, as "MAIDO ROOKIN' PAHDI!" (Probably supposed to be "Maid Looking Party".)
  • Touhou Project 12.8: Fairy Wars has one of the more amusing instances of this, as the accompanying English translation for the final battle music with the intended Title Drop is written as "Faily Wars".
  • An Engrish mistranslation resulted in one of the bosses in Devil May Cry, Nero Angelo (Black Angel in Italian), being referred to as Nelo Angelo. (Interestingly enough, this was actually a mistake by the English localisers - the Japanese manual for the game wrote his name in English letters as Nero Angelo.)
    • Similarly, the fourth game has a demon named Berial, rather than Belial.
  • Valis, or Varis? This mistake sometimes occurs in the English dubs of Valis 2 and III for the TurboGrafx-16. The Sega Genesis version of the first game has the caption "GET FANTASM JUELY."
  • In the international version of Super Mario Bros. 2, the enemy Clawgrip was mistranslated as Clawglip. This error even remains in the SNES version (Super Mario All-Stars), but was finally fixed in the GBA version (Super Mario Advance).
  • In the Japanese dub of Mario Kart 64, Peach's voice actress said "Get ready", but sounded more like "Get lady". Other mistakes came less from the actors than the scripts, however: in his victory celebration, Luigi screamed "Luigi is the top!" and sounded like "Luigi is the pope!".
  • The Cheep Cheep trucks in Mario Kart DS prominently displayed the word "FLESH" in the kiosk demo. This was thankfully changed to "FRESH" in the final game, though this misspelling can still be seen in the final game's GCN Mushroom Bridge icon.
  • Jet Set Radio Future's multiplayer has a "Plactice Mode".
  • One of the items in The Great Cave Offensive in Kirby Super Star is called Ramia's Scale, which was pretty obviously supposed to be Lamia's Scale. Curiously, even though some names in Ultra were changed from the original localization (like Orihalcon to Orichalcum), this was not fixed.
  • In Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, the recurring ice-based Mini-Boss Mr. Frosty has his name mistranslated as Mr. Flosty.
  • The Helirin trophy from Kuru Kuru Kururin is misspelled "Heririn" in English version of Super Smash Bros. Melee and the American version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but corrected in the European version of Brawl.
  • The early The Legend of Zelda games had an enemy named Zola, which was changed to Zora in later games. Moblin has been spelled Molblin and Mobrin in some media. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Malon could be either Malon or Maron, but the localization goes with Malon (probably to keep players from confusing her for Marin from Link's Awakening).
    • The fire-breathing dragon boss's name was translated as Barba in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Volvagia in Ocarina of Time.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild makes the V/B distinction a canonical issue native Hylian speakers have with pronouncing various Gerudo words. Considering the traditional Gerudo greetings all have v's in them, it quickly becomes a running gag, complete with native Gerudo speakers coaching people having trouble with it to bite their lower lip as they pronounce the words.
  • Vowels are not exempt from this in Japanese, most especially the 'u' as pronounced in words like "bug" or "slug". In every Dragon Quest game prior to VIII, Bubble Slimes were referred to as Babbles. In Mega Man 2, one Robot Master is variably called either Clash Man or Crash Man, and many believe the actual name was intended to be Crush Man.
  • Metroid: The "Varia" Suit was pretty obviously supposed to have been "Barrier" instead, due to its overall improved defensive ability and (eventual) resistance to extreme temperatures. Strangely, the manual for Metroid II: Return of Samus even refers to the suit itself as the "Barrier Suit", and refers to the in-game "Varia" item as an upgrade to create it. Of course, the Varia Suit would eventually become a default to which other upgrades are applied. The original Metroid calls the planet later known as Zebes "Zebeth".
  • Falco Lombardi in Star Fox was actually intended to be named Falco Rambaldi after Carlo Rambaldi, an Italian special effects artist who worked on the films Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The instruction manual for the first game spelled his name "Lambardi", which was then changed to "Lombardi".
  • There is a Famicom game titled The Triathron.
  • Journey to Silius has this, as the name was intended to be Journey to Sirius.
  • Data East released a game titled Death Brade (also known as Mutant Fighter).
  • The Super Famicom Platform Game Jerry Boy (released in American English as SmartBall, and not to be confused with a different SNES game titled Jelly Boy) has a main character resembling a blob of jelly. This is justified by him originally being an ordinary boy named Jerry, and a risqué pun on "cherry boy" may also have been intended, but the title screen of the unreleased sequel unambiguously says Jelly Boy 2.
  • These tend to pop up in the Lufia series' translations, often in enemy names such as "Ramia" (Lamia), "Gorem" (Golem), and "La Fleshia" (Rafflesia).
  • In Aero Fighters 2, "fly" is written as "fry" in several lines, including Spanky's immortal line:
    I never thought I'd be frying over a jungle.
  • Magical Chase has a shot power-up called "Balkan." It's probably supposed to be "Vulcan" and has nothing to do with Eastern Europe. Forgotten Worlds likewise features a "Balcan Cannon."
  • Magical Error wo Sagase, an Arcade Game by Techno Soft, has a title screen asking the player to "Please Insert Corn."
  • According to senior manager Seth Killian, Final Fight / Street Fighter character Rolento was originally to be named Laurence/Laurent, but then this trope got a hold of his name.
    • Another from Street Fighter (specifically, Street Fighter V): "Easy opelation!", courtesy of Hiroki Yasumoto as Guile.
    • And another one from Final Fight is one of Mad Gear's fat mooks, G. Oriber, who was probably meant to be G. Oliver (his name is read "oribaa" in Japanese, which is the pronounciation used for "Oliver").
  • Some of the Japanese names in Pokémon are actually supposed to be either foreign words or mashups of them. For example Magnemite is Coil. There was one Pokémon in particular in the 3rd gen that caused a headache for people - Manectric. The Japanese name is Raiboruto, which could be transliterated as Raibolt (which makes sense, given "rai" means thunder). Except the official transliteration is Livolt, completely opposite of what most people were expecting regarding the R/L and B/V issue. At least it still passes as a portmanteau of "Live Volt", maintaining the "electric creature" theme.note 
  • Subverted by the rhythm game Sound Voltex Booth; as its branding and interface has a highly futuristic and "electric" look, making it double as a Punny Name.
  • Minky Monkey, a Technos Japan arcade game, has a "COPYLIGHT" notice on the title screen.
  • In the English translation of Parodius for the SNES, two of the bullhorn messages are "ALL LIGHT NOW!" and "LOCK ME BABY!". Of course, these messages weren't intended to be meaningful.
  • The Arcade Game Seibu Cup Soccer has "Algentina" as one of the national teams.
  • Taito's 1989 arcade Violence Fight, while chock full of Narmy Engrish, has a standout with one of the main characters, called "Lick Joe" - or should we say, Rick Joe.
  • World of Warcraft: In the Mists of Pandaria expansion, a lot of the Mogu talk like this. Particular mention goes to Xin the Weaponmaster in the Mogu'shan Palace dungeon, when you are told that you "surry the great regacy of our people". Given that WOW is an American game, and Mists of Pandaria was intentionally Asian themed, this crosses over with Intentional Engrish for Funny.
  • Mega Man X5: If you take X into Squid Adler/Volt Kraken's stage, then the two will discuss the death of Launch Octopus from the first game before the boss fight. There are two problems with this. One, the English translator didn't recognize that Launch Octopus's name was changed from "(Launcher) Octopuld"; two, because of this trope, his name ended up rendered "Octopardo."
  • In Mega Man X8, one boss's name is spelled Gigavolt Man-O-War in the manual and in dialogue, but Gigabolt Man-O-War in the splash screen before his stage. The English voice actors (boss names on splash screens are read aloud in this game) even pronounce it both ways.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • This is the cause of the eternal Aeris/Aerith argument - "th" is not a sound in Japanese, so it gets rendered as "su" in katakana, which was mistranslated as an "s". Square Enix have repeatedly said that it was always meant to be Aerith, since it's supposed to sound like "Earth" (and early promotional artwork of the character was labelled "Erith"). Regardless, there are still people who will vehemently insist that it's Aeris.
    • Nibelheim is a pun on Niflheim, one of many references in the game to Norse mythology (the "f" in the word is pronounced like a "v", and "b" and "v" are often confused in Japanese). However, 'nibel' is also similar to 'nebula', the Latin word for 'Cloud', so it also loosely translates as "Cloud('s) home".
    • Helletic Hojo is pretty clearly meant to be Heretic Hojo.
    • A few enemy names were mangled in this way too, Cokatolis (Cockatrice) and Allemagne (Ahriman) being just some examples.
  • Believe it or not, Zidane of Final Fantasy IX was a result of this. His name is written Jitan in katakana, and was meant to be Gitan (pronounced roughly "ZHEE-tahn" with a nasal sound), a French word meaning "gypsy", which matches up with his last name being Tribal - a tribal gypsy, get it? However, since "zi" is often written and pronounced "ji" in katakana, the translators mistook his name for the name of a French football (soccer) player.
    • A few references to older Final Fantasy games are mangled in this way. Marilith (the fiend from the original Final Fantasy is mistranslated as Maliris. Gurgu Volcano became Mount Gulug (spelled "Mount Gulg" in initial translations of the first game).
    • There are two names that are actually not examples of this trope, despite everyone thinking they are - Limit Glove (Quina's Blu Mag spell) and Valia Pira (a boss). People assume these names were supposed to be Limit Globe and Barrier Pillar respectively, which make sense - the attack looks like a globe, and the boss is a pillar that uses barriers. However, the katakana for these names deliberately uses the "vu" katakana (a special katakana used only for foreign words) - they write them as リミットグローヴ (Rimitto Gurōvu) and ヴァリア・ピラ (Varia・Pira) respectively, whereas Limit Globe would be リミットグローブ (Rimitto Gurōbu) and Barrier Pillar would be バリア・ピラー (Baria Pirā - also note the long "a" sound in "Pirā"). In the first case at least, the globe-like attack animation was most likely intended as a pun on the attack name, not as an indication of how to spell it.
    • Freya's long-lost love, Sir Fratley, is supposed to be named Flatley, a reference to Michael Flatley, the famous step-dancer known for the Riverdance. This is backed up by the sandstorm-strengthening ritual in Cleyra being very Riverdance-esque. Of course, since the Burmecians/Cleyrans are anthropomorphic rats/mice, one could see him being named Fratley as a case of A Lizard Named "Liz" instead.
    • Some foreign translations, like the French one, spell Vivi's name as Bibi.
  • Speaking of Marilith, this fiend was named Kary due to space limitations in the original NES version of Final Fantasy - which is also an example of this trope, as it was meant to be Kali, as in the Hindu goddess.
  • Riku's Another Side, Another Story mode in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is officially called "Reverse/Rebirth" mode in English. Both words are pronounced and written the same way in Japanese, and both are thematically-appropriate, so the English translators decided the only way to keep the meaning was to have them both in the title.
    • A sleight exclusive to the remake was named Lethal Flame in the English version of the initial release, despite the attack having nothing to do with fire. The HD Remix collections corrected it to Lethal Frame, as the attack involves casting Stop on an enemy to freeze it before attacking, "frame" in this case referring to a frame of movement or time.
  • Kingdom Hearts II:
    • One enemy is called Magnum Loader. It should actually be Magna Roader, which is the name of an enemy in Final Fantasy VI.
    • The North American release of the game misspelled Xigbar's real name, Braig, as Bleig.
  • Before Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep had an English translation, fans took to calling the new enemies "Unbirths". When the English translation came out, it turned out they were actually called "Unversed".
  • Tales of Phantasia: Is it Cless or Cress? The official Japanese spelling is Cless Alvein, but the English translation uses Cress Albane. (Since another character is named Mint, and cress and mint are both types of herb, Cress would seem to be the correct choice.)
  • In the intro to Tales of Symphonia, two city names can be seen written as Ruin and Parumacosta. In the actual game, these places are named Luin and Palmacosta. The change from Ruin to Luin was most likely intentional, to make the fact that the town gets destroyed in the story (and reduced to ruins, hence the name) less obvious to an English-speaking player.
  • One of the many Pac-Man clones is named Hangly-Man, obviously supposed to be Hungry-Man.
  • In the hub area of Disgaea 5, one will hear a song played on endless loop. The song itself isn't bad, but the lyrics can be incredibly difficult to understand without seeing them, as the singer's Japanese accent shines through on many syllables. This makes certain sentences sound less like they're supposed to and more like something completely nonsensical ("I have forgotten" can sound like "Eye of a button" which contextually makes no sense).
  • Though its "Blind Idiot" Translation is now legendary, the arcade shooter Battle Rangers actually did manage to avoid this mistake in the written dialog... But the tied-up P.O.W.s you find will yell for "HERP!" until you rescue them.
  • Silent Hill:
    • Dahlia Gillespie from Silent Hill was apparently named after the former girlfriend of Italian film director Dario Argento, whose name is Daria Nicolodi. It still works out fine, though; the reference is obviously lost, but "Dahlia" is a perfectly acceptable woman's name.
    • In Silent Hill 2, the sign above Brookhaven Hospital actually reads "Blookhaven Hospital". This mistake was fixed in Silent Hill 3.
  • In Strikers 1945, one stage pits you against an "air fortless."
  • The PlayStation 2 Era Ace Combat games suffered from this to some extent, none more than Zero. Galm is supposed to be Garm, the German word "Luchs" is turned into "Ruchs", and it's not clear if it's supposed to be Operation Bloom or Operation Broom (one is seen in text, and the other heard in the voice over.
  • THE iDOLM@STER: Million Live! fell afoul of this a couple of times:
    • Roco's name was originally intended to be Loco, but the voice actress wrote it as Roco and the name stuck.
    • They later had to fix some merchandise which had "Miya and Erena" instead of "Miya and Elena".
  • The hilariously titled flypotato folder in the decompilation of the McDonald's eDCP training cartridge for the Nintendo DS. It contained the textures and models for the french fries itemnote . Aside from that, there's also the equally hilariously named fishpotion...
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has several, the most egregious being Railway Militaly Police appearing in certain textures in the game (ironic how they got Railway correct tho). Adding to the hilarity, when the game was localized to English, these errors somehow slipped through the cracks on the original run and were only patched once people played up to the chapter and started pointing this out... after it was re-released in HD.
    • Likewise, Falcom's own website accidentally named the files related to a character called Arianrhod, Arianload. Even the Japanese fans caught this one and the files was quickly renamed.
  • In Magic Pengel, the shop signs throughout town make this mistake several times. Most jarring is the fish shop with the large sign just saying "flesh".
  • PaRappa the Rapper: In the credits, Prince Fleaswallow's name is written as "Freaswallow".
  • In the Game Boy version of DuckTales, after the five main levels are beaten, Flintheart will steal all of Scrooge's treasures and dare him to "come to Dracura Duck Manor".
  • The Japanese version of the Knight Rider NES game clumsily renders Bonnie's name as "Vonnie".
  • Fate/Grand Order: Lampshaded in Avicebron's Interlude, when he decides to hold a "Strongest Robot in History" competition among the Heroic Spirits, and someone enters Lobo as a contestant.
    Thomas Edison: All right, fess up! Who's the wise guy who saw the word "robo" and decided to enter Lobo?
  • There's a recurring mook in Streets of Rage who's supposed to be named Garcia. Thanks to this trope, he's instead called Galsia in every game except the third one.
  • This trope ended up affecting the plot of the Rygar series. In Japanese, the original game and its NES conversion were called Argos no Senshi, or "Warrior of Argos", and they were about a nameless "Legendary Warrior" questing to defeat a villain named Raiga. Somehow, that one name managed to get localized two different ways abroad, "Rygar" and "Ligar". The former was used as the title, which would normally make it an Antagonist Title, but it was also applied to the hero; the villain was "Ligar". The later PS2 game completely dropped said villain in favor of an entirely new story, so "Rygar" was unambiguously the protagonist.

    Web Oliginar 
  • On Nigahiga, Hanate (played by Ryan) from "How to be Ninja" and "Skitzo" speaks with this accent.
  • In Greek Ninja, both Kana and Yamauchi-sensei say "haro" instead of "hello" when they first speak.
  • Lampshaded in a Dysfunctional Family Circus caption.
    (Thel reads a fortune cookie fortune.)
    Thel: "Vely Pletty Lady is..." wait, why would they use a bad Jerry Lewis oriental accent when they type??
  • The Third Rate Gamer character Offensive Stereotype does this.
  • A Not Always Learning story has a Japanese student in an English class telling a story that ends up derailing into Toilet Humour:
    "As I finished the song, the auditorium was silent. I was very frightened. Then, one man began to crap. Then, another man began to crap. Soon, everyone is crapping. I think they enjoyed my song, after all."
  • Random Assault: The hosts are not above doing offensive Asian accents. Played straight with the title of episode 020: "Ret's Get Lacist!!
  • The Ninja Master in the Ninja Gaiden episode of The Angry Video Game Nerd has this accent occasionally.
  • Game Grumps did a joke about this at one point, with them pretending to call Shigeru Miyamoto. "Miyamoto" (played by Arin) is initially confused as to who Danny is, but understands when Danny pronounces it "Glame Glumps". (Actual Japanese pronunciation would be "Gēmu Guranpusu" - no Japanese speaker would actually add an "L" sound to "game", especially since "game" (gēmu) is a common loanword in Japanese anyway.)
  • In his diss track on RiceGum, "Asian Jake Paul", iDubbbz tells RiceGum "I'd say 'take the L' if you could pronounce it", satisfying RiceGum's wish for iDubbbz to make a joke about the former's Asian identity.

  • Kiyoshi's father from Chugworth Academy. This is the least of his problems, however.
  • Nute Gunray in Darths & Droids. This is later a clue that he's taken over R2 when the droid starts speaking like this ... even though what Pete says isn't what the characters hear anyway.
    As you know, our brocade is perfectly regal.
  • Heiwa from Universal Compass
  • Okashina Okashi (Strange Candy) has the "Rube Failies", who always switch their Rs and Ls.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! - When ordering at an ice cream parlor, a ninja orders tutti-frutti (adding an extra syllable to "furutti"), and then reveals in a thought bubble that he's annoyed because he wanted vanilla but wasn't sure he could pronounce it.
  • Polandball does this with all East Asian countryballs. It's even used on the Polandball Wikia.

    Westeln Animation 
  • A staple of many wartime cartoons, like Tokio Jokio, Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips and The Ducktators.
  • In one episode of Frisky Dingo, Grace Ryan goes undercover as a Japanese woman and replaces her L's with W's more than R's.
  • An East Asian pirate from the three-part season 3 premier of Archer also spoke like this. Bucky, the character in question, was voiced by James Hong.
  • The Donald Duck cartoon "Donald Applecore", after Donald winds up accidentally Digging to China.
  • There was an extended joke in Drawn Together about this and driving, with a quote going something like:
    Ling-Ling: Evelyone shourd realn to accept the way they L.
    Captain Hero: Looking good, Ling-Ling! What's your secret?
    Ling-Ling: [translated] Ling-Ling find great new shampoo ... also worst lingual enemy.
    [holds up bottle of Prell]
    Ling-Ling: P-plerww?
    Ling-Ling: [translated] Blests! Blests! You know, merrons, headrights, hootels, flied eggs, cleam puffs!
  • There's also the local Chinese restaurant in South Park, the 'Shitty Wok' (City Wok). It's run and owned by Tuong Lu Kim, whose most memorable phrase is 'Herro, wercome to Shitty Wok, may I take your order prease?'. Becomes somewhat understandable when it's revealed that he's actually a white guy with a Split Personality, meaning that he's just imitating what he thinks Asians sound like.
    • One episode has the Chinese Mafia is shaking him down... by tipping over the food trays. "Not the shitty beef!"
    • Also done in the appropriately-named episode "The Chinese Probrem", where Cartman and Butters are infiltrating PF Chang's to find out the Chinese invasion plans. Cartman instructs Butters that all he needs to do is squint and say "Herro, prease" to pass off as a Chinaman. Needless to say, the real Chinese people aren't impressed. The real Chinese people in the restaurant subvert the trope entirely. They speak English with an American accent and tell Cartman and Butters that they are not Chinese.
  • Uncle Grandfather from Perfect Hair Forever speaks like this, being modelled as a stereotypical Asian Obi-Wan-style character.
  • A Blue Racer cartoon has this lovely sign: "Colonel Kiochi's chicken farm; Finger ricking good flied chicken."
  • The Simpsons:
    • When the Simpson family visits Chinatown, there's a store there called Toys "L" Us.
    • In "Krusty Get Kancelled", Krusty falls victim to a crank call from The Gabbo Show, pretending to be a Japanese camera company offering him an exorbitant sum to appear in a commercial. Krusty, in a further display of how out of touch he's getting, exclaims "Me rikey vely much!"
  • The Beatles cartoon "It Won't Be Long" focuses on a bonsai garden in Japan near where the boys are having a picnic. The sign outside the garden reads "Dr. Ah So, Honolable Ploplietor."

    Lear Rife 
  • The majority of examples above are "real life" in that they're not a result of someone deliberately attempting to invoke the trope, they're examples of the reason the trope exists in the first place.
    • Since it's easier to learn an accent than a language, but you usually start learning a language with your own accent, a speaker with an otherwise good English accent might keep doing this out of habit even when they should know better.
  • There are so many phonemes in all the human languages, you're are bound to mistake one sound for another.
    • Arabic k and q are different sounds, but they're pronounced alike from speakers whose languages does not have them in their phoneme inventory. Arabic also has a whole series of "emphatic" consonants differentiated from "plain" ones by a secondary articulation (usually described as pharyngealized, but linguists like to debate this). The pairs are usually transliterated with a dot under them to differentiate from the "plain" consonants: s/ṣ, t/ṭ, d/ḍ, [[Odd Name Out|dh/ẓ]], h/ḥ. Non-Arabic-speakers usually can't tell the difference between them—and it shows in many of the languages of the Muslim world, particularly Persian, Turkish, and Urdu, which borrowed words copiously from Arabic but pronounce these "emphatics" the same as they would pronounce the plain consonants.
    • Korean differentiates between tense and not tense consonants, transliterated as k/kk, p/pp, t/tt, s/ss. They sound the same to those not trained in it.
    • Spanish n and ñ sound very different, but English speakers pronounce both as /n/.
    • Similarly, Portuguese has ã and õ, which are nasal vowels (i.e. a and o pronounced with a nasal sound), but non-native speakers tend to end up pronouncing it as regular a and o.
    • German u and ü are two different vowels, a distinction not carried in loanwords from German, such as 'über'.
    • Finnish distinguishes between long and short consonants, as does Japanese: tili = "account", tilli = "dill".
    • Russian (and some other Slavic languages) has the whole palatalisation mess, which basically doubles most of its consonants, but is notoriously difficult for non-native speakers.
  • In World War II, this was also used as a shibboleth. If an American unit spotted someone claiming to be Filipino or Chinese, they would ask him to say "Lollapalooza"; if he responsed "roraparooza", they were shot.
    • US Marines in the Pacific would use words with lots of Ls as their perimeter passwords. On Guadalcanal, for example, if a Marine heard somebody move in the dense jungle, he gave the challenge "Lollypop." Anybody who didn't want a faceful of .30-06, .30 Carbine, .45 ACP or buckshot had damn well better be able to pronounce the password, "Lillypad."
    • This came up during the "Hallelujah Night", the first night of Guadalcanal landings, when the password given was Hallelujah, resulting in most Marines on beaches shouting Hallelujah in response to a slightest provocation during the whole night.
  • Japanese immigrants to Spanish-speaking countries often have trouble when talking about an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist: they're known as "otorrinolaringólogos".
  • Used frequently in stand-up acts, particularly that of John Pinette, when talking about a Japanese family wanting to see Free Willy. Hilarity ensues.
  • Used for humor in the title of this track from Overclocked Remix.
  • When Douglas MacArthur was considering running for President, a sign erected by Japanese citizens in Tokyo read: "We pray for MacArthur's erection."
  • In Bill Bryson's BBC radio series about the English language "Journeys In English", one of his guests, a well-spoken Japanese university lecturer living in England, while speaking about the problems for any Japanese learning English still says "plonunciation" and "my Engrish sometimes causes some probrems".
  • This is acknowledged by many Japanese citizens, particularly when they're attempting to learn English or similar... The word "Really" has proven to be a good test.
  • Young children often pronounce Ls as Rs when acquiring their mother tongue. However, they are fully capable of telling the difference, evidenced in part by the fact it's never the other way around.
    • However, it is the other way round in Russian, which is notoriously rhotic, and has its R as a full-on alveolar trill, to the point that some Russian kids don't learn to say it well until the school.
  • LUSH Cosmetics used to make a product called "Flosty Gritter", apparently named for a mistransliteration made by the Japanese LUSH product designer who invented it, Noriko Muira.
  • Apparel company Lululemon was named as such because its Eccentric Millionaire founder Chip Wilson simply thought it would be funny to see Japanese people try to say it (and he was right).
  • The L/R confusion is actually not just a staple of East Asian languages. It happened in all Romance languages after the break-up of Latin. You can also find this sort of variation in some African languages and even European ones—consider, for example, the Spanish and Portuguese words for 'white', blanco and branco or 'beach', playa and praia. Likewise, Algeria is Argelia in Spanish. In Romanian, intervocalic simple L always becomes R in words inherited from Latin, such as măr ('apple') from malum. Even English and French have that effect, even though it seems to work in opposite directions: French has titre ('title'), derived from Latin titulus, while English has purple, from Latin purpura. In general, some European languages and dialects have trouble with English Ls and Rs as well. Molisan, for example, has L and R sounds, but Ls and Rs are silent if preceded by certain vowel sounds. Attempts to render these in English are difficult even for experienced speakers, a common mistake is "Rey cherry" (really chilly).
  • Indian English speakers often tend to have trouble pronouncing /v/ and /sk/, which get shifted to /w/ and /x/, respectively. This is often why you'll see an Operator from India working on tech support (both in the case of legitimate businesses and tech support scams) pronouncing words like 'Virus' and 'Desktop' as 'Wirus' and 'Dexstop'. The latter word pronunciation is a case of metathesis, as the /s/ and /k/ phonemes have switched places, turning 'sk' into 'ks'.
    • In a couple of Americanized Romance dialects, particularly Brazilian Portuguese and a couple of Caribbean French Creoles, the "back r" sound most associated with French and German becomes a /h/ or /ɣ/ sound, especially at the beginning of the word or what was formally a double r; for example, the title of the 2010 Brazilian novelty hit "Surra de bunda" note  is pronounced, approximately, /'suha dʒi 'bũndə/.
    • Polish, too: the Polish language differentiates between the "conventional" L/l sound and its own unique consonant, written as a "L" with a stroke through the upright as Ł, Ƚ, or small-case ɬ. This denotes a rounding-out of the "l" into something more of a "w" sound, on its way to being a non-rhotic "r".
    • The Linear B writing script of Ancient Greece transcribed both /l/ and /r/ as R: for example, gʷasileus (chieftain, cf. Classical Greek "basileus"), gʷoukoloi (cowherders), and Tulisos were written as qa-si-re-u, qo-u-ko-ro, and Tu-ri-so respectively. In the related Cypriot script that was used until the 4th century BCE, /l/ and /r/ were written with two sets of syllables instead of one as in Linear B.
  • Another consonant that frequently causes problem with East Asian languages is F, which often winds up being rendered as "H" or "P". Interesting too is that F/P divergence also took place in the evolution of European languagesnote : for example, English "fish" vs. Latin "pisces," English "father" vs. Latin "pater," etc. (The latter is called "Grimm's Law," which was a major scholarly contribution by Jakob Grimm, of The Brothers Grimm fame, when the two were not working on dark folklore.)
  • The Finnish "v" sound is very soft, often sounding more like an English W than a V. For this reason, Finnish people speaking English tend to pronounce "v" as "w", resulting in Finnish people asking if you have an "owen" (oven) in your kitchen.
  • Invoked in French, where the mangled Gratuitous French writings that can be encountered in Japan are sometimes refered as "Flançais" ("Flench").note 
  • Hardcore Techno musician t+pazolite once tried to say "I'm ready", but ended up sounding like "I'm lady". Memes ensued. Later became an Ascended Meme in Cytus II, a game that t+pazoilte contributes songs to, when an in-universe social media post references the tweet.
  • Meriken Shinshi, a Japanese book of prints from 1855 depicting American history, renders Washington (as in George Washington) as "Wasinkton" in alphabet. "Meriken" itself being the Japanese transliteration of "American".
  • Yuzuru Hanyu fans had a scare when he was overheard saying "You have future. I don't have future," to another skater. What actually happened was: that skater, Boyang Jin, asked Hanyu for his WeChat, a popular Chinese social media, which Hanyu did not have (being Japanese).


Drawn Together

Ling-Ling mispronounces a bottle of shampoo.

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