The Origami King Chinese localization spurs discussion over alleged censorship

Paper Mario: The Origami King Chinese localization spurs discussion over alleged censorship

An activist has pointed out some perceived censorship in the Traditional Chinese localization of Paper Mario: The Origami King. Activist @ShawTim states that the desire for “human rights” and “freedom” were removed from the dialogue of a Toad, replaced by a more bland desire for “a plain outlook and peaceful life.” The topic was subsequently picked up by Unwire.hk, a prominent media outlet based in Hong Kong. @ShawTim identifies with #MilkTeaAlliance, a group that has formed as a result of activists in a number of countries wanting to fight back against China’s influence.

https://twitter.com/ShawTim/status/1286576932235091968

The Traditional Chinese version of this Origami King statement is far less inflammatory, given the current climate in Hong Kong. Many activists are continuing the protests that started when China proposed to implement a bill that would allow for judicial extradition to mainland China. The fear was, and still is, that Hong Kong’s judicial independence would be undermined.

A counterpoint on Chinese censorship in The Origami King

Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad entered the topic with his own perspective. He reminded us that Paper Mario: The Origami King has not officially released in China in the first place, meaning neither the government nor Tencent could have mandated a change. Although, Ahmad conceded it’s at least possible the Chinese localization team could have made such modifications on its own in anticipation of an official release in mainland China later. He then recommended someone else’s translation of the Traditional Chinese localization, which explained the translation actually uses Chinese puns.

The translation includes words of the same connotation, not the same precise meaning. This is where it gets tricky with translations and localizations.

Here we can see two different ways of understanding what may be censorship in Paper Mario: The Origami King. It seems to me that opinions of the translation are subjective at best for now.

[Source 1/Source 2]

Jamie Sharp
Started out playing Metroid 2 on the GameBoy at around 5 years-old, and now I write about games all day long. Can't play Switch and drive, I've tried. As time goes on the Switch is quickly becoming my favourite console of all time.