No farting please, we’re Americans


Apparently, when translating their Pokémon game from Japanese to English, Nintendo changed a question in an in-game personality test that asked you what you would do if you farted. In the English-language version, you merely broke a rotten egg. What, do they think kids in the U.S. don't fart? Or that they don't enjoy fart jokes. Allow me to clear up any confusion: Kids in the United States love fart jokes.

Or maybe British kids don't fart. Perhaps that's it.

(For those who don't get the subject, it's a snowclone of the form No X please, we're Y. Learn more here.)

Comments (20)
  1. Captain Joe Pasquale says:

    Aar, ’tis a scientific fact that people in the Far East have a looser anus than us folk in the Western World…

  2. Stinky Bum says:

    I have terrible flatulence resulting from an incredibly loose anus, and I’m a Westerner!

    Perhaps it’s my very poor diet…

  3. I think the issue is not whether American kids would like the joke, but whether their parents would be upset by it. Some parents are easily offended; there is a strict and humorless system for rating video games and the penalites for breaking the rules are fairly severe.

  4. Richard says:

    British kids (and adults, judging from various British comedies) adore fart jokes. I think it must be the Canadians.

  5. BrentRockwood says:

    I assure you that we Canadians have no more aversion to flatulence than Americans or the Brits.  After all, many of the most recognizable comedians in American media are, in fact, Canadian.

    Perhaps "breaking a rotten egg" is simply a Japanese euphemism for farting that was translated literally.  Anyone???

  6. Cody says:

    [Perhaps "breaking a rotten egg" is simply a Japanese euphemism for farting that was translated literally.  Anyone???]

    I don’t believe so.  I believe the reference is to the fart smell that a rotten egg gives off when broken.

  7. John says:

    I suppose it’s possible the translation was bungled (i.e. Zero Wing), but I suspect it was more to avoid possibly offending anyone.  The pussification of America continues.  Our forefathers didn’t fight and die so that we could be insulated from fart jokes.

  8. Merus says:

    It’s more likely that, rather than the pussification of America continuing, it’s that in Japan the fart joke isn’t really considered toilet humour. For that matter, they don’t really have the concept of ‘toilet humour’, which makes for a whole lot of fun when you see Japanese game shows where the aim is to run around in Y-fronts and get the front of them as dirty as possible without using your hands.

    Treehouse (Nintendo’s internal translation house, who are probably some of the best translators working in games – their Mario RPG localizations are phenomenal) most likely figured that a literal translation would cause some cultural confusion, and so decided to go for something which was the same in spirit to what was intended. You gotta do this a lot in translation – there’s no way you can do a 100% accurate translation for things like this, because not only do you need the words to line up, you need the cultures to as well.

    (Incidentally: World’s Deadliest Police Chases also does not translate well.)

  9. oidon says:

    Perhaps "breaking a rotten egg" is simply a Japanese euphemism for farting that was translated literally.  Anyone???

    I suggest re-reading the post. "breaking a rotten egg" is from the English translation. The original Japanese clearly states "[you] farted" (onara sityatta).

    Tōkyō, Japan

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it wasn’t the question that caused the sanitized translation but one of the answers.

    You broke a rotten egg in a room. What will you do?

    >

    You have two options for answering:

    >

    Open a window right away.

    Take a sniff first.

    I think the translators thought people in America could be offended by the possibility that they might want to smell their own farts.

  11. Anonymous2 says:

    I think the translators thought people in America could be offended by the possibility that they might want to smell their own farts.

    What relevance is geographical location? It’s an English translation, so it is applicable to all English readers, not to mention those in Japan.

  12. "Or maybe British kids don’t fart."

    You should have seen ‘Men in White’ on Discovery channel. They do fart, everyone does. It is simple unavoidable. The question is how others behave when one farts.

  13. Norman Diamond says:

    I think the US has a ratings system for computer games.  If a vendor wants their product to be used by children but a fart joke would have brought an adolescent rating, maybe they had to change it.

  14. Dewi Morgan says:

    I thought Billy Connolly had explained this in excruciating detail in one of his better-known skits from the 80s? Here in the UK, anyone with any money has their fart glad removed. Americans spend all their money on dentistry: we spend it on anal hygiene.

    Have you ever seen the Queen fart? No, and you couldn’t imagine her doing so. The Queen Mum, God rest her soul? Never farted once.

    Princess Anne? Due to a rare medical condition she didn’t get the op, and now farts like a horse.

  15. Clifton says:

    Thank you for helping me realize that my entire sense of humor is based upon snowclones.  If formulaic cliches are wrong, then I don’t… er… the terrorists have won.

  16. Darren Winsper says:

    You people are clearly clueless about the British.  Not only do we not fart, our **** smells of the first roses in spring, our armpits have the aroma of freshly cut lawn and our breath is as fresh as fresh orange juice made freshly from fresh oranges.

  17. [Darren Winsper]

    Actually, I was talking about the England, right now situated on the 3rd planet of a tiny star system in Milky Way galaxy. :)

  18. Brit says:

    Actually, I believe the word "fart" is in a swear-class worse than regular language in Britain – the "mild vulgarity" class.

    It lives there with "piss" and "arse" (or "ass"), which are two words that Americans also seem to find acceptable in regular conversation.

    While talking about we-speak-the-same-language-but-are-not-the-same, the translation artifact of the five-letter f word (f.nny) is always a source of amusement, particularly when a middle-class Brit encounters it in Yank conversation for the first time.

  19. brian leahy says:

    "Oh no the truck have start to move"

    -Metal Gear

Comments are closed.