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Fans are translating Japanese 'Iwata Asks' dev chats into English

Fans are translating Japanese 'Iwata Asks' dev chats into English

September 6, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

September 6, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
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Back in July, Nintendo World Report marked the one-year anniversary of former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's passing by setting out to publish English-language versions of his "Iwata Asks" developer interviews that have never been translated out of Japanese.

The "Iwata Asks" interviews have long been appreciated for the insight they offer into how folks at Nintendo make games, so it's notable that someone is trying to make more of those insights available in English. 

That someone is NWR contributor Matt Walker, who apparently stopped by a NeoGAF thread about these interviews back in July to explain that he got started translating them after realizing (via Wikipedia) that not all of the "Iwata Asks" interviews were localized for English readers.

"I found that list on Wikipedia that indicated not all of them had been translated into English - so I immediately archived those files in Japanese as PDFs, and decided it would be amazing if we could get all of those into English, then offer those along with the officially translated ones," he wrote. "If you feel like anything was poorly worded or doesn't make sense please feel free to let me know - I'm only human, and translated all of these after a full day of work and childcare so they're not reflective of my best work."

So devs perusing them should keep in mind that these aren't official Nintendo translations and there may be some errors in the translated conversations. But what conversations they are! They stretch back years and encompass everything from games like Animal Crossing ("Do you all know about the 64DD? Anyone who doesn’t, please raise your hand," asks Iwata, adding [with a laugh] that "there are quite a few. Ah, Miyamoto-san, stop joking around,") to hardware like the Nintendo Wi-Fi Network Adapter.

NWR is working to add more as time goes on, and each interview exposes the production processes and philosophies of a variety of Nintendo staffers -- as well as Iwata himself. For further insight into how Iwata (who was a longtime game developer in addition to a Nintendo exec) thought about games, take a look back at some of his most memorable game dev quotes.



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