Dad jokes are universal. In Japanese, dad jokes are called “oyaji gyagu,” with oyaji meaning “one’s father” and gyagu meaning “gag” or “joke.” Like anywhere, these tend to be cheesy puns, but who can resist them? You you can, but I sure can’t, and it seems Nintendo’s Yoshiaki Koizumi cannot, either.
Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami might have brought the physical comedy gold, but he wasn’t as punny as Koizumi. After introducing Splatoon 3, he asked viewers what they thought. In the original Japanese, Koizumi asked, いかがでしたか? (Ikaga deshita ka?), which is a polite way to ask, “How was it?” But when Koziumi asked, he put emphasis on ika, and ika can also mean “squid” in Japanese.
Geddit? Not a bad Japanese-language dad joke, right?
However, it seems the Nintendo of America version of the direct used voice-overs instead of subtitles, which kind of ruined this corny pun. Unfortunately, it sounded like whoever was doing Koizumi’s English emphasized the wrong thing, saying the line as, “So, what did you think?” I guess that choice to lean into the first word in English was made to match Koizumi’s expression when he asked in Japanese, emphasizing the first part of ikaga.
But as Twitter user Fu points out, the Nintendo UK version used subtitles instead of a voice actor. Because of that, they were able to do an excellent job of localizing Koizumi’s Japanese language dad joke, putting a nice spin on it and pulling it off beautifully. The subtitles read, “What did you thINK?” Geddit? ThINK as in “ink,” making reference to squids. For dad jokes, that’s pretty good, right?
It’s crackin’ me up because it sure seems difficult to translate dad jokes into another language. I just have an inkling, but no doubt you must be well-armed in linguistic know how to do incredible work.