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Filed under: Masahiro Sakurai

Do Not Expect a Ton of DLC Characters


I’ve seen a lot of people believe that Sakurai and his team are going to pump out a ton of DLC characters. This is not the case. Today, I’m going to break down our translation, and why we decided to include “only several”. Sites like Siliconera have slightly altered the meaning, thus raising fan expectations to a much higher level.

Translation is incredibly tricky, especially when translating Japanese to English. This is because Japanese can be very ambiguous and is very relevant on context. For example, Japanese is one of the languages where pronouns are regularly dropped.

As of right now, we have seven translators working on translations. The benefit of having so many translators is that we discuss the translations before we post them on Source Gaming, thus raising the probability that our translations will be accurate. It creates considerable more work for us to check each other’s translations, but it is worth it to provide the fans with accurate, unbiased translations.

Now, I will break down the sentence and explain our translation choices:

Here is the full Japanese sentence: これからは、あくまでサービスだし、いつまでもチームを継続できるわけでもないので、あと数体の配信となりそうです.

Our translation: From now until the end, it is going to be fan service , but I can’t keep the development team together forever, so there’s only going to be several more characters.

From now

until the very end,

release service (for our fans),

Literal translation: From now until the very end, release service (for our fans)
Adding context: From now until the very end we will release service (for our fans)
Our Translation: From now until the end, it is going to be fan service,


team (the development)

continue/sustain (i.e. the development process)

able to do

Not the case

Literally: Indefinitely team continue able to do not the case.
English ordering: Not the case, indefinitely team continue able to do
Adding the context (Pronouns): I can’t indefinitely development team continue
Final draft: “I can’t keep the development team together forever,”

because of (2)


several (“more than two but not many”) a number of ; generally 2-6.
We chose several as it was more ambiguous than “few”. There is a huge range of possibility.
With a “few” it stresses that how little something is. We do not believe that Sakurai would stress how few characters he is planning on making.
Therefore, we felt that “several” was the most accurate out of all the other word choices.

bodies [counter] (in this case characters)

distribution (online)

appears that it will be the case that

Note: ~そう is a guess. It’s very noncommittal. It is used to “soften” the assumptions made by the speaker. When speaking Japanese, it is considered rude to be very blunt or straightforward.

Literally: because of (2) after several characters distribution appears that it will be the case that

English ordering: because of (2) (it) appears that it will be the case that after several characters distribution
Adding the context: so, it appears that it will be the case (that) after several more characters
*Since there is doubt, we opted to include “only~~~ several” in our translation.
We translated this part as: “so, there’s only going to be several more characters”

In total, it took the Source Gaming Team somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes to figure out the best translation for this sentence alone. The reason we spent so long on one sentence was because we were fully aware that this would be a point of contention and have the potential to be taken out of context.  It’s pretty tedious to break down the translation like this, but I hope this article gives you insight in how translation works and how we approach it at Source Gaming. Please comment below, or on the original article with any questions. Please subscribe to continue receiving the most comprehensive Smash coverage on the Internet.

  1. Why didn’t you translate it as follows?

    “From now until the end, it is going to be fan service, but I can’t keep the development team together forever, so there’s only going to be SOME additional characters.”

    Pacack on June 30 |
    • He explained exactly why they translated it the way they did. Don’t act like you know better.

      Max on June 30 |
  2. So… basically ‘more than one’? We all know what this means.

    Ice Climbers confirmed for remaining DLC character. 😉

    MaskO! on June 30 |
    • Time to pummel some FG scrubs for 60% for just one grab by using IC’s

      Jonathan on July 5 |
  3. your translation, and understanding of the sentence “あくまでサービスだし” is incorrect. The correct translation of the sentence, keeping the tone would be something along the lines of: “to be frank/blunt, what we’re doing (in the context of giving DLC characters) is a “service” ( as in, they are doing extra work).

    He is saying that DLC characters are extra work that they are doing, and since the team can’t stay around forever, there will be only a few more characters added.

    ken (@kennypu) on June 30 |
  4. Reblogged this on noordin400's Blog.

    noordin400 on June 30 |