Why do japanese video games have transliterated titles?

I don't speak Japanese but I learned the hiragana and katakana writing scripts, so I can read those phonetically. What I've noticed is that video games made in Japan will have a transliterated English title instead of a direct translation

For example, I saw a game called Berserk in English. The Japanese title is beruzeruku (ベルズルク) instead of the Japanese word for berserk

Does anyone know why this is?

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Comments ( 7 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • It's a marketing strategy that makes the games more appealing to English audiences. It typically makes the games have better sounding titles for those who don't speak the language.

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  • A fun fact on japanese manga and hentai titles. Since there are so many titles coming out weekly theres a benefit to naming your work as a short description of what happens in said media. Such as "is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon?" Which is often shortened to DanMachi.

    Sure its uncreative but being informative to the potential reader is more important than a short and possibly misunderstandable title.

    Reason why berserk works is... well if you read it then it speaks for itself.

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    • But why would they want the Japanese title to be the English pronunciation of a word they most likely have in Japanese already?

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      • Japanese people by and large have understanding of english. Not 100% but japan teaches English as a core class type. I've talked to japanese people and they have a passable understanding and usage of english. Not good enough to debate complex issues but enough to make small talk. If by and large a good part of the population can speak some english they sure as hell can read it too.

        Got to remember romanji is one of the forms to write japanese. Writing japanese in romantic letters. English is totally a tool they have access and the capacity to not suffer the consciences of using it.

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  • It's like asking why do Japanese games often use Kanji with Hiragana writing above it.

    They mostly use Katakana to sometimes to emphasize foreign words or titles for e.g the Japanese name for Streets Of Rage would be ベア・ナックル or just romanized as BARE KNUCKLE which is often emphasized in Romaji.

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    • I guess it goes both ways. The fighting series Tekken could have just easily been translated as Iron Fist

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