When the golden android C-3PO introduces himself to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, he uses a rather bizarre compound noun, one of a long series consisting of equally misused terms (an idea for a later blog entry):

His "non-human-cyborg" counterpart. Not sure what his title would be considering C-3PO's bewildering contradiction. Not all too brilliant of a start for the translator-bot.

Already from the start we get the impression that C-3PO, whose main purpose is as a protocol droid, that is an interpretor, diplomat and servant. Cyborgs are cybernetic-organisms, that is putting it plainly living beings who are part machine and part biological components. C-3PO, none will surprise to know, is a wholly mechanical unless there is some darker side to his creation when Anakin put him together.

Furthermore, this confusing mish-mash of science’y sounding jargon will surely put even the most tried translator on a test in order to at one hand finding a sensible alternative to this incongruous hybrid.

The Japanese Super Famicom release of the North American Super Nintendo game, Super Star Wars, features a loose adaptation of said scene above, thus:


Watakushi wa C-3PO to iu saibôgu de gozaimasu. Taihen na koto ni narimashita. Wakushi no aibou R2-D2 ga, jawa zoku ni toraerete shimaimashita.

"I am a cyborg called C-3PO. Something terrible has happened, sir. My partner, R2-D2 has been completely captured by a tribe of Jawa."

Zooming in we get “私はCー3POというサイボーグでございます。”, “I am a cyborg called C-3PO”. The translator in question gave up halfway adapting the nonsense and outright called him a cyborg despite the fact that he is a machine-translation service on two legs, a robot.