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What Spy X Family Fans Could Be Missing From The English Translations

On the r/SpyxFamily subreddit, u/Toki_Madoushi offered a painstaking list of some of the elements and concepts of the series that were more difficult than others to translate from Japanese to English. For example, when Yor (Saori Hayami/Natalie Van Sistine) considers murdering a parent to help Anya (Atsumi Tanezaki/Megan Shipman) land a spot in a prestigious prep school, the Japanese text that pops up translates roughly to “(living) sacrifice.” What we got in English instead was a clever name for that prospective victim: “Zachry Feiss.”

The user also provided context for a pillow on the Forger bed that says “Yes” on one side. Apparently, the pillows are a trend in Japan that are meant to communicate to your partner whether you’re feeling amorous or not. As such, the other side of such a pillow generally says “No” on it. This, of course, doubles as further cover for the fact that Loid and Yor are supposed to be a married couple.

Fans were quick to show their appreciation for the post and the level of nuance it revealed about “Spy x Family.” Being that such knowledge would be hard to come by unless a viewer happens to be deeply familiar with Japanese trends and customs, it’s easy to see why other fans were so appreciative. Meanwhile, another user offered a further example where a joke could easily be missed due to the subtlety of the Japanese language. “[Yor] says the only skill as a housewife is ‘cleaning house’ in the translation I read,” observed u/GelatinPangolin. “In the sub I watched, it gets translated as only ‘cleaning.'” The distinction here is that “cleaning house” is definitely more of a transparent euphemism for killing, which is Yor’s real profession.


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