Some years ago, when I was reading the Mother 1 or 2 novel I think, I read in the afterword that the author had gotten an advance copy of the game so she could start writing the novel early on. I was confused though, because she said she had gotten a “ROM”. Given that the novels were written in the early 90s, I was like, “No, she must be talking about an early cartridge copy, not a ROM like we would call it now.” So I was always careful to try and not translate “ROM” as “ROM” unless it actually warranted it.
I just randomly stumbled upon a Japanese auction today that confirmed my hunch:
Being a computer geek I understand the technicalities of why translating that as “ROM” wouldn’t necessarily be a wrong translation, it’s just that nowadays it would give English-speaking Internet people the wrong impression.
So I guess the point of this tale is to always beware of false friends. Because they’ll sneak up and spoil the party if you’re not careful.