So, Bulbapedia posts translations of the episode titles for the Japanese version of the Pocket Monsters TV series. While a lot of the translations are good, some of them are...let's say "less than spectacular."
There are two big problems I've noticed popping up again and again. If I may, I'd like to point them out and offer some advice.
The first problem is that there are a LOT of titles that lack definite ("the") and indefinite ("a," "an") articles. The Japanese language doesn't have these, so it's up to English translators to put them in wherever appropriate. Unfortunately, a number of Bulbapedia's titles do not. For example:
- "Site of Dreams! Munna and Musharna!!" - "The Site of Dreams" sounds a lot more natural.
- "Out of Control Pendror! Rescue Kibago!" - "The Out of Control Pendror!" sounds a lot more natural.
- "Rival Battle! Strong Opponent Pururill!" - "The Strong Opponent" works better.
- "Shippou City! Big Adventure at the Museum!!" - "The Big Adventure" sounds better.
- "Shippou Gym Rematch! Explosive New Move!!" - "The Shippou Gym Rematch! An Explosive New Move!!"
- "Sommelier Showdown! Ishizumai VS Futachimaru!!" - The English title for this episode is "A Connoisseur's Revenge!" Bulbapedia should take a cue from that and put an A before the word "Sommelier."
- "Rocket-dan VS Plasma-dan!" - "Rocket-Dan" translates to "The Rocket Gang," right? So shouldn't there be a "the" in front of both groups' names here? You wouldn't just say "Rocket Gang vs. Plasma Gang," would you?
- "Hiun Gym Match! Purehearted Bug Pokémon Battle!!" - "The Hiun Gym."
- "Fisher Sommelier - Dent Appears!" - "The Fisher Sommelier" or, better yet, "The Fishing Sommelier" works better.
There are a ton more like this, but I think you all get the idea.
The titles for BW025 - BW030 all use an article and read much better because of it. Were these done by a different translator, maybe?
The second problem is that there are some titles that sound flat-out Engrish-y. Awkward syntax, incorrect grammar, weird sentence structure...this isn't as widespread a problem as the article thing, but they're still very jarring and need to be dealt with. Examples:
- "Tsutarja - Attracted by Capture!?" - "Attracted by Capture?" I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.
- "Sommelier-Detective Dent! Tabunne Disappearance Case!!" - "-NOUN- Disappearance Case" is not something you'd ever come across on an English website. "The Case of the Disappearing Tabunne" sounds much more natural.
- "Fierce Fighting Don Battle! Tsutarja VS Komatana!!" - "Fierce fighting" is a noun - as in "The fierce fighting in Iraq." It shouldn't be used as an adjective the way it is in the current translation. "The Fiercely Fought Don Battle" sounds a lot better.
- "The Gym Leader is a Charisma Model! Kamiture Appears!!" - What in the world is a "Charisma Model?" "A Charismatic Model" is surely what they were going for, no?
- "Mebukijika! Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter Lineup!!" - "The four seasons" is clearly the intention here. Copy and paste the Japanese into an online translator and "the four seasons" will be one of the top translations that pops up. So why not use that instead?
- "Afro GO! Buffron is NO!!" - I'm sorry, but "-NOUN- is no" is not an English sentence. If we're interpreting the title as meaning something like "having an afro doesn't necessarily make you a Buffron" - a meaning that could become more clear once the episode actually airs - then something like "Go Afro! No Buffron!" or "Afro Go! Buffron No!" would work better. It still sounds weird either way, but at least the changed version can blame this weirdness on the original Japanese rather than an awkward translation.
I hope this doesn't come across as me being too condescending or bossy. I just want to point these issues out and hope that you all will do something about them. If these two problems can be fixed, then I think that Bulbapedia will have a much higher quality translations as a result.