BULBAPEDIA: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

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Thread: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

  1. #1
    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    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:



    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.
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  2. #2
    I'm mean and green Jo The Marten's Avatar Bulbanews WriterSocial Media EditorArchives StaffBulbapedia Editorial BoardModerator
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    I actually have a few valid responses to a few of these:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu View Post
    [*]"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?
    It was actually changed to "Charismatic", but then it was someone's wise idea to change it back. But I agree it doesn't make any sense.
    [*]"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.[/list]
    This one was actually made by Playerking, who I don't know to be one of the usual translators.

    So all in all I agree that a lot of the titles are messed up, and I think some users should have a better grasp on translating the Japanese language into English, or ask someone that does, before deciding episode titles. I'm all for them being changed to more appropriate translations.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    The BW list's not the only one with issues, unfortunately. All the non-BW lists are locked, so here's a few more obvious issues on the earlier ones.
    もえよ!カビゴン!!Burning! Kabigon!!
    ばくそう!オタチ&トゲピー!! Pasture! Otachi and Togepy!!
    カイリュー!げきりんはつどう!Kairyu! Imperial Rage is Met!
    脱出!サメハダーの島!!Escape! Samehader's Island!!
    脱出!ムロジム!波乗りジムリーダー・トウキ登場!Muro Gym! The Surfing Gym Leader Touki Enters!
    脱出!ケムッソVSケムッソ!どっちがどっち!?Kemusso VS Kemusso! Which is Which!?
    Prasle and Minun! Road Assitance!?
    仮面のコーディネーター・ファントム登場!!Enter the Phantom Masked Coordinator!!
    パパはアイドル!?いつわりのジムリーダー!!Papa is Idol!? False Gym Leader!!
    巨大ネンドールを封印せよ!!Sealed the Huge Nendoll!!
    サトシとヒカリ!タッグバトルで大丈夫!?Satoshi and Hikari! Saved by Tag Battle!?

  4. #4
    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    Yeah, I obviously only focused on BW because I didn't want to spend a million hours on that first post. But a lot of other ones, including the ones bluesun posted, need work.
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  5. #5
    黒い王様 Archaic's Avatar Webmaster
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    On the issue of "Charisma Model", that actually is a specific term in Japanese, and is yet another case of a loanword not having the same meaning it does in the original language. It means something along the lines of "Catwalk Model" or "Fashion Model". You could perhaps just think of it as being "Beautiful Model" for that matter. The term seems to be used to distinguish someone who doesn't do any gravure work.
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    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    The term you're looking for is Wasei-eigo.

    And I don't think Bulbapedia should leave Wasei-eigo as-is. The translations are supposed to be English translations, not Japan-ified English translations.

    While on the topic...the translated title of this song should be "High Five" because nobody in the English speaking world calls that action "High Touch."
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    #1 Magnemite fan MAGNEDETH's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    if youre going to discuss the anime, id like you to tag @Kenji-girl in the process.
    and if we are talking translations, id bring @Umeko in as well.

  8. #8
    The Sworn Brothers Adyniz's Avatar Archives StaffBulbapedia Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    Since we are talking about translations here, shouldn't it be called "Rainbow Arch"?
    I am no expert in Japanese. Just out of curiosity, that's all.

  9. #9
    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    I would say that "Seven Colored" is closer to what they were going for. I think the Japanese title is trying to be poetic; otherwise they would have given it a boring title like 虹.
    Last edited by Dogasu; 27th January 2012 at 03:47 AM.
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    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    I see that all the titles I talked about in the top portion of my original post have been changed. That's great!

    Unfortunately, most of the titles under the "Engrish-y" section have been left as-is. Is there a reason for that?

    Also, in regards to BW 072, "Fierce Fighting Donamite! Kirikizan VS Enbuoh!!" - again, "Fierce Fighting" should not be used as an adjective in this case. "The Fiercely Fought Donamite!" would sound a lot better.
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  11. #11
    I'm mean and green Jo The Marten's Avatar Bulbanews WriterSocial Media EditorArchives StaffBulbapedia Editorial BoardModerator
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    I changed a few. I didn't change Elesa's cause I personally wanted more opinions. Snivy's I'm not really sure of. "Captured by Attract"? I want @Umeko to take a crack at it.

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  12. #12
    i wANNA BE A HETALIA TOO Umeko's Avatar Archives StaffBulbapedia Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    I'll go through and check every single episode title. It's something I've been meaning to do for a long, long time anyway. (As in, since before I could edit protected pages long time. That was the reason why I didn't do it initially, and by the time I was an admin I forgot about it. :P)
    Jo The Marten likes this.

  13. #13
    The Sworn Brothers Adyniz's Avatar Archives StaffBulbapedia Staff
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    Default Re: A few things about the translations of the TV series' episode titles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu View Post
    I see that all the titles I talked about in the top portion of my original post have been changed. That's great!

    Unfortunately, most of the titles under the "Engrish-y" section have been left as-is. Is there a reason for that?

    Also, in regards to BW 072, "Fierce Fighting Donamite! Kirikizan VS Enbuoh!!" - again, "Fierce Fighting" should not be used as an adjective in this case. "The Fiercely Fought Donamite!" would sound a lot better.
    Was kind of busy so I changed the top-listed ones only. I'll try to fix the remaining ones soon.

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