Your preferred translation conventions.

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  1. #1
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    Default Your preferred translation conventions.

    In manga, I like it when translators leave honorifics alone; keeping -chan and -san and -sama, instead of trying to translate them into English. Same goes for familial words like imouto and otouto, nii and nee, ka and to.

    I also like it when translators leave words that most manga fans are used to untranslated. So I like to see untranslated hai, osu, omedetto and a few others.

    How 'bout you?

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    本物の神様 FANG-TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.



    Quote Originally Posted by Simba View Post
    In manga, I like it when translators leave honorifics alone; keeping -chan and -san and -sama, instead of trying to translate them into English. Same goes for familial words like imouto and otouto, nii and nee, ka and to.

    I also like it when translators leave words that most manga fans are used to untranslated. So I like to see untranslated hai, osu, omedetto and a few others.

    How 'bout you?
    The point of a translation is to make the Japanese dialogue understandable to English audiences, so why would you leave ka (question particle) and to (and, with) untranslated? Words like はい holds no Japanese cultural significance (not in the same vein as words in various cultures such as "Churro", a Spanish doughnut) - はい just means YES and holds the exact same meaning as the English equivalent, so why not have them say "yes"? I'm sorry, but leaving that untranslated sounds utterly stupid. I have not seen anything professionally translated like that, only in bad fan translations. And bad fan translations suck.

    It would be bakabakashii desu yo. (Yes, ironic shitposting is still shitposting, I know...)

    I'm up in the air with honorifics for some anime/manga/visual novels, since there is cultural significance to social ranks that I feel can't be replicated to the same degree with pure English dialogue, but shit like 弟 and 妹 should be translated as younger brother and younger sister. Same with 兄さん (big brother) or 姉さん (big sister) and their other variants. Unless it's a friggin' loanword like anime and manga, or proper nouns such as Japanese names and attack names, translators should do their best to translate it into English as much as possible.
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Well to say the least: enough with leaving the honorifics untranslated fansub translators, just translate them literally. (Ex. Sempai -> Upperclassman, Kisama -> Bastard). because this problem is especially glaring and evident with certain translation groups (I'm looking at you TV Nihon).


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    本物の神様 FANG-TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Professor_Jared View Post
    Well to say the least: enough with leaving the honorifics untranslated fansub translators, just translate them literally. (Ex. Sempai -> Upperclassman, Kisama -> Bastard).
    Kisama isn't an honorific (but yes, they should translate it into bastard) and -sempai doesn't always refer to upperclassmen in school (so this is one where I actually don't mind being left in some cases). Other than that, unless the honorifics reflect character relationships in a way that can't be expressed in English, there's no real reason to leave them in besides to appeal to the really hardcore anime fans that are really into Japan and its language conventions. I personally don't mind honorifics in subs, but I sure as heck can see why other people would be bothered, especially if it was in something mainstream and not niche.

    because this problem is especially glaring and evident with certain translation groups (I'm looking at you TV Nihon).
    Oh my god, TV-Nihon has shat on my Kamen Rider subs since god knows when. A large chunk of their Blade subs are literally made up.
    Last edited by FANG-TAN; 3rd February 2014 at 10:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    I don't really care if they leave some words untranslated, but there have been cases where I felt like questioning the abilities of the translators.

    During Episode N, when Cilan was explaining about the P2 Lab, the subtitles I was watching were saying P2 Labo. Labo? LABO? Normally I'd overlook these things, but this was just too stupid to ignore and I asked the translator why they didn't use P2 Lab. Their reply? Because it was spelled P2 ラボ in Japanese and they left it pronounced as it is since it was a unique name that can't be changed/translated. Maybe they didn't do their research and didn't know P2 Lab was P2 Laboratory abbreviated. But I kinda lost trust in their translating abilities afterwards.

    Personally, I'd like it if they tried translating as much as they can. Maybe except for honorifics since they can't all share the same meaning every single time it is used (Senpai at school and Senpai at work is clearly different). However, I've seen clever cases where they simply skipped over translating the honorifics. (Like, if a character is calling [NAME]-Senpai, it is translated as simply [NAME]). It doesn't change the content and it doesn't hurt the details much if the viewer doesn't care. So I'm also okay with that.

    But friggin P2 Labo... -.-

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    本物の神様 FANG-TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Chocolate View Post
    PersoBut friggin P2 Labo... -.-
    Seriously, the translator was clearly being garbage. "ラボ" isn't even unique name. It's a Japanese transliteration of the English word "lab" and leaving it as labo is like spelling cookie as kukki.

    "Dottohakku is a better anime than Sōdo Āto Onrain!" Yeah, using his logic, the world of anime translations would make my head explode.
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    FANG-TAN, your preferences are ironic given your name and title :p

    Two things: first, for ka and to I had meant mother and father (kasan, okasama, whatever; tousan, etc.) not the question particle "ka" and the and particle "to."

    Also, I like them written in English, not with Japanese characters.

    I've seen untranslated words in official manga. I've seen "osu" quite a few times. Though that might be more for physical reasons. Likely, a word bubble with nothing but "osu" will be too small to write "good morning" in, so they just write "osu" instead.

    Though it is more common in fan translations, which I find far superior to official translations. Official translations are so dreadful, I literally cannot stand to read them.

    Mangastream's Bleach translation, which is pretty much the highest quality fan translation active at the moment, leaves some Japanese. "Osu" is typically left alone. Karin calls Ichigo Ichi-nii, which is written as such, and Yuzu calls him niisan, which is also left alone. They leave Kyoraku's Yama-jii alone, too, which is a very good call, IMO; it carries such meaning that would be utterly lost if it were left out.

    And of course, some words don't have good translations. Like omedetto. What do you translate that as, without it sounding awkward? "Thank you for this meal?" "Let's enjoy this food?"

    Oh, and an example of familial names would be how Al in Fullmetal Alchemist always calls Ed niisan. Translating that to "big brother" loses some meaning, I prefer it left as niisan. Especially when it's so emblematic of the character.

    Of course, I guess I should've specified I was talking about manga. I don't watch anime, anymore; I have hyperacusis and can't listen to a TV or computer. I don't like that screenshot you posted, either. Of course, that's an egregious example since it's a poor translation; in that case, it should've either been "Gomen nasai." or "We're sorry." "We are gomen nasai" doesn't make any sense. I suspect that screenshot is a fake/parody anyway, though.

    Oh, and hai actually does not mean yes. Hai means "affirmative," basically. So "hai" could mean "yes" or "no" depending on context.
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simba View Post
    FANG-TAN, your preferences are ironic given your name and title :p
    How is that ironic? I never said I had a problem with honorifics (besides the point, it's a fan nickname for an anime character). And my usertitle isn't in English, it's in Japanese. REAL Japanese. Not Wapanese.

    Two things: first, for ka and to I had meant mother and father (kasan, okasama, whatever; tousan, etc.) not the question particle "ka" and the and particle "to."
    It's tousan and kaasan, not to and ka. Those are completely different words.

    If you don't stress the "gou" in ichigou (number 1), it becomes strawberry.

    Also, I like them written in English, not with Japanese characters.
    But romaji isn't English. It's Japanese using the latin alphabet. That's like saying Spanish is English.

    Though it is more common in fan translations, which I find far superior to official translations. Official translations are so dreadful, I literally cannot stand to read them.
    Official translations are more often than not superior to shoddy fan translations. But it's not like you would know, considering the fact that...

    And of course, some words don't have good translations. Like omedetto. What do you translate that as, without it sounding awkward? "Thank you for this meal?" "Let's enjoy this food?"
    ...it appears you don't know a lick of Japanese. Omedetou is CONGRATULATIONS. You're confusing it with itadakimasu, which would be perfectly fine translated as "Thanks for the meal!" How is that any less awkward than leaving a line of untranslated Japanese in what's supposed to be an ENGLISH sentence?

    As a person that actually knows Japanese, I'll say this as kindly as possible: Please, stop butchering the language.

    Oh, and an example of familial names would be how Al in Fullmetal Alchemist always calls Ed niisan. Translating that to "big brother" loses some meaning, I prefer it left as niisan. Especially when it's so emblematic of the character.
    How does that lose meaning? Niisan is big brother. Big brother is niisan. They mean the same thing.

    Of course, I guess I should've specified I was talking about manga. I don't watch anime, anymore; I have hyperacusis and can't listen to a TV or computer.
    Translations are translations, it applies to both mediums (and visual novels/Japanese video games).

    I suspect that screenshot is a fake/parody anyway, though.


    Oh, and hai actually does not mean yes. Hai means "affirmative," basically. So "hai" could mean "yes" or "no" depending on context.
    ...And yes is an affirmation. As is "alright" or "okay".

    Iie is no, which is *negative*.
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Mainly, what I ask for is consistency. The dub of the Ai Yori Aoshi anime kind of irked me when, for example, Kaoru referred to Aoi as "Aoi-chan", but then turned around and called Miyabi "Miss Miyabi". Worse, however, was Nakaimo: My Little Sister Is Among Them!, where the director was clearly doing it for the money—most characters pronounced the names correctly, relatively speaking, but one consistently referred to Tsuruma as "SOO-roo-may" and Kannagi as "KAH-nah-gye". They must have thought all the fanservice would make up for the glaring mistakes.

    Another thing I'll say is, as long as they get the same basic message across, I don't mind the translators taking some liberties for the sake of natural-sounding speech. Direct translations can often sound stilted and forced, as with the above-mentioned Nakaimo. On the other hand, the translators of Hanagai: I Don't Have Many Friends clearly know what they're doing—the English dialogue, while obviously different from the original Japanese in numerous places, sounds completely natural, conveys the same basic idea and in some cases is actually much wittier. Moreover, the actors are clearly having a lot of fun.

    Of course, I do like it when they manage to sneak in some Japanese for the viewer to learn. One particularly clever example I can think of was an episode of Bleach, when the character Hanataro Yamada introduced himself to Ganju and Ichigo. In the original, they complained that Hanataro's name was too long to remember; in the dub, they made fun of his name because "hana" means "flower", and so he "may as well call [himself] 'Blossom'." Things like that always make me chuckle.

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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    As far as anime, I don't really care as long as it's not blatantly wrong. I used to prefer that anything that would lose nuance be left more or less as-is with a TL note, but really, that can be a lot of extra effort, and not all audiences are interested. There are a lot of connotations for specific words in any language, and explaining them all is beyond the scope of an anime episode. That said, oriental concepts or things that wouldn't be known to a western audience (words like okonomiyaki, wabisabi (lol), or even senpai) I feel deserve their meaning preserved and/or explained to some degree.

    I'm not so picky anymore when it comes to anime, because nowadays, I can understand the majority of what's being conveyed based on the dialog, and just use the subs to fill in the vocabulary and/or constructs I might be not be familiar with. So even if something is "lost in translation," by listening to the dialog at the same time, the meaning is generally preserved for me. I still appreciate TL notes for wordplay-heavy pieces such as Bakemonogatari, though.

    Obviously that might not work for everybody, which sucks, because it makes a bit of a divide for preferences. Another issue is that this doesn't help me at all with manga, as there won't be any auditory cues. My Japanese is still poor enough that reading it raw, even with furigana, can be a chore and not fun. Visuals novels can also present this problem, as even those with voice generally don't have a voice for the protagonist, and certainly not the narration. In these cases, I ideally like to see my prior preferences for anime translation be realized.
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simba View Post
    Mangastream's Bleach translation, which is pretty much the highest quality fan translation active at the moment
    Mangastream's translations are so bad they're borderline troll-tier. (no mention of Bleach there, but I doubt it's any better)
    So.

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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    I can't speak for any other series but One Piece...
    It's a shame that I have to rely on MS (mainly because the official volumes and Viz's SJ app is not available here)... But I won't hesitate one bit to highly recommend someone to read Viz's translation, when it comes to One Piece.

    Stephen Paul (Viz's translator for OP) comes on the One Piece Podcast (manga recap section) almost every week. After listening to him for months, learning about the way he translates and his knowledge on how Oda uses certain terms, I have come to realize how much hard work goes into the respective official translation.

    I have seen people complaining about Zolo/Zoro thing (Stephen wasn't the official translator back then). IIRC, the issue has been addressed a few times. Viz has considered changing it but there were some other issues (one being... Going back 700 something chapters and rectifying it won't be easy. And they simply can't just change it for the new chapters for the sake of consistency).



    Translation Comparison: One Piece » shark0week0 (via Adamant)
    @Chaozek, looks like I won't stop praising Stephen's work anytime soon... So, you better get used to it :P

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    Surgeon of Death 捷克羅姆's Avatar Bulbanews WriterBulbapedia Staff
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adyniz View Post
    \Translation Comparison: One Piece » shark0week0 (via Adamant)
    @Chaozek, looks like I won't stop praising Stephen's work anytime soon... So, you better get used to it :P
    When did you ever get the idea that I'm not used to discussions on translations? :P

    I got nothing against Viz, aside from Zolo, occasional censorship, and some unnecessary changes.

    I have to admit that MS's translation is quite liberal, but I do enjoy the way they rendered some of the speech. Cavendish speaking in a flowery manner in their translation does suit his personality quite well, as opposed to MP's literal translation. In some instance, I have some difficulty understanding MP's translation. MP also has a terrible record in rendering names into English. There's no way I would ever accept Curos (Kyros) and Trevor (Trébol).

    I do have some gripe about fandom's insistence of using Japanese terms. While it's cute at first, it really becomes grating in the long run. After watching an official sub with a complete lack of honorifics, it really felt like a breath of fresh air. I was already sick of nakama after 40 episodes of One Piece. After 400 episodes, I actually want to hit my head on the desk whenever that word shows up, though I wouldn't really care if fans wanted to use any of those terms in the forum or blogs. Thankfully, my annoyance for that term slowly died down after finding official subs. I didn't really have that sort of feeling with mugiwara or kaizoku, since I wasn't "force fed" those terms as much as nakama. Words like sake, katana, shogun have already entered English language, so I didn't mind those. I understand that the fans wanted accurate translations, but I would also like English to be treated with respect.
    Last edited by 捷克羅姆; 28th March 2014 at 10:08 PM.
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    Face of mercy? NOPE Yato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Yeah, about persistent usage of Japanese words...
    I quit One-Piece a long time ago (I dropped it around the time they went to the Sky Island, and never bothered to watch it anymore), but the translated subs I watched back then were pretty clever. Instead of saying 'nakama' all the time, they were like, 'who cares' and simply used 'friend'. Same with Naruto. If it's not something too important, just translate it to whatever fits. That's waaayyyy better.

    On the other hand, there are stuff that I realized I prefer they'd leave in Japanese than trying to translate it.
    I was watching Noragami, and the word "Shinki" is brought up a lot. However, depending on who translates it, it can become Divine Weapon, Holy Regalia, God's Artifact... but I get it. The characters in the anime/manga explains that "Shinki" is a spirit that can change into objects/tools for the god they serve. Who cares what it's called in English - I know what a "Shinki" does, and besides, "Shinki" is the official name for said spiritual artifacts in the content anyways. Same goes to Kamui in Kill la Kill. I don't need translations that it's a God Robe since they explain what it does - and the name of Ryuko's transformed clothing is Kamui Senketsu anyways. I'd rather they don't bother calling it God Robe this or Divine Robes that...just leave it.

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    本物の神様 FANG-TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your preferred translation conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Chocolate View Post
    Yeah, about persistent usage of Japanese words...
    I quit One-Piece a long time ago (I dropped it around the time they went to the Sky Island, and never bothered to watch it anymore), but the translated subs I watched back then were pretty clever. Instead of saying 'nakama' all the time, they were like, 'who cares' and simply used 'friend'. Same with Naruto. If it's not something too important, just translate it to whatever fits. That's waaayyyy better.
    In the context of One Piece and probably other anime/manga/visual novels with an entourage of friends willing to sacrifice everything for one another, I feel "best friends", "crew" or "companions" are better words to use for nakama (the latter two especially for One Piece; pirates, yo). "Friend" is a bit smaller in comparison - it basically all comes down to the whole use of tomodachi (friends in general) vs nakama (from what I gather, a bit heavier) in fiction.

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