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Author Topic: Opinion on manga translations  (Read 500 times)

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Offline araithiel

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Opinion on manga translations
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:11:01 PM »
Hey all!

I'm trying to gather some opinions around manga and how much it gets translated. I have issues around the general lack of officially translated manga and how much (or how little) Japan pays attention to the poor non-Japanese market and our struggles. Or at least mine. Maybe other people disagree so I want to see how everyone feels.

And so I made this fun quick survey. It would be awesome if you could help me with opinions to see if I can maybe do something about it. Need to figure out how I tackle Japan but that's stage two. I know of the no link rule, it's just a poll about manga, doesn't go to any manga sites or anything. Easier than making a poll in here. (Lemme know if you want it gone mods)

https://nickuskoski.typeform.com/to/ts9wdp

Otherwise down to hear opinions here too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 06:55:46 PM by araithiel »
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 03:01:10 PM »
I'll allow it.

Honestly, since it's generally free fan translations we're talking about here, I'm fine with lower quality translations. As long as it's legible. Because you're not paying for it, you have no room to complain.

I would of course like more actual western releases of manga, but that's a whole 'nother bag of worms.

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Offline araithiel

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 03:56:23 PM »
A lot of my research indicates a ton of fan translations are in response to bad official translations, especially ones that strip out Japanese things (spaghetti instead of ramen) or lose the original puns or cultural references.

What do you mean by wanting more?
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 04:26:50 PM »
More quality I mean.

There were a lot more bad translations back in the day. But it's a lot better in this day and age. The age of rice balls becoming jelly donuts is pretty well behind us.

As for losing the original jokes and references, that's not something you can really avoid. It's the difference between translation and localization. A good localization will give you new jokes and references that make sense to the reader, and still communicate the same ideas. Sometimes you have to keep the original in, and supplement with a note, but that's a case by case thing.

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Offline Forlorn Serpent

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2017, 04:32:54 PM »
Do people actually care how accurate the text is?

When I do hear it come up, it’s little things, like, how much emphasis a character said somethjng, or at what degree a character holds a status or feat.

The 90% or consumers take what they get. They like what is already given. How would a westerner know there is a manga that wasn’t translated yet? Let alone, correctly.

I hear, I’ll wait for the Viz translation. Which usually just means, the accurate name, title, basically nouns. I haven’t seen one that affected the story where the fan translation tell a different story. Unless it’s an April fools joke played by the scanlators.

Offline Coryn

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 04:46:11 PM »
Honestly, my biggest gripes come from names. Most recently with Black Clover. In the fan translation I read, the translation given is "The Magic Emperor", but the official translation is "The Wizard King." This is obviously mostly a personal annoyance though. I got used to one, and then another shows up. I'd be fine if they were consistent, but the translation isn't necessarily wrong either way, it's just how the official translation team decided to translate something, vs the fans.

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Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2017, 05:08:38 PM »
In my experience, with all the friends I have who are minoring in Japanese--if you're translating from Japanese to English, you're going to lose something. That's just fact. Japanese does not translate well into English for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it's cultural, sometimes it's linguistic. I agree with Coryn in that a good localization tries to capture the main point of something untranslatable and present it in a way that the new audience can grasp. Sometimes fan translations do this better, sometimes it's the official release that makes the most sense.

Regardless, sometimes these subtle differences can affect a story somewhat, and that's when people try to get mad. Here's the thing about that: unless you speak Japanese fluently and have lived in the country long enough to somehow fully understand its cultural subtleties that underlie everything, then everything you're gonna get is through a filter that's going to make those little changes.

IMHO people need to stop trying to be elitist when it comes to translations or localizations.

Offline araithiel

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 10:14:51 AM »
For Forlorn Serpent, you can see what's published in Japan anytime by seeing what's actively being published in any particular weekly/monthly comic, or you can see what they list on websites or on places that sell Japanese tonkoubons. But it depends on how much you want to know about manga. There's a ton of manga that never gets translated, much of which comes and is cancelled before it ever sees English eyes. And there's a particular fanbase who want to read that manga.

And then there's others who want the official translations or, as you said, the official ones. Scanlations half the time have to be read as "spirit of the manga" and not letter of the manga, particularly because different translators do different things (though to be clear, even official translations are just whatever the particular freelancer hired interpreted it as).

To anyone who read One Piece through translations, you've got Luffy...Ruffy...Lufi...Luppy, it changes all the time early on...
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Offline araithiel

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Re: Opinion on manga translations
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 06:56:44 PM »
Honestly, my biggest gripes come from names. Most recently with Black Clover. In the fan translation I read, the translation given is "The Magic Emperor", but the official translation is "The Wizard King." This is obviously mostly a personal annoyance though. I got used to one, and then another shows up. I'd be fine if they were consistent, but the translation isn't necessarily wrong either way, it's just how the official translation team decided to translate something, vs the fans.

I feel this ^

Did you fill out the survey too on your feelings, sounds like you've been down this road of unofficial translations so many times haha
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