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News Article
New Poll - Scanlation Quality
This week's poll from icassop is about the relative quality of scanlations over the years. I didn't want to specify an actual time frame because some of us have been around a lot longer and could have a more varied opinion depending on the time frame.

You can submit poll ideas here (and try to keep them manga/anime-related)
http://www.mangaupdates.com/showtopic.php?tid=3903

Previous Poll Results:
Question: On same-sex romance series
Choices:
I'm a girl, and I avoid both types - votes: 2438 (13.2%)
I'm a girl, and I avoid only yaoi/shounen-ai - votes: 666 (3.6%)
I'm a girl, and I avoid only of yuri/shoujo-ai - votes: 3723 (20.1%)
I'm a girl, and I read both - votes: 3590 (19.4%)
I'm a guy, and I avoid both types - votes: 3354 (18.1%)
I'm a guy, and I avoid only yaoi/shounen-ai - votes: 3338 (18%)
I'm a guy, and I avoid only yuri/shoujo-ai - votes: 352 (1.9%)
I'm a guy, and I read both - votes: 1063 (5.7%)
There were 18524 total votes.
The poll ended: August 24th 2013

One of our most popular polls ever, despite editing the poll options and forcing everyone to vote again. It appears that guys are the ones that tend to avoid one or both of the same-sex romances.
Posted by lambchopsil on August 24th 9:55am Comments ( 21 )  [ View ]  [ Add ]
Comments

» BedrosBoost on August 24th, 2013, 2:57am

Compared to almost a decade ago, quality has been steadily improving. Anyone who votes otherwise must only have started reading recently (~3 years). Also note, some of the old 'scanlations' are just the official scanlations uploaded online.

Scans these days are often cleaner, higher resolution, and have better redraws as well as better text formatting.

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» SinsI on August 24th, 2013, 4:22am

Visual quality has improved, but scanlations are not only about the cleanness of image or text formatting. Literacy has declined sharply: bad grammar (I'm sick and tired of all the "your/you're" mistakes I see every day), poor vocabulary (it has been a very, very long while since I last stumbled upon a word from scanlations that made me look into a thesaurus - while normal books do it far more often); mistranslations are abundant.

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» chomio on August 24th, 2013, 4:48am

I agree with this, I've read a series were some of those translation errors had a major influence on the plot. I found out while I was reading an official volume, after I've read it. I found out that person A wasn't the father of B, but the killer of the father of B. Well, you get the difference.

I just remembered that Mangastream made a small translation mistake in the past with One Piece. Good luck they noticed it, because it made a major difference in the plot. I still remembered that they panicked over it, as it was only a one letter difference that gave a sentence a total different meaning. And it would change the plot differently, it already happened a couple years ago, as Mangastream makes rarely mistakes.

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» BedrosBoost on August 24th, 2013, 5:33am

Ah my bad, I completely forgot about the literary side. Though in that respect, I would say that it has improved a little. There are some speed scans that dish out whatever they feel they want the characters to say, but the majority of the groups have good grammar.

I don't think you can really compare the vocabulary between normal books and manga. Manga is mostly conversation-based, so it's unlikely for people to use any hard words - When was the last time your friends used a word which you didn't understand? Or how often does it happen? As manga are more visual, the wide use of vocabulary isn't as important as compared to books.

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» chomio on August 24th, 2013, 4:00am

This depends on the group. The real groups have become much better, but the money-wolfs( online readers with their own releases) have dropped seriously. This for saving bandwidth.

In overall I would say that groups have become better, however only a small number of groups is on par with the publishers. You find it out when you read the published manga after the scanlation, some groups are doing a really good job, but their still slip errors in scanlations. Everyone knows the v2 corrections. none

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» Gradonil_Ral on August 24th, 2013, 5:42am

Other than speedgroups, the average quality has improved over the last five years (I haven't been reading manga before that).

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» whitespade on August 24th, 2013, 7:49am

i think they improve considerably. i can feel that the scanlators really love the manga when they did a good job, and i always like to read the notes. i think more and more people have better quality tools to use too.

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» claudiofd on August 24th, 2013, 9:41am

Improved significantly, I voted in a heartbeat didn't even need to think.

Certainly there are a few bad scanlations out there but at least they're readable and you can see the images at least somwhat. Some bad English? Yeah a few times, but it's not like you can't understand the meaning. And at the very least most of the most popular series have at least a decent group behind them.

If you voted on the 3 lower categories I think you haven't seen scans from 5/6+ years ago or so. I gave up on reading GTO. Dragon Ball got to a point it was too abysmal for words (I think there were some pages that were almost completely black - Just checked it real quick - GO READ CHAPTER 310 of Dragon Ball on Mangareader, try and give me something worse than that, I wonder how many prefer this type of scan to the hated "speedgroups"). JoJo is being redone nowadays I think but it used to have really bad ones if I remember correctly. The size in Rave got to a point you had to squint in a couple of chapters to read. Fruits Basket had terrible ones at times too. I vaguely remember Love Hina and Hunter x Hunter having some bad parts too. Loads of mangas had scanlations done from photographs of the magazines. Damn photographs! The images were curved and you could barely see the ends of the pages. Two pages in one image was pretty common as well at a point.

Now, I'm sorry because I know I'm coming across as ungrateful. I sincerely apologize to the people who poured effort into the scans I mentioned but I just had to make a point. And besides it wasn't necessarily their fault. Nowadays it's way easier to get a hold of moderately decent raws. Also image editing software evolved a lot and became much more accessible. I just can't believe that nearly 1 every 4 people don't see any sign of improvement whatsoever (as I'm writing - 23,8 % voted on one of the three lower choices). What the hell...

One thing I have to say though... One thing that got annoying at a point one or two years ago was watermarks. That's true it got quite bad at a point but it softened a bit. Even so consider the worst of 10 years ago, consider the average and consider the best. All are way worse than their current counterparts (English doesn't have the word I wanted to use here so people might misunderstand me - what I mean is: the worst of 10 years ago is worse than the worst from now, the average is worse than the current average and the best is worse than the current best). Sure you can go look for examples (and you'll find pretty bad recent scanlations that's for sure) but they'll all be outmatched - in a good or bad way.

Sorry for the rant by the way.

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» GGpX on August 24th, 2013, 10:21am

No offense to most people, but the majority of readers have no clue what to look for when it comes to determining the "quality" of a scanlation.

Scanlation quality these days is EXPONENTIALLY better than it was eight years ago when I started scanlating. Not a tiny bit, not a fair amount, they're a shitload better. If you don't think so, then you clearly don't know what you're looking at to determine the quality of a scanlation. claudiofd said it pretty well. Go read the early GTO, Dragonball, Rave, HunterXHunter, etc scanlations that were done a decade+ ago.They are total and utter shit. Back then, everything was released at 1,000px to 1,100px in height. There's not a single scanlation group around today that releases their stuff at 1,000 or 1,100px in height by choice. (If the pub raws they have are 1,100px in height, well, they don't have any other option). If you did 1,200px height scans back then, your pages were too big and your stuff would take up too much HDD space if it was over 4MB for a single 20 page chapter. These days, it's starting to be rare for groups to release at 1,200px in height. Now most groups are releasing at a minimum of 1,400px in height.

Go read the early volumes of Berserk. Back when that was originally done, that was considered a great scanlation. Nowadays? Newbie scanlators with no experience and no knowledge end up with a similar end result.

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» kaloo on August 24th, 2013, 10:49am

Those people who say the speed scanners have gotten worse... Well, I think they don't remember things like colored squares over the original text that was written over.

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» pichuloo on August 26th, 2013, 7:50am

LMAO
Good old times with Get Backers ! biggrin

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» NightSwan on August 24th, 2013, 10:59am

Improved significantly. It's not even a question.
Basically, GGpX and claudiofd said it all.

I tried reading the first chapter of One Piece last year and almost gauged my eyes out.
Although I must add that while many volumes of GTO were edited like a piece of some cheap hooker, it was so fun that I stuck through. xD Kept waiting for the quality to improve though...........

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» Sapphiresky on August 24th, 2013, 6:28pm

Lol, there's no question. They've significantly improved. The scans are better because of better scanners, they're bigger because of better bandwidth, and the very art cleaning that **** up is has become a science. It really wasn't uncommon for scanlators to just not even bother to do levels and just erase the japanese text, I don't see that any more.


Also, since monitors were crap, they'd paint over dark gray areas with black and light gray areas with white trying to erase stuff because they couldn't see the difference but it's painful to look at if your monitor shows it.

So yeah visually, it's all gone up as far as I can tell.

However, as far as translation quality, I can't say. I can just barely read raw stuff as long as there's furigana so your guess is as good as mine.

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» RoxFlowz on August 25th, 2013, 1:23am

Improved significantly, though I do have the feeling that there are a lot more speed scans now with lots of translation mistakes and typos.
Still way better than back when I started though.

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» Bedouin on August 25th, 2013, 5:25am

Now I'm confused. Are we voting on *image* quality or *translation* quality?

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» Gradonil_Ral on August 25th, 2013, 5:40am

Everything.

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» Kirjava on August 25th, 2013, 5:23pm

Like others have mentioned, image quality has gone up significantly in the past years. No question.

Translation quality though? Still shit.

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» Lollipop_ on August 26th, 2013, 2:34pm

I would like to think that every work we put out is the best we can do at that given moment. Dropping quality? If anything, experience is shaping us to be better than ever.

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» mysstris on August 28th, 2013, 12:01am

Mmm....stayed about the same? It's hard to say since there are a lot of new groups popping up and old groups are kind of slowing down.

Cleaning has improved with the huge leaps we made over the years with photoshop and more people playing around with it for fun leading to more experience

Translation I can't say is that great...depending on the scanlating group, it can be good and it can be terrible. In my book, a good translation = excellent grammar. It shows that the people working on it care about a smooth flowing reading experience. There are more errors now than before I think. Translator and Proofreaders are hand in hand with this.

Also some groups are just picking up projects left and right with little to no progress on a large amount of active projects...I find that really irksome. Back then people took on less projects and got them done...hm....

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» PinkShippuden on August 29th, 2013, 4:40am

lol
Guys would read Yuri and Shoujo-Ai
Girls would read Yaoi and Shounen-Ai

Why was I expecting this? laugh

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» gwkimmy on August 29th, 2013, 7:44pm

i've been reading for 10+ years and there's the same amount of high quality scanlations being produced in ratio to the amount of shitty scanlations being produced. in both image and translation quality. to me, things haven't changed a whole lot.

then again i've never read any of those popular shounen titles, lol. just the shoujo where like 4 groups worked on one title and if you waited patiently the really good group with super HQ scans would release eventually 8D

i think translation quality has increased slightly on average in the good groups, but there's still a ton of bad translations out there to wade through @_@

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