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New Poll - Translation Accuracy vs Fluency

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Crenshinibon
Post #596670
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Local Prig
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3:19 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 1897


Accuracy is a bit of a misnomer here. A clear and distinct argument can be made that 'fluent' translations are actually more accurate in that they better succeed in mirroring the original communication, rather than the original form.

Really a poor experiment this time around. There are multiple schools of thought here and the answer is clearly somewhere in the gray area, but the ideas not being presented or addressed in a manner which garners real information.

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mattfabb
Post #596671
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3:29 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 7


Maybe adequacy is a better term? however, my interest is not in school of thought, and there are no right and wrong answer, just preferences.


Last edited by mattfabb at 3:40 pm, Apr 27

SirPimp
Post #596674
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3:42 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 3


I think literal vs localized translation would be a better wording. Both are technically accurate if done right where they convey the mangaka's intent.

Literal - word for word exact translation, taking into account the connotation and specific use of the words. Keeping honorifics and "special move names" would be literal in my opinion.

Localized - Adapting to your audience. Things like fluency and making foreign concepts more understandable. Nakama from One Piece would be an example. There's a reason why things get lost in translation... and of another translation.

mattfabb
Post #596675 - Reply to (#596674) by SirPimp
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3:45 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 7


Which of the two general tendencies do you tend to enjoy more?

I am not interested in "what is the best translation method" but "what is more important to you". take this as if I asked you "do you prefer vanilla or chocolate" or "sea or mountains". these are not absolutes: I don't expect one to say "I will never eat vanilla" or "I will never choose mountains" but one (should) know whether s/he likes one or the other more.

Check this for example: http://bimg.anymanga.com/manga/urusei-yatsura/001/001/008.p ng

Its from Urusei Yatsura: Ataru first meets the aliens and he thinks its a Oni, so he throws beans at it.
this is a joke about Japanese culture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setsubun

In English, they translated it as a Halloween joke, since few people know what a Oni is. this is not ideal, but its one solution. another would have been to put a note explaining the cultural reference. which do you prefer?

Last edited by mattfabb at 4:52 pm, Apr 27

Sapphiresky
Post #596678
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4:54 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 307


It really depends. I typically like to keep it accurate with references or any japanese words that don't translate, but for sentences or figure of speeches which just don't make as much sense when translated to english, I don't mind if they change the phrasing.

puzzledsheep
Post #596689 - Reply to (#596654) by Pionfou
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5:32 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 9


Quote
although, I've read that sarcasm isn't really a thing in Japan

No, sarcasm is a thing in Japan...it's just that Western humour is different from Eastern humour. They don't use sarcasm as much as we do. It might be ok to make a sarcastic joke to a stranger at the bus stop here, but it could come off as rude in Asia (in a "Ugh, why is this person so cynical" sort of way). Not that it always does...but it could, depending on the person.

puzzledsheep
Post #596694 - Reply to (#596636) by mattfabb
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6:01 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 9


I understand what you're trying to get at, but the wording is may mislead people who haven't read your post. It makes it sound like accuracy (in the traditional sense) and fluency are mutually exclusive.
Thus, while you are trying to compare extremes like...
  [JP] 餅が好き。 (I love mochi.)
   a) "I love mochi."
   b) "I love sweet dumplings."
It makes it sound like you are trying to compare extremes like...
  [JP] 餅が好き。 (I love mochi.)
   a) "Mochi ga suki."
   b) "OMG, I FREAKIN' ADORE CANDY!!"
Keeping in mind these examples are extremes ^^;

Rather than using the terms "accuracy" and "fluency", it might be better to phrase the poll in terms of "localization". It might not line up with "foreignisation" and "domestication" directly, but it'll get the point across better since it's a term and concept most of the community is familiar with already. Just for the sake of communication smile
  ○ Less localized. I prefer translations that reflect the differences between Japanese culture and my own.
  ○ More localized. I prefer translations that compensate for the differences between Japanese culture and my own.
This way people understand that there is a middle ground, but that you are asking them which extreme they tend to lean towards. At the same time, this eliminates the bias the terms "accuracy" and "fluency" may have on the ordinary reader.

mattfabb
Post #596698
Member

6:20 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 7



Thanks for the pointers, I will wait to see how this goes, since I cannot change the poll myself at this point.

I was not familiar with the terms "more localized" and "less localized", but if these are more familiar to the community, hopefully people will understand them.

szeszter
Post #596712
Member

8:16 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 4


I answered fluency, because if it is not fluent, it can disturb my reading experience. But it is a given that I also like some expressions a certain way, that adds atmosphere and a feeling of unity between the text and the images.

Pikapu
Post #596725
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10:32 pm, Apr 27 2013
Posts: 1954


I feel like it should be a mix of both and not just one or the other... \:

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achyif
Post #596731
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12:00 am, Apr 28 2013
Posts: 93


ehhh technicalities here but first of all this is a poll and would make a horribly inaccurate statistical survey (though I guess it does have its purposes)

second of all I'd rather see fluency with extra TN's on the side or back of a chapter to make up for the differences in culture.... sometimes it's hard to differentiate between a bad translation and a true translation. The additional notes make the translation more through and helps me learn more about the culture of the original country, which to be honest... not all of us know about!

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gwkimmy
Post #596752
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4:19 am, Apr 28 2013
Posts: 268


i guess i'll respond to the corrected comment in there instead of the cut off poll XD

i prefer for translators to try and keep as much of the original cultural content and nuances of jokes, etc. they can add tons of footnotes explaining the nuances and such, or if they do change something because of lingual awkwardness or something, also reference it in the footnotes. i think the publishing company del rey does this a lot? localization sometimes alienates certain audiences if they themselves don't understand what [american] cultural reference the translators are referring to or can sound REALLY dated and awkward if they aren't careful. very early viz and cmx had this and it was just...ughh ;_;

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evilcleo
Post #596754 - Reply to (#596689) by puzzledsheep
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4:48 am, Apr 28 2013
Posts: 57


Quote from puzzledsheep
No, sarcasm is a thing in Japan...it's just that Western humour is different from Eastern humour. They don't use sarcasm as much as we do. It might be ok to make a sarcastic joke to a stranger at the bus stop here, but it could come off as rude in Asia (in a "Ugh, why is this person so cynical& ...


I don't think you should just be saying Asians might take sarcasm to be rude because no matter the nationality, there's alway a possibility the other person might be comeoff by that behavior. Especially on the internet when you cannot sense the tone behind the words.

puzzledsheep
Post #596762 - Reply to (#596754) by evilcleo
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6:19 am, Apr 28 2013
Posts: 9


True, what I said was a very wide generalization. However, it is true that sarcasm is more prevalent in Western humour than Eastern humour (it's apparent just by comparing tv shows and other mediums of popular culture). There are various hypotheses as to why that is, but no definitive answer has been found thus far.

The rudeness bit was speaking more from my own impressions and observations as well as snippets I've heard from friends. I probably should have mentioned that :x

ascoat
Post #596765 - Reply to (#596698) by mattfabb
Member

6:31 am, Apr 28 2013
Posts: 5


If I were doing it, I'd separate out the linguistic and cultural aspects:

Literal translation: I like manga translation to correspond to the original words.
High-level translation: I like manga translation to preserve the overall message.
Localization: I like manga translation to read as if it were written for my culture.

The fourth combination, formally-equivalent domestication, is esoteric enough to leave off (adhere to the original words but adapt to the target culture). Alternately, I'd focus on just the cultural aspects (more / less localized) or just the linguistic aspects (more / less literal).

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