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News Article
New Poll - Translating Food
This week's poll was suggested by 8-3. Should we translate food items?

You can submit poll ideas here

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Do you own any Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies?
Used to, but not anymore - votes: 179 (3.1%)
I started fairly recently - votes: 169 (2.9%)
Yeah, I've been investing for a while now - votes: 149 (2.6%)
No, but I might get some soon - votes: 617 (10.6%)
Nope, not interested at all - votes: 3931 (67.3%)
I'm actually short-selling it instead - votes: 35 (0.6%)
What's Bitcoin? - votes: 758 (13%)
There were 5838 total votes.
The poll ended: January 27th 2018

I had to look up what short-selling means.
Posted by lambchopsil on January 27th 7:41am Comments ( 20 )  [ View ]  [ Add ]

» RoxFlowz on January 27th, 2018, 1:10am

Voted for "only the uncommon ones" but not translating any of them and adding a note on the side is also fine.


» ForeignerChan on January 27th, 2018, 4:53am

I would have voted for "not translating any of them and adding a note on the side".


» Senrosj on January 31st, 2018, 4:13am

Quote from RoxFlowz
Voted for "only the uncommon ones" but not translating any of them and adding a note on the side is also fine.

For me, the best choice is a note on the side saying, "This is roughly what it means." Not everyone wants to know it, not all of the food name have good translations, but I still want to know roughly what the food is about. If you have no idea what Takoyaki is, but you see a TL note saying, "Octopus balls," you'll have an idea about what it is and what it could taste like. Though this "best choice" just makes more work for the translation groups.


» AndyProk on January 27th, 2018, 5:18am

There needs to be a "don't translate but add a note on the first page it appears on" option. Voted for "only uncommon ones" for now.


» VawX on January 27th, 2018, 5:45am

The best one is ofc not translate any of them and add a note somewhere mmm...
But for now I guess translate none of them seems to be the best choice, even translating "kiritanpo" will be very weird, just as weird as translating names mmm...


» residentgrigo on January 27th, 2018, 6:02am

Only the uncommon ones but i also mean it in the form of a note.
No one tried to sell us on Bitcoins, weird.


» MinatoAce on January 27th, 2018, 7:09am

No, translate none of them.
Adding notes or references outside margin or at the last page with credit wouldn't be bad, if the translators/editors/groups feels like doing that extra bit.


» svines85 on January 27th, 2018, 9:57am

Oh, an interesting topic, I never really thought about it.....yup, the names of specific dishes, a good question.

Translate none of them, I'm a firm believer in a uniform, consistent approach to whatever problem/issue, if you start picking and choosing on this kind of thing you're just setting yourself (and the readers) up for problems/confusion/just unnecessary bs down the road.

And yeah, if you feel really strongly about it (as in it's not already glaringly obvious what's being talked about, I mean this is manga, there's no reason to say "it's food on a stick" if you're looking right at, you know, a picture of food on a stick biggrin ), yup, hit it with a translator note.


» kurotaito on January 27th, 2018, 11:20am

No, translate none of them, if possible translation notes. If a person really cared about the informationn about the food then they can google it. Rice with vegetables is never gonna compare to an actual detail summary of what bibimbap is. Anyway, that my opinion.


» cmertb on January 27th, 2018, 6:49pm

As is customary with such polls, none of the choices presented are reasonable.

The rule of thumb I use is translate if I can fully express the meaning in two English words or less, and if the term isn't generally known among the fandom. Otherwise, transliterate and add a tl note if I'm not lazy.


» SinsI on January 27th, 2018, 10:43pm

Voted for "uncommon ones", but the meaning I put into it is exactly the opposite:
takoyaki, as unique, region-specific food is the uncommon name that shouldn't be translated,
while ebi fry is a common in many cuisines fried shirmp so it should be translated as such.

A separate - and very big - problem is with loanwords-named food, i.e. "hamburger", that in Japan means a completely different thing from our regular burgers.


» cmertb on January 28th, 2018, 4:13am

"Hamburger" is a mistranslation. It is properly translated "hamburg", short for "Hamburg steak". No confusion here.


» darkraiders on January 28th, 2018, 3:16pm

If it have an english equivalent than yes translate them, but if not i think it's fine to keep it in japanese.


» achyif on January 29th, 2018, 11:15pm

The ambiguity of takoyaki if you don't know what it is is probably better than seeing "octopus balls" laugh laugh laugh


» blackzero7 on January 30th, 2018, 3:33am

Food items mostly should never be translated since it would make it hard to look them up if I were to want to order them. If it must be done, leave it in the translator notes somewhere to the side.


» calstine on January 30th, 2018, 7:24pm

I'm fine with either option 1 or 3, though I ended up voting for 1. I'm generally an advocate for preserving the native feel of the story, anyway. And this doesn't apply only to Eastern fiction, but to Western as well. Like if I were reading a translation of something that was originally in French, I'd want to know the names of their dishes in French.

Of course, there's one caveat: I wouldn't want the translators to keep the native names of dishes that are eaten throughout the world; like, say, if they call 'pizza' something else in the original, it should still be translated to 'pizza.'


» silenteye on January 31st, 2018, 7:28pm

I’d love for all original Japanese terms, it makes it seem like your actually reading a manga and really adds a depth to the story settings. Sure I don’t mind if they add the literal translation in the margins as notes but to actually have the literal item in question in the text makes soooo much for it.

But not only foods but items, sound effects and peoples titles/suffixes get translated away from the stories and I’m constantly like “srsly wtf?” such as;

Kotatsu = heated table? No duh I think we’ve read enough to know what that is by now.
Nya = meow confused ? Cats don’t say “Meow” in Japan!
Doki = heart thump? Another thing that’s pretty common but at least keep the SFX original, I don’t mind the “heart races” in the main text.
Sensei = teacher? I can’t tell you the # of times where I get ticked off when a character says “hey teach”.
Onee/Onii-chan/san/sama/etc. = Sister/Brother? This is my biggest pet peeve when the characters just say “Sis” or “Bro” as I have to try and imagine what exactly character actually said and hopefully the translator also didn’t just shorten it to “bro/sis” every time so I can try and figure out exactly what their siblings call each other, properly.

Now not as common but would love to see some start using Oka/Oto-san(etc.) for mom and dad, titles such as Inchou/Buchou/Oya-san/Oyaku-san/Ojou-chan(sama/etc.), coming and going Ittekimasu/Tadaima, other animal sounds such as Kero and Usa/Pyon, and of course foods Nabe/onigiri/katsudon/Mikan. Literally I’d love to see most things as original as possible because that’s what their actually saying in their original language and by translating away from that totally ruins a story for me. So yeah... I totally hope we can get some changes for the better.

Thanks for your time =P


» gormadoc on February 2nd, 2018, 8:08am

Why not just read the raws, then?


» cmertb on February 2nd, 2018, 10:05am

Probably because you'd have to invest about 2000 hours of your life to be able to do that.


» gormadoc on February 3rd, 2018, 12:02am

Sure, but they said they want to see most things in the original language. If that's what they want it's a worthwhile investment.


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