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News Article
New Poll - Hardest to Scanlate
If you haven't yet, please read the previous 3 news posts.
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Now to the poll. This week's is from CatzCradle, and it's quite an odd one. In your opinion, which demographic is hardest to scanlate? Feel free to give any reason you want (whether you gotta look at naked people for hentai or you're so ashamed at how stupid some characters are in shounen. Maybe you think the language in seinen is harder to translate? Not that many of us would actually have scanlation experience in all of these demographics...

Now that I think of it, Mahou Sensei Negima! (shounen) was surprisingly hard to scanlate. It tends to have a bunch of text for 18 pages a chapter, so more to read for a proofreader and a translator. If you wanted to be accurate, you had to cross-reference the spells to non-Japanese languages. It took a bunch of work from the editors since there's a lot of redrawing if you wanna do it well. And all the above makes it hard to QC since there's so many things you need to watch out for.

You can submit poll ideas here (and try to keep them manga/anime-related)

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Which one you prefer the most?
Hentai - votes: 2478 (21%)
Borderline H - votes: 2167 (18.4%)
Ecchi - votes: 3811 (32.3%)
Nothing of the sort - votes: 3337 (28.3%)
There were 11793 total votes.
The poll ended: December 7th 2013

There was too much discussion on where you lump yaoi, yuri, and smut in those choices...
Posted by lambchopsil on December 7th 8:51am Comments ( 28 )  [ View ]  [ Add ]

» SinsI on December 7th, 2013, 1:59am

The ones with greatest amount of complex text are the hardest to scanlate.
Which means most of the Action series prevalent in Shounen are out of the competition. Everything else is on a case-by-case basis.

At a glance, Skip Beat (3-4 times normal amount of text) and Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei were the hardest of what I remember.


» evilcleo on December 8th, 2013, 6:36pm

That's what I assumed myself. I mean, all genres can have their share of complex text but generally speaking yuri, yaoi, hentai, and shounen all have their share of action (sexual and non) which allow the translators to also interpret by picture.That's why I chose seinen, which is more talk and characterization than action persay. Although, one of my favorite shounen-ai's Koori No Mamono No Monogatari has been reported to make translation a miserable task because of the language's complexity.


» calstine on December 7th, 2013, 2:07am

Has to be seinen. There are lots of reasons, the major ones being: no furigana at all, complex topics (I mean, some seinen have medical, mechanical, historical, etc. terminology that'd be difficult even for people well-versed in colloquial Japanese), long, complicated dialogues, and high dialogue:art ratio. And on top of that a lot of seinen have elaborate art in unusual styles (like Matsumoto Taiyou's), which must be hell to redraw.

How is any kind of smut manga difficult to scanlate? No one who's embarrassed by nudity would be scanlating it in the first place, so that argument is ludicrous. And the translation will be absurdly simple, since it's mostly sex talk / sounds laugh

There are outliers, of course. I'm sure quite a few josei are very difficult to do a good job on. Then there's shounen like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, with its obscure/oblique Japanese cultural references.


» misc on December 7th, 2013, 2:13am

I haven't had that much experience with scanlating but with the little amount that I have, translating and editing/cleaning are usually the toughest parts, meaning you have to be very fluent in different languages and get yourself a good knowledge of photoshop. Personally I find that translating requires less labour work while cleaning sfx is one hell of a tiring job, so I guess I'll tend to choose shounen and hentai, because for the most part they are loaded with lots of effects of the actions (different kinds of action, if you know what I mean *wink wink* >: D ) that could create all type of physical and mental pain for the scanlators for sure


» deadphoenix on December 7th, 2013, 2:37am

I thought the ones with a lot of action are hard to scan, their needs to be a lot redrawing and fixing.
But I would rather think that the demographic has nothing to do with the difficulty. As it depends on each manga individually.


» SilverStorm on December 7th, 2013, 2:51am

Immediately thought of Legend of the Sun Knight. Intentionally long verbose cryptic talk (because the MC has to talk that way for his job). Ridiculously excessive use of sparkles, screentone etc. The scanlators even had a page in their credits about how hard it was, lol. Hilarious manga though!

Anyways, anything with tons text (no furigana or in a language like Chinese-- damn those tiny characters that look like other characters), lots of sfx (or censorship, lol) is generally a pain in the butt, regardless of genre.


» Animexis on December 7th, 2013, 2:59am

As a scanlator myself, I think that Shojo by far is the hardest genre to scanlate. Something non-shojo like Bakuman is hard, of course, cause there's is too much text, but it's doable. Shojo is very hard because those characters have too much thinking to do. And they do it outside bubbles with complex backgrounds, so you have to redraw, redraw, redraw, redraw, redraw, redraw. A single panel can take from 30 minutes to one hour to redraw. Repeat that ad-nauseam, and you'll beg for mercy. Something similar happens with shonen titles, they use to have extremely big texts over very complex backgrounds every time they execute a special technique. Man, every time I read something like that I feel sorry for the guy on charge of doing that redrawing. Regarding the lack of furigana in Seinen titles.... well, if you know Japanese you don't need it. Maybe we are lucky for having translators who can handle seinen.


» mysstris on December 7th, 2013, 3:27am

...does genre matter in terms of difficulty to scanlate? isn't it just when you have a lot of text, what kind of topics the text involve, where the text is, if the bubbles are laced with text and background (you know those "invisible" bubbles that have the background in it as well), how much detail is in the manga (how much redraw), etc? Each genre potentially has complexities no? But I don't have that experience so....yeah, scanlators' poll. I shall abstain from this week's poll.


» voraciouszest on December 7th, 2013, 3:41am

Well, as an editor, there's one thing in the world that never fails to make me want to cry tears of blood - a page full of dust, guttering, screentones, patterns, sfx and complex backgrounds. Yup. All of them in there together. As a proofreader, there is nothing in the world harder to scanlate than something I'm not interested in reading. There are series in all genres than can be considered difficult or simple. I don't really think this comes down to genre but more to the task and how skilled the scanlator is.


» RoxFlowz on December 7th, 2013, 3:56am

If it's only about translating, then it's obviously Seinen or Josei, which often deal with more complex themes than Shounen or Shoujo. But if you're going to redo the sfx for example, a fighting shounen will become a pretty tough job. (Still find the poll weird though as it doesn't really depend on genre)


» haohao229900 on December 7th, 2013, 8:04pm

Quote from RoxFlowz
If it's only about translating, then it's obviously Seinen or Josei, which often deal with more complex themes than Shounen or Shoujo. But if you're going to redo the sfx for example, a fighting shounen will become a pretty tough job. (Still find the poll weird though as it doesn't really depend on ...



» tactics on December 7th, 2013, 4:51am

It's a toss up between Shoujo and Hentai. For me, as a cleaner/redrawer.

I haven't done much Shoujo, but I've noticed just how much needs to be redrawn, and it's nuts. Kinda glad I don't deal with it XD
Hentai, hah. Same problem. Too many transparent bubbles, because you gotta see everything right? I've cleaned hentai before where every single page bar one required a redraw, and there were like, 16 pages in the chapter with an average of maybe 3 redraws per page. Nightmare.

Shounen/Seinen gets annoying when there are too many speedlines.


» GGpX on December 7th, 2013, 8:11am

Seinen/Josei because the many Guesslators who call themselves "Translators" have a harder time looking up the kanji one by one in their dictionaries and thus make awful translations.


» LadyBlue on December 7th, 2013, 8:47am

I think Sports (which is not included) is probably the hardest because there are not many groups interested in the genre. Plus the re-drawing for them must be a nightmare.


» licorice on December 7th, 2013, 9:44am far as translating goes, josei/seinen are the most difficult with the kanji and various technical, historical terms, etc. When it comes to cleaning/redrawing, definitely shoujo. I don't know a single shounen or seinen group for example that clean sfx or have to deal with those obnoxious gradients and patterns shoujo manga almost always have.


» 0oKat~0 on December 7th, 2013, 11:56am

Hmmm... hardest... Probably those with a lot of technical terms. Medical manga like Wildlife, or even sports ones like Capeta. (Attempting to translate those when you don't have a clue about the subject matter in question is tears inducing. A dictionary doesn't help. At all. no )

It's one thing to understand the language. It's a totally different matter when you have to translate chunks of terms which you probably have never seen in English before, let alone in Japanese/Chinese.


» Sagaris on December 7th, 2013, 12:00pm

Hentai for editors.
Seinen for translators.


» dalek on December 7th, 2013, 7:18pm

Quote from Sagaris
Hentai for editors.
Seinen for translators.



» Harimau on December 7th, 2013, 7:12pm

Certain Seinen, because they cover niche topics like calligraphy or Italian cooking or history that often need additional research, and probably tend to have a fair amount of text more than shounen or others.


» Moon-Angelica on December 7th, 2013, 8:55pm

Shoujo. All the thoughts etc outside text bubbles requiring redraws and half those redraws being things like hair. I edited Sailor Moon for a while which had a ton of hair redraws which would take ages.


» lynira on December 7th, 2013, 9:58pm

Well, the more dialogue there is and the more complex it is, that'll be harder for the translator... It's just an estimate, but I think seinen tends to have longer & more complicated dialogue most often (probably josei as a close second?).

Then a high amount of dialogue/narration placed directly on the art must make things really difficult for cleaners & redrawers, but (and again just an estimate) I feel like this doesn't depend too much on genre. Shounen probably has the most sound effects because it tends to have a lot of long action scenes, but I'm ignoring that because I'm assuming the scanlating is being done the way I want (SFX translations in the margins, so no cleaning or redrawing needed).

Last, the more popular the series and the more often it releases, the more pressure there is on the scanlators by their readers waiting for the next chapter, which would make it difficult too (stress-wise). I'm pretty sure that shounen has the most very popular and frequently releasing series.

Anyway, I guess I'll go with seinen as the most difficult.


» takeva on December 7th, 2013, 10:53pm

Was a hard choice. Any can be hard to scanlate depending on whats involved.

I went with Seinen though. bigrazz


» yarn on December 7th, 2013, 10:58pm

I guess it just depends. Translation-wise, I hear the most complaints regarding josei. I suppose seinen would be equally hard in that regard. But here, I hear a lot of complaints about shoujo, and I can imagine that's true, with all the vague screentones and sparkly backgrounds. Theoretically, a josei with typical shoujo art would be then be the hardest to do bigrazz


» myrt on December 7th, 2013, 11:19pm

Primarily being a translator, I find seinen most difficult too, as lots of complex topics can be covered and there can be a lot of dialogue. No furigana either. I'd imagine josei to be similar, but I've never really scanlated any josei before.

A lot of people have said shoujo but I find there's often a lot of places where you can clone the (sparkly) backgrounds therefore I've never found redrawing shoujo manga too hard. The sfx in shounen, particularly action series, would definitely be hard to redraw though, but most groups don't redraw them nowadays so yup, I concluded with seinen in the end.


» Hespia Klarerin on December 8th, 2013, 1:32am

I think Omake re the hardest, or the author's comment at the end of the books. those are usually so so so messy.


» NightSwan on December 8th, 2013, 10:21am

Probably seinen. No furigana, complex text and more often than not - text on art (not just random sparkles, but scenery).
If it's fantasy (or any genre with obscure terminology), it makes matters all the more difficult.

The most annoying to typeset would probably be hentai.
Having never typesetted hentai before, I did however work on a number of series with explicit sex scenes. All those "pants" and "ahhhhhs" make me UGH!

I know it doesn't really relate to the topic, but I had to air this out. As much as I like reading and sometimes staring at them, I can't STAND typesetting sex scenes.


» nakie08 on December 13th, 2013, 2:02am

No idea on the translator side but for editing I'd have to say seinen/josei because of all the out-of-bubble texts. There are alot of ways to deal with sfx's commonly found in action/shounen series but for out-of-bubble texts you have no choice but to redraw.


» nezushi on December 16th, 2013, 9:35am

i'd say josei or seinen because they tend to have a lot more dialogue than the other genres. (kind of late to the discussion..)


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