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New Poll - Low Quality Releases
This week's poll was suggested by Afiaki. I feel like scanlation quality has generally been getting better over the years at least

You can submit poll ideas here

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Have you ever encountered a "Karen"?
What's a "Karen"? - votes: 410 (13.2%)
I've only seem videos or articles about them - votes: 1188 (38.2%)
I've seen them accosting someone I don't know - votes: 348 (11.2%)
A friend or neighbor of mine was accosted by one - votes: 173 (5.6%)
I've been accosted by one - votes: 625 (20.1%)
"I find that kind of labelling hurtful and unfair. I demand to speak the manager!" - votes: 363 (11.7%)
There were 3107 total votes.
The poll ended: November 26th, 2022 12:46pm PST

Some people named Karen are nice!
Posted by lambchopsil on 
November 26th 12:51pm
Comments ( 15 )  
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» Ceiye on November 26th, 2022, 1:07pm

I guess the last one, but like, how would I know if it were misleading or incorrect. I'm reading a scanlation because I can't read the original language. I could assume it is, but unless I see someone else mention that it's wrong, I would only be tipped off because there is something else that makes it a "low quality scanlation."

So if I had to choose the one or biggest thing that makes me think "this is a low quality scanlation," it would be bad English or grammar. As long as it's still legible, I can turn a blind eye to font, bad cleaning, SFX, and low quality images. But maybe this is just because I have a personal grudge against scanlations where the biggest noticeably bad thing is how bad the English is. I have seen many webtoons and manhua I liked when they were fantranslated get picked up by "official sources" like Mangatoon or Webcomics that couldn't even bother to hire proofreaders...


» kurotaito on November 26th, 2022, 1:18pm

I chose Bad English or grammar.

Small or low quality images is a literal deal breaker like bad grammar. However a couple phrases of bad grammar can make me drop a good story, while a couple low quality image grabs do not make me drop a good story.

Though, It was definitely a hard choice. I don't really mind Misleading or incorrect translations or I wouldn't buy physical Viz comics.


» kaloo on November 26th, 2022, 1:28pm

It's the typesetting. I don't think my standard is that high, but if you don't meet it reading through the chapters feels like a slog.

I've read novels though Google Translate so my ability to parse bad English seems fine. I don't know if I'm reading an incorrect translation so I can't really judge it unless it's blatantly full of memes or something.


» Jessica_desu29 on November 26th, 2022, 2:09pm

Bad English grammar, hands down, no contest. It makes my skin crawl to read improper English sentences! Like someone else said, I wouldn't know if the translation was bad/inaccurate or not because I can't speak Japanese or Korean. As long as it sounds good in English, I can read it. I will drop a series if the grammar is extremely bad, but if it's only a few mistakes here and there coupled with it being a story I'm very invested in, I'll tolerate it while pinching my nose shut, so to speak. If a group is going to rely on MTLs, at least clean up the grammar.

It's understandable that a scanlation could have mistakes, since a lot of people working on them aren't native English speakers and it's being done for free, but it's unforgivable when an official release has grammar errors. You're charging money so it better be perfect. Definitely more of a problem with Korean comics. INKR, NETCOMICS... I'm looking at you.

I guess low quality images would be my second choice and actually if the images were blurry, I wouldn't read it, because there would be no point. But still, bad grammar is a sin.


» residentgrigo on November 26th, 2022, 2:57pm

Misleading or incorrect translations make releases 100% pointless. Bad English or grammar leads to bad releases so it has to be the secondary evil.


» hkanz on November 26th, 2022, 4:36pm

'Misleading or incorrect translations' since sometimes what's on the page doesn't even make sense. Partial translations of the text that leave out side comments/thoughts (I don't care about SFX) also really annoy me.

I don't like bad English/grammar either but definitely a coherent story told in bad English is better than a nonsensical one told in good English.


» energizerbunny on November 26th, 2022, 4:59pm

I feel like "inconsistent/non-existent releases" is my only gripe, actually. T-T I hate adding to my "incomplete manga" list! Cliffhangers for years!


» Lenalee-hime on November 26th, 2022, 5:17pm

I'm puzzled as to whether the quality of scans really improved. Some groups preserve a standard that sometimes professional translators could be jealous of, especially in an era where all the companies demand quick subs or translations at the cheapest rates possible.
On another hand, the sheer numbers of manga, manhwa or scanlation groups makes a lot of room for poor quality of translation. English grammar mistakes are sometimes just a consequence of that. For instance, I've encountered many projects taken on by people openly stating they do not speak the language they are translating, using deepl or other apps to get the English. I've also seen more re-translations from Spanish to English.

The problem with those is that they lack some nuances (ex: for Wuxia translations where it's not making sense to have sometimes heavenly associations sometimes the thousand sects, techniques being given confusing names that don't keep up with one another from one chapter to the other.) But those could be things I let slide from people doing that out the goodness of their heart for the community and for the common love of series. (I even more highly command those who take the time to bring us context, comparisons, detailed explanations, make footnotes to clarify the choice of translations or even add illustrations of a cultural custom).
I become much more severe and enraged when there is misgendering of a recurring character, an idiom that is put as is word for word, a key item that was named as XX at one page and becomes YY at another.
As stated previously those come hand in hand with bad English grammar, which comes often from having no understanding of the situations rather than the word combination in itself. (Although I get the voters in that category too)

Over the years what really got better are the cleaning skills of the groups. Even solo editors sometimes can bring great quality.

I think over all that can only emphasise how translations isn't merely putting words together but also guaranteeing coherence and we understand intercultural references, making sense of high context language into low context ones. (I.e. when sometimes in Asian languages pronounces or topics are omitted) and bringing us the artist's vision and mastery.


» HikaruYami on November 26th, 2022, 8:57pm

The first and last options are related but generally come from opposite sources. Bad English grammar is something I've seen come from Japanese translators who are trying to bring their favorite series to Americans as a passion project. It takes me out of the experience but I still always find myself appreciating the attempt. But Misleading or incorrect translations is something that generally comes from English-speaking translators that just don't understand the source material well enough, and damn, it gets fucking infuriating sometimes.


» Xunu on November 27th, 2022, 2:17am

I want to split my answer in two.
My english is limited. Sometimes I can see problems in the grammar, but most of the time not because I do a lot of speed reading and as long as I get the point across, I'm fine with it.

Also I'm not going to read half-heartedly done because I won't understand the context. I sometimes like to compare the nuances of the two version between the fan's scans with the official's. I'm currently updating raw for After School for Unripe Apples, and I can say that the localization by Line Webtoon is not very good in some places. It's not too bad, but it just gives a different impression for the communication between the characters.


» kihi on November 27th, 2022, 9:30am

It's a three prongs answer for me.

While "bad english/grammar" and "misleading/incorrect translation" is obvious and been explains by others. To me the bad english and mistranslation are not intentional by the groups given they're not professional it's one of the "bads" of reading low quality scanlation. Some of the don't even translate from the source material but do retranslation from other languages.

The small or low quality image is my vote. I knew a group that totally paranoia about people stealing their "scan" they purposefully release low quality image. The thing is it's so low quality AND small the text all blurry to the point you need to squint to read IF able. I once asked them to make the font bigger, enough to read comfortably while they can keep the low quality and small image size, they said take it or leave it and so I left. Never read any of their releases since.

Well, I can't even remember the group name anymore, dunno if they changed their way now but I didn't read any scanlation of such low/small quality image since.


» vigorousjammer on November 27th, 2022, 11:54am

Gosh, most of these are really bad... It was hard to choose just one.

I'll rank them in order from least to most worst.

6) No SFX translation - This one doesn't bother me so much, since I can read hiragana and katakana, so it's easy to get around it, assuming the cleaners didn't remove all of the SFX without the translator translating them... that'd be awkward.
5) Poor font choice and typesetting - This one can definitely affect my enjoyment quite a bit, just making the manga hard to look at in-general, but assuming everything else is of an acceptable quality, I can usually overlook it.
4) Bad cleaning of the raws - Now, this can vary... if something has a lot of dust and is just grainy looking, that's usually more acceptable than, say, over-levelling, but I can still usually overlook it depending on the severity of it.
3) Small or low quality images - A large part of why I read manga is to appreciate the artwork, so if the images are small, then it will often feel like "why am I even bothering to read this?"
It can be overlooked if a manga's story is very good, but it's often times a dealbreaker for me.
2) Misleading or incorrect translations - If the translations are so wrong that I can't follow the story, then that's a problem. Often times I find that happens due to machine translation, but depending on the simplicity of a manga's dialogue, it might not matter too much... often times it's a dealbreaker, though.
1) Bad English or grammar - This is a major problem for me. It's just not enjoyable to read something with broken English. If the art or story is good enough, I'll push through it, but it's just not enjoyable.

I guess the real answer to this question is that a lot of them are equally bad, and if a scanlation has just one of these things wrong with it, I might be willing to overlook it... but as soon as it starts stacking two or more, that's when I seriously begin to question why I'm wasting my time reading such a low-quality release.


» mallika23 on November 27th, 2022, 5:11pm

Actually, it's bad grammar AND misleading translation. But I think I'll choose bad grammar. That point also leads to misleading translation.

English is not my first language, therefore I need an understandable translation. ๐Ÿ˜… I prefer to wait for the official release or not reading the manga/manhwa at all if the only option is bad grammar/misleading translation.


» Luati on November 27th, 2022, 11:58pm

Typesetting. Even if the translation is flawless, I'd rather slowly trudge through raws than start reading a series that uses left-aligned Arial for speech bubbles.


» Alwerien on November 28th, 2022, 5:05am

Sort of hard to pick just one but the worst is probably Misleading or incorrect translations, secondary Bad English or grammar - these two are usually tied together anyway. Sometimes I actually have to machine translate it myself to get a sentence that makes a lot more sense than the "translated" one.

The poor font choice and typesetting is one that could be easiest fixed so that's just extra pain tho. As ex-editor myself it just hurts seeing. ๐Ÿคจ Better cleaning would probably require slightly more skill so I can forgive, though once it's like extreme overleveling on low quality artifacted stamped across every panel image.... hahaha. Well even being able to clean well would probably not save that.

SFX....even the readable scans from the speed release groups rarely translate them so I kind of stopped expecting it. However, what I hate the most is when they straight up skip bubble or small text.