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New series you're trying. You dislike the story but like the characters. Continue reading?
Yes, the characters are more important to me
Stop reading, as this just ruins it for me
Unlikely, as I can't fully enjoy the series
I'll keep trying in hopes that the story improves
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New Poll - Translation Quality

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Post #536240
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3:34 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 9128

This poll was suggested by MewMan. So in general, what's your opinion on the quality of manga translations? This applies to both scanlations and stuff released by publishers. Honestly though, how many of you can actually read the original language and would actually know how good a translation is? We're so critical on things we're not even experts on...

You can discuss this poll on our forums here:

You can submit poll ideas here:

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Favorite Hayao Miyazaki film?
Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro - votes: 390 (2.4%)
Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind - votes: 862 (5.3%)
Laputa: Castle in the Sky - votes: 555 (3.4%)
My Neighbor Totoro - votes: 911 (5.6%)
Kiki's Delivery Service - votes: 616 (3.8%)
Porco Rosso - votes: 229 (1.4%)
Princess Mononoke - votes: 3215 (19.8%)
Spirited Away - votes: 3785 (23.4%)
Howl's Moving Castle - votes: 3362 (20.7%)
Ponyo - votes: 220 (1.4%)
Never watched any of them - votes: 2058 (12.7%)
There were 16203 total votes.
The poll ended: September 4th 2010

My first memorable exposure was to Spirited Away. It's quite sad that 12.7% never watched any of them...

A just ruler amongst tyrants
Post #536241
user avatar

5:44 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 287

My first Hayao Miyazaki film was Kiki's Delivery Service; I didn't even know he made that film yet. I can understand why Spirited Away won since it was the film that brought him into the U.S. spotlight.

"to the world you may be one person,
but to one person you may be the world."

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" (from Hamlet, Wm. Shakespeare; Act II, scene ii)

(Even though the quote above is from Hamlet, I first saw it in a Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer on YouTube ^o^)
Post #536242
user avatar

5:49 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 86

I actually can read the original language and figure out the general quality of the translation... But ironically, I voted "don't know". Because, to be honest, there's too many different things out there.

I've seen scanlations with translation so bad it made me wonder, "Wait, is this even English?" And I've seen scanlations that were just about perfect in their translation. As for official English releases, some annoyingly lose all feeling of the original and make epic mistakes, while others are pretty damn fun, and the so-called 'flow' of the dialogue is sometimes a lot better than even the good scanlations.

Post #536243

8:51 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 10

I'm surprised there is so few "Don't know" votes. I thought most people only read scanlations here, so there is no way they can know about the translation quality.

Post #536244 - Reply to (#536243) by viral_hun
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Dark Knight

9:09 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 377


But don't expect thought-out answers from people who don't... Well, think.


I run Illuminati-Manga. You're welcome.
Post #536245 - Reply to (#536244) by GGpX
user avatar
Chocolate Fudge

9:44 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 216

Of course, I've seen several English errors and I'm sure Japanese translations have mistakes. But for me, being able to understand what is happening and usage of correct english grammar is enough (more than enough for something given free). I guess I don't care about the quality then? xD

May the Chocolates of Heaven be on your side.

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Post #536246
user avatar
all hail schneizel

10:49 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 196

Translation quality doesn't just include the translation, but how it's presented. "something that is written like this, you. would like to read it?" I've read a few scanlations that didn't even make sense in English.

Post #536247
user avatar

3:28 am, Sep 5 2010
Posts: 204

I votes 'I only read raws'... because for the past year or so, I've strayed back to reading raws. For a while, I was forced into reading some translated stuff that I didn't have a part in making (to kill time at work) and most of it was acceptable, but a lot was borderline. I'm a stickler and I hate leaving bubbles in broken English or, even worse, totally nonsensical, which is what you'll find in a lot of the smaller or newer groups' releases.

That said, some chapters I've read (and some entire groups) are just so incredibly bad that they've taken wonderful manga and made them into terrible, painful reading experiences. Of course, there is a flip side to that, and some groups are wonderful, painting the picture just like the author intended.

Good rule of thumb: If you look at a bubble and think "Wait, wut?", you're reading a bad translation, and you're probably not getting the full experience of what you're reading. An author won't be putting in nonsensical bubbles in the original, so obviously a good translator won't be BSing his way through them in the translation.

Post #536248

8:13 am, Sep 5 2010
Posts: 83

Most of them are passable, and I don't particularly care about errors unless they are very big, glaring errors that mess up the entire story. Translation is not easy, and there's always a delicate balance between loss of meaning and loss of flow. If I really like a manga series, I buy the raw because even the best translation cannot replace the raw- although some translations are worthy of being read alongside the original.

I also agree with a comment above that translation extends beyond the accuracy of the work. I'm more turned off by idiotic stylistic choices than bad translation (although usually they come hand in hand). For example, some groups convey dialects very well, and some go overboard and are a pain to read. Some groups use the right amount of original Japanese text, with explanatory notes, and others seem to stick random Japanese words in because they think it looks soo coool (it doesn't). The other day I read the pick-up line: "I want to quench myself in you." ...whoever translated this was stuck in the 1600s. Or a respectable businessman in elite society saying "Shaddup!" (while sober). Sometimes a weaker translation with good presentation trumps the stronger translation that looks like some blind schoolgirl in a cave typed it up.

Post #536249 - Reply to (#536248) by naikan
user avatar

4:27 am, Sep 6 2010
Posts: 84

I would like to read the raws, but as I don't understand Japanese that is not possible; however, on the subject of dialects I agree. One of my least favorite parts of Mahou Sensei Negima is that DelRey gave a Chinese accent to Ku Fei, and it is just bad. I felt offended for the sake of my Chinese friends. I actually enjoyed reading Fanscans for because they actually had her speak like a person.
Otherwise, there are times when I read something, scanned or bought, where I do say "Whoa now.. that can't -possibly be what he said..." only to turn to the opposite (if it is a fan, I bust out the hard copy on my book shelf or at a book store, and if it is a book I bust out the fan scan), and hope that clears things up.
As for the comment earlier about this site being for people who only read scans, I am hoping that was sarcasm which didn't translate well for me. I have TONS of books, and actually don't have much room for more, the reason I use this site is to find more to buy based on reviews, and to find places where I can go find stuff that isn't out yet. Also, if I am at work as some have said, I like to be able to read without carrying around an entire series, as I can read 7-8 volumes in an hour or so.

Post #536250
user avatar

8:07 pm, Sep 6 2010
Posts: 17

Most translations in general are bad for stories. Whether it's insufficient proficiency in the source language or anything less than total mastery of the target language or insufficient situational knowledge and vocabulary, translators can butcher multiple aspects of the story. Some translations are retranslations, allowing for double the amount of WTF from translation.

Best to read the raws in the original language yourself.

Post #536251
user avatar

3:36 am, Sep 7 2010
Posts: 11

Seriously? That poll is so vague it's not even funny, not to mention impossible to even answer given that there's no question being asked. That's like coming up to a person and saying, "Hey, how do you like reading books? They're pretty well-written, huh? Or do they generally suck?"

The quality of translations, be they licensed or scanlated, is too across the board to say for certain whether they're good or not, and there are way too many variables to take into consideration. Now, if you were to ask, "Say, how do you feel about the quality of Viz's localizations (meaning the polished English adaptation vs. the translation?)" that might be a different matter (not to mention one only answerable by translators, and only the ones who have read both versions of a work, at that), but there are too many aspects to the question posted that aren't being taken into consideration. Being a translator myself, I've seen some absolute shit localizations in both scanlations and licensed manga (Going back to Viz again, their early Shoujo Beat line comes to mind as having especially awful quality, while their Signature line is, quite honestly, next to godly. Both Ooku and Pluto come to mind.), but the accuracy rate, translation-wise, for scanlations can be fairly low. (Some people like to think Google translate is a fine source for double-checking. STAY. AWAY.)

On the other hand, something can have a fine translation and be accurate in every sense of the word, but the localization is so god-awful, you can't understand a word the characters are saying because it reads like a second-grader's paper on where they went for Summer vacation. Similarly, a title could have an absolutely awful and inaccurate translation, but because the writing comes off as professional-sounding and actually reads like a piece of literature instead of an obvious translation with stilted dialogue and the whole sheebang, no one notices that the series itself has been entirely rewritten and bears no resemblance to the original.

To reiterate, this poll isn't really asking a question at all. It's too vague. (Apologies for the long-winded response.)

Post #536252
user avatar

1:04 pm, Sep 7 2010
Posts: 170

Some are really good, most are middling to fair, and some are really, really bad. Especially the ones translated from Chinese, I don't know why that is.

Post #536253
user avatar
Slumbering Remnant

11:52 pm, Sep 7 2010
Posts: 657

I knew spirited away was going to win but either way Howl's moving castle is my favorite.

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I hear you say "Why?" Always "Why?" You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
Post #536254
user avatar

5:00 pm, Sep 10 2010
Posts: 163

My first Miyazaki film was Princess Mononoke, I caught it on stars and was hooked i kept on waiting for it to be on again and drop everything to watch it lol

It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.
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