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New Poll - Translation Accuracy vs Fluency

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Post #597259
user avatar

1:40 pm, May 1 2013
Posts: 306

I love these polls. You should really bring all this research data to the publishers so they stop 'guessing' what it is the majority of readers really want and just give the majority of readers what they want.

Post #597272
yarny, yarny

4:15 pm, May 1 2013
Posts: 95

I voted for fluency. But like most people I like a mix.

I like it when a translation keeps honorifics, Japanese name order (family/given), and some extremely common terms that don't really have an exact equivalent usage/translation in my language, and which a cheap translation will make more confusing (like shinigami, oni, itadakimasu - [oh, I get so riled when they make up some awkward translation like "I'll dig in now" for that, especially when it's a non-Japanese setting. NOBODY talks like that in real life.] ).

But other than that, I'd like it to be localized enough that my reading experience is similar to Japanese readers'. There's a lot of translations where the phrasing is weird (either because it's literal and word-for-word...or maybe the translator was just guessing at the meaning bigrazz ) and I have no clue what they're trying to say. For common phrases; if there's an English phrase that means the exact thing but is worded differently, I'd prefer the English version, unless the original is necessary to understand a joke or something. Footnotes are OK in cases like that.

Last edited by yarn at 4:30 pm, May 1

Post #597273 - Reply to (#596950) by Jooles
yarny, yarny

4:21 pm, May 1 2013
Posts: 95

"I like suffixes and hierarchy when they're important to the story"
Who gets to decide if it's important to the story or not?

"Like someone said, T/Ns are fantastic."
As long as they aren't excessive, and cover the whole page, or define an English word. It's English, I can google it myself bigrazz

"General comments like "Omg Kawaiiiiiiiii!!! O.O ><" suck though."
Agreed.... -_-

Post #597275 - Reply to (#597155) by Reyalsdog
yarny, yarny

4:28 pm, May 1 2013
Posts: 95

I agree with the swearing. Either the translators want to "have fun" with it, or they don't understand the different degrees of cussing, or kids manga really does have a lot of strong language (which I kind of doubt).

Post #597288
user avatar

5:47 pm, May 1 2013
Posts: 2

Accuracy is essential and can be achieved in either a literal or a liberal translation. However, a liberal translation has a better shot at conveying the subtext unless you're reading it as non-fiction. Translate, don't explain. Maybe literal translations and keikakus will give me a taste of "Japanese culture", but in return it'll pull me out of the story while I wonder who the hell talks like that. The Japanese sure don't. They speak normally.
I can deal with some really Japanese-exclusive stuff like honorifics since it might be obscured in a manga. Leave it out of anime, though, my ears are fine. Also, keep in mind not only Japan has its exclusives. For one thing, a precision f-strike here and there can really do wonders.

Unnecessary notes also really bug me. If they can be avoided, do it. If not, keep it as unobtrusive as possible. If you constantly need to explain things, I'd really prefer an extra page or a blog post, but that's no excuse not to even try to translate it. If you just wanna drop a random comment in the middle of the page, I hate you.

I'm willing to make some exceptions, though. If it's a comedy with layers of meta humour, I can deal with translators adding a bit of their own. And if your english is as hilariously awesome as the Yamada and the 7 witches guy's, pick a light-hearted manga and go crazy, accuracy be damned.

Post #597468

7:05 am, May 3 2013
Posts: 208

Love these latest polls! And yeah, I voted for accuracy too. I don't like how the '-san' gets translated into Ms/Mr etc in English, because we simply don't go around calling each other by honorifics anymore (at least where I live) while Japanese people still do! Most manga is also set in Japan, so I prefer everything to be as Japanese as possible (except for the language, of course). Good poll! eyes

Post #597469
user avatar

7:10 am, May 3 2013
Posts: 764

I voted Accuracy... but only because of how the Fluency option is expressed on the description. To be clear i don't like it when the Manga end ups losing its sense in exchange for keeping it literal, I would prefer for it to be fluent and to make sense but this
I like manga translation to read as if the author was native English speakers, so that linguistic and cultural differences are minimized
is taking it too far for my tastes.

Post #597512

4:18 pm, May 3 2013
Posts: 27

Voted accuracy... but that's keeping in mind that I prefer the translation to read as if the translator were a native English speaker... grammar and spelling mistakes detract from my own enjoyment. Once we get over that bottom line, then I'll prefer accuracy. Of course, translator's notes are a wonderful thing that lets us have the best of both worlds (especially if they're short enough to keep on the page).

Post #597513

4:30 pm, May 3 2013
Posts: 60

I like reading the honorifics. I get a sense how's the relationship is between the characters. If a character said, "-sama," I get the sense the character is being respected. -chan and -tan informs very close relationship. Etc etc etc.

So when I see "ms." I cringe because it just sounds awkward for me.

I think the only exception was for the anime "Tiger & Bunny" because the setting is in America and it made a lot of sense.

Post #597516
user avatar
Slightly obscene

4:56 pm, May 3 2013
Posts: 494

Accuracy all the way. The "all according to the keikaku" kind of stupidity aside, I want my manga TL with the original word play kept as intact as possible and I want my honorifics there to give me the proper sense of character interaction. Grammar and spelling errors are a separate issue.

Some of my physical copies suffer from the lack of suffixes and this bothers me.

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Post #597622

1:48 pm, May 4 2013
Posts: 33

I want to thank all the people who voted and left a comment, thanks so much, your participation was really appreciated!!

Post #597796 - Reply to (#596623) by Pionfou

8:32 pm, May 5 2013
Posts: 74

If you don't yet understand what honorifics and their inferences mean, your "boatload" of manga wouldn't fill a kayak.
Two minutes on google will provide you all the knowledge necessary to be cognizant of their meaning.

I myself am sick of seeing proper grammar and sentence structure being brutalized in order to incorporate untranslatable meaning. Some subbers and scanlators are so terrified of being labeled "weaboo", that their scripts read like they were written by hillbillies.

Even though English is a West Germanic Language, almost 70% of it's vocabulary comes from non-germanic sources. It's a language with a germanic substrate but a superstrate composed of almost every other major language in the world.
Borrowing new terms and concepts constantly from other languages is what makes it English, as opposed to say French whose grammar and vocabulary is determined by a central language authority, the Académie française.

Therefore it is in the very nature of English and it's speakers to borrow new words for concepts that don't already have an equivalent.
For instance just Hindi gave english pajama, abacus, cushy, bandanna, bungalow, cheetah, dingy, pundit, shampoo, cider, veranda, typhoon, and hundreds of other words. And only an moron would translate the now english words, tycoon, judo, bonsai, haiku, origami, sushi, karate, sumo, sake, geisha, ramen, honcho, rickshaw, wasabi, ect...

Here's some regularly butchered concepts that should earn you a kick in the junk for mistranslating:

1. Tanuki as Raccoon. Usually done by Americans, the Tanuki is a canid related to wolves and jackels. Aside from the dark mask around their eyes they couldn't be more different, you're butchering taxonomy and the concept.

2. Dango and Mochi as Rice Dumplings. Most native english speakers think of savory dumplings when you use the word, so it's very misleading. You can now purchase Dango and Mochi by name at Walmarts in North Dakota or Arkansas so the names aren't unfamiliar to anyone anymore. You wouldn't still call sushi rice patties, so it's time to give "dumpling" the heave-ho.

3. Onii-X/Ani as brother/bro/big bro. Unlike Mother/Father/Grandma the title Brother is not a form of address in english. Quit trying to make it one, it sounds retarded. The same applies for sister.

Last edited by philip72 at 1:21 am, May 7

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