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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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Site Poll - Chat Box 109 - Translation Quality

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Post #404283
user avatar

5:38 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 9127

Can you guys actually even legitimately be able to judge the quality of a translation? So many people complain that a translation is bad yet have no true knowledge of the original language anyways...

So my choice: I don't know

Question: What do you think of manga translations (in general)?
They're good - votes: 7986 (55.9%)
Minor errors, but who cares? The pictures count - votes: 5415 (37.9%)
They're horrible - votes: 223 (1.6%)
I only read raws - votes: 114 (0.8%)
Don't know - votes: 550 (3.8%)
There were 14288 total votes.
The poll ended: September 11th 2010

Last edited by lambchopsil at 7:04 pm, Sep 11

A just ruler amongst tyrants
Post #404287
user avatar

5:47 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 287

I don't know either because 1) I can't read Japanese and 2) I'm not a translator.

"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 #404288
user avatar
Mad With a Hat

5:50 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 4767

I don't know.
I judge by how it sounds to me.
There're people who do know Japanese, so I can rely on them as well.

How do you know how any translation is good? For novels, for textbooks.
I believe the translators try to relay the the context to the best of their ability.
Especially in the manga community, where we all seem to be so crazy for details and perfection.
There're obviously some very bad translations out there, too.

I myself, cannot be sure, since I don't know the languages involved.
But I trust the translator, and if I enjoy the manga, it's definitely good enough for me.

Hrodulf and Bjornolfr, you will not be forgotten.
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And if the world were black and white,
you would be my rainbow in shades of grey.

Click 'n Play!

If I had a fantasy self, it'd be a tentacle monster.
Post #404295
user avatar

6:31 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 142

I would go for some choice between "minor errors" and "they're horrible", if it existed.

Too many translations are quite shoddy. And I could see that even if I didn't know any other languages than English. Then again, some are really good. So it evens out somewhat.

Many*fairly crap ~= some*really good (That only works because I place a lot more importance on the good ones, though.)

Post #404298
user avatar

6:37 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 985

Don't know either. I don't know Jap, so I'm not in the place to judge other work. I (have to) trust the translators....
Well, at least up to this moment, I have never found any translation so bad that actually affects the story...

it's cold down here fam ~
Post #404299

6:40 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 26

Honestly, knowing only English, I still think I can judge a translation's quality. A lot of translators forget that being accurate to the original Japanese is less important than making something sound right in English. Far too often do I read a translation in which a statement sounds awkward and unnatural in English, in which the translator should obviously have taken far greater liberties.

Post #404308
user avatar

7:13 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 116

I base my judgement of translations on readability. Even knowing some Japanese, unless I have the original AND English versions side by side, I can't possibly know if something was "mistranslated." Occasionally there's an obvious error (like a reference to "watermelon bread" that I understood was originally melon-bread (which has nothing to do with watermelon)), but I usually assume the translator is on the right track with meaning.

The thing that led me to give up scanlations was that so often the writing was in such awkward, broken, nonsensical English that I realized it made the characters sound completely stupid and annoying. It seriously hurt my enjoyment of the story!! At least professional translations have translators who are paid to do the work (and therefore must show some competency to merit payment) and editors who can turn a broken-sounding script into something readable. If there are minor mis-translations in that, I'm not too bothered.

Post #404311
user avatar
the mu...

7:36 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 1051

I don't know. I'm not well educated on the japanese language.
The only comment i have is that sometimes i found that translation to one language makes more sense than the other.

Post #404314
user avatar
Mome Basher

7:43 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 3380

Minor errors every now and then (in manga and anime), but I don't mind that much.
Most of the time it's usually when a phrase is "westernized"...a bit annoying, but nothing major.

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Everyday I'm tumblin'
Post #404317

7:50 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 7

The poll is pretty one-sided in my opinion.

I know some translators that are sensitive about the finest details, some do a very low-quality job... Now where is the option for that?

Post #404329

8:58 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 1

I also don't know Japanese, so I can't say how good translations are.

Now editors, on the other hand, I can speak for. As others in this thread have mentioned, I've read a lot of scanlations that may have been perfectly accurate but were very awkwardly phrased. Maybe we can have a poll about that next.

Post #404335
user avatar

9:29 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 161

Speaking as a translator....

I've actually seen a number of translations where someone messed it up pretty bad and the message being delivered was incorrect. Though, they aren't that common.

And then there are things with bad flow enough though the meaning is right. But how much "liberty" you want to apply not only falls on the translators but also QC. And I don't think there's ever a correct amount. When there's some play-on of language for example. You have the option to ditch the original completely and substitute your own or just make no sense. First option clearly makes things more enjoyable (if you're good at it), but then again, it's partially your doujinshi now....

There are often also times where bubbles are laid out so each bubble says one things which builds suspense and the "tada" at the end. But when you put it into English, you may have to flip the words to make sense due to different ordering. Then, you just have to go with bad flow... sad You just have no choice. Cuz the pics won't match anymore...

The worst of times in translation is when there's "mysteries". Where people speak on and on with the themes being shrouded largely in mystery and you have no clue what's going on. To add to the 'mystery' that the author is trying to give, they tend to use words where meanings are questionable. That is, it could mean 4 different things that all apply at the moment. Given the full context, you can translate properly, but you also can't go into the future to read the next 5 volumes.

So, I think there's a lot of "too bad" areas in translation. But clearly a lot of effort goes into them, especially series where you have two translators doing double check of each other.

The Company
Post #404342
user avatar

10:05 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 12

Yeah its hard to say, but most of the ones I've read are readable and make sense in the story (and doesn't seem like a random made up TL line), with few grammar/spelling errors - but that is an editor's job?

Well if I compare stuff that I've read between different groups/official licensed manga/different languages (japanese to chinese to english for example), a similarity should prove accuracy?

Last edited by swiftstrike at 12:30 am, Sep 5

Go mangaka.
Post #404366
user avatar
Is a female

10:56 pm, Sep 4 2010
Posts: 3426

I think they're ok, but what the hell do I know about translating stuff?
As long as the grammar is fine and the sentences make sense I don't complain. I'm not expecting 100% anyway. Not even with the licensed series.

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Post #404410
user avatar
Manga Otaku

2:34 am, Sep 5 2010
Posts: 716

I chose the second one because I don't really care about manga translations and the pictures matter for me.

I read so much mangas, I'm too lazy to watch anime! bigrazz bigrazz bigrazz

Manga I'm loving ATM: Heart no Kuni no Alice
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