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New Poll - Translating Money

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7:59 am, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 9806

This week's poll about converting money (into gold!) was suggested by our member 8-3.

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

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Female main character hair length preference
Bald - votes: 275 (3.2%)
Ear - votes: 305 (3.5%)
Chin - votes: 347 (4%)
Neck - votes: 550 (6.3%)
Collarbone - votes: 328 (3.8%)
Shoulder - votes: 638 (7.4%)
Armpit - votes: 240 (2.8%)
Bra strap - votes: 653 (7.5%)
Mid-back - votes: 1197 (13.8%)
Waist - votes: 764 (8.8%)
Hip - votes: 318 (3.7%)
Tailbone - votes: 209 (2.4%)
Classic - votes: 115 (1.3%)
Mid-thigh - votes: 166 (1.9%)
Knee - votes: 83 (1%)
Calf - votes: 26 (0.3%)
Ankle - votes: 69 (0.8%)
Floor - votes: 59 (0.7%)
Longer than floor (what a drag) - votes: 191 (2.2%)
No preference - votes: 2138 (24.7%)
There were 8671 total votes.
The poll ended: December 3rd 2016

I'm actually surprised that so many people voted. I expected this to be an unpopular one.

Last edited by lambchopsil at 7:20 pm, Dec 10

A just ruler amongst tyrants
Post #686328

9:24 am, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 67

Leave it in original form. If someone is curious enough to want to know how much that is in their own currency, they can just google it and it a few seconds they will know. I mean, in fantasy stories people pay with gold coins and you just simply take that for what it is. At least I haven't thought how much a gold coin would be worth in usd, euros, etc. So if they are curious, they can look for it themselves, though it's a really nice touch for translators to put a note saying those things.

Post #686329
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9:37 am, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 665

For scanlators, simply leaving it in its original form is fine with me. Conversion rates change all the time anyway, so if there is a translation note, I prefer an approximation rather than an actual conversion. (Ex: 100 JPY ≈ 1 USD)

For official translations, of course, I expect a translation note with whatever country's currency they're publishing in (USD for American publishers, NT for Taiwan publishers, etc.). Again, I prefer approximations over exact figures.

Last edited by Suxinn at 11:23 am, Dec 3

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10:22 am, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 417

Leave in original form and add translation note for conversion to USD, etc.

Original from is required as exchange rate will differ as time passes. Well original value will also change depending on when you're reading, I mean Egg prices wouldn't be same after 5+ years where author lives. But, anyone will ignore that for a good read and most of the good authors states which year/time it's based on. And Fantasy/Medieval can can see some tranquillity in that regard.

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Post #686338 - Reply to (#686328) by Senrosj
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1:11 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 540

Quote from Senrosj
Leave it in original form. If someone is curious enough to want to know how much that is in their own currency, they can just google it and it a few seconds they will know.

Totally agree. And besides, after reading manga for a while you come across currency enough to remember roughly what it would be in your local currency. Or at least it's easy for me because I can just use the approximation of 100yen = $1.

What I don't like is when they change the amount to the local currency using the exact exchange rate of the day. Exchange rates change constantly, so there's no need to put in the extra effort to include exact amounts when it'll just change later.

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Seinen is RIGHT

2:17 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 2083

Leave in original form. There is nothing wrong to have a footnote on the $ amount but that is indeed a 5 sec. google search away.

I also read EU/US comics and am a librarian.
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Post #686345 - Reply to (#686338) by KaoriNite
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4:57 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 92

And besides, after reading manga for a while you come across currency enough to remember roughly what it would be in your local currency.

After reading "Liar Game", it's impossible for me not to know since they talk about money in every chapter ^^

Post #686348
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6:25 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 402

No, you do not let translators convert stuff. Many of them are burdened with some kind of a liberal arts degree that prevents them from doing such complicated operations. I remember I was watching some drama where in the subtitles they decided to convert kilometers to miles for whatever reason. The numbers seemed off, so I re-checked with a calculator, and what do you know? They were converting to nautical miles (~1.9 km) rather than normal ones (~1.6 km). Even if you want the conversion in t/n, you are still asking for potential errors to be introduced.

If you really want to know what the amount is in your currency, go and google it yourself.

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Post #686349

6:46 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 98

Leave in the original form. With the way the economy fluctuates and with inflation even if it's changed to dollars you still may not have a good idea of how much money it's worth, or you may even incorrectly assume how much it is. Most of the times if it's important you can get a good idea of what's high or low based on other prices in the story. They do that a lot in fantasy stories too, and it's never a problem. If someone is really interested they can look it up themselves- now a days it really doesn't take long at all.


8:23 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 17

Second or fourth choice. So readers know roughly what the amount is without having to look it up. Even though conversion rates change, it's usually not so much that after a year or so after a manga's scanlation they're completely different.
That's what official manga translators do, too. It can always be seen in officially published manga.

Last edited by amy_levi at 8:58 pm, Dec 3

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8:49 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 47

Leave in original form
I'm not an American. and I'm sure some scanlator are not Americans either. so, conversion to USD is just useless for me. I just grasp the values these Yen has in Japan.

Post #686354
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Dark Knight

9:19 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 389

You have to leave it in the original form.

If a story is taking place in Japan, the currency there is Yen. If the story is taking place in England, the currency there are Pounds.

And so on & so forth.


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11:24 pm, Dec 3 2016
Posts: 291

Currency is a signifier of setting so definitely leave it in original form. Personally I like translation notes for USD though I can definitely convert from yen to dollar since like others have said 100 yen ~ 1 dollar. If it's some from of bartering or gold coins or whatever, I don't really care to know how much something is worth unless its a manga that relies heavily on economics, eg Spice and Wolf. Even then, I only really need to know something's worth relative to something else in the story.

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Post #686362

2:05 am, Dec 4 2016
Posts: 144

Leaving it as is is not really an option - readers should be able to relate to the amount, as a "billion" is not that much if it is in Korean Won, while even a hundred bitcoins is already a lot!
But if you are translating it, you have to take into account the setting- i.e. translators of Moonlight Sculptor used the current US/Won conversion rate, which was a big mistake: since it is set in the future, and Korea suffered x10 price inflation, their conversion was vastly incorrect.

As such, it is best to change the currency into some kind of "Big Mac index" - that way the translation stays relevant regardless of real life currency fluctuations.

Post #686363 - Reply to (#686348) by cmertb

3:43 am, Dec 4 2016
Posts: 42

Lol. I know what you're talking about. I'm very thankful for the scanlators work and bringing us a series, but, for some reason, a lot of times when there is a huge debt, the number of zeroes or currency seems to change from chapter to chapter. i.e. 1 billion yen to 100 million yen OR 10 million yen to 10 million usd

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