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NEWS: No Sound Effect Translations in Tokyopop Manga




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Kharis Venn



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 5:53 am Reply with quote
Somehow I think cost-cutting outweighed authenticity here. If they wanted authenticity, they wouldn't have rewriters reworking the dialogue. They'd do a literal translation (as wonky as that sometimes is) and be done with it.

It drives me nuts that in certain titles (like Dragon Head) they don't translate the sound effects. That's so important in horror titles, where mood and tension are key...

[moved this to manga since it's isn't feedback related to a recent article]
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jgreen



Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 1324
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 2:14 pm Reply with quote
I hate it when manga companies don't translate sound effects, too, but where is the news item that this is related to? I went poking around on the site and couldn't find anything.
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Deltakiral



Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 3338
Location: Glendora, CA (Avatar Hei from Darker than BLACK)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 3:13 pm Reply with quote
jgreen wrote:
I hate it when manga companies don't translate sound effects, too, but where is the news item that this is related to? I went poking around on the site and couldn't find anything.


Oh it there ya just have to look all the way back 2002 before most of us were visiting this site. I don't mind either way as long as the editor note is at the bottom of the page instead of at the very end.
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Not a Jellyfish



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 539
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 11:36 am Reply with quote
To be honest, I don't have a problem with it. But that's also because I can read Japanese. But I actually prefer the sound effects in Japanese, rather than in English. Ususally when they put them in English, they take out the original Japanese, and sometimes mess with the art. I actually prefer what Viz does with their non-SJ titles. They leave the original Japanese sound effects in and have a glossary by panel at the end of the book. This way if there is a sound effect I don't understand, I can look it up there. Whereas, companies like Del Rey usually put a text box with the translation next to it that is sometimes awkwardly placed. And if they don't find room for it, they just don't translate it. That happened a lot in early Negima volumes. Although, it does look like they are getting better about this.
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jgreen



Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 1324
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:31 pm Reply with quote
Not a Jellyfish wrote:
To be honest, I don't have a problem with it. But that's also because I can read Japanese. But I actually prefer the sound effects in Japanese, rather than in English. Ususally when they put them in English, they take out the original Japanese, and sometimes mess with the art. I actually prefer what Viz does with their non-SJ titles. They leave the original Japanese sound effects in and have a glossary by panel at the end of the book. This way if there is a sound effect I don't understand, I can look it up there.


Right, but you're approaching that as someone who can somewhat read Japanese. I think it's fairly safe to say that MOST American manga readers can't read a word of Japanese. Imagine reading a book where 4 or 5 times per page you have to flip 200 pages back in the book to figure out what's going on, then flip back. It's horribly annoying.

Not a jellyfish wrote:
Whereas, companies like Del Rey usually put a text box with the translation next to it that is sometimes awkwardly placed. And if they don't find room for it, they just don't translate it. That happened a lot in early Negima volumes. Although, it does look like they are getting better about this.


Most of the Del Rey books I've read are pretty recent (from the last 9 months or so), and I've never really noticed much awkward placement so I guess they've got it down pretty well. I don't really have a preference between actually relettering the sound effects and adding these notes, but I think that adding the side note translation is probably the best compromise to keep everybody happy since it doesn't change the original art but still keeps it easy to read.

Another good compromise, though it depends on how the artist lays out his or her work, is when the sound effects are put in the "gutters" in between panels. I like that quite a bit, actually.
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Iritscen



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 790

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 9:50 am Reply with quote
Yeah, untranslated sound effects are irritating. I usually end up trying to guess the sound from the way the kana are written. "Hmm, that sound looks jagged..."
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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 3:56 pm Reply with quote
This is really old but it's still annoying. There's no excuse for this other than to cut the cost of translating the books/being lazy. If you want to be as authentic as possible LEARN JAPANESE. The manga-ka put them there for storytelling reasons (in theory, without them your not reading the manga as originally intended), and 99% of the time they aren't drawn well enough to warrant being kept untranslated.
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Not a Jellyfish



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 539
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:49 pm Reply with quote
jgreen wrote:
Another good compromise, though it depends on how the artist lays out his or her work, is when the sound effects are put in the "gutters" in between panels. I like that quite a bit, actually.


Yes, this would be my second favorite option. I did approach it from a Japanese readability perspective, and I know I have a habit of forgetting that just because it makes perfect sense to me, doesn't mean it makes perfect sense to everyone else. I have this problem whenever I try to show stuff to my boyfriend in Japanese. I'm a little dense. But it's also just my preference because I do understand it.

I think it's just that I prefer the way Japanese sound effects actually SOUND. Their sound effects are much more versatile than English ones. Kaboom is just such a generic sound effect, but with Japanese, each small difference in a sound effect, makes a different sound. For example, in Japanese, the use of the sound "fuu" for a sigh, as opposed to actually "sigh". The Japanese even actually have a sound effect for the "sound" of silence. I just prefer the onomatopoeic sounds, rather than generic sounds. And that's what the Japanese sfx offers over the English sfx. And usually, when they're translated, they aren't translated syllabilically (sp?) but rather to the literal English translation.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4107
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:16 pm Reply with quote
I honestly don't even pay attention to sound effects, especially not when they are in the back of the book. If a translation is right there, I might look at it, but most of the time I find them rather non-sensical and so don't bother.
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Truered



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 515
Location: Uni

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:04 am Reply with quote
I never really take much notice of sound effects. The small descriptions between panels are helpful. I never bother looking up translations, and I'd rather see the artists original drawing matching the images then having "Whoosh" or "Bam" written. Its in one or two of the manga volumes I've read (I forget which) and it just seems out of place.
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darkhunter



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 2992
Location: Los Angelas

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:38 pm Reply with quote
The glossary in the back of the book is one of the worst way to translate the sfx because it really distrupt the flow the of the story and most people wouldn't bother flipping to the back every 5 pages and look something up. Just translate the sfx within small brackets on the same page.

Not a Jellyfish wrote:

I think it's just that I prefer the way Japanese sound effects actually SOUND. Their sound effects are much more versatile than English ones. Kaboom is just such a generic sound effect, but with Japanese, each small difference in a sound effect, makes a different sound. For example, in Japanese, the use of the sound "fuu" for a sigh, as opposed to actually "sigh". The Japanese even actually have a sound effect for the "sound" of silence. I just prefer the onomatopoeic sounds, rather than generic sounds. And that's what the Japanese sfx offers over the English sfx. And usually, when they're translated, they aren't translated syllabilically (sp?) but rather to the literal English translation.


That's just a general assuption, not all sfx are "Kaboom" or "blam" or those typical comic sfx. Maybe for kiddy title like Naruto, but there are manga with good translated sound effect.

Also your example of "fuu" and "sigh" wouldn't make that much of a difference to me. If a character makes a "fuu" sound, I would figure that he/she is signing, so it wouldn't matter if they put "sigh" instead because the mangaka's idea still comes across andj I would still get what's going in the context of the panal.
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