Forum - View topic
Answerman - What's Wrong With Fan Translations?


Goto page   Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
LaughingElbow



Joined: 19 Apr 2014
Posts: 237
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:09 pm Reply with quote
{One liners (especially nonsensical ones) are prohibited. ~nobahn}
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Aaronrules380



Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:13 pm Reply with quote
I mean, some fan translations are obviously awful *cough mangapanda *cough*) Even if you don't speak the language because they aren't coherent, but I'd be much more hesitant to criticize a professional translation, and in those cases only when I have a trusted Japanese reader to back me up (I know a few on forums who are well known to be competent, or even native Japanese speakers, some who actually translate professionally as well and help explain where fan translations fucked up when confusion arises). But yeah, if an official translation seems weird, I'd probably check with someone who I'm confident is a good judge to explain what the original was, and how it can be interpreted rather than assume I know better
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Saffire
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1228
Location: Iowa, USA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:23 pm Reply with quote
Reminds me of my time as a mod for a major Bleach forum. I had a text file detailing translation errors in every major group's releases (including the official one) which I had to reference fairly regularly to address questions or arguments. When I quit caring back around 2009 or so, there wasn't a single translation that I trusted 100%.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
Posts: 1105
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:31 pm Reply with quote
MangaPanda is actually just an aggregator; they don't translate anything. They just steal scanlated chapters that real scanlation groups have done the work on, then post them for free ad revenue.

Anyway, I used to be a scanlator. Our translator translated from scans of Korean translations of the original work, and then I edited and rewrote lines because I didn't like how they were worded, or to make them fit in speech bubbles. I don't know a lick of Korean or Japanese. I also did my own QC. (I think my cleaning was pretty good though.) It never seemed weird to me at the time, but looking back, I'd say we really didn't have standards.

A lot of people romanticize scanlation as the work of highly-competent and free-spirited artists subverting the means of production, but sometimes it's just college students who really like manga and don't really have a ton of skills. There are tons of great scanlation groups out there, but the number of groups run by kids taking their third year of Japanese in college or for whom English is a third language is actually quite high-- and growing. People who say that scanlations are always or even usually better than the professional ones are just looking at the best examples and ignoring a LOT of really shoddy work.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DuelGundam2099



Joined: 07 Dec 2014
Posts: 533
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:32 pm Reply with quote
This article now explains why Crunchyroll decided to change Ishikui's name to Rock Eater in the TV version of Ushio and Tora even though both the official subs and dubs of the OVAs didn't do this. Part of me does wonder that if pro translators doing remakes look up previous entries to make sure things are consistent. I know Funimation and DiscoTek can't agree on whether or not it's spelled Casshern or Casshan. Laughing Answerman should do a follow up on inconsistencies between translators at some point.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1679
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:35 pm Reply with quote
DuelGundam2099 wrote:
Answerman should do a follow up on inconsistencies between translators at some point.

Someone has to ask the question first. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
corinthian



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 260
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:38 pm Reply with quote
The lovely folks at Sparkler Monthly just did a podcast that includes a bit of discussion on this subject. Most of the panelists were current or former manga editors who heard their share of complaints. My favorite was that the official translation flowed too easily. Somebody actually thought that human beings speaking should be stilted and awkward, because translation or whatever.

That, or they were grasping at straws to justify their piracy, which is another, entirely separate discussion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shenl742



Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 1509
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:41 pm Reply with quote
DuelGundam2099 wrote:
I know Funimation and DiscoTek can't agree on whether or not it's spelled Casshern or Casshan. Laughing Answerman should do a follow up on inconsistencies between translators at some point.


I wonder if this is actually some kind of copyright issue, or at least a deliberate attempt to help differentiate products when two different companies issue separate things from the same franchise. Like how Animego released the Oh My Goddess OAVs, while Pioneer released the movie as Ah My Goddess. I know various Lupin releases have gone by different names in the past (Including Rupin, or just "The Wolf") ADV released the Sakura Wars OAV and TV under that name, but when Funimation released a different, later set of OAVs they were called "Sakura Taisen".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4813
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:42 pm Reply with quote
I love this line "Fans imprint on the first thing they saw". Especially when it comes to names. Ever see an Attack on Titan fan refer to Levi as "Rivaille"? Fan translations getting it wrong because they can't check with the creator. It stuck around for a really long time, too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DuelGundam2099



Joined: 07 Dec 2014
Posts: 533
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:49 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
Someone has to ask the question first. Wink

I would, but I already asked a question a week or so ago as to what anime do Japanese fans consider bad and if they are different from what Western fans consider bad, I figured there is an unspoken "everybody gets one" rule.
Shenl742 wrote:
Like how Animego released the Oh My Goddess OAVs, while Pioneer released the movie as Ah My Goddess.

Oh wow, that is silly. I know DiscoTek tried to make Mazinger Z and Shin Mazinger Z in different titles to differentiate between original and remake. However, both TV Nadia and Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still had different distributors, but kept their titles the same; the same with the Gundam franchise since Right Stuff is releasing most of the franchise except for Victory for reasons they won't reveal to the public (I sense mole people conspiracy, maybe Glenn Beck and Jack Thompson are involved).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DJStarstryker



Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 140
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
I love this line "Fans imprint on the first thing they saw". Especially when it comes to names. Ever see an Attack on Titan fan refer to Levi as "Rivaille"? Fan translations getting it wrong because they can't check with the creator. It stuck around for a really long time, too.


This is also where you get Horo vs Holo (Spice and Wolf) or, even using professional translations, Aeris vs Aerith (Final Fantasy VII).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 4016
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Also, ANN's objection is mostly from where you GET fan translations--Namely bootlegs/fansubs.

Which have become rare to extinct in the days when Crunchyroll licenses everything while it's still airing.
Nowadays, it's more of an academic professional-ethics argument, since most fan-translation has sunk back into the Net ether it started before CR went legit.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1679
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:01 pm Reply with quote
DuelGundam2099 wrote:
jsevakis wrote:
Someone has to ask the question first. Wink

I would, but I already asked a question a week or so ago as to what anime do Japanese fans consider bad and if they are different from what Western fans consider bad, I figured there is an unspoken "everybody gets one" rule.

Oh, believe me, no such rule exists. The percentage of useable questions I get is really low. (It's about 30% "Will there ever be another season of x", 50% "I feel like this general nonspecific feeling I have is a trend, why is that?", 10% confused people thinking they're writing to an anime company.) If you've gotten one answered before there's a good chance you know how to ask the sort of question I'm looking for.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 686
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:04 pm Reply with quote
With regards to quality of translation, i have to agree with Justin. When i first started reading manga as a poor college student, i devoured an enormous amount of fan-translated manga, many of which have never and will likely never receive an official english translation (now that i'm a working adult, i now purchase/read through legal means whenever i can).

In many of the series i read, there were chapters where the translations were so bad it was nearly incomprehensible (GE: Good Ending comes immediately to mind, but there were many others). I suspect this may have been the opposite case, ie. native japanese speakers attempting to translate into English, because i can't fathom any other reason for the gibberish that passed for a translation.

I honestly enjoy the official english translations, to the point where i'm glad i read them first; if i had read through the emotional high points of Claymore and One Piece through poorly translated scans, that would have ruined those series for me.

Quote:
I love this line "Fans imprint on the first thing they saw". Especially when it comes to names. Ever see an Attack on Titan fan refer to Levi as "Rivaille"? Fan translations getting it wrong because they can't check with the creator. It stuck around for a really long time, too.


Yes, this annoys me to no end as well. Fans spelling characters names the way they saw it in fan translations seems so silly.

Edit: another thing that bugs me is when a fan translation would give a cultural footnote, and it would just be a text link to a wikipedia page. Confused


Last edited by Merxamers on Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DuelGundam2099



Joined: 07 Dec 2014
Posts: 533
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:07 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
If you've gotten one answered before there's a good chance you know how to ask the sort of question I'm looking for.

Alrighty, I'll compose something later, thank you Answerman.
Quote:
Levi as "Rivaille"

This was a thing? Seriously? How did that happen? Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page   Next
Page 1 of 15

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group