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Old 2013-12-30, 07:59   Link #1
BaronNoir
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Manga in different languages ?

To summarize, as a French canadian, I have a decent access to mangas translated in English and French (I much prefer owning them)

I think here that most people are familiar with english translated mangas, so here are my two cents on the French ones (which, as a side note, can cost a bundle to have, since they are imported from France : English ones range from 10-12 canadian dollars, French ones 12-13)

1)It seems that French editors are way, way, way more open with discutable concepts than Americans ones, since we have stuff that would get Fox News enraged : To Love Ru Darkness, the Arms Peddler, uncensored Naru-Taru, Freezing, Lost Paradise (Shitsurakuen)... (Inexplicably, should I say, the titles are usually in English....My latest purchase, Cage of Eden, is thus labelled ''Cage of Eden'' instead of ''Cage d'Eden''. A pleasing except is ''Attack on Titan'', who was thankfully labelled in French ''L'Attaque des Titans'' (AKA,roughy, ''The Titan Assault'', which seems much more accurate for me). Less fortunately, we also have a s... load of hardcore yaoi.

2)For an inexplicable reason, however, some series are not picked up and/or stop. For instance, Spice and Wolf manga is stalled, and one editor picked up ''Magical Index'' but not ''Scientific Railgun''

3)The translations themselves are often, sadly, subpar compared to scanlations and or English: I'm aware of the difficulty of translating Japanese, but the terms chosen for staple such as ''one-sama'' are cringe inducing at times. Eiren speechs looks ridiculous in French, but he sounds at least far less pompous in English.

So, if people could share about german, italian or russian translated mangas....

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-12-30 at 17:07. Reason: please don't mention illegal sites...
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Old 2013-12-30, 11:05   Link #2
Dhomochevsky
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Germany
Age: 34
1.) I think your explanation nails it. Anyone producing english manga will be aiming for the U.S. market, because it is so huge. That market does not seem to be 'ready' yet for some of the good stuff.

2.) Without any more insight, I'll go and blame licensing issues here. IP the bane of culture...
Once a company has aquired a license, but does not see it profitable to continue using it, they will still sit on it, stopping anyone else from taking over.
This will usually happen if the sales of the couple first volumes is bad. As it's a series anyone picking it up will likely start at volume 1. So if volume 1 has bad sales, it is very unlikely that will suddenly change with later volumes.
Unless the japanese IP owner revokes the license, or it comes with some clause that requires active use, you may have to wait for a long time...
You may have some luck searching in other english/french markets, such as Australia or France. If the license your companies got was for north america only, there may be entirely different translations in english/french being released in other places.

3.) This is usally the case. For one thing, fan translations have a better feel and understanding of the material. They are fans after all.
It is also a community effort, which means errors are caught and translations improve over time.
Commercial translations will not have such an easy way to get feedback from the fanbase.

In this light, it always seemed like the logical choice to me, for the translators to just buy up the fan translations. I wonder if this is happening at all?


Now for translations in german... it just struck me that I am strangely oblivious to that.
Having followed english fansubs from the early 2000s I am so used to it, that english interspersed with random janpanese words feels completely natural to me. But hearing the same thing in a german dub, or reading german manga doing the same thing makes me cringe.
I really have no idea what is going on in the german anime scene...

But I think this feeling that something sounds wrong or right in a certain language is purely an aquired taste.
I tried watching the french cartoon 'Wakfu' in order to recover some of my school french and it had the exact same 'wrong' feel, even though it's in the original language. Just one I am not used to.
Another example would be the "The Middle East's first anime" in another topic here. Very weird to listen to at first, but I am sure that feeling would go away after some time.
These are both examples from dubs, but it seems to work the same for text.
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Old 2013-12-30, 13:11   Link #3
AmeNoJaku
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Little England, Europe and Asia
There is a fundamental difference between fan-translations and commercial ones. The first group's primary objective is to retain what they liked about the original as much as possible. The second group's aim is to alter as much as possible the original source in order to widen the potential customers. This distinction has blurred thanks to the accessibility and quality of fansubs and scantilations, so smaller companies now target "hardcore" non-japanese fans and still make a profit. Despite that the divide remains, and expecting "official" translations to convey the experience of the original material is impossible. Those made by fans have better chances to succeed in that since their limited audience is already familiar with a lot of concepts presented.
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