Sharing bad English in Japanese manga

For some reason, mangaka love putting English translations of their manga title or some other English subtitle, and so often the English is terrible. I thought it would be fun to show off bad English in Japanese manga, inspired by this particularly bad one below. Feel free to share English titles/subtitles or examples in the actual chapters from the Japanese manga.

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What makes me actually cranky is when the English publisher then comes along and starts using those as though they’re valid translations of the title. 紫色のクオリア 1 | L26?? has been published as “Qualia the Purple”, which just … doesn’t make any sense in English. And worse, the original light novel has also been published as that even though it doesn’t have Engrish on the cover. Not the worst example maybe (if only because it’s nice and short), but still - puts me off recommending it to people.

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Oh yeah, that’s a huge pet peeve of mine, and I feel like it’s only getting worse these days? I have nothing to back this up but I have a feeling this has less to do with the English publisher and more to do with decision making on the Japanese side. I don’t think they realize how super cringe it is though and how it’s probably hurting sales. :grimacing:

Honestly there are enough people out there who are even fine with an untranslated title like Jujutsu Kaisen – good call because ‘Sorcery Battle’ or whatever just doesn’t sound as cool lol

I was at the book store and found this series and was so confused by the English on the cover, but after I read the summary I was like… did they mean to say “Play it Cool Guys”? (Like, guys that mess up but pretend like nothing bad happened). I looked up the title some time later and they had changed it lol So good for them!
B08599YKMC.01.SCLZZZZZZZ_SX500

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Also, as an aside, I used to watch/read a lot of Chinese media and I feel like they’re much better at localizing titles. Most times they will not even try to do a direct translation and will come up with a different title that hits at the spirit of the work and sounds natural in English. I find Japanese stuff is much less likely to go in that direction for some reason.

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These always crack me up, this one is from Uma Musume.

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Is that supposed to be translation of some Japanese text or just an English subtitle?

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It’s a translation of something from a few pages prior.



edit: just remembered one more from the same series

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That one’s actually legit :slight_smile: Eclipse was an undefeated 18th-century British Thoroughbred racehorse who won 18 races. He was considered the greatest racehorse of his time and the expression, “Eclipse first, the rest nowhere” entered the English vernacular as an expression of dominance. You could argue the Japanese translation is a bit free, but it is the standard one (Wikipedia cites it as being listed in 新英和大辞典).

Not that I’ve ever heard the phrase in English – it’s clearly dropped out of fashion; it might still be common in horse racing circles, though.

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Wow thats actually a really interesting bit of trivia there, thanks!

Edit: Might as well drop this one in here instead of making another post
image

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D E S T R O Y

:rofl:

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Honestly, I think the even greater sin is having an English speaking character in an anime and then having their poor seiyu bumble through paragraphs of English dialogue. And then everyone else gets starry eyed because the character is “so cool!” for speaking kampeki~!
I usually have to go hide in my tshirt. :sweat_smile:

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The English scenes in Black Lagoon season 2 give me life to this day

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Yeah, those scenes in Kiniro Mosaic are cringeworthy.

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ひだまりが聴こえる being officially called “I Hear the Sunspot” in English. Before I learned what ひだまり actually means, I thought it referred to actual sunspots. Y’know, those darker splotches on the sun’s surface that are cooler than the surrounding area and follow an 11-year cycle. But it’s sunny spot. An area that’s grown warm from the sun shining on it, like through a window. That’s not even remotely the same thing. (It annoys me every time I remember it. Still love the manga though.)

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Not from a manga, but googling “Natively”, there was another site that showed up before this one. It’s a blog from a Japanese guy saying how he got a perfect TOEIC score/level 1 英検 with this one weird trick they don’t want you to know about (i.e., your average language learning blog). I checked one article where he complains about word lists and got this (emphasis mine):

1000語レベル:sheep(羊)
2000語レベル:mosquito(蚊)
3000語レベル:eagle(タカ)
4000語レベル:owl(オウム
5000語レベル:sparrow(スズメ)
6000語レベル:octopus(タコ)
7000語レベル:snail(カタツムリ)
8000語レベル:moth(ガ)
9000語レベル:ostrich(ダチョウ)
10000語レベル:penguin(ペンギン)
11000語レベル:mule(ロバ
12000語レベル:toad(ヒキガエル)

I can somewhat excuse it for mule (ラバ, ロバ, could be a typo), but this :parrot: is not an owl.
That being said, he could just be really bad with bird names. Like, really bad.

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Is “eagle” a valid translation for タカ? I always thought that eagle was 鷲 and タカ(鷹) was a hawk or falcon. :thinking:

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Not to dunk on this guy too much but his profile says he also teaches English to 8 year olds so now I’m picturing a bunch of 小学生 saying some weird things when they see birds lol

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https://www.google.com/search?q=タカ&sca_esv=589097879&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1_8nGiYCDAxVIg4kEHbP1DRcQ_AUIBigB&biw=432&bih=441

As someone from the land of “freedom”, this doesn’t look like any eagle I’ve ever seen lol

(As far as I know, you’re correct :sweat_smile:)

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It is not (a valid translation, I mean)! I didn’t even register that line in the list. I thought 2 mistakes, surely, were as much as I would get :joy:
Well, it does confirm the “bad with birds” theory :eyes:

Yeah. Again, feels like your average language learning blog :upside_down_face:

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