Translation Review: [Hatsuyuki, Commie, Crunchyroll] Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo (Episode 01)

Fansub Review, Translation Review — By on February 9, 2013 5:28 am

So, here we are with translation review #1. The format’s a work-in-progress, so any ideas on how to improve it are most certainly welcome. For your information, this review isn’t entirely extensive because I decided to cut out some material, meaning that there may be more issues than this review suggests. Also, if you feel there’s bias introduced to any portion of this review, just leave a comment saying so. I’ll be happy to provide credible sources to back my reviews.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “Tie his hands and feet up.”
Commie– “Tie up his hands and feet.”

All three groups put down the same thing meaning-wise, but unfortunately, the line they provided would be a translation for “両手両足縛れ.” The distinction between “ってよ” and “れ” is that the latter makes the phrase into a command, while the former “connects” the phrase with the preceding statement. In this instance, it connects by adding the detail “with his hands and feet tied up” to the delinquents’ plan to throw their victim into the river.

Hatsuyuki– “You guys all bark and no bite!”
Commie/Crunchyroll– “You guys all bark and no bite?”

This is one of those “sort-of, but not exactly” translations. “格好” refers to appearance, not actions, so this translation is using the idiom “all bark, no bite” improperly. Izayoi’s actually commenting on how the group of delinquents look tough on the outside, but aren’t so tough on the inside. So yes, the meaning captured by the “no bite” part was spot-on, but that of the “all bark” bit needs to go. <<anything passive, so this critique is invalid.

Hatsuyuki/Commie/Crunchyroll– “This is like a game of Clue,
except instead of a killer, I get a letter. How fun.”

I see what Crunchyroll’s translator was going for here, but it seems like they took an unnecessary gamble. If the viewer isn’t familiar with Clue, chances are they won’t fully understand the line. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Clue, the line basically means, “Though I don’t know who’s responsible for this, to prepare a locked room delivery instead of a locked room murder… How novel.”

Hatsuyuki/Commie/Crunchyroll– “If they’d screwed up, we’d have crashed into the ground and died instantly.”

“下手をすれば” isn’t referring to the actions of a certain party, so there would be no “they.” Instead, it’s closer to “if we were unlucky.”

Hatsuyuki– “Kasukabe You. Remember my name too.”

In this instance, “以下同文” doesn’t mean “Remember my name too.” Weblio (an online Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionary) defines it as “same as above,” but it’d probably be easier to understand if I were to compare it to “likewise” or “ditto.” So in this instance, You’s stating that the same thing happened to her as the other two. The line provided doesn’t succeed in getting the whole point across.

Commie– “Kasukabe You. It was the same for me.”
Crunchyroll– “Kasukabe You. I’m the same.”

I’d say Commie clarified the point beyond what Crunchyroll provided.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “And you, the dangerous, unrefined-looking guy, would be?
Commie– “And you, the dangerous, unrefined-looking guy, would be?

“野蛮” means “savage” or “uncivilized,” which is actually a synonym of “unrefined,” so “unrefined” should be the translation for the first adjective. “凶暴” means “brutal” or “atrocious” and the “そう” is what’s translated into “-looking,” so Asuka’s saying he looks atrocious and is unrefined. It may seem trivial, but if you were to flip the words around, you’ll find that there is a difference in meaning.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “I’m also crude, vicious, and hedonistic. I’m the worst type of person there is, so I recommend reading all the warning labels before taking that attitude when dealing with me, little Miss.”
Commie– “I’m also crude, vicious, and hedonistic. I’m the worst type of person there is, so I recommend reading all the warning labels before taking that attitude when dealing with me, Missy.”

He doesn’t say that he’s the worst type of person there is. He’s just saying he’s a lost cause. Also, the meaning of “三拍子,” which is essentially “three important conditions/requisites,” is ignored. He calls himself a lost cause because the “crude, vicious, and hedonistic” aspects of him fulfills the “requisites.” Another word, “用量,” is omitted from the translation. So not only is he saying that Asuka should be familiar with his “rules of use”—which was apparently translated as warning labels—but she should also be aware of “the ropes” when it comes to handling him. Finally, “適切” means “appropriate,” so Izayoi’s telling Asuka to take everything into consideration and decide what’s the best way to act around him.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “I’ll think about it if you write down all those warning labels in a manual.”
Commie– “I’ll think about it if you properly document all those warning labels.”

The “たら” in “くれたら” is the “if” and the “くれ” is representative of “くれる,” which means “give.” So together it means “if you give,” which shows that Asuka’s actually saying if he gives her the user’s manual, she’ll think about it. After all, there’s no point in making it if she doesn’t actually get to read it, right?

Hatsuyuki/Commie/Crunchyroll– Seriously? I’ll write something up a bit later, so you better be ready.”

“今度” as in “next time,” not “a bit later.” “作っとく” literally means “create in preparation,” so he’s saying he’s going to have the user’s manual ready for next time.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “This Little Garden has various stages created for that purpose.”
Commie– “This Little Garden has various stages created with that purpose in mind.”

“その為のステージとして作られた” means “was created to be the stage for that purpose.” Little Garden in its entirety is one big stage.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “The rules of the game, as well as the ways to win, are written there.”
Commie– “The rules of the game, as well as the ways to win, are written here.”

“条件” means “conditions,” so “クリア条件” are the conditions that must be fulfilled to clear/win the game. Winning conditions and ways to win are two different things.

Hatsuyuki/Crunchyroll– “Black Rabbit guarantees that Little Garden is far more interesting than the lower world!”
Commie– “I’ll personally guarantee that the Little Garden is far more interesting than the lower world!”

“外界” means “outer world,” not “lower world.” Plain and simple.

Hatsuyuki– “including gods, demons, spirits, chimeras, humans. Here in the East Side, agriculture and cultivation is dominant, so everyone’s quite peaceful here. I’m sure you’re eager to explore the area, since you’ve just arrived.”
Commie– “Gods, demons, spirits, animal-human hybrids, humans. There are lots of agricultural districts here in the East Side, so everything’s quite peaceful. I’m sure you’re still itching to move around since you’ve just arrived.”
Crunchyroll– “Gods, demons, spirits, animal-human hybrids, humans. There are a lot of agricultural areas here in the East Side, so everyone’s quite peaceful here. I’m sure you’re still itching to move around, since you’ve just arrived.”

“獣人” aren’t chimeras, they’re therianthropes, which are part human. Chimeras are commonly known as being combinations of strictly animals aside from humans. “農耕地帯” is “agricultural land” and “多い” is “a lot,” so Hatsuyuki’s TLC made their line rather misleading. Lastly, “落ち着かない” means “feeling uneasy.” Since Asuka and You have just arrived, Jin suspects they’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the new things they’re experiencing (and therefore, feeling uneasy), so he suggests they go to a cafe to wind down.

Hatsuyuki/Commie/Crunchyroll– “I picked this fight, and he wants to finish it.”

“売って” means “sold,” and “買った” means “bought.” So Izayoi antagonized the water god (he “offered” the fight) and it took him up on his challenge.

Hatsuyuki/Commie/Crunchyroll– “Well, if it isn’t the weakest community on the East Side, the leader of the no-names, Jin-kun.”

This isn’t a mistake or anything; I just wanted to point it out because it’s kind of interesting. “名無しの権兵衛” is a colloquialism used to refer to someone that lacks a name. Think of it as the Japanese equivalent of “John Doe” or a Mr. Nobody.

Concluding Remarks: As of now, I don’t plan to grade translations in my reviews; I’ll just recommend what I felt was the best out of the lot. Hatsuyuki and Commie don’t seem to be TLCing Crunchyroll’s script, so there won’t really be any difference in terms of translation quality. Out of these three, just go with the one you felt had the best editing (and if you can’t decide for yourself, see if D_S’s editing-focused reviews help). Interrobang’s apparently subbing the show from scratch, so I’ll be writing a separate review for their release. Thanks for reading and I hope you got something out of it.

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PolynAzn says:


P32L says:

Yanks call Cluedo Clue…?
That doesn’t even work…

Dark_Sage says:

Eat capitalism. Clue (1985)

Vanth says:

Yeah, even I knew the game as Cluedo but I could guess that she was referring to that game.

TouToTheHouYo says:

Capitalism tastes like liberty.

FalseDawn says:

Goddamn Yanks, bastardising everything. Did they think the American population wouldn’t buy it if it was called Cluedo or something?

FalseDawn says:

Oh and being a board games nerd, I read the line as getting a Scrabble letter instead of a killer :D

Qrius says:

I liked it. Let’s see how the “translation reviews” work out beyond this point…

Treize says:

It’d be nice if you put what you think the line should be translated as instead of just giving translations for individual words or phrases.

Rekyu says:

That can be done.

stgmefly says:

Oh my… Dat picture. <3

MyXoMoPBL says:

“As of now, I don’t plan to grade translations in my reviews”, I hope you change your mind ;_;

Rekyu says:

Any reason in particular?

MyXoMoPBL says:

Comparisons, TL;DR etc. You said you would recommend TL’s anyway, therefore I don’t see a reason not to.

Rekyu says:

Problem is, I nitpick so much that I’d have a hard time justifying any grades. I’m hoping people will just take from it what they deem to be valuable, rather than what I deem to be valuable. If there’s more demand for it, we’ll see how it goes then, but as of now it doesn’t seem like a good idea.

MyXoMoPBL says:

“I nitpick so much”.. Why don’t you ask Dark_Sage for advice? You’re the one writing the reviews, of course it’s going to be focused on what you “deem to be valuable”. You’ll go as far as to recommend TL’s anyway, so why not just rate them? I think people understand the deal with ratings, they understands that it’s the reviewers personal opinion and not some official 100% accurate unbiased scientific rating.

TouToTheHouYo says:

This is the internet.

Opinions are fact.

Thousands of retarded commenters around the globe say so.

That said, I too vote for grades. I’ll be damned if I have to READ to form my own opinions about anything.

Dark_Sage says:

I don’t see a need for you to have an A-F grading system like I have, but I think something along the lines of what Vale does with “Avoid”/”Okay”/”Great” would help the lazies out.

Vale says:

1) Ease of comparison
2) TL;DR

mini-ezo says:

Your reviews need some sort of a Liberal/Literal spectrum, because the way I see it, you’re looking for nearly perfectly literal translations. A lot of the lines that you critiqued have been bent slightly for the sake of flow (e.g. 「今度」、「くれたら」), so you need some way to take into account the degree of meaning-bending that the TL did. The important part is nuance, not google translate-tier literal.
Also, 用量、not 要領。

arnon says:

Seems pretty in line with the rest of this site.

KoolKidsK says:

Rekyu is known for being extremely literal if I remember correctly.

Sutai says:

KoolKidsK is known for using “if I remember correctly” way too often, if I remember correctly.

lygerzero0zero says:

“Liberal/literal” is a stupid way to talk about translations anyway. Rekyun’s getting disowned if he goes so far as to try to quantify it.

corocoro says:

May he talk about how dynamic/static the TL is? ;)

lygerzero0zero says:

I really don’t trust any sort of dichotomy or spectrum. Maybe a brief analysis of what the translation succeeds at, what it fails at, the role of that particular line in context as a whole, and what he thinks the translator was trying to achieve.

mini-ezo says:

Perhaps my rage is from Rekyu’s stubbornness for his (/her?) translations.
Given the vague/ambiguous nature of translation, it’s logical for the scripts to have much more wiggle room than there is in this review.
Perhaps instead of a spectrum, there can be recommendations based on “if you prefer a more english-speaker-oriented script, pick ***” and “if you are fluent in wapanese, pick ***”
Of course, those are near the extremes. I’m basically suggesting a relative score rather than an absolute score, because people have different levels of tolerance for the nature of the TL (myself being on the liberal side).

lygerzero0zero says:

That’s still a dichotomy, and you’re still arguing for basically the same thing, except in words and not numbers.

I realize everyone in the fansubbing community seems to think there’s only two kinds of translation, and I doubt I can change that, but I’m not going to stop trying.

mini-ezo says:

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “dichotomy.” Are you saying that it’s a binary, or are you not satisfied with the one-dimensional spectrum? Since the point of these reviews is recommendation, I can’t see why there shouldn’t be a rating on a familiar standard. There can be plenty of exceptions (take IB’s Azazel, Hen Zemi, or even Mondaiji, for example; D_S-tan gave us a lower score, but gave us a plus for overall flow… or at least I think he did).
Although all in all, I don’t see much of a point in separate translation/editing reviews because they tend to affect each other so much. No editing can make a shitty TL any better, and shitty editing can make a TL extremely convoluted and prone to misunderstanding.
On a completely separate note, can we agree that these reviews need to be more tolerant of creative/flexible translations?

fnord says:

It’s a dichotomy because you are portraying liberal and literal as two ends of a spectrum. Whatever gradient you propose inbetween, you’re still saying that literal and liberal are meaningful labels on a single scale, and as I understand lyger he is saying that they aren’t.

kokujin-kun says:

Still, reading this review reminds me of that old, sexist quote, “Translations are like wives, the beautiful ones are never faithful, and the faithful ones are never beautiful.”

lygerzero0zero says:

It’s a good quote (sexism aside) and it’s worth discussing, but I feel like people have gotten so caught up with slapping labels on things that it’s drowning out valuable critical discourse about other ways to talk about translation.

Which is why I prefer to stand at the other extreme, in opposition to those labels.

kokujin-kun says:

Yeah, if a translation is shitty in the first place, who cares if it’s literal or liberal?

We can also agree that there are translations out there that are “accurate” (in the strictest sense of the word) but which makes you throw up a little in your mouth. A good translation review should add that level of criticism.

Nemui says:

The way I see it, if the Japanese script didn’t make me throw up, then any English translation that *does* make me throw up simply isn’t accurate, whatever dictionary or grammar textbook anyone uses to back it up.

The idea that terrible writing has anything to do with making the translation more accurate is just retarded.

FWIW, I’m with lyger on “liberal vs literal”.

KoolKidsK says:

Commie started TLCing some stuff starting at episode two, if I remember correctly.

rarely_upset says:

Two “if I remember correctly”s in the span of a minute!

njd09 says:

I really liked this review, eager to see how Interrobang did. I agree with the suggested fix for each line idea too. The grade’s not really necessary, though it could help. Either way, I’m fine as long as a clear recommendation emerges, because D_S’s reviews always help me decide which subs to pick, and I think these reviews should be far more important in influencing the viewer’s decision.

In this case, they were all somewhat similar, so it doesn’t matter that much, but hopefully Interrobang has a clear difference in translation, which I’d assume they would if they’re TLing it themselves.

Yesssss… thanks Rekyu, this is exactly what crymore needs.

To literal vs. liberal sticklers, if you READ the article, you can INFER the degree of liberty taken with the TL. Rekyu doesn’t need to spell it out, just like he doesn’t need to grade TL’s with letters (though I’m not against ‘avoid/ok/good’ designations).

returnity says:

This just occured to me (looking back now after D_S just mentioned this review again today):
It’s kinda lame that all of the groups NOT doing a original translation are in this TL review, but IB’s Mondaiji wasn’t reviewed. I’d like to know how we did, since we’re the only group actually translating the show from scratch, to my knowledge. Otherwise, wouldn’t this be more like a TLC review?

Not that this realization dampens my enormous enthusiasm for more Rekyu translation reviews on Crymore!

lygerzero0zero says:

I think he said he was gonna do IB separately. And eventually.

“Eventually” happens to a lot of things Rekyu is involved in~

Rekyu says:

I was just enjoying my 1 week-long winter break to the fullest (playing GuP online all day). Expect to see something tomorrow-ish.

lygerzero0zero says:

Why do you have winter break in the middle of February? You wacky Californians.

puddi says:

Hey, my little sister got the past week off, too.

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