Should I make an introductory post?

Website — By on January 3, 2016 9:39 pm

This post was written by Etoce. He is not Dark_Sage.


Hi, I’m Etoce. I’m here to review the shitty song translations people post on YouTube because puddi won’t do it.



There are a lot of shitty song translations on YouTube. And some good ones. But mostly shitty ones that need to be called out. In the words of famed song translation police officer damesukekun, “Translating other people’s words brings responsibilities.” I wouldn’t be that dramatic, but it’s pretty annoying when the most visible videos have experience-hampering subtitles attached to them. (Also, don’t worry, I won’t DMCA-takedown-request anything.)


If only there were a yandere-cosplaying Miku on the prowl to eliminate the people butchering her songs

Or at least that’s the noble reason to do this. Really, I just want to yell at bad translations because they annoy me.

My qualifications


Review policy

Most YouTube translations are one-person jobs, so grades can be taken as a judgement of that person’s worth, rather than as just an appraisal of one particular video. As a result, I won’t be very inclined to review multiple videos from the same uploader unless I have a specific reason to.

Each review will have four components to the final grade. From importantest to unimportantest, they are

  1. Heart: The amount of love that I can feel emanating from the translator’s effort (usually this will be none)
  2. Faith: How accurately the meaning of the translated lyrics reflects the songwriter’s intent, in my estimation
  3. Craft: How well-written the lines are, and how well they flow together
  4. Sheen: Catch-all field for visual niceness, including but not limited to subtitle styling

Together, they combine to create a grade from A to F. Here’s an brief and unhelpful explanation of each level (I might add examples later):

  • A: A-level subs represent efforts where every facet is done with unquestioned competency. Both the contents and feel of the song are faithfully rendered.
  • B: B-level subs have a few questionable bits, but as a whole, both meaning and feeling are conveyed more or less faithfully, and the end result is pleasant.
  • C: C-level subs are those which manage to avoid major blunders while not providing much worth of its own.
  • D: D-level subs are the bare minimum of adequacy. The lines make sense and at least seem to be based on the original lyrics in some way, but have little nuance preserved.
  • F: F-level subs either have major failings in interpretation, or are otherwise so poorly done that deciphering the subtitler’s intent is so difficult that you’d probably rather just close your eyes and listen to the song.

Remember, in contrast to 23-minute anime fansubs, these videos are only six minutes long, max. You have much less room to mess up.

How are you going to decide what to review?

I’m going to focus mainly on songs that I like (and therefore care about) to start, but if you have any suggestions, drop a comment.


Qrius says:

>Faith: How accurately the meaning of the translated lyrics reflects the songwriter’s intent, in my estimation

Crymore 101: The reviewer’s opinion = fact. What do they teach you at school these days?

Seriously though, good luck.

Anon says:

You guys should get someone on LN excerpt translations too.

Etoce says:

Yeah, they totally should.

Akatsukin says:

Is this considered a betrayal?

Etoce says:


puddi says:


calling 5% for the idea please

puddi says:

hard bargain. 7%.

Nexxkinn says:

1% and Shiena Nishizawa – Piacere
Because Puddi(ng).

Damesuke says:

>Song translation police officer damesukekun
I love your translations. Keep on working!

Kajitani-Eizan says:

That is such a great article, Damesuke! I get so annoyed when I see all those things under “Common Mistakes”, haha. I’m still not good at Japanese but, well, I’m not THAT bad… usually… I hope :P

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