When it comes to TL notes, there are two schools of thought: keep them to a minimum, or skip them altogether. Sentai Filmworks proposes a third option.
Translation Notes: Explained
“What is a translation note?”
A translation note (also: TL Note or TL note) is a script-based means of providing context to a translated line, where the reader would not have a reasonable understanding of the line otherwise.
- Japanese words which, when translated, lose a significant portion of their meaning
- Think words with multiple meanings (wordplay) or obscure honorifics/titles
- References to Japanese history or pop culture, which while obscure to a non-native viewer, would be common knowledge in Japan
- Bad memes
“When should you use a translation note?”
Argument 1: Never. If a translated line cannot properly convey the context of the original material, too bad. Translation notes unnecessarily distract from the show by breaking the fourth wall.
Argument 2: Sometimes. If a translated cannot properly convey the context of the original material, the information can be supplemented by a translation note.
In attempts to get around the (somewhat undeserved) stigma of TL Notes, some groups have even resorted to providing translation note appendices ([GotWoot]’s Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, for example). Others have, of course, done some truly dumb shit, such as putting the notes into the sentences themselves. Someone kill my memories, please.
Ultimately, I think TL Notes can be useful, in extremely limited situations. Emphasis on limited.
“So, when does Sentai use translation notes?”
(TL Note: pantsu means panties/underwear, but in this sentence the joke is that I am saying “hold onto your pants” (a common idiom in the United States), but making it more Japanesey because that fits with the theme of this blog. I fully understand most of you removed yours in preparation for this post.)
Kill Me Now
Sentai’s philosophy is to put a TL note wherever & whenever they can. Especially in comedies. Apparently nobody ever told them that if you have to explain a joke, it isn’t fucking funny anymore.
Granted, Sentai is targeting the anime-viewing audience, who will wait till a Japanese voice actor finishes saying a line until they laugh, instead of when they finish reading the sentence. So maybe I’m holding them to a higher standard than is fair.
Watamote – For the Most Part
Sorry for the shit quality here. I’m too lazy to encode my BDs, so I had to rely on the Exiled-Destiny VHS rip. I’ve always hated those shitheads.
Watamote – Just the Refs
In case you didn’t get the jokes before, now you can laugh along. Don’t you feel accomplished? Fair warning: there’s a few of ’em.
Fuck it. Have some unrelated meme shit; I don’t even have it in me to give Sentai the send-off they deserve. (Mainly because it would be illegal.)
Next? Who knows. I’ve been meaning to dust off my Netflix account…