Yen Press, Viz, & Seven seas do you trust them?



  • Okay, so I read this http://missdream.org/editorials/professional-translation-and-the-american-manga-industry/

    It's a big read, but it gets very interesting if you keep reading on.

    It probably isn't the case today where manga and light novels have bad translation to English, but I was wondering for this year, if there is still differences with English manga/novel companies such as seven seas, Yen Press, Viz Media etc.

    Where do you buy your books? Is the company you are buying from trustworthy?



  • I can't say its a matter of is I trust them or not. In a way I guess I do as I by several many titles I read from each of them.



  • I ran into some problems with Kodansha's Sailor Moon releases and occasionally some awkward wordings (from a variety of publishers, Sailor Moon in particular did have quite a few instances of this however). I purchase titles from Seven Seas, Viz, Yen Press, and Kodansha, have some old Del Rey Fairy Tail and have read some Vertical, Tokyopop, and Dark Horse books through the library. For the most part I trust them to do a good job.

    As for the article and when it comes to leaving honorifics and untranslated words… Most of the manga where I've run into honorifics or untranslated words do have a translator's note page or short footnote with an explanation. With Yen Press's releases of Black Butler and Pandora Hearts they do a good job of including these explanations, sometimes using that page to also explain references in Black Butler's case, or to explain why they chose to translate something the way they did (also seen this with Fairy Tail). There are some gag comics/extras included in the PH volumes that retain the original Japanese words due to the nature of the jokes but these are always explained.

    With Del Rey/Kodansha's Fairy Tail releases they leave some of the attack names untranslated (the Dragon Slayer ones mainly from what I recall) but include a footnote below the panel with the translation. Personally I think it would be better to translate them in that case, but that's just me. With honorifics, it doesn't bother me one way or the other so long as the rest of the translation flows nicely, but as they can alienate people unfamiliar with them a translator's note page is vital to those works that do include untranslated words and honorifics. I tend to prefer leaving them in for anime subs (since I can hear that they're being used), but it's not a deal breaker if they are translated or left out so long as the tone is retained. Sound effects I definitely prefer to leave in their original form since I consider them part of the art.

    Like I mentioned, I have run into some problems with awkward wording, so I understand what the author of that article is getting at when it comes to having a naturally flowing translation (and retained honorifics merely being symptomatic of a larger problem, not a problem in and of itself) and I do believe they have a very valid point. It just hasn't been common enough to disrupt my reading, or at least not bad enough that I've noticed it on a regular basis.



  • I did find it awkward after reading the first translated Strike Witches manga. I get Seven Seas using Japanese names in their native order, but having non-Japanese characters using honorifics to address other non-Japanese characters when they're not in Japan, is pretty lazy. Not to mention inaccurate.



  • Wow Firefly, that's some cool knowledge you have. To tell you the truth, ever since I read that one article on missdream.org, I started doubting Viz Media and every other company that sells English versions of Japanese manga and novels.

    Right now, I only own three titles of manga which is Lucky Star (only volume 7), Deadman Wonderland, and Itsuwaribito. Lucky Star of course was translated by Bandai, and their translation of the book(s) comes with a lot of honorifics and untranslated words.

    Sound effects I definitely prefer to leave in their original form since I consider them part of the art.

    Itsuwaribito is pretty new and ongoing, but in Volume 5 on page 102, I kind of know what you are saying, about with the art; if you have seen the page in Itsuwaribito it doesn"t look all that great; a footnote would have been much better.

    I really only ever bought from Viz Media, but now I want to get different manga titles, such as Soul Eater and Spice and Wolf (L-Novel), and Viz Media doesn"t have these titles, but Yen Press does. So after reading that article I started getting skeptical about purchasing Soul Eater and Spice and wolf from Yen Press. Did you read any of those manga?

    P.S. Lucky Star is coming to Viz Media soon. It be interesting to compare with Bandai"s work.



  • @7jaws7:

    I did find it awkward after reading the first translated Strike Witches manga. I get Seven Seas using Japanese names in their native order, but having non-Japanese characters using honorifics to address other non-Japanese characters when they're not in Japan, is pretty lazy. Not to mention inaccurate.

    I tend to agree that it's better to translate the honorifics properly if the setting, like in Strike Witches, is European in nature, but at the same time it doesn't really bother me that much and won't prevent me from buying.

    @AnimeTalk:

    I really only ever bought from Viz Media, but now I want to get different manga titles, such as Soul Eater and Spice and Wolf (L-Novel), and Viz Media doesn"t have these titles, but Yen Press does. So after reading that article I started getting skeptical about purchasing Soul Eater and Spice and wolf from Yen Press. Did you read any of those manga?

    I've read some of Soul Eater as well as some of both Spice and Wolf's light novels and manga and didn't notice anything glaringly bad about the translations. Yen Press leaves in the original sound effects. I think, but am not 100% sure, that Soul Eater's translation left in honorifics too.

    I'd suggest checking out the closest library to you as they likely have some manga. The library near me carries both Soul Eater and the Spice and Wolf manga, along with many other titles (but mainly popular ones like FMA, Fairy Tail, Black Butler and so on).



  • I've purchased manga from most all of the NA english publishers , including Yen Press, Viz, and Seven Seas (of late mostly just Yen Press and Seven Seas), and I can't think of any real complaints when it comes of localization. In particular, Yen Press has always really impressed me and, as Firefly mentioned, they typically include useful translator notes. Haven't read either Soul Eater or Spice and Wolf, but I'd expect those to be to the same exemplary standards as all else that I have read. So, precise answer: yes, I trust Yen Press, Viz, and Seven Seas to produce a translation I enjoy and have no problem reading.

    Regarding the article, and this may also impact the credibility of my assessment of translations, there was something bothering me as I read it. Being in an area and part of a culture where use of pidgin and creole languages is prevalent, although english is more or less being spoken here, its not at all unusual (rather its somewhat expected) to have words from different languages (including Japanese) commonly and often used, and our grammar is far, far from perfect. Now, I fully realize that this is not exactly the same situation as was discussed in the article, and the article's goal was not at all to criticize a regional dialect but rather to point out an industry's supposed lack of professionalism. However, even knowing that on an intellectual level and even recognizing that my ire is clearly not justified, when the claim that using untranslated words and such is simply lazy, I can't help but feel somewhat defensive and annoyed. I point this out because first, well because it did bother me :P , but second and more importantly, to explain and clarify that my high-to-statisfied opinion of the translations may not be shared by those looking for a complete and fully english translation.


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