Lost in Translation #9 – March comes in like a Lion


Hey guys! It’s been a while, but time for another Lost in Translation! This entry comes from episode 21 of March comes in like a Lion, where we see Rei reacting to a seemingly innocent jingle resounding through the passageways of an empty train station. Continue reading

Lost in Translation #7 – Gabriel DropOut


Hey Guys! It’s time for another Lost in Translation! This entry comes, yet again, from Gabriel DropOut, this time from episode 7. This show really does have a lot of neat jokes that aren’t so much poorly translated as the are, really, just a result of cultural differences between English and Japanese. As I have mentioned in past entries, the translator for this series (if you’re watching the CrunchyRoll subs) is fairly liberal, but in many ways I think it’s a good thing.

But then of course, there are those jokes that have nuances in them that just don’t come across as easily due to cultural reasons. And I totally understand why, as a translator, one would opt out of translating such nuances — especially since one of the lines I’ll be discussing today has a “generational gap” joke to it.

So yeah, I’ll be discussing not just one, but two lines from episode 7. Excited? Then read on! Continue reading

Lost in Translation #6 – Gabriel DropOut


Hey guys! Time for another Lost in Translation! This entry comes, yet again, from Gabriel DropOut, this time from episode 6. But before we move on, I’d like to clarify that the current translator for this show is very liberal in his/her translation style, so there are some lines that are translated more with regard to context and perceived character idiosyncrasies as opposed to literal meaning. The reason for this is because some Japanese phrases lend to characterization by sheer delivery, whilst in English, characterization lies more in the choice of words than just manner of execution. This is doubly true for subtitles in that you have to read what is said.

It is for this reason that one character’s utterance of shikataganai (仕方がない) can mean (literally) “It can’t be helped”, but depending on context or even character archetype, can change in meaning to “whatever” or “guess I have no choice.”

That said, the current translations for this show lean quite heavily towards the liberal side, which means these type of lines are translated with these assumptions in tow. Now that in itself isn’t bad — to some extent, it allows the characters to be more relatable to an English audience — but what happens here is that the translator makes assumptions that might not necessarily be the case from the intent of the original author. Unless the translator is a direct member of the production team from the Japan side, it’s very hard to assume character intent without consulting the source first.

But yeah, I’m diverging quite a bit, so let’s get back to what was lost in translation! Today, we’ll talk about a strange Trick or Treat care of our resident Shut-in Angel. Continue reading

Lost in Translation #4 – March comes in like a Lion


Hey guys! Time for another Lost in Translation! This entry comes from episode 16 of March comes in like a Lion, where we are treated to a bit of Japanese culture in the form of the Hinamatsuri a.k.a. “Girl’s Day”.

Now if you’ve watched enough anime at this point, you’ve probably already encountered Girl’s Day and are familiar with the idea of how the Japanese celebrate young women and wish for their good fortune in life, marriage, and fortune by putting up dolls that mimic the formation of the imperial courts during the Heian period. But what I’d like to share with you today has more to do with the food items that were tossed left and right during the discourse. WARNING – I will not be responsible if you suddenly have the urge to go out for Japanese cuisine. Continue reading

Lost in Translation #2 – Shôwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjû


I was originally planning to save this post for a later date, but I was just so excited when I saw it that I couldn’t help but share it immediately! This entry comes from Episode 4 of Shôwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjû: Sukeroku Futatabi Hen, where the classic Jugemu story serves as the focus of this particular episode. Continue reading

Lost in Translation #1 – Sound! Euphonium


Hi guys!

I thought I’d start a new segment featuring short tidbits on things I’ve seen being “lost in translation”. Now take note, there’s a reason why simulcasts tend to have translational inaccuracies. The most common is due to the timing of release in that streaming services usually rely on professional translators that are not directly members of the Japanese production team. In some cases, there can be multiple translators, and even multiple translation groups commissioned on a single airing show depending on how the agreement is set up between the home (Japan) broadcast company and the online streamer. This is the reason why official translations on DVDs/BluRays are far more polished, because the transcripts are actually worked on from the ground up with cooperation between the publishing company/distributor and the home office.

Another reason is partly due to the language itself. There are many nuances in Japanese that don’t filter through as succinctly as they should given the format of subtitles. So that being the case, I figured I’d share some of those nuances with you in these posts.

To kick things off, let’s start with a show from last season, Sound! Euphonium. Continue reading