1. We have moved to a new forum system. All your posts and data should have transferred over. Welcome, to the new Serebii Forums. Details here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders
    Dismiss Notice

Manga Onomatopoeia - Japanese or English?

Discussion in 'Alternate Animé & Manga Discussion' started by FlareonJupiter, Apr 26, 2007.


Manga onomatopoeia looks best in:

  1. Original Japanese

    11 vote(s)
  2. Edited English

    3 vote(s)
  3. Doesn't matter...

    7 vote(s)
  1. FlareonJupiter

    FlareonJupiter F&J Manga-Ka

    When reading manga, do you like the onomatopoeia (sound effects) in Japanese or English?

    Personally, I prefer them unedited, in Japanese. The way manga sound effects were meant to be.

    Vote and discuss.
  2. FireKero!

    FireKero! SWABLR

    If your reading manga in english, then why the heck would you need the sound effects in japanese?

    Anyway, I'd rather have the in japanese, for the sole purpose that it's near impossible to put a sound effect to the retardedness that exist in some of the crap that I read. Besides, it's kinda easy to tell what kind of sound is happenign just by looking at the pic.
  3. That Scary Clefairy

    That Scary Clefairy I <3 HK & BF

    don't care. In English it can go bad or good(Rurouni Kenshin handle sound effect well).

    many people prefer the jap sound effect due to the fact that you can see mor of the images of the panel.
  4. Korobooshi Kojiro

    Korobooshi Kojiro Funnnngaaaaa

    I have to say, my mind is pretty much fixed so I skip over those...so, I don't care either way.
  5. HK

    HK Radiance of Shadows

    See, I don't get that reasoning that so many fanboys go on about at all. Why the hell do you want something untranslated and something that you can't freakin' understand at all? Say that there is a gunshot. Yet, it's only told by the sound effects. Oh, but wait, they're not translated, so it doesn't leave you in the original intent, and you just come to the next scene without any anticipation like the manga-ka originally made it to be.

    Your type of mindset is silly, illogical, and it's a major reason why I'm disappointed with Tokyopop overall and a bit sad that Dark Horse won't translate the sound effects in Hellsing and Trigun/Trigun Maximum. Oh, and also for not translating the sound effects for the first eleven volumes in Berserk, and doing a rough job in volumes twelve and thirteen (fourteen showed improvement, and fifteen and sixteen were done excellently).

    Anyway, where the hell is the option of "original Japanese sound effects with English translation nearby"? I'm not asking for the BS glossary that Viz uses on occassions, but rather what just about every other company outside of Viz and CMX use to translate sound effects.

    Admittedly, I really like Viz'z adaption of Vagabond, however that's a special case in that the manga is from their older days of when presentation was equal to the content.
  6. Asrialys

    Asrialys Well-Known Member

    Haha, since I can read the hiragana and katakana used for sound effects, it's sometimes fun to read them. But I really don't care. It doesn't bother me whether they're in Japanese or English.
  7. FlareonJupiter

    FlareonJupiter F&J Manga-Ka

    A couple of interesting facts (useful for any would-be manga artists reading this thread):

    - Hiragana writing is used for onomatopoeias that are soft and pleasant.

    - Katakana writing is used for onomatopoeias that are loud, harsh, threatening or strong.

    I learned these facts from this book, which has nearly 200 illustrated examples of Japanese onomatopoeia. A MUST for manga fans and manga-kas alike.
  8. Archimedes

    Archimedes Not Dead Yet

    This is why I liked Tokyopop's handling of Lupin the Third. It left the original hirigana intact with little translations for them nearby(in a spot where it wouldn't obscure the artwork, usually in between panels). But it honestly doesn't matter to me as long as I can understand the everything else. I never really take the time to read the sound effects in comics anyways.
  9. Sachiko

    Sachiko ...is gone. =(

    That's annoying. Why would you need both languages there if you have the English, the only one you can actually read?? It makes the Japanese writing seem as if it is in the way.

    I prefer the sound effects in English. It is easier to understand that way. I don't like them in Japanese. Having them in Japanese does nothing for me. It just annoys me and gets in the way.
  10. HK

    HK Radiance of Shadows

    Because it retains the original art and provides a translation of the sound effect. Nothing is altered, but you are still able to understand what occurs. It's the best of both worlds because not all editing is clean when making the katakana into English words, and you still understand what's going on. It requires less work to do for the editors, it leaves the elitists *******s happy because the original art has been messed around with, and everything is, in theory, translated.

    But practicality rarely seems to take importance above principle, so it's no surprise that you'd prefer that no Japanese writings be left in the manga, apparently. :rolleyes:
  11. Yamato-san

    Yamato-san I own the 5th gen

    I'm well-acquainted with Japanese kana, so... my answer's probably obvious. But I'm trying to make a habit out of reading raw Japanese manga, so in a thread concerning English translations, my opinion probably shouldn't matter anyway. Though I must say, I enjoy Japanese sound effects for actually somewhat resembling what they sound like, at least once you know how to pronounce them correctly (some English sound effects tend to just be some word to describe a sound while not actually resembling the sound itself, ex. "sparkle").

    For that matter, there's a lot of things I enjoy about Japanese writing. Some people would say it's limiting without a differentiation between R and L, or consonants that always precede a vowel, but by playing around with some of their half-sized symbols, among other things, it seems possible to convey specific sounds that'd otherwise be hard to put in roman lettering. One thing that particularly gets to me is hentai doujinshi ^^... I'd greatly prefer a raw where I can see a girl going "HAAa~~ HAAa~~" (again, it's hard to put in English, but if you've seen this in kana, you should know what I'm talking about) over a translation that says "huff puff".
    Last edited: May 4, 2007
  12. HK

    HK Radiance of Shadows

    On that note, I've somehow come to recognize the kana used for "AHH~!"... in meaning the screaming off their ****ing heads that we see a lot of bat-**** crazy characters do in manga. The same sound effect might be the same in hentai, though.
  13. Asrialys

    Asrialys Well-Known Member

    They use the hiragana for "n" a lot too...

    Heh... _|¯|O
  14. Joshua the Shadow Lugia

    Joshua the Shadow Lugia Breeding randomly

    It looks much better in Japanese because it seems more authentic.
  15. Wild Cherry

    Wild Cherry Magma Commander

    Yet, the sound effect for silence is in katakana :\

    I don't care, I sometimes skip over them
  16. Asrialys

    Asrialys Well-Known Member

    Not really. Actually, I rarely ever see it in katakana.

    You're talking about "Ji~n" or "Shi~n" right? Since that is the sound effect for silence. I mostly see it in hiragana, and it looks better that way. But it probably depends on the situation. I just took a look at a random manga I have (Negima 13) and say "Shi-n" for silence in katakana. And that was the silence right before the final attack during a fight.

  17. Blackjack Gabbiani

    Blackjack Gabbiani Clearly we're great!

    I'd like to know what I'm supposed to be "hearing" without consulting a glossary way in the back. But the problem is that so many translation companies make the effects in a really jarring way. They're getting better, though.
  18. kaidel

    kaidel New Member

    o1) Japanese because it pwns.
    o2) because whoosh, and boom are crap. :D
  19. kaidel

    kaidel New Member

    o1) Japanese because it pwns.
    o2) because whoosh, and boom are crap. :D
  20. Cipher

    Cipher Nothing to be done

    I'm torn. On the one hand, English sound effects can be read by everyone, and approximate the sound better. Japanese syllabic alphabets are simply to limited to form many convincing sounds. I'd rather see a well understood "vwoosh" or "boom" than "don" or "kakkakkakka", or what have you.

    On the other hand, it's hard to replace Japanese sound effects with English ones without tampering with the original art. In addition some Japanese effects are difficult to translate because they sometimes use them for movements or gestures that don't really make any sort of sound as we recognize in English.

    Ultimately, I believe English sound effects to be inherently better for an English audience, if "translated" well. I can read both English and Japanese, but I appreciate that most people cannot, and I still have trouble deciphering what sound the Japanese is trying to convery at certain moments.

    In Japanese, the sound for muscles clenching is "giri", and the sound for wandering around slowly is "nuru." How f***ed up is that?

Share This Page