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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. Satoshi

    Satoshi リーリエの為に戦ってるトレーナー

    This is one of the subjects of translating manga that I usually answer with "I don't really care".

    There are so many directions companies can go with the onomatopoeia... either translate it, keep it Japanese, or keep it Japanese and put in an "SFX:[translation]" note at the bottom of the panel. Personally, I prefer the latter, just for the spirit of keeping it as is and knowing what the sound effect is. But as long as the manga itself is still readable, I don't care.

    I do admit though, English sound effects may come out rather ugly when they put it in. :/
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  2. FaFniR

    FaFniR Member

    I'd say original Japanese. I think translations turn out pretty cheesy... e.g. "KER-SMASH!!"
  3. Cipher

    Cipher Nothing to be done

    But, dude,"nuru-nuru?" Seriously? Shall I throw in a little "guzu-guzu," or "bero-bero," or "pitta" which is a noice for silence? How about some indiscriminantly placed truncated "ka" sounds that seem to be applicable to every situation? If you actually read the Japanese onomatopoeia, they make no sense.
  4. Yamato-san

    Yamato-san I own the 5th gen

    actually, as I said before, the Japanese sound effects seem to work better for me... there's just a trick to pronouncing them, though. I mean, what're you doing Cipher, are you just saying these in a hard fashion or something? If done right, these sound effects seem like they could resemble both realistic sounds, as well as the comedic ones often heard in anime. For example, with "giri" referring to muscles clenching, try holding your tongue in place, then flatly pronounce it.
  5. Cipher

    Cipher Nothing to be done

    I can certainly see how some of the sounds approximate thier real world counterparts, "giri" being one of the more realistic ones, but the vast majority still fail to approximate the sound as closely as the standard English onomatopoeia, would fail to be understood by most English readers, or have no English counterpart. Slice it however you want, but a truncated "ka" for foot-steps, while applicable, doesn't come nearly as close to the real sound as a nice "tp." I may have been exaggerating a bit, but I still find it better for English speakers to see sound-effects that they can understand.
  6. Asrialys

    Asrialys Well-Known Member

    Yeah...I don't know any of you can say anything about which is better till you actually learn real Japanese...

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