Blind Idiot Translation/Comic Books
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Halting of Risata of (Comics)
- The English translation of the first volume of Dungeon translates Main Gauche as "left hand." Although this is the literal French meaning of Main Gauche, in context, it's quite obviously referring to a knife or dagger wielded in the off hand. It shouldn't really be translated anyway, since it's also the English term for such a blade anyway.
- The Dutch translation of Elf Quest got particularly horrible somewhere around the Shards War arc: speech bubbles were aimed at the wrong characters, elves were suddenly given new names, and apparently none of the translators had read the original series at all. After five issues or so, the translation suddenly got much better again, and a thank-you note to a Dutch BNF was included on the last page.
- Dirty Pair: Run from the Future attempted a Bilingual Bonus, but ended up making several linguistic errors, one of which is hilarious. One of the criminals Kei and Yuri have been assigned to arrest is "Jeannot Delagauchetière", who speaks (what is apparently intended to be) Québécois French. After putting restraints on him, Kei is about to say what he's under arrest for, when he somehow causes Kei's holo-camouflage to deactivate, and reveals that he has several heavy assault mecha under his control. He introduces these mecha by saying "Dis 'Allô' à mes p'tits amis". This literally means "Say hello to my little friends"; the problem is, it has the idiomatic meaning of "Say hello to my boyfriends". Oops! (Another problem is that "allô" is usually only used when answering a telephone call.)
- DC Comics has appearently no one with actual knowledge of the German language on their payroll, since they always rely on some shitty web translator or Write-it-like-you-heard-it when some german pops up. One example is here.
- Played with when it comes to DC's character Ra's Al Ghul: the name, supposed to be "head of the demon" in Arabic, is translated perfectly (though "head of the beast" would be a more accurate meaning). However, somewhere along the way, people began pronouncing it "REYSH Al Ghul". "Reysh" has no meaning in Arabic; the correct pronunciation is mostly like it's written (RAASS Al Gool), with a glottal stop where the apostrophe is. Most of the animated Batman series pronounced it "Reysh", so when the movie Batman Begins changed it to be more correct, many fans complained about the movie's "incorrect" pronunciation.
- The Polish translation of The Dark Knight Returns is ridiculously terrible: for example, some plot-critical sentences are translated into their exact opposites (one of the final lines, "An army to bring sense to a world plagued by worse than thieves and murderers", turns into "An army to bring sense to the world by dealing with the worst thieves and murderers"; there are also many cases where the translator clearly misread the original (flesh/fresh, sweat/sweet).
- A Simpsons comics has a French taximan say "Coup moi" to Bart. A caption indicates that "Coup moi" is supposed to be a translation of "Bite me". There is 3 problems with that : 1) "Coup" is not a verb, it actually means "a blow" (as in "a blow to the face") ; 2) "Bite me" would be translated literally as "Mords moi" (verb "mordre", 2nd person of the singular of the present imperative) ; 3) "Mords moi" actually does not mean the same thing as "bite me" at all. Given that the purpose of this particular comics was to mock French people, the author could have at least tried to write a correct 2-words sentence in their language.
- Transformers self-proclaimed "superstar artist" Pat Lee rendered his name on an old personal website in katakana. The problem? Rather than it being a transliteration of his name, he used a character-replacement font to replace every letter in his name with whichever katakana was under the same key. The result: Michiyamenotehi Funana!
- The translation work of the Transformers comics from Titan Magazine in Hungary became something of a Running Joke with its memorable and nonsensical solutions, such as translating "Not on my watch" as "Not onto my wristwatch". The publisher even turned down an offer from the fans when they tried to help out the translators.
- It's unclear exactly who Marvel goes to for their Arabic, but they're clearly being paid too much. For Apocalypse's backstory, the writers had him be born in the Ancient Middle East and gave him an Arabic name that they wanted to mean "The First One". What they used was "En Sabah Nur", which is a mixed up version of "Sabah En-Nur". "Sabah En-Nur" literally means "morning of light" and is the standard response to the phrase "Sabah Al-Khayr", or "good morning". Even worse, the "En" is really a part of the word "Nur", and it's gibberish on its own. The name means nothing.