Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
I hope you are right that the translation is responsible for the incoherent writing, since it seemed to go off the rails long ago.



Heh, well there's that, too. It's probably a combination of the two.

I read up a bit on this and the particular translation problem I had apparently originates with Naruto's use of the phrase dattebayo which has no real English translation. It's just something he tags his speech with to make himself sound more aggressive or tough. That's where the phrase "believe it" apparently came from as an attempt in localization along with other phrases. In this volume they suddenly decided to translate it as Naruto saying, "ya know" a lot. It's pretty annoying but on top of that the volume starts off with Naruto saying "ya know" once for probably the first time in the series and the character Bee responding, "Man.. ya know, ya know, all the time..shaddup ya know." Which is tough enough to parse but made worse without initial context for the phrase.

So I can see the translation difficulties and continuity problem they presented but the series has had several of these types of moments for me where it seemed like an editor or someone should have stepped in and done a rewrite before sending it off to the printers.



David Brothers blogged about the Yotsuba sound effects a while ago with an interesting comments thread back and forth and since I mostly agree with his take on it I'll just post the link:

http://4thletter.net/2009/09/yotsuba-translation-issues/

Not that a bad retouch job would be better. I'd prefer a skilled retouch but I can live with leaving the effects intact. I just think the small text of romanji and parenthetical translation are distracting and kind of counter to the whole idea of of how graphic elements like sound effects work. It creates too many layers of redundant information on the page.