Hey, I'm new here. Well, haven't been here in years, and I used another name back then... but practically new.BayJumper said:In fact, a similar problem seems to be existing with Dark Horse's dialogue translation as well. Sometimes they "Americanize" the dialogue (like Wyald talking like a "gangsta" rapper, after getting impaled by Zodd's horns towards the end of vol 11). Or sometimes they choose stay too literal to the original Japanese dialogue.
Anyway, I have some involvement in the Dark Horse translations of BERSERK. My friend, Duane Johnson, is the translator and I'm his "creative consultant" for BERSERK -- meaning, I read over all his scripts, in which he makes very literal attempts at translating the Japanese, and help him to find the best way to present them in English.
Wyald was a very tricky character in that he speaks not only informally, but downright childishly at times, in an almost mocking or condescending manner. Essentially, it's as though he talks to others like he were talking to a baby. It's very difficult to describe.
I can assure you that "gangsta rapper" was never the intended approach taken with him. There are times when he makes puns or near-rhymes in the Japanese, and we tried to find ways to kinda bring that element of his speech into the English. If you read it as a "gangsta rapper", I'm sorry you did so. I'd be kinda pissed if I thought that's what someone was doing to it as well... but try to consider that's not the approach we were shooting for at all.
On that note, I can say there are a lot of times when the speech patterns of a character are very difficult to translate into English and a brute force literal translation doesn't work. We try to make characters who speak very formally (like royalty) follow all proper English, while characters who speak more colorfully or anachronistically (like Puck, for example) are the ones with whom we can take more liberties. An example of this is when Puck is flying on the crow in the Lost Children arc... after the crow throws him off, something is said between them, and it's likely Puck attempting to speak in the crow's language, because it's a very strange dialect. How the hell does a crow sound when it talks? We sure as hell don't know! So our solution was to have Puck's line read similarly to a line in "The Raven" by Poe. It's not an important line of dialogue, so if a liberty is to be taken, it's certainly more acceptable to be taken there. And what Miura does with that line is something we'd like to attempt to preserve in the English, but there's not a very good way of doing so, so we looked for another way of adding that kind of flavor to it. To allude to something about ravens that many English readers might pick up on was the best way for us to do that. It's certainly a liberty, but we felt it was a liberty worth taking because it was in the spirit of the original -- Puck is always making references to pop-culture, so this was not something he mightn't do if he were originally written in English.
Anyway, I realize that we are not going to please everyone all the time. Hell, there are things that the Dark Horse editors themselves have chosen to do with this series that I can say I personally do not like or approve. But those things are beyond mine and Duane's control, and we do what we can to make sure the scripts submitted are as good as we feel we can make them. And I assure you that many hours go into reading, translating, discussing (and sometimes debating), and revising our scripts before they are handed over to Dark Horse. So it's not like we are being sloppy about our work here. You don't have to like every decision we make, but I can tell you there's a reason for all of them. I hope that helps you guys feel better about what Dark Horse is releasing.