First, I'm from Switzerland, so I read most comics in german, which means, I read the translated comics of Batman, Superman, X-Men, Avengers, etc.
Yes, it is cool to read comics in your own language, however now comes the big but.
I'm glad they don't translate the Superheronames into german.
Why I'm glad about that? Because it would sound ridiculous.
Here some examples what could happen, if some names would be translated into german:
- Batman = Fledermausmann (a Bat is called Fledermaus in german, not really intimidating)
- Superman = Supermann (yes it doesn't really change, because in german you also say Super if you think something is great/cool/whatever)
- Spider-Man = Spinnen-Mann (Spinnen is the plural of Spinne, but you don't say Spinne-Mann, because that's not german just not knowing how to translate)
- Iron Man = Eisen Mann (if they would call Tony this in german, I would think about the Tin Man from Oz....)
- Green Lantern = Grüne Laterne (....so good were that never translated....I wouldn't be able to stop laughing if I would read that name xD)
- Wolverine = Vielfrass (if Logan would have this name in german, I would wonder why he isn't looking like the Blob. Why? I'll explain)
Vielfrass literally means glutton, but why translate Wolverine to Vielfrass? As we know Wolverine (Logan) is named after the animal with the same name and the same animal is called Vielfrass in german. (ok, it has the other name Bärenmarder, but to be honest I didn't know it had a second name until I read the wiki article about it [Bärenmarder = lit. Bear marten])
Now think about it, would you take Logan serious if he would be called glutton? I don't think so, I would think about someone like this xD
So, and now two examples of bad translation, I came across while reading comics.
Kaputt means broken, broken-down, in pieces, etc.. but you can't use it for Hulk's "Smash". If you want to translate smash into german it had to be zerstören, zerschlagen, zerschmettern....
In the german dub of The Avengers movie, Captain America says to Hulk "Hulk, zerstöre!" (in the scene where Cap says "Hulk Smash") and this makes perfect sense, while the version in the scan above doesn't.
The other bad example of bad translating is out of the english issue of Shadowpact #007
Sorry, but this translation is just wrong.
Yes, Hexe means Witch and Nacht means Night, but "Hexennacht" (not Hexenacht) would mean "Witchnight", for "Nightwitch" it had to be "Nachthexe".
That's a big difference.
And the moral of the story is: Don't translate words into a language you don't know how to use.