Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

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.
 

This scan is out of "Offizielles Film Special The Avengers" (Official Movie Special The Avengers). If the word "Kaputt" here stands for Hulk's favorite word "Smash", then I can just shake my head.
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.

#1 Posted by joeagentofhand1 (4362 posts) - - Show Bio
#2 Posted by Project_Alpha (42 posts) - - Show Bio

Translation is why I can never really write a story about a foreign character well.

It feels too stupid to have them constantly speak English all the time, and I'm not knowledgeable enough on any language to translate well.

#3 Posted by Raizex (354 posts) - - Show Bio

You wanna fight about it tough guy?

#4 Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@Project_Alpha: I know that feeling. You could do it like the writers in the comic books and use different quote sign for different languages like "english" <<other language>> or something like that.

#5 Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@Raizex: about what, bad translations? Õ.ô?

#6 Posted by akbogert (3227 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce said:

Batman = Fledermausmann (a Bat is called Fledermaus in german, not really intimidating)

Wait, does that word translate literally to "flying mouse"? Because if so, I like that.

Also, this is quite an amusing insight.

#7 Posted by Captain_Starheart (58 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce said:

@Project_Alpha: I know that feeling. You could do it like the writers in the comic books and use different quote sign for different languages like "english" <<other language>> or something like that.

Eh it still feels inorganic to me. But it is probably the best way to go.

#8 Edited by Raizex (354 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce said:

@Raizex: about what, bad translations? Õ.ô?

I'm sorry man. Forgive me, please. :(

#9 Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: No not to 100% it means more like "Flutter mouse" because they "flutter with their wings to fly"

: for me too, but I can't think of anything else =/

: xDD I'm not angry xDDD

#10 Posted by akbogert (3227 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce: Still pretty cool (the mouse --> bat part...and "flutter" is an underused word, I think). Thanks for explaining!

#11 Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: You're welcome ^__^

#12 Posted by Raizex (354 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce said:

: xDD I'm not angry xDDD

You better calm that tone bro, don't want no trouble.

#13 Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@Raizex: Don't worry, I'm annoyed about bad translating, but it's nothing I would hulk-out about xD

#14 Posted by gravitypress (2066 posts) - - Show Bio

Or it could be awesome.

#15 Posted by Raizex (354 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce said:

@Raizex: Don't worry, I'm annoyed about bad translating, but it's nothing I would hulk-out about xD

Okay buddy, I don't know why you're getting upset over petty things. Give me your address and I'll fly there first class for you to say that to my face.

#16 Posted by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@gravitypress: the video is funny, but it's "translated" of the sound of the words you hear to make it sound funny and not while trying to really translate it.

That's the real german intro of Avengers EMH and yes, the text is mostly translated right. (even if it sounds better in english)

#17 Posted by gravitypress (2066 posts) - - Show Bio

@EMH_Bruce: Yeah I was making a funny. The EMHs one sounds like a bad garage band.

#18 Edited by EMH_Bruce (773 posts) - - Show Bio

@gravitypress said:

@EMH_Bruce: Yeah I was making a funny. The EMHs one sounds like a bad garage band.

That's the best comparison I've ever read XDDD

--------

Question: Should I translate the names of other heroes too?

If yes, please give me some names =)