The loss of meaning in the translation of Shōnen manga : A comparative analysis of the character impressions between the English and Japanese versions of Dragon Ball

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Japanska

Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyze whether or not the translation of shōnen manga, a subset of Japanese comics, cannot be done into English while maintaining the complete original intent and meaning of the work in its source language. This was done through a survey asking both native Japanese speakers and non-native Japanese speakers to compare panels from both the Japanese and English versions of the manga Dragon Ball, and through their responses strengthening the hypothesis that the inherent meaning between the two versions did indeed end up feeling different. The main differences cited were based partly on yakuwarigo, so-called "role language", and that there were inherent implications in the Japanese speech patterns that were not accurately conveyed in the English translation, thereby leading to some loss of context between the two versions, making the impressions of the characters differ in some areas. Hence, the results of this study accentuate that some aspects of Dragon Ball will be lost in translation.

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