Hard to translate Manga Panels Wanted

You know how for some words in Japanese there’s no English equivalent or the English translation would just be very awkward? I’m looking for one of those. I have to translate about 3 hard to translate manga panels for a class I’m taking. But I can’t really find any good ones. I know they’re there as I’ve seen them before but I just can’t think of one off the top of my head nor can I spot one flipping through the manga I have at hand.

Do you have any off the top of your head? Please help I want to go to sleep :’)

Read through the book club threads and see which panels we got stuck on? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t have any files of it I can share but the Higurashi manga seems quite hard to translate. Whenever I come across it at the local library, I shake my head at how awkward the English version came out. For instance, in part 2 (綿流し - “cotton drifting arc”) there is a large part of it that revolves around the local 祭具殿 (さいぐでん) which is basically a small storehouse for equipment used in religious festivals. But because there’s no concise English word for this, the English translation just uses the term “saiguden” over and over despite it making no sense to a reader. Idk how hard it would be to find but that’s the first thing I think of.


Real manga don’t need silly children drawings…

Edit : I posted before reading @AngelTenshi 's post. I don’t think it really fit your needs but I wanted to post this page.


I think you could look at the thousands of examples from Mangajin Magazine.
It’s currently online (legally and for free). Just pick a couple panels from one of the sections, don’t cheat (reading through the translation) and then you can even compare with the presented translation if you want to.

Here is the page, the link with the magazine index is there too.



Grab a Japanese copy of Vol. 1 of Urusei Yatsura. Lots of wordplay and colloquialisms, while also being generally accessible for intermediate learners. Should hit tricky translation situations as early as the first chapter. Would just have to find a way into Japanese e-reader options on amazon.jp, etc.

I think the GANMA manga app can also be downloaded internationally in the apple store? Would have to do some browsing, but it’s free and has a huge digital-first/digital-only library. From what I’ve read on it, though, its library tends to run pretty conventional, modern Tokyo-dialect, so I’m not sure how far you’d have to dig to start hitting panels you’d really get hung up on. (I’m just assuming this is an upper-level or even translation-specific class, if you’re already supposed to be actively reading things in the wild.)

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Fun magazine! Just read half of the first volume, very learnful!

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Apropos of nothing, Urusei Yatsura is, itself, one of my favorite Japanese puns, and usually my go-to when explaining the ease of Japanese word-play.


Thanks guys for trying to help. I fell asleep that night. I eventually just had to pick the best lines that fit the description from a manga i’m reading because i ran out of time that morning. I couldn’t find the perfect impossible line I looking for though.

I bought all of the volumes of that since I love the anime, and really want to read it, but it seems so intimidating knowing how much word play and puns it contains. Realistically I don’t expect to be able to read it any time soon, though.

All these volumes just mocking me on my bookshelf!

If you can read kids’ manga pretty smoothly already, you can do it. Just expect to spend a little more time on it than most series aimed at a similar audience. You don’t need to be translating to read it.

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I’m not far enough yet to just read through. I’ll probably wait a while longer. Even trying to read Dragon Ball now and again I get tripped up a lot still.

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Ah, okay. Hang in there then! It’s definitely a little harder than Dragon Ball. Although, to be fair to yourself, Dragon Ball isn’t as easy as some series either. Lots of vernacular language.

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That stuff kills me! I started playing Cavestory in Japanese and all the hyper-casual vernacular language is super hard to parse when I’m mostly used to classroom/workplace Japanese.

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Yeah, I found that out pretty early on despite it being on lists of manga that are supposed to be good to read for beginners (along with things like Yotsubato). I’m not sure if the people writing some of those lists realize that all the causal language and slang is really hard for beginners.

It’s why I started reading something like Patlabor instead. It’s seem to be targeted at a slightly older audience and while it is still challenging to read it so far doesn’t seem to have all the casual language that makes stuff like Dragon Ball harder to read as a beginner. I guess it helps that most of the characters are adults instead of younger characters using lots of childish language.

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I’ve heard that in some senses, seinen manga can actually be easier for that reason. People talk more naturally and more realistically instead of the comically exaggerated speech you find in a lot of shounen manga. Can’t really confirm that myself yet though. The lack of furigana in seinen manga is a huge barrier for me at my level and I feel like my time would be better spent doing something else instead of looking up half the kanji in every page.

Luckily Patlabor does have furigana, as well. Though since the print is smaller, it is a bit harder to read.

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