We get asked many questions about us and our site. Here is a list of the most common ones.
1. Why did you translate these musicals if they’re all ready done?
The TL;DR version?
Because we can and its fun.
The long version:
The Sailor Moon Musical translations out there have been done by so many different translators and the styles are incredibly varied. While inherently there is nothing wrong with this, there is a downside. it makes SeraMyu a little difficult to discuss if you are unfamiliar with the language. It is a lot harder to spot patterns and differences when the style of English being used varies so greatly. SeraMyu deserves a consistent style. However, not everyone is going to agree with our style. You will never be able to cater to everyone’s style of translation. This is one of the biggest issues when people start deciding on what’s “right” and “wrong.”
Indeed, many people (who often seem to know little to no Japanese) start making “error” lists. These are, more often than not, differences in style, rather than true errors. Language is organic and adaptive, because an exact definition does not appear in a dictionary does not make it incorrect. Language must represent ideas. Not words. A wrong translation is one where the meaning has been completely lost in the language shift. This is is different from a “bad” translation, where the translation is either too literal or too liberal. What people consider a “good” translation will vary widely across the scale from person to person.
If you like our style in translations, keep watching them. If you don’t, chances are you will never like them and you might best make do with other translations. The musicals may be all done, but that doesn’t mean everyone else should be forbidden from it. Our personal style (or attempted) is a translation that retains its sense of Japanese, but not at the cost of including Japanese nuances unless there is no equivalent. So, for example, jokes are not adjusted even if they don’t make sense in English and honorifics are absent. While a name like “Usako” and “Azabu-Juuban” is kept. Something like “Mugen Gakuen” becomes “Infinity Academy”.
Additionally, not to drag down any other translators or prop ourselves up, there are some SeraMyu translations of some musicals which are a little inadequate. Some show cases of unfamiliarity with some basic grammar structures and others show our right made up translations based on the context. Rule of thumb, if a character says something soundings “out-of-character” or a line doesn’t make proper sense without explanation, likely there is something wrong with the translation, not with the musical. (And, as a note, this goes for our translations too! If you think something sounds weird or wrong, please contact us. We’d love to fix it! Just because we are discussing translation doesn’t make us the champion of it. ^_^) Song tranlations are also particularly prone to heading into murky area. We have seen people claim to not understand what “Knockin’ Down Hesitation” is about, when it’s in the title. The song is about knocking down your hesitation.
There is also a number of long-standing pieces misinformation on SeraMyu, including an apparent half transformation phrase of Sailor Astarte, Death Pi coming from a bicycle racetrack and Lilith of Darkness using lines from the Talmud, and that is just in the Dracul Series. These have arisen through mistranslation and this is the kind of thing we’re trying to do away with. Because all of that is simply not true.
I, Akiko hime, am personally translating these because its a bit of a hobby and fun for me. I am not working for profit or attention. If I was searching for attention this site would be long dead.
I really love SeraMyu so its a labour of love. Either way I shall continue until I cannot be bothered.
2. Why did you translating PGSM?
Read above. Basically cause we want to and its fun and we really love PGSM (its pretty much the best version of Sailor Moon for us).
3. Why don’t you use honorifics?
NOTE: THIS IS OUR PERSONAL OPINION! Many professionals would completely disagree with us.
To be blunt, we personally think it to be lazy and clumsy translating and we don’t like them in our style of translations.
Here’s our reasoning though:
Sure, we don’t use honourifics in English but there are so many things in the Japanese language that we don’t have in the English language. It also just makes the translation cluttered. We do not believe in catering to the Japanese language when dealing with English for English speakers.
In English, you would not call people Yoshiko-san in real life.
There’s also the added thing of some people not knowing what honourifics are or how they are used, so it just gets confusing for them. Even those who know how honourifics are used in most cases may get confused when they come across an unusual use of one . Honourifics, like most things in language, are not always as clear cut as they seen. Sure there are large generalities but there’s the occasional weird case, and every time one came up you’d have to explain it, when you could just as easily translate it in natural English and represent that idea.
4. Why do you use “Kouan” instead of “Koan?”
This is a question we often get, not only about Kouan specifically, but about how we’ve decided to romanize several of the Sailor Moon character’s names. Please know that there are many different ways to approximate Japanese sounds. There is no best way and it is often up to personal preference. We like to go back to the original root word of names that the Japanese sounds approximate. Below is our explanation for Kouan, as well as others that have been asked about.
You can also read more about Character’s names and their possible origins over on our Name Origins page.
The Four “Ayakashi” Sisters (Ayakashi was translated as Supernatural because it is the most fitting translation to us) individual names are derived from the names of minerals, however, this is where people often get confused. The names are derived from the Japanese names of the minerals rather than the English. Three of the mineral names (Berthier, Calaveras, Petz) take the original roots of the English word and change into regular Japanese mineral naming.
Berthier —-> ベルチェ鉱 Beruchekou
Calaveras —-> カラベラス鉱 Karaberasukou
Petz —-> ペッツ鉱 Pettsukou
The English for these are Berthierite, Calaverite and Petzite. Each takes another word and adds the suffix -ite. You’ll notice that the English is happy to take letters away to stop it sounding odd, for example, Calaverite rather than Calaverasite. Berthierite is named for Pierre Berthier, Petzite for W. Petz and Calaverite for Calaveras County in California.
Anyway, the Japanese names (there are several different ways of calling minerals in Japanese, but we are referring the common addition of -kou), do not remove the sounds and match up relatively well, as well as the two languages can. So Beruche = Berthier, Karaberasu = Calaveras and Pettsu = Petz.
Kouan is different. She comes from a mineral that never came in through English. The trend in naming is the same in Japanese, but it changes in English, as there’s no root English word to match. It comes from the mineral 紅安鉱 kouankou (The English word for Kouankou is “Kermesite” which is etymologically unrelated). We have just taken off the “-kou” (which makes it a mineral name) as we have for the other three sisters. However, the issue is that Kouan’s name is written in Katakana–the Japanese system of syllables usually reserved for loanwords. The key word is USUALLY. Do not think just because a word is in katakana it must be a loanword. Anyway most of the time the sound “ou” in Japanese is the same as “oo”, though there are exceptions. This, however, is not one, so rather than コウアン (Kouan), the “u” becomes a held down vowel (Ko-an). This is the point of confusion, do you romanise the character’s name directly or not? Its up to the translator.
Hence you get Koan, Kooan and Kōan, none of which are incorrect. We’ve also seen “Cooan” which does not really approximate much but represents the sounds correctly so none of these should be regarded as incorrect. Feel free to use any that you are comfortable with.
Regardless rather than directly romanising Kouan’s name in katakana, we have pulled back to the original word and romanised that instead, so her name is derived the same way as her other sisters and matches better. So we do not end up with Karaberasu, Beruche, Pettsu and Koan. We are approximating the words for an English audience after all.