We get asked many questions about us and our site. Here is a list of the most common ones.
1. Why do you do 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 are 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.