Mangastream's recent translations of Genshiken have been bugging me and though I'll refrain from bitching about their version (I could go on and on--honestly, "the guy with the chonmage"? Seriously?), I thought I'd take a moment to show how a few mistranslated lines can completely change the atmosphere of an entire work.
Slight spoilers for the latest chapter along with the rambling.
For the example I'm using the Del Rey translation of Genshiken, specifically the last page. I've seen a lot of English speaking fans complaining that Genshiken's original ending was very, well, flat, and that it seemed to end on an off note. I had no idea what they were talking about, until I saw the page in question...
Yeah, that does look really weird. What the hell are they talking about? Hell if I know. I couldn't tell you.
Anyway, take a look at the raw...
Keiko: 超～地雷 踏みてェ～
Ogiue: 春日部先輩 本当に気付いてないと思います？この手の話 敏感ですよね
Keiko: Man, I really wanna watch this all blow up.
Ohno: You mustn't. You wouldn't be the one taking the fall here.
Keiko: I know, but...
Ogiue: Umm... I've been thinking this for a while, but...
Ogiue: Do you really believe that Kasukabe-senpai doesn't know? She's sensitive to things like this.
Oh man, what a difference, right? The ending is still ambiguous, but it's a "Does she?! Does she not?!" sort instead of a "Wait, what?" sort. In other words, right in line with the observations that Keiko made in chapter 59, with Madarame's crush on Saki being an open secret, perhaps even to Saki herself. In fact, Keiko actually went through with wanting to "watch this all blow up" in the latest chapter, directly confronting Madarame on his unrequited crush, so you can see why she was so pissed when he continued to deny something that had been obvious to everyone for a very, very long time.
So, uh, yeah. I've just seen a lot of people saying that they don't really care about the quality of the translations as long as they're in English and more or less readable (granted, there are just as many people who say they don't care about the editing in scanlations and official translations either, which--having edited before--I find equally miffing) and I thought I'd show an example where just a few lines done wrong had a hell of a lot of impact. Actually, just Ogiue's line fixed would have been enough to change the entire mood of the chapter.
Food for thought, huh?