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Thread: Important translation difference between official English volumes and scanlations

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Important translation difference between official English volumes and scanlations

    I just bought the official english version of the first 3 volumes of Shingeki no Kyojin and I noticed a massive difference in the translation between the scanlations and the official version. In Eren's flashbacked memory of his father injecting him with something it says "the power I'm giving you will be useful then." in the official volumes instead of "the 'power' ought to prove useful then" as it says in the scanlations.

    As I don't speak Japanese, I cannot comment on the accuracy of either translation, but I would hope that a professional translator would be absolutely 100% certain of that translation considering how important that line is to the story. It was always possible to read that scene as Eren's father giving him the power to transform into a titan, but the ambiguous way it was translated in the scanlations allowed for alternate readings while this appears to not. (I actually liked my alternate reading, especially as it tied in Eren crying at the start of the series)

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member teioh's Avatar
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    Re: Important translation difference between official English volumes and scanlations

    Can you explain what's your alternate reading tied to that scene please?

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Re: Important translation difference between official English volumes and scanlations

    The "standard" reading of Dr. Jaeger giving Eren the power to transform into a titan is that Eren is a perfectly normal human and that Dr. Jaeger has some sort of serum that allows the conversion. That makes some sense given the scene at Connie's hometown and the fact that the wall has not be broken, but it does not explain the first scene in which Eren has an extremely deep dream he cannot remember and starts to cry.

    The "alternate" reading is that Eren is not a normal human, but was born a human-titan. As to how that would be, Dr. Jaeger travels a lot, including to places where no one knows, so it is possible that he has come into contact with a human-titan settlement and Eren is a child he either adopted because Eren's parents died or he kidnapped. (The Jaeger's proved they have no problem raising children that are not their own with Mikasa) In that case, Dr. Jaeger's injection could be undoing previous memory alterations which stripped Eren of his previous memories and his ability to transform into a titan. That provides a nice explanation for Eren's dream at the beginning: he is dreaming of previously repressed memories (possibly the death of his biological parents?).

    That, of course, lacks the tie in to the eventual events with the titans in Connie's village, but Eren's dream is a bigger issue and assuming there is an agent that causes a transformation of humans into titans is problematic. (How do you deliver it to an entire town so that they are all infected simultaneously so that no one dies from the other titans?)

    Of course, depending on how literally you want to read the word "give", the alternate theory is still technically viable. In that case, Eren's father would be giving him a power he previously took away.

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