Foreign Friday Comes in All Sorts of Languages!

I always need to remind myself that manga is originally written in Japanese, and is in fact translated for the benefit of people like me who can only speak and read English. I know this well, but many translations are done so well that I can easily forget (my hearty applause for those stalwart translators out there!). Perhaps that is why I am always surprised to see manga and anime in other languages. Naruto in French? Maid Sama with Spanish subtitles? Whaaat?

Not too long ago a friend of mine went to Poland on a trip, and when she returned she gave me a souvenir: a copy of volume 26 of Fullmetal Alchemist. At first I was nonplussed, because it looked just like the volume I already had, so I flipped it open…

…and it was in Polish! For a second, I thought I’d forgotten how to read! I realized two things: first was that if I ever went to Poland myself, I knew there would be someone out there who shared my love of manga, and second, I can’t read Polish. Good books span all languages, be they Charles Dickens or Hiromu Arakawa.

Today I salute all you translators who sit and try to convey the words and sentiments from one language to another. Your work is greatly appreciated! Next week I’ll be back on track with a new manga review! Stay tuned!

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