Fan-produced translation of a foreign-language comic, produced by scanning individual pages usually from the original (but occasionally a preexisting translation of the comic in a third language such as Chinese or French) into graphics files and then [[RemixComic replacing the original text]] with vernacular translations. The paper/jpeg equivalent of {{Fansub}}s. As one might expect, this practice is most common with Japanese comics (''{{manga}}''), and indeed the practice arose out of the long-established fansubbing circles to take advantage of manga's sudden popularity spike in North America in the early 2000's.

A good Scanlation ([[SpellMyNameWithAnS also occasionally spelled "scanslation"]]) requires a fair-quality scanner, and a good eye for which fonts are obtrusive and which are not. It's also important to carefully match the background shade when covering the untranslated text - a bright white box on a medium-gray word bubble can be painful and distracting. The best scanlations can come close to being indistinguishable from an unaltered manga page or in other words, close to a professionally licensed manga page.

Some scanners of {{hentai}} {{manga}} and {{dojinshi}} dispense with the "heavy lifting" job of actually ''translating'' foreign erotica and simply [[CutAndPasteTranslation write their own scripts]] to match the action - dubbed a "Rewrite". This can occasionally produce something [[{{Woolseyism}} more amusing]] than the original, especially if it's a GagDub-style "translation", or an explicit parody of bad rewrites. This does not work well with PornWithPlot manga, obviously.

A major clampdown by publishers in the Summer of 2010 resulted in many Scanlation aggregator websites such as [=MangaHelpers=] and [=OneManga=] closing up shop... bad news if the manga you like are NoExportForYou, licensed but out of print, or excessively delayed! However, both scanlation groups and reading sites are apparently subject to the HydraProblem. Neither are the BrokenBase tendencies in how Scanlations are viewed helping: they're either valid and well-meaning (for ethical ones at any rate) or immoral violators of copyright law.

Sometimes a scanlation is useful not only to circumvent a [[NoExportForYou non-existing official English translation]], but also if there is censorship in the official translation.[[note]] Despite what you may hear, the vast majority of manga titles available in North America are in fact released completely '''un'''censored; titles typically subject to censoring are series explicitly geared toward children, like ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', or certain ''Shonen Jump'' titles that, due to their high profile and carriage by large retailers known to complain about content (like Walmart), are likely to draw the ire of MoralGuardians. Even then, the number of censored manga titles has dropped since 2010. [[MisBlamed Also note, sometimes titles will be censored or altered by the original creators themselves before America ever comes calling.]][[/note]]

Another thing to keep in mind when searching out scanlations: SturgeonsLaw is in full force here. Yes, some translations are easily equivalent or even superior to an official localization, but plenty suffer from [[BlindIdiotTranslation extreme literalism, odd grammatical structures, the occasional misreading]], and [[TooLongDidntDub just not translating terms at all]].

See also {{Fansub}}s for the {{Anime}} version and FanTranslation for the [[VideogameTropes video game]] version.