Ventilator and scanlations of UBS (Fansubs and Scanslations)
EXTREMELY COMMON for fansubs and scanlations in general, due to a number of factors.
The translators are, more often than not, amateurs who don't have a lot of experience or training.
Particularly for popular weekly series, groups often have strict deadlines (both to keep up with the series itself and for the satisfaction of getting that series up before other groups). This means proofreading can be rushed or nonexistent.
The culture of fansubbers/scanslators and their followers is, overwhelmingly, one that heavily emphasizes the idea that foreign works must be kept as "pure" as possible, thus must be "translated" as little as possible; thus what is deemed fit to translate at all is usually translated literally with next to no regard for voice or flow (or sometimes even grammar).
Ever since Chapter 127, there have been a few really badly scanslated chapters of Claymore posted on online manga readers, which have a very distinct machine-translation style and amateurish lettering with multiple terrible fonts. All the more strange, since the groups who did it before (and continue doing it for all the other chapters) are generally very skilled both at translation and typesetting.
There was a scanlation for Fullmetal Alchemist that has Winry's name as "Willy" and Riza's name as "Lisa".
There is a fansub of the 2003 anime where a group of characters named after the Seven Deadly Sins included the names "Rust" and "Blatnee" (Lust and Gluttony) for several episodes before the translators apparently caught on. This same phonetics issue leads to a subtitle of Wrath later screaming "CALL ME LASSIE!"
One subbed version would, for several episodes at a time, refer to Ed as "The Square Enix".
That same subbed version refers to Ed as "Edowado Erurixtuku", Winry as "Wuxinnrexi" (which thankfully later changed to the better-but-still-wrong "Wendy"), Roy Mustang as "Roi Masutanngu" and many other mistakes besides. It also uses the wrong pronoun ("he" instead of "I" comes up many times), making it really confusing to follow conversations.
Those names are a particular brand of word processor romaji (ie, the specific buttons you push on the keyboard to make the Japanese characters appear). In this system, straight nihon-shiki romanizations are used for every separate character, the n character is written as "nn", and the x button is used to indicate that the following character is small.
Of course, these spellings serve no purpose outside of direct explanations of how to use type Japanese on a computer, using them in a fansub is insane.
And "Xerxes" as "Celecsess", or something like that. Granted, "Xerxes" was translated from old Persian into Greek and then English, so the orthography is a bit weird.
Ed also says, "I don't like stuff I don't like" in one scanlation.
The same fansub features a university professor blurting the line "Take it all off!" apropos of nothing, the name Mayu translated as "Cocoon" (which is literally accurate, but...), and crying subtitled as "hoot hoot".
The original fan-made translations of Parts 4 and 5 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are notorious for this, as it was done by someone who's first language was definitely not English. The most infamous is a page from Part 4 that shows the main villain exclaiming "What a beautiful Duwang!"
The AnimeJunkies fansub group made a laughingstock of themselves when they released a flawed translation of a line from the anime Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. The line was supposed to be a question about numerous kidnappings by foreign mafia agents, but was translated as, "Are you aware of the frequent occurrences of the mass naked child events within the country?" The "mass naked child events" line became a meme referring to terrible translations. (A screenshot of various translations here.)
That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but AnimeJunkies had been consistently putting out crap subs for a while at that point. Their Get Backers subs are almost as bad (especially compared to another far more talented fansub group that was also covering that show, to say nothing of ADV's official subs that came out a couple years later). What turned everyone against them was their reaction to criticism and other fansubbers.
There was a Bleach fansub that translated a Japanese slang term for uvula (のどちんこ, nodochinko) literally, as "throat penis".
One of the scanlations that used to be on OneManga for Love Hina has a chapter in which Keitaro has a fever and Naru is taking his temperature. However, Keitaro's body temperature was apparently 39.7 degrees Fahrenheit - And yet Naru says to get the ice bag?!? That would mean Keitaro's DEAD!! That goes beyond Blind Idiot Translation. Most Americans at least know of the Celsius system, even if they don't regularly use it and have trouble converting; so if the subber couldn't convert, why not just leave it in Celsius? (For the record, 39.7 degrees Celsius is roughly 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit, a pretty high fever – any higher and they'd need to take him to the hospital immediately).
Said scanlation also jumps around a little in quality - there are some mild grammar mistakes or parts where the Japanese text is left untranslated and not given a reference (possibly because it doesn't really mean anything and is just added for comedic effect) on top of it being a scan.
"Ha ha ha! Sara, don't you actually made that joke!"
The official translation from Tokyopop has several instances of really bad grammatical structure *
Volumes 2 through 9 are all affected, but the worst offenders are volumes 3, 4, 5, and a rather important climax in volume 9
. The translation itself seems reasonably decent; it just needed a better editor.
This is made more obvious by Kadokawa Comics' 2012 re-translation of the series. Nearly all of the grammatical errors were fixed, but the translation itself is far more literal, and thus less fun to read.
When One Manga was still up: "So you have came, Uahara Kisuke".
Earlier on had Yammy referring to Ulquiorra as "Uluqiorra".
In addition, for a large portion of the early chapters, at least three different spellings of "Zaraki Kenpachi" were used, none of which were correct.
Also in the department of fansubbers—"Image Hosted at MangaFox.com. Please Don't Hotlinking. Thanks."
Code Geass: A "Blind Idiot" Translation of episode 5 of R2 was done by a group called WeWin. It includes such hilarity as Suzaku as My Lord Jesus, Lelouch is a lot of abandoned homes, Area 11 being in a bun, and Lelouch's strange little brother named Lolo. Read it here.
In one chapter of Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, a character cosplays a US Navy Captain. The translation refers to him as "Colonel," a rank never used by navies.
There's actually an explanation for this. The Japanese only have one ranking system, shared between the Army and Navy; Taisa is equivalent to O-6 (Army Colonel, Navy Captain). This is a problem that comes up all the time in the Gundam franchise. However, that's no excuse for getting such a clear sign wrong.
There are some pretty bad subtitles on episodes of Ginga Nagareboshi Gin. Examples include the characters' tendency to yell "You son of a bitches!", and in one case "I will revenge!", or the way "The clever Akakakabuto (One too many ka's) layed in ambush and hurted Takeda." and "Three puppies has been born at Daisuke."
"And now did Riki died too."
"Humans had been forced to give after for the bears power."
"Gin are like his father."
One of the most annoying examples is how every use of the word "man" is replaced with "male". The reason this is annoying is because half the series is the dogs running around Japan to find "males".
Also funny is the way the subbers always used the word "bitch" for referring to female characters. This is accurate because a bitch is a female dog, but anyone watching it will be thinking or the other definition when Gin yells "Cross is a bitch!"
When Moss sends Lloyd and Jaguar to see Ben's pack, he is supposed to tell them to deliver a message. For who knows what reason, in the fansubs he tells the two torapethem instead.
One fansub script for Dirty Pair TV episode 10 rendered one of Kei's lines of dialog as "Kei says something here". (The subtitles on the Nozomi Entertainment DVD release render that line as "Good job, guys!")
Some One Piece scanslations had characters declaring that they would swear Royalty (sic) to their king.
This is not even getting into the Kaizoku-Fansubs "translations" for that show, which only occasionally fall into this trope, preferring instead to consistently occupy this one.
The first 20th Century Boys film hit the Internet with English subtitles that were pretty good. Which made it pretty baffling when the subtitles on the second film were for the most part complete gibberish, featuring what seemed like random collections of letters half the time, and also tending to translate character's names as regular words, like "Kanna" being subtitled as "sad". The only way to have any hope of following the film using those subtitles is to have read the manga at least twice.
The final battle in Rave Master is an epic clash between the forces of darkness and light, or would be if you could focus on it instead of all the improper conjugation.
In an episode of Rozen Maiden where Shinku is appreciating some Assam Tea, one fansub rendered it as something along the lines of "the asamti is in finance".
There is a pretty terrible Hong Kong bootleg of the Tales Of Eternia anime that runs on the trope. One of the funnier screw-ups was rendering the two worlds of "Infernia" and "Celestia" as "Yugoslavia" and "Czechoslovakia."
Several scanlations of Great Teacher Onizuka have sloppy grammar and overlay the original Japanese speech/thought bubbles with translucent colored boxes containing the text.
TDX's translations of Liar Game chapters 114 and onward. Translating "Isutori Game" literally as "Steal-A-Chair Game" rather than "Musical Chairs" is a mistake on the level of referring to a character's "Handheld" (cellphone) which he's left charging in the "Concent" (electrical outlet) back at his "Mansion" (apartment).
Some of the "dishwasher" fansubs of Dragon Ball Z were notorious for bizarre name spellings and gratuitous overuse of profanity.
One fansub of Magic Knight Rayearth insisted that Escudo weapons "glow" the more you use them. Anyone who's read the introduction to a self-instruction Japanese primer can tell you what went wrong here.
So far the only complete English subs for Digimon Frontier, produced by a certain fansub group which will not be named. Between translating lines like "This is Fire Terminal, a Digimon village" into "This is Fire station, a Digimon boundry", the "Demon Beast" type (Majuu) being labeled "Magic," and subtitling the word "Kusai" ("This stinks") as "*random Italian splurge* " (sic). Adding to this is the mind numbingly insane amount of ENTIRE SENTENCES AND LINES WHICH WERE LEFT UNTRANSLATED. Not only are there times when one or two full lines of dialogue are not given any subs, but words that the "translator" couldn't understand were left marked off with dash marks ("— Digimon") or ellipses ("Junpei, isn't that...?"). It's just god-awful. And since Frontier is by far the least popular series, it took over five years before anyone else bothered to step up and provide a better translation.
Non-Japanese example: The fansub for the Norwegian horror film Thale is a prime example. Within even just the first 5 minutes, at least half of the subtitles are overly literal, awkwardly phrased, or otherwise incorrectly worded.