Woolseyism / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

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     Japanese dub 
The Japanese dub is positively bursting with them. It turns out that the show translates extremely well to Japanese anime conventions:
  • "Friendship Is Magic":
    • In the English version, Spike has trouble writing the letter because he can't spell some of the words. In the Japanese dub, this is changed to him misinterpreting Twilight's "kiki wo semaru (a crisis draws near)" as "mimi ga tsumaru (my ears are clogged)".
    • In the first episode, Rarity was complaining about Twilight Sparkle's mane being messy after meeting Rainbow Dash. In the Japanese version, this was changed into Rarity congratulating Twilight for her mane instead (albeit in a very sarcastic way), due to Rarity using Tatemae on Twilight.
    • In the Japanese dub, Applejack's Element is named "Element of Trust" rather than "Element of Honesty". This is arguably more fitting since "trust" is more applicable to the theme of friendship while still being connected to the trait of "honesty".
  • "Applebuck Season"
    • Much of the dialogue in the episode is of Applejack misinterpreting what others have said due to mishearing things. Naturally, a few things have been changed around: Applejack mishears hanashigashitai ("needing to talk") as hawomigashitai ("needing to brush your teeth" ) and tasuke (help) as shiitake (as in the mushroom). During the baking scene, Applejack mishears komugiko no ichikappu ("one cup of flour") as kiiroi no ichikappu ("one cup of yellow") and the confusion between "wheat germ" and "wheat worms" became one between bakuga ("malt powder") and ga ("moths"). The "baked bads" joke was also changed to a pun on keeki (cake) and higeiki (tragedy).
  • "Dragonshy":
    • Rarity's "talk about getting your beauty sleep" remark is changed to one complaining that 100 years of smoky skies over Equestria can't be good for the skin.
  • "Look Before You Sleep"
  • "Bridle Gossip":
    • A lot of the wordplay in the episode had to be changed. The exchange "She's a zebra"/"A what?" becomes a play on shimauma (Japanese for "zebra") and umashima ("meaningless"). Spike's new nicknames for the cursed ponies include "Mojarity" (from mojamoja, meaning "hairy"), "Tsubaki Pie" (Japanese for "spit"), "Garagara Shy" (Japanese for "raspy-voiced"), and "Twilight Funyafunya" (Japanese for "limp").
  • "Fall Weather Friends":
    • They also had to change Pinkie Pie's wordplay during the Running of the Leaves. Her joke on the phrase "What's up?" becomes a play on genki, which literally means "cheery" but can also be used to ask "How are you doing?" The "grudge/fudge" banter becomes a play on "marathon" and "maracas", and the "catch up/ketchup" joke becomes a play on kecchaku ("to settle") and kecchappu ("ketchup").
  • "Feeling Pinkie Keen":
    • When Spike opens the door to the library, a sound effect plays of a truck backing up as he backs out of the door. The Japanese dub, however, adds a bit of Cultural Translation by having Spike say the voice clip that plays when trucks back up in Japan: "Bakkushimasu, gochuui kudasai (Backing up, please be careful)."
  • "Sonic Rainboom":
    • The Japanese dub inserts an added joke where Twilight notes that Rainbow's face is turning blue, to which she points out that she's always been blue.
  • "Stare Master":
    • The pun on Rarity "biting off more than [she] can chew" ("But you're not eating anything.") becomes a play on mucha ("excessive") and ocha ("tea"). The Title Drop near the end of the original episode is turned into a Call Back to Fluttershy claiming to be "champion" of the "Ssh" game.
  • "The Return of Harmony":
    • In the original version, part 1 ended with a standard "To Be Continued" title card. The Japanese version, however, spices it up a little by having Discord straight up break the fourth wall by saying "To Be Continued" in Japanese ("Tsuzuku").
    • Discord's line of "I don't turn ponies into stone" is made to sound more menacing in the Japanese version. In the original, he was mocking Princess Celestia's turning him into stone, but in the Japanese dub, he says "Shall I turn these ponies into stone?" as if he were threatening to do the same to Twilight and the others.
  • "The Cutie Pox":
    • Apple Bloom speaks formal Japanese instead of French in the Japanese dub, which fits better with Applejack's line "My sister's speaking in fancy!", to which Twilight snarks in the Japanese version, "It doesn't suit her."
  • "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well":
    • The Japanese version changes Mare-Do-Well's name to Dark Mare, which fits better as a homage to Batman, the Dark Knight.
  • "Family Appreciation Day":
    • In the Japanese version, the Zap Apples are known as "Biribiringo", a portmanteau of biribiri (an onomatopoeia representing electricity) and ringo (the Japanese word for "apple").
  • "The Last Roundup":
    • The Japanese version manages to replicate Pinkie mistaking Rainbow Dash's line of getting Applejack to "spill the beans" line for Applejack hogging snacks by having Rainbow say that she's "talking as if something is stuck in her back teeth", which Pinkie interprets as Applejack hogging candy.
  • "Read It and Weep":
    • The joke that Rainbow tries to tell her roommate in the Japanese version is changed from "Why did the chicken cross the road?" to "Bread (pan in Japanese) is delicious, but what pan can't you eat?", with the answer being "frying pan".
  • "Putting Your Hoof Down":
    • The old pony that cuts in front of Fluttershy mishears Fluttershy's "warakomi" (cutting) as "waraboshi" (wooden chopsticks) in the Japanese dub.
  • "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express":
    • The English version parodies the James Bond franchise by referring to Donut Joe as "Mane. Con Mane". The Japanese dub does something similar by referring to him as "00-Pony", a play on "007", James Bond's code number.
    • In the English version, Pinkie says "who did it" instead of "whodunit". In the Japanese version, she says "annin" (apricot) instead of "hannin" (culprit).
    • The play on "donuts" and "do-nots" is changed to a play on "donuts" and "dou natten" (what's going on).
  • "A Canterlot Wedding":
    • Twilight refers to Shining Armor with the abbreviation "anieshin", which is short for "aniki eien shinyuu" (Big Brother Best Friend Forever). It does help it sounds a lot like aniue note .
    • Much like the ending of Part 1 of "The Return of Harmony", Princess Cadance (AKA Queen Chrysalis) says the Japanese for "To Be Continued" in a sinister tone at the end of the episode.

     Other dubs 
  • The French dub cleverly changes a lot of the puns and sometimes adds French cultural references as well. With Pinkie's "What's up?" joke in "Fall Weather Friends," it turns into "Hé, Spike, ça plane pour toi? Oh, mais c'est moi qui plane!" (Literally, "Hey, Spike, are things flying for you? Oh, I'm the one who's flying!") "Ça plane pour toi?" means "How's it going?" in a colloquial sense, and was made famous in the Anglophone as well as the Francophone world with the song Ça plane pour moi by Plastic Bertrand.
    • Spike's falling asleep in the punch bowl in "Owl's Well That Ends Well," accompanied by the line "Looks like the punch has been...Spiked!" in the English version, is replaced with a string of fruit-related puns in the French dub: "Et à cause du jus de fruit, il n'a plus la pêche et il est tombé dans les pommes!" (Literally "And because of the punch (fruit juice), he no longer has the peach and has fallen in the apples!", figuratively "And because of the punch (fruit juice), he's run out of energy and has passed out!")
    • In the French translation of "Power Ponies", Applejack's superhero alter-ego "Mistress Mare-Velous" is known as "Wonder Jument", a play on Wonder Woman and jument, the French word for "mare".
  • The Italian dub of "Inspiration Manifestation" haves Spike being pissed off from Owloysious and saying "Hey you! Stop being such an owl and help me!", with "Being an owl" being Italian slang for "bringing bad luck". An amazing thing to hear, since the Italian dub of the show usually translates puns literally and turns some gags into ponies saying nonsense stuff.
  • A big part of the show is the exposition heavy songs. Dubbing the songs to maintain their meaning while keeping them in time with the music is no easy feat. Now, most of the songs can take some liberties without really affecting the outcome, but what happens when you have to translate a song that drops the title and have no way to translate it? Do what the Latin American team did with My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks and alter the meaning. The title song lyrics are originally "As we learn how the rainbow, Rainbow Rocks" but in Spanish it would be too difficult to dub in "El arcoiris es genial" (literal translation), so they changed the lyrics to "Mientras vemos a Rainbow Rockear" which means "As we watch Rainbow rocking out". It fits, but the meaning changes drastically, as now it seems that Rainbow is the focus of the movie, taking all the glory for herself..
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Woolseyism/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic