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  • Some instances of this trope that recur in the anime fan circles and fan-made subtitles:
    • The terms "sempai" and "kohai", much like honorifics, are often left in. The word "sempai" translates directly to "senior" or "mentor", and is generally used to refer to upperclassmen in an academic setting, or a senior employee in the workplace. But, English speakers in the same situation wouldn't refer to these people in those terms (at least in this day and age). Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this; it essentially boils down to either "awkward, but accurate" or "awkward, but fully translated." Latin American Spanish dubs sometimes use the word "superior" (deriving from military usage) or "señor", which flows more naturally.
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    • Certain Fan Speak terms like moe and otaku are left untranslated as well. They have sort-of translations ("cuteness" and "geek" respectively), but their usage in Japan carries additional connotations that the English terms don't. Anime fandom itself often uses those terms, and they're often left untranslated — even in official translations — in anime that focus on anime fans or fandom themselves. It's assumed that if you consume these works, you would know what those terms mean and understand the nuances anyway. Works which don't translate these include Lucky Star and Ouran High School Host Club.
    • Many, many English-speaking anime fans refer to Japanese voice actors as seiyuu.
    • Japanese Honorifics are often kept, even when the characters are supposed to be speaking a language that does not use honorifics this way (such as English). This has happened to fansubs of Gun Blaze West (set in 1870s Kansas), Chrono Crusade (set in the U.S.), Gunslinger Girl (set in Italy), Blassreiter and Monster (set in Germany)note , Hellsing and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part I (set in England), and others. One reason for this is that the choice of honorifics is telling about characters' relationships.
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    • Japanese Sibling Terminology such as onii-san is often left untranslated. Take note that a Japanese speaker might refer to a non-family member with one of those terms.
  • The Monogatari series has been officially called "undubbable", as it contains massive amounts of Japanese references and wordplay that would be hard to translate into English. It's theoretically possible, but not in a way that syncs with the Mouth Flaps, hence why it's "undubbable" and not outright "untranslatable". That hasn't stopped it from being dubbed in French and German, but that's partly because dubbing in those countries is mandatory by law.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The fandom will almost always refer to the Sailor Senshi as such, even though "senshi" could be translated as "soldier". The current official translation refers to them as the "Sailor Guardians", and the original English dub (which the fandom doesn't like anyway) used the term "Sailor Scouts". Even the official term used in Japan was "Sailor Soldiers", as shown in the original manga and 200-episode anime (and as heard in the background music during the Transformation Sequences, in spite of what future dubs may call them). In some sense, the English fandom gave up and called them "senshi" just to come up with some common resolution.
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    • Mamoru's alter-ego Tuxedo Mask is usually called "Tuxedo Kamen", and the fandom will also almost always use the term "Ginzuishou" when there's a perfectly acceptable translation: "Silver Crystal".
  • One Piece has a number of words and phrases — tricky or not — which the fandom doesn't want to translate.
    • Perhaps most infamous is the term nakama to refer to the crew/crewmates. For years the True Companions trope This Very Wiki was actually called "nakama"; a core of fans insisted that the term had some untranslatable nuance that it simply doesn't have. The word "nakama" itself most literally translates to "comrades", but the English term is associated with Dirty Commies, so "crew" or "friends" would have to do in English. The Kaizoku fansub popularized the term to the point that crews in One Piece will nearly universally be called "nakama". You'll be lucky if you get a translator's note explaining the word the first time it's used.
    • Fansubs and scanlations pretty much never translate the Devil Fruit names, despite all of them having official English names, courtesy of the VIZ translations. Although, they might be forgiven for this one since it's a little tougher, because their naming scheme in Japanese is pretty unusual. Some Devil Fruits have an obvious translation (for example, "Doku-Doku no Mi" simply means "Poison-Poison Fruit" — weird, but serviceable), while others are named after the Japanese onomatopoeia for whatever they're supposed to represent, and Japanese has a much wider range of onomatopoeia than English does. Most translations split the difference and leave all the Devil Fruits' names untranslated. The 4kids dub, an otherwise reviled official translation, even refused to translate some Devil Fruits that were translated in the Funimation dub (for instance, 4Kids used "Hana-Hana fruit" for the FUNimation "Flower-Flower fruit"). The One Piece wiki has a rule that the page titles for individual fruits use the "no Mi" wording, even though this is literally just the Japanese term for "fruit" with the genitive particle at the front.
    • Many fansubs will also refuse to translate attack names. Usually, this doesn't matter anyway; they aren't relevant to the plot, some of them are Japanese puns or double meanings, and others are already foreign words (such as Sanji's attacks, which are all named in French). But it does make it awkward for Luffy's signature "Gum Gum" attack set, which is often rendered as "Gomu Gomu" ("Gomu" just being the Japanese approximation of the English "gum").
    • Funimation refused to translate the term "Haki", which roughly means "ambition", leading to the term "Haki energy". They apparently did want to translate it, but Toei Animation didn't want them to.
    • The Shichibukai are rarely called anything else, even though it's a word Eiichiro Oda just made up. The best literal translation is "Seven Military Seas", but the title refers to a group of people, so it doesn't exactly make sense. 4Kids called them the "Seven Warlords of the Sea", a term Viz and FUNimation would subsequently borrow. Fans don't like the term because (a) it reminds them of the 4Kids dub, and (b) they aren't really "warlords", but rather highly promoted mercenaries.
  • The official FLCL dub leaves many honorifics in, but it admirably averts the trope in other instances, managing to adapt a crapton of Japanese puns and wordplay into English.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's English dub leaves some Japanese terms untranslated, including "ganmen" ("face"), the name "Gurren Lagann" ("Crimson Lotus Enveloping Face"), and "Tengen Toppa" ("Heaven Piercing"). It even left "Team Dai Gurren" untranslated, with "Dai-" just meaning "Great", leading Kamina to rename the team without properly explaining why. The Four Generals' battleships are also untranslated: Daigunzan ("Great Face Mountain"), Daigunkai ("Great Face Sea"), Daigunten ("Great Face Sky"), and Daigundo ("Great Face Earth"). Fortunately, it worked out, because the translations sound a bit Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom, and the Japanese terms are somewhat more befitting the series' Hot-Blooded panache.
  • Azumanga Daioh caused problems with Azuma's overly friendly naming schemes, which are hard to translate while keeping the social context of how characters address each other. The dub further muddles the water by translating some honorifics (e.g. "Tadakichi-san" to "Mr. Tadakichi") but not others, such as "Chiyo-chan" (leading some viewers to believe that "-chan" is part of her name). This is probably done to match the Mouth Flaps properly. "Chan" is a difficult honorific to translate anyway, with the closest translation being "li'l", which is not used in quite the same contexts in English.
  • The Viz translation of the Death Note manga was inconsistent; it used untranslated honorifics at first, then stopped in later volumes. There's also a rather jarring reference to the concept of "mu" (nothingness, or an invalid question) in the final chapter.
  • The dub of the 2003 Astro Boy anime, which is otherwise pretty thorough, does not translate the word kokoro. The best translation is "heart" or "soul", but without the religious connotations of the English word. It's used to describe what separates advanced AI, like the title character, from ordinary machines.
  • Naruto has a few inconsistencies:
    • Translations will usually leave "sensei" untranslated (including Lee's famous Catchphrase, "Yes, Guy-sensei!"), which generally works because most English speakers can understand that much, and it thus adds to the atmosphere.
    • The Viz translation of the manga hates translating certain things. It refers to the leaders of the five major villages as "the Gokage", when they could just call them "the Five Kage" and make it clearer. It also leaves Tsuki no Me Keikaku ("Moon's Eye Plan") completely untranslated, leaving no indication that it's a plan of any kind. Perhaps the most strangely, Chapter 15 leaves 43 characters of Japanese text completely untranslated (referring to Zabuza and Kakashi's hand signs), but it would have been largely impossible to fit a proper English translation into that little speech bubble.
    • While the dub will usually translate attack names, the word jutsu, meaning "technique", is often left untranslated. It shows, given how often characters call their attacks. It's so pervasive that "jutsu" is sometimes used in the dub even for attacks whose Japanese names didn't contain the word "jutsu". "Rasengan" ("Spiraling Sphere") and "Chidori" ("One Thousand Birds") are also untranslated, partly because of length, but largely because they're the signature attacks of The Hero and The Rival. But most weirdly, Might Guy's "Asa Kujaku" ("Morning Peacock") is also left in Japanese, even though its meaning isn't obvious and Guy is the least "Japanese" character in the shinobi world. The Viz translation of the manga, on the other hand, hates translating attack names — it'll do it, but only after naming the attack in romaji first.
    • The Danish dub refuses to translate Naruto's catchphrase "datte ba yo", which even the biggest Japanophile fansubber would ignore, and gives no explanation as to why he would say that after every sentence.
  • The official German dubs of the Inuyasha films had their scripts largely fan-translated. This led to a lot of Gratuitous Japanese, to the point that they were largely unwatchable compared to the better-translated TV series.
  • The Finnish dub of The Cat Returns left perfectly translatable words like "arigato", "hai", and "domo" in Japanese for some inexplicable reason.
  • The fansub group TV-Nihon is infamous not just for doing this, but for defending it. They vastly overstate the number of Japanese terms that don't have good English translations, but they also have a habit of growing this Japanese lexicon the more they do. They also have a habit of abusing "translator's notes" to leave even more things in Japanese. They seem to have created a strange fanspeak vocabulary, a barrier to entry to be part of the anime fan-viewing community. It doesn't help that they think of everything they do as a favor to that community and respond to criticism accordingly. They also do toku translations (as shown in the live-action folder), which if anything are even worse.
    • Some things they don't translate but totally could include kisama and yatsu. The former is a very rude version of you, while the latter literally means "guy" or "fellow" but is used in Japanese as an insult. Normal translators easily translate these to "asshole", You Bastard!, or the like; in Lighter and Softer works, "why you...!" etc. gets the message across. TV-Nihon renders this with bizarre constructions like "You little yatsu!", seen in the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam compilation movies.
    • They rendered the title of an episode of Transformers Energon as "Kuuzenzetsugo! Super Emperor of Destruction". They explained in a footnote that "kuuzenzetsugo" referred to something so rare and great that it had never happened before and probably won't happen again. Any normal translator would have found an equivalent in English. Like Transformers Wiki, who translates it as "Terrifyingly Unprecedented".
  • The now-defunct Tomodachi Anime prefixed their fansubs of Kodomo no Omocha with cultural notes that sometimes included explanations of more obscure Japanese terms that they felt they had to leave untouched.
  • Several translations of CLAMP works, such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Xxx HO Li C, and Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- choose not to translate the term hitsuzen. It roughly means "fate", "destiny", or even "inevitability" (used in one Spanish sub), but the concept is rather complicated and doesn't have a real English equivalent.
  • Dragon Ball fans have a bizarre tendency to spell the names of certain characters by their literal Japanese-to-English romanization instead of Toriyama's refreshingly straightfoward English that appears on most quality-controlled merchandise, just so they can claim they're being true to the original Japanese work. Thus Vegeta's name is spelled as "Bejiita", "Freeza" becomes "Furiiza", "Trunks" becomes "Torankusu", and "Baby" as "Bebii". Some even take it a step further and call the manga "Doragon Booru."
    • Strangely inverted by the official subs for Dragon Ball Super, where the translators apparently decided to translate some attack names into English, like Kaioken ("King Kai Fist") and Masenko ("Demon Flash"). What makes this strange is, these attacks have been left in Japanese for as long as the DBZ dub has existednote .
      • Funimation's dub of Super leaves "Hakai", the Signature Move for the Gods of Destruction, untranslated, despite simply meaning "Destroy". This is likely just because it sounds cool, and the decision not to translate it was well-recieved by the fandom.
    • And then there's the signature attack of the series, the Kamehameha, which is pretty much never translated. (Probably because the literal translation is something like "Turtle Power Wave". "Kamehameha" just sounds cooler, not to mention it's much easier to draw out the final syllable.)
  • Particularly rabid Mobile Suit Gundam Wing fans insist on using names like "Hiiro" and "Dyuo" over the real names, "Heero" and "Duo". Amusingly, they still manage to get one wrong, referring to Quatre as "Kyatora", when his name is written in Katakana as "Katoru".
  • Tokyopop's translation of the Fruits Basket manga keeps the honorifics, but the Singaporean English translation doesn't, resulting in some odd equivalent nicknames being given to some characters. The anime loses them too (though the subs keep them); the reasonably significant (although the anime doesn't cover it) fact that Yuki doesn't call Tohru by her first name but calls her Honda-san is changed to "Miss Honda".
  • In Toei's official subs for the Fist of the North Star TV series, every martial art style and technique is given an English name, including the ones that don't exactly translate well into English (the Hokuto Ryu-Ken style is given the rather awkward sounding English name of "North Star Lapis Lazuli Fist"), but honorifics like "san" and "sama" are kept. Oddly, the Heart of Madness fansub did the opposite.
  • The Zatch Bell! dub calls the resident Mons mamodo, which is slightly more on-point than the typical translation, "demon".
  • Scanlations of Ichinensei ni Nacchattara don't translate the title ("When I Became a First Grader") and, more egregiously, usually leave the word "ichinensei" intact. "Ichinensei" means "first grader". No more, no less.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn! subs have varying degrees of this, but one of the most frustrating would probably be in a certain French fansub, where the term "aneki" (Japanese Sibling Terminology for older sister, with a nuance of roughness; it's how Gokudera refers to Bianchi) is left untranslated with "Note: Aneki = Grande Soeur" (Note: Aneki = big sister).
  • Pokémon fansubs tend to be better with this, but Pokémon Adventures has a couple of examples:
    • The online translation calls the Elite Four the "Shitenou", which is problematic for several reasons. First, it changes the meaning to "Four Heavenly Kings" (which they freely admit and think is better). Second, they started doing this halfway through the Elite Four arc, so if you didn't read the margin notes, you'd probably be confused. Third, they didn't even spell it right; proper romanization is "shitennou".
  • The English dub of the Pokémon anime leaves Candice's use of the word "kiai" untranslated, possibly because there was no good two-syllable English word that meant the same to match the Mouth Flaps. Amusingly, the fansubs used "fighting spirit".
  • Normally averted in AnimEigo's releases of the Urusei Yatsura TV series. The translators tried to deal with the constant barrage of wordplay and cultural references with carefully-chosen translations for the subtitles, only rarely resorting to on-screen notes, and it usually works without drifting too heavily into Woolseyism, but they also included notes inside the video and DVD cases (covering up to four whole sides of an inlay-sized booklet in fairly small text) that go into comprehensive detail about the jokes and references, even explaining what the characters really said and why they translated it a particular way.
  • The sub of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit's anime leaves all instances of "Mikado", a word that means 'Emperor' and has exactly as many syllables. It was likely retained to underline that Yogo is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Japan ("Mikado" specifically refers to the Japanese emperor), but confused viewers were likely not aware of this. Especially odd since no other Japanese honorifics or titles were left in, and no translation notes explained the word's meaning. This carried over to the English dub as well.
  • The dub of Rurouni Kenshin leaves all the fighting techniques untranslated. But direct translation here would have been silly, and the Japanese names fit very well with the setting of Meiji Era Japan. And it was also pretty hard for the English-speaking voice actors to actually pronounce them (as seen in the DVD outtakes), so you can't pin this on the dubbers being lazy.
  • Spanish-language dubs will render almost every mention of the United States in Japanese media as "America". Fair enough; the Japanese refer to the country as "America" as well (well, "アメリカ合衆国"). Except in Latin America, the U.S. is commonly referred to as "los Estados Unidos" ("the United States"), largely because, in Spanish, "America" refers to the entire continent comprised of what, in English, is known as "the Americas". But they're stuck with "America", like the Japanese, to match the Mouth Flaps.
  • The Mexican Spanish dub of the second Detective Conan film keeps the Japanese honorifics and naming orders untranslated, which is unusual, considering Mexican translators' distaste for this trope. This is because they got the script from a fansub rather than from official sources. Needless to say, viewers who were not hardcore fans didn't like this. This is one of the reasons why Tokyo Movie Shinsha decided to change voice acting studios from Mexico to Chile in the dub of the film The Last Wizard of the Century. Ironically, it happens again in the Chilean version, except this time it only happens in the subbed track.
  • The Mexican Spanish dub of One-Punch Man keeps kaijin untranslated, when it can be translated as "monster" instead. The Mexican subs do translate the term.
  • The Spanish dub of Crayon Shin-chan leaves the -chan of the eponymous main character (understandable), the one for Boo-chan's name (also understandable), and in some episodes they refer to Ai and Nene as Ai-chan and Nene-chan (bizarre and inconsistent, as it's only for a handful of episodes).
  • The vast majority of English translations (fansubs and official translations alike) of Japanese works based on classic Chinese works like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Ikki Tousen, Koihime†Musou, Water Margin, and Journey to the West (including Saiyuki and Dragon Ball) will leave names of characters, places and terminology in their Japanese equivalents, rather than the canonical Chinese names the entire rest of the world uses. This is presumably some combination of bad research, laziness, and "it's-what-they're-saying-so-it's-what-the-subs-should-say"-ism, but it'll still lead to the vast majority of watchers having no clue the series is based on a Chinese work, and that the characters actually have Chinese names.note  Even if they are familiar with the original works (the presence of video games like Dynasty Warriors means a lot of anime watchers are familiar with Romance of the Three Kingdoms on a basic level), it's still hard to figure out the connection between these "Japanese" names and the original Chinese.
    • In the same way, the Spanish translations of Thermae Romae (both the anime and the manga, and possibly the live-action film) keep the main character's name, Lucius, untranslated from Latin, despite traditional conventions between Latin and Spanish which would render his name "Lucio". The same goes for the Emperor Hadrian, whose name should be "Adriano" in Spanish, and whom you can argue that was "Spanish" (kinda), since he was born in the city of Italica, in what is now southern Spain.
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea: Sousuke still calls his preschool teacher "sensei". Makes sense, though, as the film is explicitly set in Japan, and it's one of the few such terms that has seen universal Pop-Cultural Osmosis.
  • The translator for the first couple of chapters of Yandere Kanojo decided to have some fun with this trope and put in little notes explaining things like "lunch means bentou" and "friend means nakama".
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The English dub keeps Sayaka's use of the word "moe" in the first episode ("It's so moe it makes me sick!") when "cute" or some variation would have worked just as well. The manga also leaves in Japanese Honorifics and other words (Madoka refers to Mami as "Senpai" in Chapter Two), and the practice of calling acquaintances by their last name is kept as well (Mami refers to Kyoko as "Sakura-san" when they first meet in The Different Story).
  • Many translations of the Kagerou Project franchise (including the official anime translation) tend to leave the name of the main characters' group as the "Mekakushi Dan", though it can be easily translated into English as the "Blindfold Gang" or the "Blindfolds". What's stranger is that when listing members, they will typically be listed as "Dan group member # [X]", which can be translated into "Group Group member # [X]".
  • Some translations of Nichijou do not translate the Professor's title, instead opting to leave it as "Hakase". This may have to do with the fact that there are those that believe that invokedher title may or may not be her actual name.
  • The English translations of all adaptations of Ninja Slayer keep all the honorifics untranslated. This is a deliberate stylistic choice, even in the original Japanese version, since both the translation and the whole story are Japanese parodies of this trope.
  • When Tokyopop translated Marmalade Boy into English, they left a few Japanese words like "baka" here and there. Their explanation was that since the original dialogue included some English words, the Japanese words would give a similar feeling of foreign words. The thing is that using lots of English words is a thing that real Japanese teens do, so that gives a feeling of verisimilitude. An English sentence with Japanese words just makes the speaker sound like a weeaboo.
  • The Mexican and Latin American version of Netflix suffer of this with all the subtitles from all anime series who are licensed for Latin America, but not for the U.S. (like Kotoura-san, Samurai Flamenco, etc.), while the series sporting both Latin American and U.S. licensing (like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Dragon Ball, etc) does not, because the Spanish subtitles were translated from the English versions of them.
  • The same happens with Crunchyroll, albeit it happens with some languages: Sailor Moon Crystal does have honorifics in the English subs, but not in the Spanish ones (until the third season, when it suddenly does), while the opposite happens with the anime adaptation of Samurai Warriors and Aldnoah.Zero. On the other hand, other series like Kantai Collection suffers from this in all Western languages.
    • This is not just exclusive from subs, at least in Latin America, as Crunchyroll also did this with dubs: So far, Free!, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid and Mob Psycho 100 has this problem as well, albeit in this particlar case, since this streaming service caters to anime fans, and not general audiences compared with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others, and since it's internet-based, they can get away with it.
  • Yo-Kai Watch (game and anime) has a major character named Jibanyan, who is a cat yokai. The name is a pun on the Japanese "nyan", which would be "meow" in English. The Disney dub and the games leave his name as is rather than giving it a "meow"-related pun, and he frequently says "nya" in the English dub. Part of this might be brand recognition, as Jibanyan is the Series Mascot and is easily recognizable for this sort of thing (see also fellow untranslated lead mascot Pikachu). The Toonami dub, by contrast, averts this; "meow" is now his Verbal Tic.
  • In Shokugeki no Soma, the Japanese chef Shinomiya keeps using the French word "recette", even though he could just call a recipe a recipe. Even when he's in France (and supposedly speaking French), he says things like "Who's changed my recette for that sauce?!"
  • The Mexican Spanish dub of Kakegurui keeps senpai unstranslated, very likely because the dub was done from proxy from the English dub, which also does the same thing.
  • The translation of Girl Friends by Seven Seas Entertainment leaves in honorifics and sibling terminology. They also leave in easily translatable words like "Oba-chan" ("Grandma") and "Kanpai!" ("Cheers!", in a drinking context) with little notes explaining them. The scanlation looks more professionally translated!
  • In the official subtitled version of the third episode of THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls, whenever "Tokimeki Escalate" is sung, rather than replace "tokimeki" with "exciting" and "dokidoki" with "heart-throbbing" in the translation of the song, those two words are kept in Japanese.
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