Reading Adventures: Lost in Translation, Part 1

I had an interesting adventure today reading a digital manga version of a Harlequin Romance novel that I read sometime ago. This particular digital manga was based on the Harlequin novel, Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer.

Diana Palmer is one of my favorite novelist and I always look forward to reading all her novels no matter what format it is in. However, there was quite a difference between the original version and the manga version. Now, I understand that there will be a difference between these two formats because of the following basic differences between the formats including:

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The original version is a paperback with 192 pages and contains words only

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The manga version is a digital eBook with 65 pages and contains words with illustrations

What I found interesting was the difference between the translation of the main female character’s first name. In the original, her name is Tellie, while the manga version her name is Terry.

Now in order to understand part of the reason why there is a difference in the main character’s first name is how Japanese language treats the letter “L” during the translation process. There is no letter “L” in the Japanese language and when that letter is translated from English to Japanese the letter “R” is used instead of the letter “L”. Therefore, the name Tellie changes into Terrie. However, that name is then translated to Terry when translated back to English from the Japanese. This makes sense as a one to one translation from Japanese to English without the original material. So here are my questions regarding this name difference:

Why did the editor and/or translator not verify the spelling of the main character’s first name with the original material during the whole process?

Was it lack of access to the original material?

Was it lack of money?

Was it timing?

Was it a lack of understanding of the original material?

I doubt if I will ever get answers to these questions, but I just wanted to express how this puzzled me when I read this digital manga version.

I wonder if I will find any other interesting differences as I purchase more manga versions of some of my favorite romance novels that are available through the Nook Book store of Barnes & Noble.

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I will look forward to more of these adventures and if there are any more of these “lost in translation” situations.

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About Patty Hammond

I am a self proclaimed fangirl who is disguised as a mild mannered data analyst for an advertising firm. You can find me on Twitter as @pattybones2

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