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Reading: Translating Japanese Typefaces in ‘Manga’: Bleach


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Research article

Translating Japanese Typefaces in ‘Manga’: Bleach


William Spencer Armour ,

UNSW Australia, AU
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Yuki Takeyama

Independent scholar, AU
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This study is concerned with how Japanese-language typefaces used in the popular Japanese ‘manga’ Bleach have been translated into English. By using a social semiotic approach, this article asks two questions: does the typeface fit the role it was intended for and does it get its message across? We analyse one example taken from the Japanese-language source text and compare it with the English-language target text. While there are significant differences between the typefaces used in each text, we claim that the target text may be ‘constrained’, leading the discussion to issues dealing with foreignisation and domestication. We conclude by suggesting that the choices of typefaces in each text achieve their purpose but in different ways.
How to Cite: Armour, W Sand Y Takeyama. “Translating Japanese Typefaces in ‘Manga’: Bleach”. New Readings, vol. 15, 2015, pp. 21–45. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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