Re: Islamic phrases in Magi

Lots of people have been complaining about the Islamic phrases in Magi, and some of them raise valid points.

Yeah, this line is definitely a bit of an overkill. Originally I put “ifrit cocks” (something you should appreciate if you’ve read American Gods by Neil Gaiman), but it got changed. The guy is really swearing, so that’s not a problem, but sure the translation’s language is a bit harsh for the tone of the anime. Apologies, won’t happen again.

Those who complain about the Islamic words in the script here and there, put up with it. I’ll tune it down, because you people out there seem irrationally butthurt about it, but some will be present as and if appropriate.

Even if you claim that the world of Magi isn’t our world, so there’s no Muhammad and no Allah, by the same reasoning there’s no Solomon or Solomonic demons either. However, the world of Magi is based on the world of the 1001 Nights is Arabia, the Arabia of the Islamic Golden Age, so you can expect some words of that context. Not religious, if avoidable, but definitely from the 1001 Nights context (such as sharif or ifrit). Replacing Christian phrases (Christ, God, Hell) in normal English curses with their Islamic equivalents didn’t really work out.

In the end, things that got changed: toned down the swearing (it was way too harsh) and removed Muhammad’s name (he never lived in that world).

If you’re still offended, well… be offended. (Wink at Steve Hughes.)

As for episode 3, there’s a v2 coming soon, fixing the inappropriate language and Amon’s name. I learn from my mistakes.

This entry was posted by Vale.

33 thoughts on “Re: Islamic phrases in Magi

  1. So there was not enough dispute in real world by itself that even anime going to have some of that east-west conflict in it. Damn it, really.

  2. This is disgusting. I hope you feel good about yourselves now that you’re censoring a fucking fansub because of muslims throwing a tantrum. What’s next, censoring out all of the other curse words because mormons don’t agree with them? I, for one, say that you should throw a shitload more of these in, just to piss them off. I know I would.

    • You sure got a point, but GotWoot isn’t the subgroup to do that. If I was releasing it under another tag, I would do that just to piss people off, but GotWoot isn’t the place for trolling.

      • What is it the place for, then? Censorship? Every rationally thinking person has to agree that this shit isn’t right. Even if you’re a Muslim, you should be able to fathom that this is pure radicalism.

        Honestly, guys. This is fucking ridiculous and I can’t understand why you would stand for this shit, but worst of all, defend it as if it’s a change for the better.

        • No. Don’t worry, I’ll still put “Muh…” for “Geez…”.
          They’re not talking about religious topics and he isn’t swearing with any divine’s name. Taking liberties there definitely isn’t worth all the uproar.

        • “Lots of people have been complaining about the Islamic phrases in Magi”

          There is an audience. He isn’t fansubbing for himself. In all probability he isn’t going to get killed continuing with these kinds of script but when your own (group’s) fanbase is complaining, are you going to ignore them? Would you risk losing fans / subscribers over things you can’t care less about?

          High horse – off it.

      • It’s not about trolling. It’s about not letting your subs get censored just because a few people are irrationally offended by it.

  3. Thank you for working hard on the sub and on correcting the subs.
    I as one of muslim anime fans, appreciate this. Firstly,I know you didn’t do intentionally & I apologized if there’s any harsh comments from some over-sensitive fellow muslims. It’s okay don’t feel stressed since you didn’t mean it at first. I’m not really offended but I’m commenting here just to give you some advices/enlightment so that you wont be bashed by others.

    Actually it’s better for you to make the script looks natural without adding stuffs that made them looks Arabian and stuffs. I understands Japanese (actually watched the episode on TV with Japanese sub first and later watch it with subs again) and quite surprised with the sub. I think you are already aware, just to make it clear some(or most) Muslim are kinda sensitive in the usage of our special names like Allah & Muhammad, we are not happy when they were used in added script like this. It’s misleading.

    As for the Japanese script, they used pretty normal language & I don’t really see any Islamic phrase so I hope you’ll stay true to the original script from now on. ^_^ and for the word god & hell (like “for god’s sake”, “what the hell/heck”) I guess it’s okay to use it since the anime is not associated with Islam at all (you said 1001 Nights is Arabia is the Arabia of the Islamic Golden Age but so far in the manga,the creator doesn’t associate it with Islam. It just uses some Arabic terms and Arabic references.). Let the viewers interpret themselves the meaning of that word to them like usual.

    I love Magi and I dont want the muslim world to bash Magi just because of the subs. 🙂
    Thanks for reading & subbing and I’m very sorry for all the bad responses from my fellow muslim. If they overreacted & do something pretty bad to you, then I’d say that they’re not following truly to the teaching of the religion.
    peace (^.^)v

    • First of all, let me say that very little you said made sense to me. The parts I did think I understood, I didn’t agree with.

      “I know you didn’t do intentionally”
      How in God’s(Allah’s) name can you write something down unintentionally? I think he did it because it was funny, and I thought it was.

      “As for the Japanese script, they used pretty normal language & I don’t really see any Islamic phrase so I hope you’ll stay true to the original script from now on.”
      This is literally the only thing in your post I agree with regarding this whole affair. Too bad it isn’t the real reason he got shit for what he did. Don’t try to rationalize something irrational. The only reason I can think of why he would be forced into doing this, or at least I hope he was forced, I don’t want to believe that he’s doing this on his own free will, would be because of fear of losing downloaders. This entire thing is backfiring, though.

      If this was because the subs actually didn’t make sense and mislead people it would be justifiable, but that simply isn’t the reason why a v2 is being made and they’re going to be more careful with their wording. It’s because of bitching of butthurt religious freaks who want to literally censor everything they don’t like.

      I really would like to see someone who doesn’t conform to the retarded whims of idiots like that for once.

      “our special names like Allah & Muhammad”
      They are just as “special” as “God” and “Jesus”. You realize that, right?

      • Quote: ““I know you didn’t do intentionally”
        How in God’s(Allah’s) name can you write something down unintentionally? I think he did it because it was funny, and I thought it was.” /endquote
        I meant that I think he didnt do it intentionally TO provoke/insults muslim. Well he said it that he did it cuz he wants to add something with Arabic environment & he thought it was okay to use Islamic phrases.

        Quote: “If this was because the subs actually didn’t make sense and mislead people it would be justifiable, but that simply isn’t the reason why a v2 is being made and they’re going to be more careful with their wording. It’s because of bitching of butthurt religious freaks who want to literally censor everything they don’t like.” /endquote
        When you can have peace why would you want to make wars? It’s true that you can’t satisfy everyone in the world but don’t be too insensitive towards others. I’m sorry for some muslims must’ve been overreacted over these stuffs but I’m not here to have war with you.

        Quote:”They are just as “special” as “God” and “Jesus”. You realize that, right?” /endquote
        I am aware of this, I thought of writing about it but I didn’t. I don’t know why some Christians are not that sensitive with those words like muslims with Allah & Muhammad, casually using those words in swearing and stuffs anywhere, but it doesn’t make Islam the same with them – can use that words casually anywhere.

        sorry but I have no intention to debate with you, I just wanna thank the subber and tell him what I know. We should work towards peace not enraging wars.

        • “I meant that I think he didnt do it intentionally TO provoke/insults muslim.”
          My bad. Guess I misunderstood that.

          When you can have peace why would you want to make wars? It’s true that you can’t satisfy everyone in the world but don’t be too insensitive towards others. I’m sorry for some muslims must’ve been overreacted over these stuffs but I’m not here to have war with you.”
          Indeed. Why bitch and moan about something when you can just let it slide? I would have no problem with the butthurt if these subs were something outrageous and every line was filled with “FUCK ALLAH, FUCK ISLAM, FUCK MUHAMMED!”, but it wasn’t. It’s a horrible pattern in day-to-day life that stuff gets censored or changed because of angry beards, but now it’s even in my Japanese cartoons. Surely you understand how retarded this thing is. I simply don’t want this shit to go through and because of that I disagree with what’s going on here.

          “I don’t know why some Christians are not that sensitive with those words like muslims with Allah & Muhammad, casually using those words in swearing and stuffs anywhere, but it doesn’t make Islam the same with them – can use that words casually anywhere.”
          Well, that’s probably because they are a lot more forgiving and tolerant than muslims, of whom the motto is “peace, peace, peace, forgiveness, peace” apparently. Pretty hypocritical.

          “sorry but I have no intention to debate with you, I just wanna thank the subber and tell him what I know. We should work towards peace not enraging wars.”
          I have no trouble with that. If you don’t bitch about words you don’t want used, I’m sure we’ll all get along just fine.

          • this is the last, seriously. I forgive but I do want to tell the right thing. If you just forgive and do nothing, nothing’s going to happen. I’m sorry maybe other ppl are bitching and moaning about this stuffs, but I dont bash the subber, and I just want to tell him what’s better to make sure this kind of thing won’t happen again and it’s just suggestion, and I dont bash or write a threat letter to him to do as I said. To be honest I dont really care about the words used (I’m pretty open about this thing), but since some other muslims are bitching about this I just wanna make it clear so that people won’t misunderstood why are they bitching (it’ll make a bad impressions on muslims as it already are right now).

            I understand some of your point of view towards Muslims are caused by the Muslims themselves who are overreacted and dont even follow the true teaching lately, but stop viewing thing with hatred when you don’t know everything about the religion at all. All I can see that you are attacking me all over again although I didn’t want a war. Let’s end it here shall we. This is going nowhere. Let’s continue to support Magi. Nice to meet you and peace be upon you

          • I’m not a Muslim, but live in a Muslim country so I weakly understand how much higher they treat the name Muhammad than Christians to Jesus.

            A lot of Christians want and preach Jesus to be their “special friend” etc etc, with Muhammad it’s much different.

            Please don’t start speaking up if you have no idea about what Islam is. I’m not Islam and I don’t intend to ever debate it because I know shit about it. Just because someone is hypocritical does not mean every follower is. Stop being a narrow-minded atheist prick.

    • Um, no. People validly pointed out that Muhammad’s never lived in that world, so it doesn’t fit. I wouldn’t put Christ in there either for the same reason. On the other hand Solomon is mentioned, so Allah will be kept (as it’s not an Islamic phrase).

      • Hmm, I for one would feel that sticking it to pure English would be much better than trying to make it “Arabic”. While I do realise that some subbers tends to take creative liberties, sometimes it just does not flow very well.

  4. R’s argument on the GotWoot post made a lot of sense. You don’t need to play this off as capitulation when the v2 fixes are just common sense from the context of the show.

  5. People just want something to complain about
    I appreciate your work and I don’t have problem with the Islamic words and i am Muslim and i don’t think all the people complaining are muslims

  6. Pingback: Magi 03 — v2 » GotWoot?

  7. Gee that only took 3 episodes.

    I just had a feeling when I saw this series was going to have an Arabic setting that there was going to be complaining from the peanut gallery at some point.

    I think some of the points are valid – I don’t like when the tone of the cursing doesn’t fit the rest of the show but I also did enjoy the American Gods reference (maybe you could change the cursing to things like “Camel spit!” or “You son of a motherless goat”) – but the rest seem uncalled for.

    In closing, I just want to say keep up the good work. As my favorite translator, I specifically look for your work when deciding which release to go for.

  8. I’m Muslim and I didn’t find anything offensive. Also when I was listening to the dub I never heard Muhammed though it was there in the translation. Allah is understandable as it is one of God’s many names. I personally could care less how the subs decide to do it just as long as we get a true translation. What surprises me the most is how butt hurt the anonymous guy replying to efg is.

    Just so people know Muslims are generally sensitive to any religious slur. Like it’s common to say God damn it, fucking Christ , etc. But Muslims also find that offensive, God is God whether Christians call him God or Muslims call him Allah. Muslims also believe in Jesus Christ as a prophet, so they never use any Christian religious names in vain either.

    Honestly doesn’t it seem like the Muslims are right? Isn’t Jesus supposed to be your lord and savior and God your creator? Why use their names in vain. Like I assume most of us love our moms, would anyone ever say Fuck my mom as a common phrase, doubt it.

    Well regardless subbers are free to do as they chose. But it was mentioned prophet Muhammed (PBUH) really has nothing to do with the translation, it was just thrown in there. And if the use of Allah is positive or neutral, no Muslim has a reason to complain. But if there is stuff like “God Damn it” well just use God and not Allah. Most Christians obviously don’t mind, but Muslims do. We can’t really complain when people say God Damn it cause the re buttle would be hey we’re not using Allah so stay out of our religion. But if our terms are used then yeah…

    • Thank you, that anonymous guy is an absolute prick. Narrow-minded fuck who just repeats the things he reads and never stops to think for himself. Honestly think he worships people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

      Also, yes, Christians are more tolerant to words such as goddamn etc, and Muslims seem to have a much, much more intolerant side towards this. That is not to say intolerance is bad however. This probably stems from the Christian religion leaning towards the West, which causes most people to look for compromise (cognitive dissonance I guess).

      Eh but “fuck my mom” is not the same as saying “Jesus Christ!” or “Oh my God!”. They’re more like euphemisms (?), just like how Chinese people say 我的天 (literally “my sky”, and sky (天) often connotes heavenly things like 天地 which is heaven in Chinese) to refer to one’s distress. It calls on the name of the mighty to signal how distressful or exciting something is. Words like “Jesus Christ” also connotes how much seriousness one has in what he/she is saying because bringing up a religious character into your emotions (usually taboo) shows how much anger has overwhelmed your sense of ‘humility’.

  9. I liked the different phrasing. Someone saying “What the hell?” in an anime based on Arabic culture seems simply wrong. I don’t know if the swearings that were used in the script are authentic or not. But I don’t believe that there are no Muslim equivalents to the Christian swearings. My reacton to an individual who hypocritically claims that there aren’t any of them will only be able to amuse me. You can’t just generalize all Muslims and state that they wouldn’t do anything like this. Some of my friends are Muslims and they do swear and don’t find it offensive if anyone uses religious names in such context.
    The most rationale solution would be: If you don’t like the script -> don’t download it/get it from a different group, or like me: be grateful that somebody does this for free, without trolling and in nice quality you brainless piles of camel shit

    • In the first place, “What the hell?” doesn’t really even have any religious connotations. It is just a stronger way of saying “what”. Replace “what the hell is that?” with “what is that?” and there is no meaning difference, only tone difference. I’m probably the most unreligious person in existence but I say “Goddamnit” and “What the hell?” all the time. It’s no reference to any religion. It’s just an expression used by the common people to convey their feelings. Not that anyone else really cares, but I don’t really care for the ‘offensive to Muslims’ thing. However, you seem to advocate the importance of natural English, yet you use such non-English phrases. Never in my life have I heard anyone say “Who the Jahannam?” or “for Muhammad’s sake” or whatever else… This is just my unpopular opinion, whatever difference it makes (if any at all).

    • Oh, I assure you, Arabic language is NOT devoid of curses, though the phrase ‘what the hell’ does not have a commonly-used Arabic equivalent. An English-speaking Arab-muslim would not substitute the word ‘Hell’ for ‘Jahannam’ or ‘Jaheem’ (or any Islamic in name of Hell, for that matter) in a non-religious context. Likewise, the use of any name aside from ‘Allah’ in swearing is outright forbidden, including Prophet Muhammad’s. Allah’s name can be inferred in swearing, though. E.g. Prophet Muhammad himself is cited to have frequently used an expression which roughly translates into ‘by He in whose hand is my soul’ for swearing, and yes, it sounds a lot shorter in Arabic :p. Whether all Muslims would actually adhere to these rules is a different story altogether.

      On the topic at hand, I do believe that a translator can take liberty in spicing the script up with what he/she sees fit or sufficiently witty, no matter how little sense said script will eventually make. Being a Muslim, I do not find the translator’s work the least bit offensive. Attempting to project my cultural and religious values on people of different cultures is the very definition of ethnocentrism. I do not expect you to extensively research the do’s and do-not’s of Islamic speech, not when you thankfully offer your work for free, anyway. And I did find many of these references rather amusing myself. A reasonable person should be able to tell the difference between a racist provocation and a lack of research in most cases. Otherwise, all should be good so long as these creative liberties do not conflict with some plot points later on. Manga readers will not let these slip by anyway.

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