Duwang

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Related: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, fan translation
See Also: Just According to Keikaku
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Duwang is the fan-given nickname for what used to be the only English translation available of the fourth part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Diamond is Unbreakable. It is widely known for being a fairly poor translation of the original and is said to have been done by a single person in a very short amount of time.[1] It is the source of several memes within the Jojo's fandom, mostly among older fans who predate the 2012 anime, and some fans consider reading it a rite of passage.[2] The translation (and associated memes) gained more recent popularity among Jojo's fans in 2015 when Vargskelethor Joel of Vinesauce posted a video where he dubbed a few pages of Duwang.[3]

The fan name comes from the mistranslation of the fictional town where Diamond is Unbreakable takes place. Duwang was translated from Chinese to English, rather than Japanese to English, and characters are read differently in those languages, meaning "Morioh" was read by the translator as "Duwang."[4] The original fan who brought the Duwang translation to the wider English-speaking fandom has stated that he did tell the translator that it was "Morioh" rather than "Duwang" but this was ultimately ignored.[1] Despite being an objectively poor translation of the source material, Duwang is much-loved among Jojo's fans,[2] and even the more recent translations of Diamond is Unbreakable keep some of the most famous lines from Duwang.[5] There's even a Twitter bot that tweets random lines from Duwang.[6]

The Story

While the exact origin story of the translation isn't clear, in 2005, a user on the JBA Community forums named The Vinny Mac posted this explanation for how the Duwang translation came to be:

I was one of the guys who worked on a few chapters of Part 1, Part 2, and Steel Ball Run with Ignition-One. Originally I found about Jojo via the anime which was posted on a forum I frequented, found a link to the original Part 3 translation on the Higher Voltage forum, and then decided I would try and help out by translating one of the chapters. Some of the people at Higher Voltage wanted to do as much Jojo as possible so they started dividing up the parts. I picked Part 4 since no one else really chose it. Nothing really came from the other parts except maybe the translations of Part 5 (maybe, it's been a long time).

Anyway, I bought a bunch of books, scanned them, and tried to get the creator of the website DBZ Uncensored (if you're familiar) to help me. He did a few pages and flaked so I began posting everywhere for help with translating. Nothing really came of it until I got an IM on AIM from a person who said he knew a guy who would do it. I offered to send him my scans but he said it wasn't necessary and this guy had everything he would need.

I didn't think much of it since the guy wouldn't let me talk to him directly and the first guy dropped off the face of the earth. Lo and behold, a few weeks later that guy gets online and sends me a .rar of the entire first volume.

I remember being pretty blown away that he actually came through. I was less than impressed by the quality of the scans, editing, and translation but I figured it was better than nothing so what the hell. I remember giving pointers on what was supposed to be what. I distinctly remember telling the middleman for this guy that "Duwang" was supposed to be Morioh. The middleman explained to me this guy was translating from the Chinese version so that's probably where the confusion came from. He was hesitant about giving the guy advice on how to translate at all since A) obviously the guy's first language wasn't English and he didn't want to miscommunicate and offend him and B) the pace he was outputting these were insane.

I literally would get 5 or 6 volumes a week from this guy whenever I would sign on AIM randomly. I mean Jojo Part 4 was the longest part (before Steel Ball Run) and this guy completed in maybe a month. I mean, the quality was shit, but again one guy was doing it all by himself. I offered to just take his translations and paste them on the page (while cleaning up the broken English unbeknownst to him) but I remember the middleman telling me it was easier for him to translate.

It's probably for the best because apparently there's a mini-fan culture around the already tiny Jojo translation that likes how terrible the translation was at times.[1]

Since this claim has been repeated[7] and closely resembles the story most people know about the translation, it can reasonably be considered what happened.

The Memes

This article or section needs expansion.

"What a beautiful Duwang."

What A Beautiful Duwang

Probably the most famous meme to come from Duwang (and the one from which Duwang gets its name) is the panel to the left in which Yoshikage Kira is looking out on the city of Morioh and says "What a beautiful Duwang!" while eating a sandwich. It has resulted in everything from Fandom Tea Blends being named after it[8] to fanart[9][10] to Discord servers.[11] At one point Finn Wolfhard's older brother Nick Wolfhard even recreated the meme.[12]

Get A Feeling So Complicated

Another often referenced Duwang line is Koichi Hirose's line "get a feeling so complicated." Unlike "what a beautiful duwang," it has been adopted by Jojo's fans and mostly used as a slang description for a specific mood similar to the proliferation of "big dick energy" as a meme but also a description of something.[13][14]

Example Fanworks

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 So... where on earth DID Duwang come from? Posted 7 Oct 2011. Accessed 29 Dec 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Comment thread on "about the Duwang translation". Posted 16 Feb 2015. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  3. [Vinesauce] Joel - Jojo Duwang Dub. Posted 21 Jun 2015. Accessed 2 Jan 2020.
  4. What is a duwang? Posted 12 Mar 2018. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  5. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable Vol.37 Ch.342. Accessed 29 Dec 2019.
  6. @JOJODuwang_bot on Twitter. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  7. Comment thread on "about the Duwang translation". Posted 16 Feb 2015. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  8. Beautiful Duwang Tea. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  9. Tweet from @fizzyspines. Posted 19 Aug 2016. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  10. Kira's "What a Beautiful Duwang!" Charm. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  11. Beautiful Duwang. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.
  12. Tweet from @Nick__Wolfhard. Posted 10 Nov 2019. Accessed 3 Jan 2019.
  13. Tweet from @AuthorX. Posted 30 Nov 2019. Accessed 3 Jan 2019.
  14. Tweet from @DinoMonki. Posted 20 Aug 2019. Accessed 3 Jan 2020.