Sunday, 25 September 2011

My love hate relationship with SCawaii Malaysia

This post was supposed to be titled ' Why i hate SCawaii Malaysia', but then that would be a really odd post since i realize i have bought almost every copy (except issue 3) of this particular magazine since it was introduced here in Malaysia.

So the post became titled so, and here i am sharing with you my dilemma of how much i hate this magazine (well irritating parts of it which i will share later on) , and yet how i can't help but have this insatiable itch to buy a copy!

I've been a huge critic of this magazine ever since i started buying this magazine. SCawaii as some of you may know is a hugely popular Japanese fashion and beauty Magazine. If i were to buy the Japanese version (which often do not come with freebies) it would cost me about RM30-RM45 in Kinokuniya. If i were to just read scans online, then i would be infringing on copyrights. Ha ha just joking. I have no qualms about reading it online but i don't like the hassle of downloading and exposing my already old and fragile computer to viruses. Oh, and the fact that I'm such an old fashioned person who just likes the feeling of flipping through magazines while lying on the bed.

I had bought the SCawaii Malaysia version, which is basically a replica of the Japanese version translated into Bahasa Melayu with some added local content and advertisements, with glee, relishing in the thought that i now would have access to the latest in Japanese fashion news in a language I'm rather good at, at a seriously good price.

 But alas, though the Japanese content was great, the local content was jarringly below par (I have no problems with local artistes ,just so you know, rather i have a problem with the horribly dated styling and layout) with very dodgy translations. Half the time, i was pissed off at the atrociously bad Bahasa Melayu grammar (If you are trying to learn Bahasa Melayu reading this magazine then you are going to get an F for your BM paper), so much so i just looked at the pictures.

Contradictorily however i can't stop buying it.

So this post is dedicated to unraveling the mystery as to why i can't seem to quit on this good/bad magazine.

Why i bought the latest issue:

1) The cover was not redone as opposed to all the previous (3 of it) issues. (If you want to sell a translated version of a magazine as popular as SCawaii why bother redoing a cover to dissociate yourself from it?If you want to do a whole new magazine why not just do a whole new magazine?If you are copying a magazine with at least 80% copied content please copy the cover too, thank you.)


2) Awesome content (All thanks to the original awesome magazine)

Let me count the ways.

a) Gorgeous fashions.
Loving the retro blouses.


Loving the detachable collars.


Also loving the overall styling and photography .


b) Two whole charts featuring the model's favourite skin care items.


c) This issue featured interviews with the models and normal SCawaii readers with a peek into their private lives. (Would you believe it, this page was actually the deciding factor to buy the magazine i had initially sworn off!)




d) Amazing makeovers!
Yes..


being ugly...


 is not a barrier..



to...


being pretty!


I think some guys are feeling kind of cheated at the moment.I asked a guy what he would do if his girlfriend on the left side of the picture, removed her make-up and looked like the girl on the right side of the picture. And the answer is : Break-up!

I somehow kind of agree? If you want to deceive people with your fake look, then you can't complain when the person breaks up with you when you reveal your true look? I know it's shallow. But if a relationship is based solely on looks, then it's not going to last anyway, is it?

e) Comic based on the love diary of one of the models! Whats not to like?


All right this is starting to sound like a paid advertorial promoting the magazine. As i said this post is very contradictory.

Now I'm going to illustrate the annoying bits of this magazine that irks me no end.

1) Horrible grammar.

When they can't seem to form a whole sentence in Bahasa Melayu they add English words as and when they like! How would you feel if an English magazine peppers Malay words (blatantly without apology) in between sentences. In almost every sentence?

There were so many errors in this magazine but i only bothered to photograph 1% of these errors and only glaring errors with large to moderately large fonts at that.

Note the sentence 'Gambar dan NEWS terkini (Translation: Latest photos and news). There is actually a word for 'news' in Bahasa Melayu and that is 'berita'. Can't they just use that? And yes they used the word 'Spree' too but i suppose they were unable to find a Bahasa Melayu substitute for the word.


2) Spelling errors aplenty.

They forgot to spellcheck on the words with the biggest fonts on the page?


But they remembered on the very next page!



Spelling errors on 'disbanding = dibanding' and bergatuh = bergaduh'.

3) When the translators are unsure of what they are translating, they very conveniently type in a question mark, like so .. ?



I know the question mark is not supposed to be there because the sentences are definitive sentences without an inkling of questionable doubt.
The same though can't be said for the dubiously translated text.

4) Sometimes the sentences just make no sense.


Observe the text above. (I'm so sorry,this must be tedious for non-Bahasa Melayu reading readers.)
'Seberna' is a typo. It's supposed to be 'sebenarnya' which means actually.

But i have no idea what alien language 'gaya girly@ Penukaran karakter?' is. Seriously a pre-schooler can tell you there is something fishy about this sentence! Mind you this was just the header. I did not bother taking pictures of the actual article in small print.

Another illustration of the affinity for question marks peppered everywhere inappropriately throughout the magazine.


Translation of defected sentence: Is currently working as a representative as well as a designer for llamanda? while continuing her studies in university. (Yes they started the sentence with a verb.)

5) Poor typing / editing.

How did this get through proof-reading?


I hope you see what i'm trying to show. There's a box in front of the letters 'appy'. Nevertheless with or without the box the sentence makes no sense.

6) Jarringly different local content in terms of styling, make-up, and layout. You judge for yourself.




7) Encouraging counterfeits?

As far as i know, Treats Boutique do not sell Longchamp bags!


And the page seems to suggest the brand name for the bag is 'Treats' just as the brand name of the bag below is 'Zara'.


Phew, that was one lengthy rant. I'm glad i am finally at the end of the post as the more i type the more my blood boils. I have a good mind to forward this to the editor if i knew how, because a simple letter will do no justice in illustrating the preposterous mistakes this local version makes!

I'm sorry if you think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. I once worked part time as an assistant editor for secondary school textbooks while waiting for my STPM results, and i do know how important it is to get things right.

Everyone has a job, and i believe everyone should do their job with a little bit of responsibility even if it is something as frivolous as a copycat fashion magazine.

Perhaps they should pay their staff more...

6 comments:

Jamie Wong said...

Hands up for old fashioned people. I like reading them in hardcopy as well, not on the internet. they hurts my eyes. lol. btw i never bought scawaii, but if I'm going to get one, i will buy the japanese version. just because my malay is too suck and i cant understand the language. haha

saltvinegar said...

*Hands up* Maybe i should go buy the Japanese version even though i am awesome at BM.

Wileen said...

i don't understand malay but ur post is funny! hahahaha!! boo.

saltvinegar said...

I'm glad you like it! I was actually really angry towards the end of tht post!

kenji_sugizo said...

I never saw it when I was in JB...is it still available?

saltvinegar said...

Kenji: They don't have this September issue anymore but last week I saw that the new edition November or Dec (can't remember) is out. It's probably in the Bahasa Melayu section.

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