- "It can't be helped."
This is annoying, in part because it has become a cliché, but it still grates when you see it again and again. We do have set phrases in English, but we try to mix them up. They tend to sound unnatural when used repeatedly. Try "there's no helping it" on for size, for example. Sometimes an "aw, shucks" will work. Get creative, don't just go for the lowest common denominator.
- "How's your body?"
- "I saw a dream."
Cultural mismatch. You can't take these things into English literally, because they sound odd. And don't give me that "closer to the original Japanese" nonsense. Oddness in what should be common constructs is just needless distraction.
- "Do you hate me?" "I don't really hate you, but..."
Doesn't that sound stupid? I know it's literally what they say, but it sounds so stupid.
- "TL Note: Concours is French for competition"
Secondhand loanwording. Don't do this. Just translate the damn thing. Sure, it's interesting that the Japanese have absorbed arbeit, enquete, etc. into their language, but calling attention to it is unnecessary. It's normal usage, not a special je ne sais quoi. (Of course, if they are uncommon foreign words, used for flavor, then you should treat them as such.)
- "High Tension"
- "You have great style"
Or, English Words That Don't Exactly Mean What They Mean In English. The Japanese seem to have a bad habit of picking up words or phrases in English and giving them slightly different meanings. I admit that I still don't quite know exactly what "style" is supposed to mean.
- "sharp pen"
- "red tea"
The names of common things, translated literally, become completely different or unknown things. The ojousamas aren't hipster enough to be drinking Rooibos, okay?
- taking quotation marks literally
The more I read, I'm convinced that quotations such as 「」 serve, more often than not, as emphasis. And western orthography is the same.
- "called out to me"
Again, that's what it translates to, but in English this phrase implies a rather specific act, whereas in Japanese it's more of a catch-all. Mix it up.
- general "shoyu kusai"
I will add examples later, but this applies more to longer sentences, and phrases that spill over bubbles. Translating literally leads to awkward constructions in English, leaving a tell-tale "soy sauce odor".