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Taken from the wikipedia page on the word "Nakama" used in One Piece. Thought it was pretty cool
The majority of fans, who watch fansubs, feel that the word has such an impact on the show, and thus the word nakama should remain as it is, and not be translated to something like "shipmate" or "crewmate". However, there is nothing in the Japanese language that suggests the word has this special meaning, so it is basically a fan-term to the English speaking fanbase, as Oda has never made any comments in interviews or SBS answers that would lead credence to it.
"Nakama" was first left untranslated by a fan group known as Kaizoku Fansubs, during the Arlong Arc.
Use the search button please, there is already a thread about this called simply Nakama. The "translate nakama or not" subject has been discussed to death. K-F decided not to translate it and it is all that matters. Anyone's opinion (mine included) about it is just like taking a piss in a violin, it's pointless.