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Hey, Answerman! [2006-10-27]


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minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:34 pm Reply with quote
Th-The idea that Naruto could be the longest running anime series...

... *imagines X000+ episodes of Naruto*

*cry* Indeed, that would be very scary.

As for the rant, uh... it felt kind of contradictory? I mean, translating terminology is good, translating terminology can be bad... All it seemed to accomplish was to erase a very vague line between the acceptability of either method, then to redraw it in a different place with the same vagueness. Sure, everyone loves to beat on purists, but this rant doesn't DO anything.
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MorwenLaicoriel



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 1548
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:49 pm Reply with quote
I disagree with this week's rant. I think that, with manga and subtitles, honorifics should be kept in the translations. A large majority of people who will be reading the subs are fans who already have a good knowledge of honorifics, and manga can easilly include a terminology in the back for words like that. (Rurouni Kenshin always did that, and I appreciated it, particularly as a new fan just getting into manga).

For dubs, I think that they should be translated, particularly if the anime is in a non-Japanese setting. But otherwise? It bothers me when they're *not* in it.
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Peter Svensson



Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Zac, though the intent was good, your Slayers answer wasn't really accurate.

The Slayers TV series go in a specific order and build off of the main plots of previous series. Not very much, but it does. So there's Slayers (first series), Slayers Next (second series) and then Slayers Try. You really should watch the TV series in that order.

Everything else are on-off stories set prior to the Slayers TV series and can be watched whenever in any order, except for Slayers Premium which should be watched after having seen at least the first season of the TV series.

Now, you can watch the TV series or the Films and OVAs first, and that doesn't change anything really, but the three TV series should go in order.
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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:53 pm Reply with quote
From what I understand Darkhorse has made a serious attempt to licence Gantz (Berserk sells like hotcakes and is still carried in most bookstores I've been to). Shueisha probobly wanted too much or wasn't willing to give up one of their high profile titles after the TenTen fiasco (either that or Viz is thinking about releasing it in the future). I can't see how the thing wouldn't be profitable, what with a built-in fanbase to hype it up.
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Someone_II



Joined: 02 Jan 2006
Posts: 167
Location: Right behind you, watching you as you type...

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:03 am Reply with quote
Like many other aspects of fandom, I'm probably a minority when I say that I think the honorifics are better off translated. I recall when I was first trying to get into manga; so many companies had honorifics left in the text. I had no idea what any of them ment and it was rather dificult (especially considering i was only 12 at the time) to take in context. Not until I read RuroKen did I know what they ment. While most hardcore fans aren't like that many people aren't hardcore fans. Hell, I probably know more casual than hardcore fans. I'm sure many of them don't understand many honorifics either. And I really think they're even more out of place in manga that take place in an english speakin area (trigun). As for anime...to each his own. Some titles I don't mind the lack of honorifics, some I think need honorifics and some (mostly by funi) either satisfy me or irritate me if the plot isn't centering arround japanese characters.

(please excuse spelling and gramatical errors. After 14 hours of work I'm dead tierd.)
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 6142

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:26 am Reply with quote
Quote:
I own the entire run of Gantz in Japanese, and I can say it's a lot better than the anime version, but when it comes to licensing, I can't help but be a little skeptical about it.

I've asked representatives at most of the major manga publishers about Gantz and generally the response tends to boil down to one or two factors; either it's too expensive, or they don't think there's a big market for it. Back when Dark Horse first put the equally shockingly violent Berserk on the shelves (and promptly got the title kicked out of major bookstores once they discovered what the content was), everyone started getting a little wary of licensing long-running, expensive, ultra-violent titles aimed at older men. The manga market in America is largely a success because of sales to tweens and adolescents and the audience skews female; this is why stuff like Fruits Basket and the Shonen Jump titles (which have a crossover appeal to both males and females despite appearing to be traditionally male-centric stories) sell so well.

Hyper-violent stuff like Gantz (which gets really over-the-top; there's as much graphic sex and disgusting violence as you could ever want) is a tough sell in this market, and it's going to be even harder to get it on store shelves that are already totally crowded for space. I don't doubt that one day it might get licensed and then make the jump, but I wouldn't expect to see it anytime soon.


I keep hearing about Beserk being pulled from major bookstores, but I don't know what bookstores these are since I've found them in Borders and Barnes & Noble. I suppose its possible they were pulled at one point and then put back though.

At OniCon, I asked ADV if they had any intention of releasing mature (i.e. graphic sex and violence) manga like Gantz or Elfen Lied and the rep (Matt Greenfield probably, but I wasn't there at the beginning) responded with an emphatic "YES!" quickly followed by "but I can't name any specific titles. Considering ADV has the anime versions of Gantz and Elfen Lied, it wouldn't suprise me if they decide to license one or both of them.


Now on to the rant:

Quote:
Honorifics, for example, have long been a huge sore spot for fans and translations, honorifics and titles and such. The fact of the matter is, there IS not single English-language or western culture equivalent to "chan" or "kun" or "sama" or even "san". It does not exist. So instead, a proper translation needs totake this into account, and instead of translating all the "san" as Ms and Mr and all the "sama" as Lord, it needs to actually take into account the context of each individual case and apply the appropriate English/western equivalent, assuming that one exists at all!


Pioneer/Geneon tried translating the suffixes in the subtitles for Card Captor Sakura. It was rather odd to see all these kids addressing each other as Mr. and Ms.

Quote:
For titles/names/descriptive honorifics describing characters' ranks/stations, psuedo-literal translations are NOT appropriate nor accurate. Yes, I'm looking at you, Bleach fandom, and the whole "vice captain" thing. If you really wanted to be literal on that one, "taichou" should be "division commander" and "fukutaichou" should be "assistant division commander". "vice captain" is not as true a translation as many people seem to think, but rather a psuedo-literal translation that's apparently become popular in fan circles. Heck, I could write a whole rant just on this, but I'll spare you and get back to my main point.


Once again, I'm clearly visiting the wrong forums, or at least the wrong threads as I've never seen anyone really complaining about the translation of "taichou" and "fukutaichou" in Bleach. I'm partial to Captain and Vice-Captain myself. I've seen taichou translated to captain in official translations as well, though I can't recall specific ones at the moment.

Quote:
The other issue is translating terminology used in a story. This is definitely something that becomes an issue. Do you say "sakabatou" or "reverse-blade sword", for example. The former could possibly be argued as a "name" and therefore not to be translated,but if you don't use the translation the whole significance to the plot that the sword carries may just as likely be lost on the English-speaking audience. Nine times out of ten, fully translating terminology IS the best way to go in order for the story to make sense to the most people. That fan-translations often skip this is somewhat understandable, as they can generally assume that other fans will already know what it means, but it certainly isn't very professional. Also, people need to stop giving the official translations crap because they DO actually translate some of the terminology like this.


Yeah, a majority of the time I think translating the term is a good idea. For terms that don't have a good English counterpart and are easy to remember, particularly words created just for a particular series, I think not translating it may be better.

But really, its hard to make a blanket statement on that. Its a case by case issue, and translating is more of an art than a science.

Someone_II wrote:
Like many other aspects of fandom, I'm probably a minority when I say that I think the honorifics are better off translated. I recall when I was first trying to get into manga; so many companies had honorifics left in the text. I had no idea what any of them ment and it was rather dificult (especially considering i was only 12 at the time) to take in context. Not until I read RuroKen did I know what they ment. While most hardcore fans aren't like that many people aren't hardcore fans. Hell, I probably know more casual than hardcore fans. I'm sure many of them don't understand many honorifics either. And I really think they're even more out of place in manga that take place in an english speakin area (trigun). As for anime...to each his own. Some titles I don't mind the lack of honorifics, some I think need honorifics and some (mostly by funi) either satisfy me or irritate me if the plot isn't centering arround japanese characters.


Many times, honorifics simply can't be translated. Particularly the difference between calling someone xxx-san/chan and just xxx.

Besides, when they are left in, the books usually have a note about them. I know Rurouni Kenshin did and I would think that other Viz titles that keep them would have it as well. And all Del Rey titles have the notes on honorifics.

But now that you mention it, it probably would be a good idea for companies like Funi to include notes on that on their DVDs.
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R.G.



Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:49 am Reply with quote
On the subject of Slayers . . .

The first few Slayers movies take place before the first TV series since Lina and Naga had parted ways long before Lina's first meeting with Gourry.


That's my take on the whole thing.
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Richard J.



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
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Location: Sic Semper Tyrannis.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:51 am Reply with quote
When do you leave in honorifics? When do you not translate a descriptive name for a sword or person? When do you do or not do whatever? No one seems to be able to come up with anything even approaching an answer besides "look at each one on an individual basis."

The ranter doesn't even seem to have a clear idea of what he/she wants done. (I'm a little confused about some of what he said, did he say that honorifics don't translate so translate them anyway? Confused )

Personally, I think centering the argument on the idea that you shouldn't mix languages is just ridiculous. English is by it's very nature a jumble of words and phrases taken from other languages. Every language on the planet has a few terms it got from someone else's language. Even made up words get into our language.

Also, why does everyone act like it's impossible to actually learn any of these terms or that it's even difficult? Honorifics are pretty freaking simple once you know what they mean and if you don't know what they mean, you can always use the internet to find out. Or you might check the back of your manga (sometimes the front) where there may just be a handy index. (Negima!'s got a great listing.)

Can you learn obscure words and terms so that you can talk about a sport? Can you learn them for work? Sure you can, so stop pretending a few Japanese words have you stumped. Wink

Personally, I think honorifics and some terms (stuff like that sword name the ranter mentioned) should be left untranslated because truthfully, things like Mr., Mrs., Lord, etc do not convey the same meanings. Even something simple like "sensei" carries more cultural/contextural meaning than our common translations of "teacher" or "master."

My question is, if the idea is to completely adapt the product to an English-speaking audience, why bother to leave the names Japanese at all? Why not change all the character's names? And where the story is taking place to a western setting? And reverse those manga so they read just like any other book? And cover up all those strange letters and odd foods with something more western? And pretend it's not coming from another country?

Wasn't the whole point in bringing anime and manga over here that it IS different from the stuff we English speakers are commonly producing? So why deny that? Embrace the cultural eccentricties of the Japanese and enjoy them as a rare spice that makes the whole experience more interesting.
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Maximum_Anderring



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:01 am Reply with quote
Richard J., I am in full agreement.
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britannicamoore



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 2616
Location: Out.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:04 am Reply with quote
I enjoyed the column. I really would like to see the Elfin lied manga, and does anyone think they'll ever show the 14 episode of Elfin lied?

As for chan and kun I agree with those who said they should be kept in manga translations. It's not quite as odd written as it is said.

between this weeks and last weeks rant, I feel that its a bit difficult to decide. If its a charcter that oftens says Chan or Kun at the end of names and its important to his/her charcter he should say it.

if its just to show that your charcter is a japanese then it should be left out and substituded with the closest possible translation that fits the story.

keep up the good work!
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 6142

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:07 am Reply with quote
britannicamoore wrote:
I enjoyed the column. I really would like to see the Elfin lied manga, and does anyone think they'll ever show the 14 episode of Elfin lied?


The odds of that are close to zero. They would have to release the episode on its own and that probably wouldn't do to well. They would either have to price it really low or include a LOT of extra stuff. And Elfen Lied has been released in its entirety for a while and the thinpack is about to come out.

Since they didn't include it with the rest of the DVDs, there just really isn't a feasible release option.
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athlios



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:11 am Reply with quote
just a quick response to the rant: it may be worth pointing out that many people writing in english will also use words from other languages like French, German, or Latin. the ranter may feel that mixing languages is a bad, bad thing, but it's not that unusual. it's true that it can be taken to extremes (I once read a particularly irritating version of Aristotle's Niccomachean Ethlics that left all of the IMPORTANT Greek words not only untranslated but in the orginal greek alphabet, as well), but there doesn't seem to be any blanket indictment of mixing in foreign words with the english in the american publishing industry, at least. besides, doing so is probably how many words get adopted into the language in the first place. do as del rey does and provide a guide, at least for honorifics. then there's no excuse for not knowing, and people may actually learn something from their comics.
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luffypirate85



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 2648

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am Reply with quote
translating keigo is a hit and miss topic. especially with honorifics either way u do u (with or without) people will still be pissed. i truthfully don't care. i don't watch anime or read manga to critique every aspect of a translation. people get waaaay to picky and need to chill. learn the language, find the tankoubon or r2, and translate it yourself. hell, its a pain in the ass but it will save you a lot of needless bitching.
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Michi
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 22 Feb 2004
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Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:25 am Reply with quote
Peter Svensson wrote:
Everything else are on-off stories set prior to the Slayers TV series and can be watched whenever in any order, except for Slayers Premium which should be watched after having seen at least the first season of the TV series.


Yes, and I'd recommend watching at least the first TV series first before the movies. You're more well established with Lina, even if the movies and OAVs (aside from Premium) take place before the series... they were made later and for fans of the TV/manga/novels. Anime hyper
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LadyFireglow



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:38 am Reply with quote
Slayers can be a bit more specific in terms of watching:

Slayers TV should likely be watched first, as it introduces Lina, Gourry, Amelia, and Zelgadis. Slayers Next and then Slayers Try come afterward, and each season continues where the next left off.

Slayers the Motion Picture, while occurring before any of the TV series (as Lina is with Naga, and hasn't met Gourry yet) is actually best watched AFTER at least the first TV season. This is because the movie foreshadows events to come in the TV series. spoiler[Lina is interacting with Gourry's ancestors in the movie, and the jokes regarding her wanting the Sword of Light (and the hints that she will be very glad to have hooked Gourry's ancestors up) will be lost on those who haven't seen her interacting with Gourry in Slayers TV].

Slayers Return, Great, Gorgeous, Special, and Excellent can really be watched in any order. The only thing to keep in mind with these is that they take place before the three TV series, because Lina is travelling with Naga before she met Gourry and company.

Finally, Slayers Premium takes place between Slayers Next and Slayers Try. spoiler[Xellos has already met the party in the movie (which he does in Next) but Gourry still has the Sword of Light (which he loses at the end of Try).]
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