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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:32 pm Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:
lebrel wrote:
DerekL1963 wrote:
WatcherZer wrote:
Japanese High school bloomers are actually similar to athletic bloomers worn in Europe in the 20's and 30's by ladies playing tennis or doing athletics so is the correct translation.


0.o

Japanese high school 'Baruma':

[ - imaged removed for space - ]

1920's-30's ladies athletic wear:

[ - imaged removed for space - ]

You need to get you glasses checked mate - because they look nothing alike. Not even close.


No, he's right. There was a brief period when women's sportswear (particularly tennis outfits) incorporated the same kind of "just covers the underwear" lower-body garment (real example - scroll down), which were indeed called "bloomers"*.


"Incorporated" does not mean "looks like" - especially in this case, where the bloomers were worn under the skirt in precisely the way Japanese baruma are not. Seriously, did you not read the article you linked to? It specifically explains that the bloomers pictured were worn under the skirt, they were not outerwear like Japanese baruma.


We are discussing whether the word "bloomers" in English usage can be applied to the same clothing item that it refers to in Japanese. My point is that although the image most contemporary English speakers have of "bloomers" would not include baruma, Western culture has in the past applied the word "bloomers" to an essentially identical item (allowing for the invention of Spandex over the intervening decades). As I specifically said, the major Japanese contribution to the evolution of baruma is omitting the skirt that was originally worn over them (just as the more typical Western sporting bloomers could be worn with or without a skirt, depending on era and style). So on the whole it is correct to translate baruma as "bloomers".
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:45 pm Reply with quote
A recent example I can recall is the use of the English word "bitch" in Watamote. The meaning apparently shifted to something more like "slut", which makes the joke much more clear; Tomoko calls her friend a slut because she has a boyfriend and that's silly. All the translation I've seen just left it plain as "bitch", though.
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:19 pm Reply with quote
Ah, the good ol' translation debate. We haven't had one of these in awhile. While I used to be extremely vocal, I've mellowed out quite a bit. Though, I still am rather exacting when it comes to my preferred translation style even (especially?) after having quite a bit of translating experience in academic, professional and casual settings.

While this is definitely not the only way (as the style will defer based on the translator and intended audience), I believe that a good translation should be as transparent as possible, letting the original work speak for itself. It is the translator's job to present the original text to the viewer so that it can live and die by its own merits.

But here's where another complication comes into the picture. How should one try to approach the text? Localize everything and make it into something familiar in order to provide the viewer with a similar experience that the Japanese get? Where do you draw the line? Change a reference to another anime into a reference to an American cartoon? Change sashimi to raw fish slices? Personally, I'd rather appreciate the show from a foreign viewer's perspective. Completely cognizant of the fact that it's a foreign product, I try to embrace it for its differences and understand what the show intends to do in its original context, as it was meant to be appreciated. They say that explaining a joke kills it. I couldn't disagree more. I'd rather understand the original joke than laugh at a joke that was written by someone else. Sure, the laugh will be there, but it wasn't the show that made me laugh. That's why I feel that the death of TL notes was a great loss.

I guess in the end, I just don't want to be lied to or condescended to. Not after going though all those horrendous 4kids adaptations. I mean, we can argue till the cows come home about it being alienating to casual audiences, but can you say that you've never come across a foreign concept, difficult word or made-up language before in an English movie? I'm sure all of us know what a Patronus and a Dementor is, right? So, what's wrong with otaku, doujinshi and bloomers?

On a separate note, being a translator really makes you appreciate those magic moments where a joke works in both English and Japanese. I've come across a number of these, but this one with Mikoto from Railgun just stands out as one of my favorites. Brilliant stuff.
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ninjamitsuki



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
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Location: My room.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:23 pm Reply with quote
This has even happened in dubs occasionally. I remember the Azumanga Daioh dub referred to any soft drink as "juice".
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EmperorBrandon
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 04 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 pm Reply with quote
As it is in Justin's response, it's buruma, not baruma.
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Puniyo



Joined: 08 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:14 pm Reply with quote
Rather than 'getting as close to the original language as possible', which we can squabble about all day about not being theoretically possible, the aim of a translation should be 'get as close to the original intention as possible'.That's why I'm generally a-ok with name suffixes being left, and I'm a little annoyed when they switch out last names for first names in subs. I don't care what your interpretation or your headcanon or you thinking that you need to change a certain thing because I'm too dumb to understand the original wording - I want a translation that conveys the original intention of the text as closely as possible.

This leaves me in an awkward position in the loanword debate, though - generally you're probably fine changing them, but on the other hand, anyone who watches anime is probably definitely going to know what it means, so it's probably not worth the effort.

Actar wrote:

I guess in the end, I just don't want to be lied to or condescended to. Not after going though all those horrendous 4kids adaptations.

Maybe I'm just going senile, but the older I get, the more empathetic I become towards 4kids. With YGO at least, weird thing is, they preserve as much as the tv network lets them get away with, and they try and release as much as possible before konami stops them.

SilverTalon01 wrote:

Uh, wait, no. I'm pretty sure in neither the US nor the UK that tea and coffee are the same thing. I'm a little less sure on the butter and margarine one, but if butter is margarine in the UK, I'm interested in what they call margarine.


For the record - here, butter is butter and margarine is axel grease.
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partially



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
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Location: Oz
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:21 pm Reply with quote
Although some places in the world used something similar to Japanese buruma. Almost everyone immediately recognised that they weren't really something people should wear for everyday use and got rid of them very quickly.

The Japanese being the lascivious people they are. Took 30 years to do so. Cool

There is a little article here that has some interesting information: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/02/17/reference/bloomers/

Namely it wasn't even an officially designated uniform, yet most schools used it anyway!
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
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Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:31 pm Reply with quote
#861208 wrote:


Also, it is important to acknowledge that there are other English speakers and other modes of speaking English besides your own. I think it's more interesting to see a piece of wasei eigo that I've never heard before, and look up where it comes from, than to have things spoon-fed to modern American audiences (often regional... honestly, who says "crawdads" instead of "crayfish"? . . . . . do people in Arizona use that? because if so, that's some research but that's beside the point).


I'll speak for all Arizonans and say we would call them crayfish, though they aren't that common around here. My family in Appalachia said crawdad for whatever that's worth, I always figured the craw was for a southern usage.

On the topic of subtitles, one thing that's always bothered me is the extreme resistance to using Japanese slang terms. For example, I've seen several series that used the term "skinship". Official subs ALWAYS translate this to some very awkward phrase or use the word "contact". Skinship is a portmanteau of kinship and skin(contact), I mean, it's pretty self-explanatory, why translate it? If someone needs to look it up, then let them look it up, you could do the same with "gap moe", another term that's used and always translated. Hell by now I think they should leave otaku untranslated.

I understand that lines need to be drawn, or a delicate touch from the translator, we don't want them to just leave kawaii untranslated or hundreds of other common words... but it brings up an interesting point, what would it take for the translators to recognize a pop culture term that's reached critical mass? Why can we use the term tsunami without translating it to "big ass tidal wave"? If Merriam Webster adds kawaii or sugoi to their dictionary will we ever see those words untranslated?
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:42 pm Reply with quote
Puniyo wrote:

This leaves me in an awkward position in the loanword debate, though - generally you're probably fine changing them, but on the other hand, anyone who watches anime is probably definitely going to know what it means, so it's probably not worth the effort.


For my money, I think it's important for translations to be as accessible as possible; if I were a translator, I wouldn't really have any guarantees about how well-versed in Japanese culture my potential customers may or may not be, so I'd probably be aiming to cast the widest net possible. Having said that, I do tend to favor more liberal translations that capture the meaning of a scene over the exactness of it; loan words should definitely not be translated as written.
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Kurohayabusa



Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:46 pm Reply with quote
Good to see some great discussion going on! Personally I'm in the "Get the intent and nuance across, even if it means losing some flow or sounding unnatural in English". I'm a fan of the use of honorifics, especially in manga where character interaction nuances would otherwise be lost without changing the sentence dramatically. Loanwords however shouldn't be translated literally, because the meaning is often different (e.g. mansions in japan are not what english speakers understand to be mansions, on the contrary they are the complete opposite of a giant spacious estate)

However, I feel like these days general knowledge about Japanese anime culture is good enough that people know what the hell spats are. In fact I'd argue spats is a much more accurate translation than just "shorts". Spats refer to a specific subtype of shorts, namely the tight fitting athletic sort. And translating "donmai" into "don't mind" is much simpler than "Don't let it get to you". "Donmai" is only really used as a short quip, otherwise they would say "気にしないで”.

These days, translating stuff is both easier and harder than it was back in the early days where the majority of the audience were relatively new to the Japanese anime subculture. Easier because these days, the target audience of the translated work is more knowledgeable (e.g. they know what spats are, they understand basic honorifics) but harder because the content has changed rapidly towards embracing otaku and internet culture, which means memes endemic to Japan that make no sense when translated to English, which forces the translators into an awkward decision between leave it as is and have everyone drawing blank faces, or put in a somewhat approximately similar meme that the audience might understand.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 338
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Actar wrote:
Where do you draw the line? Change a reference to another anime into a reference to an American cartoon?


That's always the most immersion breaking thing ever when that happens. Seeing Japanese otaku go down to Akibahara to pick up the latest figuring of... Uncle Grandpa, ah yes. True connosieurs. Totally beliveable. Thankfully that kind of stuff is gone outside kids dubs, which are few and far between these days. Bonus point if the reference they change it to is an outdated internet meme like in Steins;Gates case.
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Suena



Joined: 27 May 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:38 pm Reply with quote
Interesting, because I feel like I've always seen the opposite problem; where a loan word COULD have been translated exactly and it would have made a lot of sense in the context, but instead it was changed over into a more formal term, and the sentence lost its spice, and maybe even the context of a joke was lost. But I do agree that the translation should always be the most close to the original meaning, and sometimes that means keeping the loan word, and sometimes that means changing it.

whiskeyii wrote:

For my money, I think it's important for translations to be as accessible as possible; if I were a translator, I wouldn't really have any guarantees about how well-versed in Japanese culture my potential customers may or may not be, so I'd probably be aiming to cast the widest net possible.


But is there ever a point at which you would consider your audience mature enough that you can be more more literal, and don't have to dumb things down in case they're ignorant? I get wanting to bring in new people, but what about the people who have been here for a while? Should we forever be treated like 5-year-olds who need to be told that rice balls are "jelly donuts"?

It took me exactly one volume of Del Rey manga to learn the significance of -san/-kun/-chan, yet Viz thinks general audiences are too stupid to figure out the honorifics, so they never include them in their manga. And it's honestly a little....demeaning. You only want new people, but never care to provide a product for the loyal customers?
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R315r4z0r



Joined: 30 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:00 pm Reply with quote
I've never been a fan of translations that try to "localize" the content by "fixing" lines so that they make more sense for the new audience.

That being said, literal translations aren't great either because sometimes it just plain doesn't make sense in English.

My preferred translations are ones that keep any cultural references, naming conventions, and social commentary as they were originally written. Then, after understanding the intentions of everything that is said, re-write it in English, in the most fluent way possible. Grammatically.

If I don't understand the joke, then it means I don't understand the culture. I don't want the content to adapt to me, I want to adapt to the content. If I wanted the dialogue "fixed" then I wouldn't be watching the show in the first place.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Translation imo should convey the point and meaning. If the loan word means something different in Japanese culture than American, I think the translation should try to convey what it means rather than just be literal.

When you know your translation doesn't actually match the meaning of what's said but you're leaving it in because you think loan words are cool... that just strikes me as an odd position for a professional translator to take.

Some stuff is just stupid though. Butter exist in America. Margarine exist in America. I'm sure the margarine industry is very happy to see people saying it's the same as butter but they are not the same thing. It only makes sense to translate butter as margarine if the character is like picking up some container with a fake Fabio on it and it's very clear that this is actually margarine and it's supposed to be margarine, they just use a different word for it in Japan.
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RoninX



Joined: 03 Aug 2016
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 pm Reply with quote
merr wrote:
The trend toward slavish literalism has gotten so out of hand lately. I'm sick of opening up manga to find teenage characters who speak without contractions, constantly use the word "must", and spout "it can't be helped" every five seconds. That's not how people talk. Unless the Japanese author intended the dialogue to sound clunky and robotic, leaving the text that way is just as much a mistranslation as overly adaptive, 4Kids style edits.

This sooooooo much
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