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BonnKansan



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:16 pm Reply with quote
Obviously non-Japanese settings shouldn't use Japanese honorifics, but I don't think using them in Japanese settings is clear-cut either. Japanese school settings have such layered status levels, and changes in intimacy, that you pretty much have to keep the Japanese honorifics, since it really looks weird to have students calling each other 'Mister X'. But in other types of situations, like retail, English honorifics don't seem as out of place, so I think they could be translated there too depending on how the story goes.

JManga doesn't require one way or the other, so for Tactics we're being a bit creative, and using mostly English honorifics but keeping '-chan' and '-sama' and '-sensei', since 1) It matches the semi-Western mishmash of the culture during Meiji/Taisho times, and 2) Hearing people say "Miss Reiko" and "Mister Ichinomiya" helps it sound older than if we just used '-san'. We do keep all the '-san' and '-kun' for the bonus chapters set in a modern-day high-school. And we couldn't resist having one character use '-san' in the main story: Edwards, the Anglican priest who's nuts about Japanese stuff (especially hakama! Laughing). At least the volumes we're translating (v9 & up) have the original Japanese available too through the JManga viewer, so you can check that out if you like.

We keep a good number of Japanese terms too, but that's easy since the main character is a scholar (and know-it-all) who proceeds to lecture about what they are, so we don't have to use as many margin notes Smile . If an important term comes up that he doesn't lecture on, we'll sometimes leave those in too and add a short explanatory phrase to aid comprehension.

Either way, it's a stylistic choice, so I don't mind seeing Japanese honorifics and terms in the manga I read. Still, my general preference while translating is to make it so that people don't have to turn to the back of the book to follow the story, while making notes available for those who want to find out more about the Japanese culture references, jokes, etc.


Last edited by BonnKansan on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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EnigmaticSky



Joined: 06 Aug 2011
Posts: 746
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Jesse's QOTW response: lolwut?
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Myaow



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 1068
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:15 pm Reply with quote
The English Ranma 1/2 translated Kasumi's "ara" (or "ara ara") as "Oh my!" and I think it worked pretty perfectly! It's a cute and quaint choice of words. I know I've seen other translations do the same.

I also remember the first time my lil bro (note: otouto) read a translation where "fu fu fu" was left in, he asked "why does she keep saying F.U.?" Hahaha. I bet it's not hard to find something that's more recognizable as a laughter-onomatopoeia to English-reading brains, like "tee hee" for a character like Aria's Alicia.
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Meygaera



Joined: 28 Apr 2011
Posts: 324
Location: Maryland
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:24 pm Reply with quote
I always thought it was funny the way names are used to address people in English vs Japanese.

From what I remember in middle school and high school growing up in the U.S. you always used first names for peers, and Mr./Mrs./Miss <Last-Name> for adults (unless they asked you otherwise). But! I noticed that sometimes there was an exception for close friends where you would call them by last name (with no mr./mrs. obviously) as an odd and somewhat derogatory way of expressing closeness with that person (or sometimes expressing seniority).

In my high school most of my friends called me by my last name (if you knew my last name you would probably too = P). But there was this one time an underclassman who I didn't even know came up to me and addressed me by my last name and I was like "WTF? WHO THE F ARE YOU?"

I guess I use that incident as a standard for when I watch anime and people don't use honorifics or call someone by their first name without being close to them.



PS: Myaow You are at 666 posts!
and does anyone know who designed the very handsome answerman picture that we all subconsciously think Brian look's like.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1733
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:15 pm Reply with quote
I follow a number of webcomics online and I've seen some of those creators say they use paint tool SAI and I *think* that it might be free so yeah, that sure is an option. xD
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rizuchan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 853
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Not to beat a dead horse on the honorifics, but I wanted to say that while I usually say "sure, leave them in and put a footnote", there are a couple times when I've said "OH GOD WHY DID YOU LEAVE THE HONORIFICS IN??"

Specifically, the Hetalia manga released by Tokyopop. They seemed to mostly avoid using them, but every once in a while a character than Japan uses honorifics (Like Hungary calling Austria "Austria-san") and all I can think is "Why is she using Japanese honorifics? Isn't she supposed to be speaking Hungarian or German or something?"
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Melanchthon



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 550
Location: Northwest from Here
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:40 pm Reply with quote
When image editing, I used the aforementioned and amply named GIMP, since it is basically the retarded little brother of Photoshop. But it is free, and easy to use with Linux.

When it comes to honorifics, I agree with Lord Byronius Answerman, and think they should always be used when the story is in a Japanese setting, and ignored/translated when in a Western one. I have non-anime example. The novel Snow, by Orhan Pamuk, is set in Turkey by a Turkish writer. Now, sadly, Turkish is one of the many holes in my education, so I have to read a translation. The translator left honorifics such as 'Bey' and 'Sheikh' untranslated. Sure, you replace those words with 'Mister' and 'Chief' respectively, but would that improve the story and the reader's understanding of it? Personally, I think reading Turgut Bey is better than Mr. Turgut, and adds to the atmosphere of the story. My point to this is that generally, stories set in other cultures are better when elements of that culture are left in place.

It terms of other Japanese-isms, I feel they should only be left untranslated if there is no accurate, native English translation for them. One of my pet peeves is the whole 'big brother' thing. Native English-speaking people don't place a premium on birth order like the Japanese, and generally refer to their siblings as brother or sister regarless of relative age. The constant 'Big' this and 'Little' that is unnatural and adds nothing to the story, and should be discarded, unless used as an honorific, which then opens up a new can of worms.

But all these arguments over terms and 'fu fu fu' is why I like to read manga in Japanese. That way I don't have to deal with irritating translations.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1992
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:31 pm Reply with quote
wandering-dreamer wrote:
I follow a number of webcomics online and I've seen some of those creators say they use paint tool SAI and I *think* that it might be free so yeah, that sure is an option. xD


It's not free. I bought it in Japanese quite a few years ago and fell in love with it, but then I lost it and due to some mishaps, couldn't get it back without buying it again. So now I've stuck to online cracks... but I honestly recommend buying it. It's about $65, which is so cheap in the digital illustration field, it's practically a steal for what it provides for fellow manga-style artists like me. It is AMAZING. Once I'm back in America and have my job back, I plan on actually buying it in Japanese again.

Here are some great tutorials in Japanese for SAI, and there are some for other major programs and such, too:
http://iradukai.com/m-SAI.htm

I've noticed that most Western artists use it quite a bit different than most Eastern artists (including Chinese and Korean artists), so that link is neat in that it provides some creative alternative uses for SAI to help one get more of an "Eastern" feel to the line and color/texture quality of one's art, if interested.

"Fu fu fu," though... Now that I think about it, it needs a bit of an explanation for me to get across why I think it could work in English as well. In proper Japanese pronunciation, it sounds like, "hu hu hu," and the "f" sound is more of an exhaled puff of air (an "h" sound) than how English speakers would usually pronounce it. If it were read and pronounced by an English speaker with the "f" sound, it definitely would sound weird. But since I hear it in my head as a few low-pitched, sly giggles, I think it could still sound pretty natural in English. Is that just me?
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Saturn



Joined: 08 Aug 2002
Posts: 513
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:36 pm Reply with quote
Paint Tool SAI is a really amazing program, but for screen-tone effects I'd say that Comic Studio/Manga Studio is better (it also has great easy-to-use tools for creating panels). SAI is incredible for the amount of control it provides over linework though!
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:38 pm Reply with quote
Juno016 wrote:
... "Fu fu fu," though... Now that I think about it, it needs a bit of an explanation for me to get across why I think it could work in English as well. In proper Japanese pronunciation, it sounds like, "hu hu hu," and the "f" sound is more of an exhaled puff of air (an "h" sound) than how English speakers would usually pronounce it. If it were read and pronounced by an English speaker with the "f" sound, it definitely would sound weird. But since I hear it in my head as a few low-pitched, sly giggles, I think it could still sound pretty natural in English. Is that just me?

So, basically, as long as everyone reads "fu fu fu" its as "hu hu hu" or "heh heh heh" instead of reading it a "fu fu fu", then its perfectly natural.

Ara, ara.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4136
Location: Ottawa, Canada
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:41 pm Reply with quote
EireformContinent wrote:
In some languages addressing by last name is considered very official or extremely rude.


How is this relevant when English is not one of them? I know plenty of people who refer to others by their last name. Granted, the cultural meaning is very different than it is in Japanese but it certainly isn't rude or official - in fact, it would be fairly natural in the setting of Honey & Clover.

And again, the main complaint I have with this is actually the anime where the sub track translated "Mayama" as "Takumi" when you can actually hear that this is not what the characters are saying. Though the manga translation does this as well, it just isn't quite as off-putting since you don't have the Japanese right there to compare it to.

I don't know all that much Japanese. When I can tell a translation is inaccurate or flat-out wrong, there's a problem.
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Haterater



Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 1571
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:57 pm Reply with quote
@ Juno016

From what you said of "nakama", I think soul mate would make a good translation. But I think those other words of friend and ally and the rest still make a good fit. Easily see a best friend cover up for a friend of a crime and similar situations. Don't really need a fancy word for that.

As for "fu, fu, fu" and "big brother", not too bothered by the laugh as I am for "big brother." Pet peeve in the "doesn't sound natural" alot of the time when I hear it. Natural sounding is something like like "bro", "my man", "homie", the person's name/nickname, or just "brother" but in certain context of the work/setting for the particular audience your translating to. "Fu, fu, fu", a certain sly type of laugh would do, as I just get that from evil/shady type characters from what I encounter of the use.

For honorifics, try to find an equivalent. If not, use discretion based on the work. But just try not to over do it. Like using it every time. "Sakura-chan loves Milky-chan so much! So Billy-chan must be jealous, isn't he Miku-chan?!"
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maaya



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 976
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:04 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
My point to this is that generally, stories set in other cultures are better when elements of that culture are left in place.


I dunno, there are plenty "elements of a culture", and I care more for those that are not just words which, at the end of the day, I simply don't understand - and therefore can't "feel" the way you "feel" a language you know. Usually the setting and individuality of the author influences a story so much, that I believe there will be lots and lots of exotic cultural and other unique elements left without honorifics.

On the other hand, if in an english book the author uses some french words (because one character is french etc.) or japanese mangas address someone as "Mademoiselle", "Monsieur" etc. ... they try to evoke an exoticism, but it mostly sounds silly to me.

Well, in the end, a translation is always a compromise and if you want the real deal, you just have to read the original.
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RyanSaotome



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 4210
Location: Towson, Maryland
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:28 pm Reply with quote
Haterater wrote:
@ Juno016

From what you said of "nakama", I think soul mate would make a good translation.


Seeing Luffy constantly calling his friends "Soulmates" would be really awkward.

"I'll defeat you for hurting my soulmate!"

That doesn't sound right at all.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5088
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:30 pm Reply with quote
"Friends" works for 90% of the uses of "Nakama".
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