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EireformContinent



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Łódź/Poland (The Promised Land)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:06 pm Reply with quote
In some languages addressing by last name is considered very official or extremely rude.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3699
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:10 pm Reply with quote
@Animegomaniac

Schadenfreude = a German word in the English language
Shogun = a Japanese word in the English language
Tortilla = a Spanish word in the English language
Metamorphosis = a Greek word in the English language
Chakra, Karma, Kundalini = even esoteric Indian words are part of the English language
- this is why I strongly think if we can import wholesale, the names of creatures and gods from a variety of myths around the world without "translating" them, since there are no actual translations, we should also respect the Japanese names as well with Ayakashi, Youkai, and such, instead of Viz's "Soul Reaper" for Shinigami for example.

Grok = a totally made up word coined by Heinlein that quickly became part of the English language
Blog, Google, etc = more made up words that quickly became part of the official English language

And hentai is now officially recognized in English

Even grammar can be flexible. In proper context, most people would understand what you mean by "embiggen".


Last edited by configspace on Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brainchild129



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 258
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Myaow wrote:
@Brainchild: Tokyopop's old Marmalade Boy translation had a lot of random Japanese vocab thrown around too! The notes claimed that they were trying to replicate the slang use of random English words in the Japanese version, but it was kind of bizarro when a character would randomly yell "SUGOI!!" or "BAKA"...


Holy crap, you knew precisely which series I meant! Stop reading my mind, wizard! Wink

Seriously, while often I don't mind Tokyopop's looser, more casual style of translation (hell, in some works it improved things), that was just bizarre.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Brainchild129 wrote:
With translating honorifics in manga, I tend to agree with most in that I'm fine with them in specifically Japanese settings, but in most situations their presense or removal doesn't add or take away anything from the story at large. I'm even ok with leaving some words that really don't have a good English equivalent, such as sempai/kouhei.

What DOES bug me in manga translation is not translating terms that DO have a proper English translation - you cannot honestly tell me that "Big Sister/Brother" doesn't get the same point across as "Onii-chan)." You can't tell me that "fu fu fu" means something different or deeper than "ha ha ha." I'm pretty damn sure that substituting "cute" for "kawaii" will work just fine. Ok, the last one, I've only seen once, but the others are common in some publishers (*coughSevenSeascough*) and to me it reeks less of preserving cultural nuance and more of flat-out laziness in the name of appeasing a vocal minority.


Hmm... I think that one needs context/translation notes for something like "onii-chan" or "fu fu fu" (not so much for "kawaii"). Because "onii-chan" doesn't exclusively indicate a "big brother" and "fu fu fu" would come off completely different than originally intended if it were just "ha ha ha." "Onii-chan" can also be used by young children toward older boys who aren't exactly adults yet, but who are far older and higher in status and more likely to be able to look after and/or give advice to the children than someone their own age. I can't think of a good equivalent aside from "mister," but that sounds weird for today's general vocab in children... and "fu fu fu" gives others the notion of an older or slier character who usually is thinking something deeper in their mind as they are laughing. Actually, we have a similar laugh in English when spoken--we just don't actually write it because we have no written equivalent unless we make it up ourselves. "Ha ha ha" is usually too energetic-like.

Of course, translating directly from Japanese and keeping the Japanese words and ideas exactly how they were in Japanese is not always lazy. I'm part of a group that willingly gives up English fluidity (but not exactly grammar) in order to keep the Japanese in tact as completely as possible. We know the consequences of translating this way, but we do it because we want to convey it in Japanese without actually leaving it in Japanese. We also encourage people to try and use our translations to get used to how Japanese people say things. It's niche and it's not professional... but we've been called "lazy" so many times, I'm a bit tense about it now. I don't see how trying to keep something nearly 100% "Japanese" without actually writing it in Japanese is "lazy." At least, the way we do things, it is probably far more exhausting than the way professionals have to do things. But hey. I do get that we sacrifice fluidity and some people don't read Japanese manga/watch Japanese anime/play Japanese games just because they're interested in the culture or language like we are.

But yeah... Leaving something in because you can't think of an equivalent can be ugly. Especially simply leaving the words in their original language, like "kawaii" and "mochiron," which I have seen on at least two occasions before. I'd say honorific titles are borderline ("danna," "goshuujin," etc.), but our group includes them when they are used as titles, just in case. More importantly, to counter the argument that you should avoid Japanese terms when there is already an English "equivalent," there are times when it is strategic and possibly even beneficial to leave words in their original language and then give a translation note to explain the context as to why you used it. For instance, the word "nakama" (sorry, Otaking--I strongly disagree that "nakama" is a throw-away term). Western One Piece fans are likely most familiar with the term because a few major subtitling groups have left it in, but it's also an intricate part of nearly anything and everything targeted towards children (party members in Pokemon are called "nakama," and just about every team-based hero show calls the group a team of "nakama"). While the word's general meaning is "friend," "comrade," "companion," "ally," etc., and can certainly be translated any of those ways depending on the situation without losing the intent behind the message it gives... the meaning and worth of the message it gives is lost on most of the Western audience. And rather than leave it alone because it may not matter to a Western audience like it does to the Japanese audience, I feel that giving the context behind it and then using it with intention is the better course. In this case, the word "nakama" is much more than just a "friend" or a "companion" to the Japanese audience. A "nakama" is someone who you associate your entire existence with, either for a portion of your life or the rest of your life. Once you're in, you're in. You trust them with your life as they would you. To bring this outside of One Piece's or Pokemon's context, a "nakama" would lie to save you from being scolded if you were accused of doing something wrong at a company, or even lie to the police to prevent you from getting arrested, even if they knew you were guilty--as it is expected of them, because they are your "nakama." If they didn't, they'd be such a horrible "nakama" that the other people at the company would likely start avoiding the one who tattled on their "nakama"... In the West, due to different cultural/societal values, that would likely be out of the question. You'd rattle the person out because it's the "right" thing to do, regardless of your friendship. But that's exactly why the Western audience would miss the point of the "nakama" in One Piece or Pokemon. It's one of the most important things to an individual in Japan. I think it deserves to be expressed like that in something that uses it so deeply, like One Piece. =P

Translating is never easy, no matter how you decide to do it. Especially with two languages that come from as different roots as English and Japanese. No matter how you do it, there will be people who disagree. So just translate however you like. =P

Oh, and on a final note:

marie-antoinette wrote:
I definitely lean towards leaving the honourifics in, unless a non-awkward means of translating them is possible. For example, translating "-sama" as "lady" or "lord" I feel is fairly accurate; however, it doesn't work in a modern setting. And I'm also in agreement that it would be awkward to see the honourifics in a setting where characters are most definitely not speaking actually Japanese.


Like I said--our group would leave it as an honorific anyway, due to our style... but to be honest, you only ever hear "-sama" attached to word-titles, like "gaijin" and "kyaku" and such, in modern settings. And though it does indicate a sense of honorific modesty from the side of the speaker, it's so ritual, it has lost enough of its meaning that it doesn't do anything that normal honorific language in Japanese wouldn't. The only time you'll hear it in abundance is in an old setting (Samurai dramas use "-sama" and "-dono" a lot), or a modern/fantasy setting that has some kind of context that rivals that of the old-fashioned relationships you might see in a Samurai drama (such as, ironically, a Western mansion, with servants and such addressing their masters with "-sama" and "-dono"). In reality, though, using "-sama" to address people nowadays is extremely... awkward.
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tuxedocat



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2183
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:08 pm Reply with quote
answerfans wrote:
Jesse is thankful for... something, but I'm still not sure this is real or some hallucinatory stream-of-consciousness:

I am thankful to Sanrio for their upcoming Hello Kitty dolls that turn into food. That's right, just in time for thanksgiving Hello Kitty is being given the power to fold inside herself and become a cooked turkey. There is also going to be one that becomes a cheeseburger, but that's more everyday rather than Thanksgiving. Thank you bizarre merchandising gods, you crazy MF's. On a more serious note I am honestly thankful to you for actually printing my deranged, stream of conscious ramblings about TV shows made in other countries in the 70's, and killer train monsters. I am also thankful for killer train monsters, but isn't everyone?


Jesse is referring to this awesome thing:

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2012/11/16-1/bizarre-hello-kitty-plush-transforms-into-cooked-turkey
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Kidnicky



Joined: 15 Jan 2010
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:19 pm Reply with quote
What I'm most thankful for is that there is no topic,no matter how innocent or well intentioned or softball,that some 13 year old dork can't turn into a silly soapbox against fansubbers.
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Chagen46



Joined: 27 Jun 2010
Posts: 4377
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Hmm... I think that one needs context/translation notes for something like "onii-chan" or "fu fu fu" (not so much for "kawaii"). Because "onii-chan" doesn't exclusively indicate a "big brother" and "fu fu fu" would come off completely different than originally intended if it were just "ha ha ha." "Onii-chan" can also be used by young children toward older boys who aren't exactly adults yet, but who are far older and higher in status and more likely to be able to look after and/or give advice to the children than someone their own age. I can't think of a good equivalent aside from "mister," but that sounds weird for today's general vocab in children... and "fu fu fu" gives others the notion of an older or slier character who usually is thinking something deeper in their mind as they are laughing. Actually, we have a similar laugh in English when spoken--we just don't actually write it because we have no written equivalent unless we make it up ourselves. "Ha ha ha" is usually too energetic-like.


In my personal opinion, "big bro" or just "bro" fits "onii-chan" pretty well. Whenever I write an imouto character, I usually have them refer to their big brother as just "big bro". And "bro" works for characters who aren't related, though that may come off as sounding too much like the annoying "bro" frat boy culture.

For "fufufu" I think "heh heh" works quite well, maybe with a sentence afterwords alluding to the intended feel. Ah, translation is much an art as it is a science.
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Kidnicky



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:05 pm Reply with quote
Didn't Duo say something like "bud" or "buddy" in the Gundam Wing dub?
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Fencedude5609



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:14 pm Reply with quote
"fu fu fu" tends to be used by a very specific character type.

I don't see why it needs to be "translated' since its not a word.
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Chagen46



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:40 pm Reply with quote
It looks ridiculous when just awkwardly standing out in a translation.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:48 pm Reply with quote
Trying to translate 'fu fu fu'? What's next, 'ara ara'?
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LordByronius
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Joined: 06 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Fencedude5609 wrote:
"fu fu fu" tends to be used by a very specific character type.

I don't see why it needs to be "translated' since its not a word.


if i wasn't already entrenched in manga weirdness, if i read the words "fu fu fu" i would throw the book into a fire.

it looks really, really stupid.
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PBsallad



Joined: 19 Dec 2009
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Location: Phoenix
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:13 pm Reply with quote
Honorifics... I don't care if they're there or not. If a character refers to another in one type of honorific and changes it as the story goes on, I wouldn't notice it. Unless it's blatantly pointed out in the story. So whatever... But it would seem outplace in a non Japanese setting.

Chagen46 wrote:
For "fufufu" I think "heh heh" works quite well, maybe with a sentence afterwords alluding to the intended feel. Ah, translation is much an art as it is a science.


I think "heh heh" would work too. In One PIece though... The weird laughs should be kept in, cause the series as a whole is full of weird things and characters. It fits.
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sailorspazz



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:20 pm Reply with quote
It's not like English has only one way to express laughter ("Ha ha", "heh heh", "hee hee", etc.), so there's really no need to leave "fu fu fu" as is, since it looks really unnatural in English. "Heh heh" would be the best equivalent, in my opinion.

Ah, the honorifics debate. It's hard to come down on either side of the issue without accusations flying of either being a Japanese-hating translator who cleanses all Japaneseness from the show, or a weeaboo who wants the "translation" to be mostly Japanese because it's more authentic that way.

For dubs, I would say that putting in Japanese honorifics is always awkward, no matter the setting. It's usually only done in shows with Japanese settings anyway, but to me it always sounds strange.

For subs, if the setting is not Japan, the honorifics should be translated. It bugs me to watch a show set in a place that is clearly not Japan (say, a European fantasy setting), but the subs have translations like "John-sama". The honorifics only exist in the Japanese version because the show was made in Japan; that doesn't mean they should be kept in foreign translations if they contradict with the setting of the show.

I also don't believe they're completely necessary to leave in the subtitles for shows that are set in Japan. If you're going to translate every other aspect of a show, including things that don't have distinct English equivalents like the myriad of pronouns present in Japanese, then it seems weird to me that honorifics are the one thing that should be left in Japanese. I advocate for translating the honorifics as much as possible. No, not every one has an exact English translation, but viewers who are interested in knowing which honorifics are being used can hear them in the dialogue anyway.

For manga translations, I give a bit more leeway for leaving in the honorifics (for Japanese settings), since the reader cannot hear any dialogue being spoken and thus wouldn't have any other way to know which honorifics are being used other than what's written on the page. But it still depends on the setting. A high school romantic comedy will probably benefit from having honorifics kept more than a fantasy space drama.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:32 pm Reply with quote
LordByronius wrote:
Fencedude5609 wrote:
"fu fu fu" tends to be used by a very specific character type.

I don't see why it needs to be "translated' since its not a word.


if i wasn't already entrenched in manga weirdness, if i read the words "fu fu fu" i would throw the book into a fire.

it looks really, really stupid.


Why? What makes "fu fu fu" any sillier than "heh heh heh"? Seriously.
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