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Haterater



Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 1571
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:33 pm Reply with quote
I wouldn't say that. It really depends on the translation and how they handle it. If done right, it makes it simple and easy for any reader for the translated language. Having to account for story and the character themselves, it shouldn't be too complex for most works out there.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:52 pm Reply with quote
emmapeel wrote:
I'm against dumbing anything down, but even if you think simplicity is important, I would argue that honorifics are simpler than any attempted english equivalents, which to my mind just add layers of unintended complexity.


And yet honorifics are more complicated than just not having anything at all. Most of the time they can be dropped without incident.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:59 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
And yet honorifics are more complicated than just not having anything at all. Most of the time they can be dropped without incident.


No, Honorifics frequently say a lot about a character, and are frequently used as a shorthand to avoid unnecessary expositing about a character's personality.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 1040
Location: in a van! down by the river!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:38 pm Reply with quote
Moonsaber wrote:
I don't know what has been said about the streaming dubs, but Netflx has a very respectable amount of Dubbed anime streamed, including, I believe, all of Inu-Yasha and Sgt Frog. Not sure what this new service is thinking, but they are not offering anything competitive or new.


I have Netflix and Neon Alley. While Netflix does have a fair amount of dubbed anime, they have a tendency to drop series after a while and they don't seem to have everything. Also, Viz titles on Netflix are subbed only. Neon Alley has the advantage of being dedicated to mostly anime and if successful, will have more in the future. Of course, I can watch anime on Netflix anytime but Neon Alley is planning to add a DVR service. My only concern about Neon Alley is their freezing up issues but I understand they are a new service so hopefully they will solve that problem.
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superdry



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 1309
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:11 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
emmapeel wrote:
I'm against dumbing anything down, but even if you think simplicity is important, I would argue that honorifics are simpler than any attempted english equivalents, which to my mind just add layers of unintended complexity.


And yet honorifics are more complicated than just not having anything at all. Most of the time they can be dropped without incident.


I agree with this when watching anime subbed (I'm pretty neutral on including or no including honorifics in subs, though). While it is nice to see the honorifics in the the subs themselves, I can hear the characters speak just fine and get the jist of it if the honorifics are not in the subs.

If it's a written work, might be better to include the honorifics.
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hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 583
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:28 pm Reply with quote
Heike Monogatari (the Ryūkoku manuscript) wrote:
貫首以下あやしみをなし、「うつほ柱よりうち、鈴の綱のへんに、布衣の者の候はなに者ぞ。狼籍なり。罷出よ」と六位をもていはせければ、家貞申けるは、「相傳の主、備前守殿、今夜闇打にせられ給べき由承候あひだ、其ならむ樣をみむとて、かくて候。えこそ罷出まじけれ」とて、畏て候ければ、是等をよしなしとやおもはれけむ、其夜の闇打なかりけり。

Professor Arthur Lindsay Sadler retained the honorific and translated '備前守殿' as 'Bizen-no-kami dono' in his translation of The Tale of the Heike.
 
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1989
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:55 am Reply with quote
hyojodoji wrote:
Heike Monogatari (the Ryūkoku manuscript) wrote:
貫首以下あやしみをなし、「うつほ柱よりうち、鈴の綱のへんに、布衣の者の候はなに者ぞ。狼籍なり。罷出よ」と六位をもていはせければ、家貞申けるは、「相傳の主、備前守殿、今夜闇打にせられ給べき由承候あひだ、其ならむ樣をみむとて、かくて候。えこそ罷出まじけれ」とて、畏て候ければ、是等をよしなしとやおもはれけむ、其夜の闇打なかりけり。

Professor Arthur Lindsay Sadler retained the honorific and translated '備前守殿' as 'Bizen-no-kami dono' in his translation of The Tale of the Heike.
 


This is an interesting point, even if it has little to do with modern entertainment.
When we make historical references, in English history books, to people from certain points of Japanese history, we use their "last name" first (i.e. Oda Nobunaga ), which has also been kept within translations of traditional Japanese literature. Today, we switch around the names of current and semi-recent figures to match the Western standard of naming.
But what this means is that there are translations that, taking into account older materials, bring out the Japanese with the likelihood that the Western audience has no previous or background knowledge. I mean, I've yet to see a translation in today's media that doesn't call the master of tea, "Sen no Rikyuu" rather than take the stance we took with Emperor Shouwa and call him straight by his real name (Emperor Shouwa = Hirohito; Sen no Rikyuu = Sen Rikyuu).

There's a difference in historical periods, but they've carried over and haven't taken a particularly different stance--and one might wonder whether or not that would have been possible with anime at some point, or if it could be possible in the future.

emmapeel wrote:
For one thing, I appreciate the gender-neutrality of honorifics. A translation that adds gender-specificity adds a new dimension which can be distracting and/or unnatural. For example, maybe it's because I'm a woman but I have an acute awareness of the different ways the terms "Miss" "Mrs" and "Ms" are loaded, and all can be problematic for "-san."

On the other side of it, if a male is "-kun" or "-chan" then "sweetie" "babe," or "honey" seems feminizing, and potentially demeaning as a replacement. "Junior" or "little" can add other connotations than what "-kun" or "-chan" imply.

I'm against dumbing anything down, but even if you think simplicity is important, I would argue that honorifics are simpler than any attempted english equivalents, which to my mind just add layers of unintended complexity.


Not just with honorifics. It's a simple, but extremely important matter when a series (for instance, WISH, RG Veda, or Fruits Basket) has gender-neutral/hidden-gender characters and does not refer to them as specific genders in the original Japanese, but then it is necessary to give those characters genders in the English versions to refer to them with third-person pronouns. I mean, how else can you say "he/him" or "she/her" without giving away a specific gender? "They" is officially plural and cannot be grammatically used, and it would be awkward in some situations, anyway. "It" can be pretty derogatory to characters who are still meant to be quite "human." Even I, doing the closest possible literal translation of Japanese in my own translations to the point of sacrificing English fluidity at times, cannot find an alternative to solve this issue in the English language (which is a real issue when you consider real situations with people who have given up or were born to a specific sex). The translation note is the only thing to help me out. I still have to call Kyuubey a "him," even though he's... not necessarily a "him" (and has a definitive female voice actress to boot).

Language is just filled with flaws. Someday, I'd like to create that gender-neutral third-person pronoun, if only for the sake of some of my friends who deal with these real issues.
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Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Posts: 4623
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:07 am Reply with quote
"They" is officially incorrect, but it's got centuries of use behind it. I also feel it might be interesting to note that all the third-person pronouns in Old English were pretty close - to the point that "him" was the dative pronoun for everything but feminine words(as for creating pronouns, you might consider raiding the first and second persons dual - like the radiation symbol, they're perfectly meaningless to most people so you can teach them what they mean).
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2123
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:43 am Reply with quote
As someone who has had to deal with purposefully gender ambiguous characters in the past I can attest to it being a giant pain.

It's not just bending the rules like using "They", it's sometimes resorting to awkward insertions of names instead of pronouns, or even rewriting some things a little to avoid getting trapped into something unavoidable.

I find this happens the most with pets and "familiars" in anime. The gender of pets is very often unspecified, and people will use feminine honorifics even for male pets all the time, so there's few if any clues.
Familiars and other mascot creatures are often completely cannon "genderless" (like Kyuubey).

A good recent example I had to deal with was in Toriko, with (sort of spoiler but it's obvious from the outset) Cutler Melk.
Here it's even more annoying because it's the characters within the show that mistake her gender for about 3 episodes.
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