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Should anime have more authentic name/surnames for foreign characters?




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GalicianNightmare



Joined: 16 Dec 2014
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:52 pm Reply with quote
In any Noir topic, people will talk about the character "Mireille" and complain about how her name is pronounced, whether it be in Corsican or French, even though the name doesn't exist in the former language an d the latter language only uses a variant of another language. Also, Bouquet is not a Corsican surname. Simple research would show that Corsicans have Tuscan surnames, because Corsican is a variant of Old Tuscan.

Names like "Einzbern" and "Edelfelt" do not exist in any variantion of German and many Portuguese characters have non Galician-Portuguese names. Instead, they have Castilian names.

I mean, the USA has done it too, in regards to Silver Samurai and Mariko, but why? Why don't anime producers research names?
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Night fox



Joined: 01 Oct 2014
Posts: 561
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:24 pm Reply with quote
I guess it depends on the genre. Series like Fate SN/Zero, and most magic/superpower animes, are set in some kind of alternate universes that are slightly different from our own world (e.g. Karakura Town from Bleach). So if the world is different enough to involve magic or superpowers, it's only natural that names would be slightly different as well.

When it comes to series that feature a more or less authentic Earth, I suppose researching names has some merit, but it's a global world and people migrate to new countries all the time. Just because you're from France doesn't necessarily mean you have a traditional French surname.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2651
Location: Colorado, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:26 pm Reply with quote
@GalicianNightmare
Maybe they just do not consider it to be important, or do not really think about it. It is not something that bothers me.
The characters are fictional. If the names are fictional too that is OK with me.
As long as the name does not seem to be wrong for the character I would probably not even notice if it was not a realistic name.

If the character is supposed to be a real historical figure, or descended from a real person, that would be different.
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Alan45
Village Elder



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 9897
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:39 pm Reply with quote
@GalicianNightmare

It probably never occurred to them. The show was being made for a Japanese audience who wouldn't know the difference. It only needed to sound correct to the original audience.

Mireille is resident in Paris, and Corsica has been part of France for a couple of hundred years. I suspect they just made up what they thought of as a French sounding name.

You apparently have more knowledge of the area than the average US viewer. Most of the complaints were to the effect that ADV didn't use the French pronunciation.

The US has been bastardizing foreign place and proper names, both as to spelling and pronunciation since the country was founded, why should the Japanese be any different?
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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 3920
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:13 pm Reply with quote
It's gotten a lot better in recent years. Back in the 80s, the names of foreign characters got quite ridiculous. I've mentioned it before, but the series Aura Battler Dunbine[/spoiler] had a female character named Marvel Frozen that was supposed to be an American from Texas.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1783
Location: South America
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:23 pm Reply with quote
@ Alan45, indeed, complaints about the unrealistic treatment of Brazilian names, culture and the country itself in Hollywood movies is very common. I think that Japanese artists are perhaps more careful than American ones when portraying foreigners though they often get it done really poorly sometimes but in terms of depictions of Brazil that I have seem they are mostly better than Americans do.
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st_owly



Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 5234
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:23 pm Reply with quote
The one which always makes me laugh is the ridiculous saints' names they come up with for Catholic schools. I don't think I've ever seen a real name used.
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Alan45
Village Elder



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 9897
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:48 pm Reply with quote
@Jose Cruz
I'm not much for live action, movies or TV, so I can't remember but one movie set in Brazil that I've seen, and that was likely French. Brazil is pretty much off the radar for most in the US.

The most recent thing I have read that took place in Brazil was Peter Fleming's Brazilian Adventure. However that was non fiction and took place prior to WWII.

@st owly
They are a riot, however, some of that may be an attempt to avoid the name of any existing Catholic school in Japan.
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GalicianNightmare



Joined: 16 Dec 2014
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:47 am Reply with quote
@alan45 I admitted the USA f**ks up at times in regards to surnames and names and stuff like that. Pronunciation is less of an issue due to differences in English dialects. I mean, in Castilian Spanish, words with "c" are pronounced like "th" but in Andalusian Spanish, it is pronounced like the English c. Also see Barcelona (var-the-lona) vs Barcelona (bar-ce-lona). The example can also be true in Catalan vs Castilian.

Secondly, just because France took Corsica from Genoa doesn't make ethnic Corsicans any less Tuscan/Genoese. It certainly has not reflected that way in most of their surnames. The only Corsicans with French surnames are those with Corsican mothers, with French fathers. Without exception, full Corsicans or paternal Corsicans have Tuscan surnames. As I have said, Corsicans are culturally, linguistically and genetically closer to Italians than they are Parisians. Therefore, the "Bouquet" surname is 100% wrong, 100% of the time.

@jose I disagree. Both countries rely on stereotypes and misinformation rather than three dimensional characters. In anime, black guys have big lips and gruff voices. The former is somewhat universal, but most black guys have high pitched voices, even Ronnie Coleman. In the US, foreigners tend to have bad accents and caricaturist personalities. The Inuit living in the igloo, British people with bad teeth, French people with that stupid "hohoho" laugh and their berets and bread. So as far as I'm concerned, they're both as bad as each other. As and for Brazil, what?
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