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Post #775328
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6:44 am, Mar 30 2020
Posts: 1792


Just no.
I't would be fine when things aren't set in Japan.
I'm fine with Lawrence moving through a European based medieval fantasy world.
But who can suspend their disbelief about Jim and Johnny walking through Sendai?

A lot of the time characters have specific names for a reason. You can try and localize it but the result in cases where these do matter may end up completely lost or completely on the nose.

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9:29 am, Mar 30 2020
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It kinda depends honestly

If there are names that are supposed to be wordplay for example Hagel Boldness (Called Haggel Baldness in Japanese). His whole character gag is about him being sensitive to the fact that he's bald. Obviously since his last name is in english in the original japanese it's not so on the nose to have his last name literally be Baldness so the change of one letter to Boldness in english works a lot better.

I'm not inherently opposed to localizing names but the fact is that so many companies pick the stupidest and most generic sounding english names especially when it totally doesn't work in the context. Example - Tapas' localization of Lan Chi changed Ming Lan to Skye. I like this, it fits the theme of the story and the character. However, changing Ming Jing and Ming Qing to Casper and Victor is stupid. The names don't even match each other anymore, if they were going to use Casper why not do Casper and Jasper?

And then you have cases like Wo nanpiao shi jinyiwei where it CLEARLY takes place in ancient china but you've got these ancient chinese people with the names "Ron" and "Tanya".

If the setting is some ambiguous nondescript nation sure, knock yourself out with the creative names but if it's obviously supposed to be an asian country why tf would you give them english names.

I get WHY these companies want to make things more palatable to a foreign audience and to be honest I probably wouldn't be so open to watching anime as a child if the characters were named "Satoshi" and "Haruka" instead of "Ash" and "May" but as I grew older I grew more accepting of it when exposed to stuff like Inuyasha later. If it's stuff for little kids i do get and support changing the names for more general appeal - see yugioh. But for an audience that's not tiny babies I think they can handle a couple foreign names

Post #775330
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mmm...
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9:34 am, Mar 30 2020
Posts: 257


Why would you translate names mmm...~?
Unless they have "noun" names like "Swordmaster" or "Heero" then you should never change any name mmm...

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Seinen is RIGHT
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9:39 am, Mar 30 2020
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Sure there was no deeper meaning or research whatsoever in a manga that had a Führer and Bones created the very fictional Adolf Hitler when they adapted FMA for the first time. Funny how those pieces connected so easily. The Thule Society is a real thing btw:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule_Society
Member when that all happened? What´s the next trick. Hm. Here are the real-life Lannisters:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lancaster
You can do this with Dune, LotRs and... That´s kind of the point of those books. Learning from history and the reader would need to spot the hints so you can´t be too liberal with your new names as an author.

One final step on our DoA X3 detour. The lack of an "official" non-Asian release lead to minimal reviews. The last one got 38/100. The new one has a very generous 43/100. You know with movies how only the best productions don´t get screened for critics? About that...
So no only did the producers create a fake crusade and an artificial appearance of limited quantities for a game that would only get a limited run anyway, they also circumnavigated a public critical bashing. Not completely but they limited it, especially in the early weeks of the product´s lifecycle. They protected the life cycle!
Shit localisations can be their own reward sometimes. Hello Capcom.

Here is a question. What do you do when the last team(s) messed with a name but the translation took root in the heads of your fanbase? Nikolai Zinoviev from Resident Evil 3, out this Friday, is such a case: https://residentevil.fandom.com/wiki/Nikolai_Zinoviev
Localisations continue to be a fickle mistress.

PS: Monster (the setting is bigger than "just" Germany) nailed its names and even minute details 99% of the time an age before easy to do web research. Hats off Urasawa. All the hats.

Last edited by residentgrigo at 10:00 am, Mar 30

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Post #775334
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Kuudere-chan~
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10:05 am, Mar 30 2020
Posts: 598


NOOOO

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Post #775338 - Reply to (#775329) by carcar435867
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2:29 pm, Mar 30 2020
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Quote from carcar435867
I get WHY these companies want to make things more palatable to a foreign audience and to be honest I probably wouldn't be so open to watching anime as a child if the characters were named "Satoshi" and "Haruka" instead of "Ash" and "May" but as I grew older I grew more accepting of it when exposed to stuff like Inuyasha later. If it's stuff for little kids i do get and support changing the names for more general appeal - see yugioh. But for an audience that's not tiny babies I think they can handle a couple foreign names

I sort of doubt that retaining the original names would have resulted in a loss of interest because the Saban translation for the Digimon anime from Digimon Adventure to Digimon Frontier still retained the Japanese names for some of the characters and some references to the fact that the story takes place in Japan, and the franchise came to be the closest thing that Pokemon had to a rival when brought over to the West (As oppose to the older Shin Megami Tensei and newer series like Spectrobes).

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Seinen is RIGHT
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3:27 pm, Mar 30 2020
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You need to appease all sorts of people if you want to get your daytime kid´s show on the air and be more importantly successful in let´s say Texas or Florida. Why, there? No reason.
The advertisers, the toy people, whoever runs the affiliate channels and so on will make our break you! This is a business after all. Failure can mean blacklisting for life. Ash Ketchum it is then.
Kind of a smart name to get the kiddos to consume and obey.
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Chinpokomon Trainer: I've got to collect all Chinpokomon! I've got to collect them all so I can become World Crown Chinpoko-Master! Oh!
Japanese Spokeswoman: All Chinpokomon, and you will have happy feeling-su!

Edit: A lot of this is also run by the original IP holders. Especially in the last decade+. Even with manga as my breakdown here proves. You can blame the "uncultured" official translators all you want but they work under Shueisha´s and Shogakukan´s thumbs.

The Eva 3.33 dub "recall" speaks for itself I think but Hollywood Kojima was displeased by his exact words not being followed in MGS 1 - 1998 (and probably Snatcher) so we got more exact and easily worse translations after he gained enough clout to control the US scrips.
That very game got a 2nd dub + script (!) in the GameCube "remake" only 6 years later and it´s widely recognized as an inferior product. US Kojima dubs peaked in the 90s and not with Death -11,5 hours of by the letter cutscenes- Stranding. Good game but you should read some of that game´s endless emails. Dear lord...
Die-Hardman, born John Blake McClane, is pure poetry though. Such are names no one should ever dare to change 🤣. Jokes aside, Die-Hardman is a highlight.

Last edited by residentgrigo at 4:11 pm, Mar 30

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Post #775340 - Reply to (#775312) by residentgrigo
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3:53 pm, Mar 30 2020
Posts: 337


@residentgrigo ...
Okay, I get that you want to defend changes, if they are the only way that a series is allowed to be published in a country. I agree ...but I would point out that the changes are still bad, in those cases, just that they are a necessary evil. (as for names that are wordplay, due to the vagueness of katakana, and how it relates to English... I'd say that's a rather separate issue, if kinda related [but too complicated to go into, here, rather than in its own topic], to what this topic is about)

Post #775341 - Reply to (#775329) by carcar435867
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4:00 pm, Mar 30 2020
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Quote from carcar435867
Obviously since his last name is in english in the original japanese it's not so on the nose to have his last name literally be Baldness so the change of one letter to Boldness in english works a lot better.

Ehm... the name being Baldness, is a clear reference to baldness, even to the Japanese. That'd be the whole point in choosing that, as his family name. (I think it is good to avoid the terms "first name" and "last name", what with the fact that they aren't necessarily first or last, respectively)
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to be honest I probably wouldn't be so open to watching anime as a child if the characters were named "Satoshi" and "Haruka" instead of "Ash" and "May"

Why not? You were clearly fine with "Pikachu".
Not to mention the many fantasy works, that have strange and unfamiliar names, that kids love and never seem to have any problems with.

BTW:
Digimon changed the name "Tailmon" in Japan, to "Gatomon" for English audiences, and on an even more poignant note: the Japanese "Fairymon" was changed to "Kazemon", for "Western" audiences. (on an unrelated note: Digimon is nothing like Pokemon. Both involve monsters, and both are for kids and with kids with monster partners as protagonists, but that's where the similarities end)

P.S.
The general principles of translation, is that the reader/viewer is supposed to get the same thing, the same meaning/feeling/connotations/message, from the work, as the original audience. Names should never be translated. (nicknames and titles, however, generally should ...and names in fiction, that are actually more like nicknames/titles/descriptions/indicators)

As such, a lot of things done in the name of localization, a lot of localization period, is wrong.
You shouldn't make it seem like the work is set in, for example, the US rather than Japan. That's ridiculous and wrong, on multiple levels. You shouldn't change Japanese names to "Western" ones. (though when the dog in Excel Saga is named "menchi", the translation should change that to, say, "mince", to reflect how this is her being named as mince meat, reflecting her status as emergency food)

It should be noted that these principles indicate that the suffixes like -san/-kun/-chan, should be translated away ...but I think that scanlations, and a lot of commercial manga/anime should keep them. After all, manga-/anime-nerds are an audience that either knows or, very quickly and happily, learns the meaning of those suffixes. For stuff that is meant for a mainstream audience, however (pokemon, Ghibli, big audience movies...) they should be translated away.

...and, as far as I'm concerned, switching the order of given and family names, is a (wrong, bad, and invalid) form of translation. To be fair, the only reason that Westerners do it, is because the Japanese do it. Because when they opened up, in the Meiji Restoration, they thought they needed to do so, to help "Westerners" cope.
...except we've never had a problem with family-given names:
Chinese people, and most other Asians and various others, who use family-given order, never swap their names, and hence their names aren't swapped in Western media.
Kim Jong-un, Ban Ki-Moon, Mao Tsedong...
They are all known by their proper names, in their proper order.
Without any problems.
...but Abe Shinzou is known as Shinzo Abe. (oh, and long vowels are ignored...)
Oda Nobunaga is Oda Nobunaga, as historical names are kept in their proper order ...and you do have some other cases, of retained order.
Hence all the swapping just leads to confusion. With Chinese names, we understand that the family name comes first.
With Japanese, it's a guessing game.

Of course none of that comes close to the absurdity of Westerners swapping the order of their names, in Japan. Presenting themselves as, say "Smith John".
The excuse of being helpful doesn't work, as even the most ignorant Japanese person is well aware that Westerners have given-family name order, and all Japanese media keep Western names in their original order. (Japanese news speak of Donarudo Torampu. Not Torampu Donarudo) It's just weird, confusing, misleading, inexplicable ...and just pure stupid.
I'd like to know where the practice came from, how it came about... What possible reason, that anyone has for doing it...

One should, of course, replace Japanese idioms with English equivalents, so that it is understood. (as I said: The general principle of translation is that the reader/viewer is supposed to get the same thing, the same meaning/feeling/connotations/message, from the work, as the original audience) ...though if the idiom is mentioned, immediately followed by an explanation of the idiom, as I think I remember seeing on occasion, then this wouldn't really be necessary.

I remember an instance where a character misunderstood a saying/idiom (both for a bit of humor and showing his unfamiliarity of it, as a hint about how you later get to know he had grown up overseas), where the translator had found an idiom in the target language, that managed to convey the same kind of meaning, and also work with the misunderstanding (...though this didn't really work in English, so the English translation had to have a direct translation, with explanation)

BTW: It should be noted, given the principle of the reader/viewer being supposed to get the same thing, the same meaning/feeling/connotations/message, from the work, as the original audience... There are two schools of thought, on the subject of translating poetry:
1. It's the very, very, difficult thing to translate.
2. It's impossible to translate.

Last edited by zarlan at 4:39 pm, Mar 30

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Seinen is RIGHT
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4:39 pm, Mar 30 2020
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Mr. Satan made it to Germany unchanged for all that care as moral panics were dead by the time this aired here. Ok there was one about videogame violence but it got forever solved in the late 00s and to the early 2010s. We good now. Actual nazis can even be in games and everything. Listen to the first 10 seconds for your German Satan goodness:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtwyAiEjFV0

That part of the dub (we started with all of the original Dragon Ball first) aired in 2002.
Usagi further became Bunny (the English word, not German) Tsukino as that is what her name is. Usagi doesn´t mean a thing unless you know Japanese and it will mean bunny then. Good luck with the moon connection though...
These are the changes you need to make to end up with a good and more importantly accurate translation. Unless you want to go from one annotation to the next. I´ll take them but have some heart for your readers and you can´t do notes within notes in an audio medium. Just According to Keikaku intensifies. I was there when that bomb dropped. Lol.

Last edited by residentgrigo at 4:45 pm, Mar 30

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Post #775345 - Reply to (#775342) by residentgrigo
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4:52 pm, Mar 30 2020
Posts: 337


Quote from residentgrigo
Mr. Satan made it to Germany unchanged for all that care as moral panics were dead by the time this aired here.

Actually I read DB in Swedish ...which was a translation from the German translation.
Though as someone who got into manga/anime, through German dubbed anime, I must say that their translations are relatively decent/faithful. (not that I don't have complaints, but...)
Also their voice acting is far better than in American dubs. Nowhere near as good as the original Japanese, but relatively good, as far as dubs go.

...and yeah, translating Usagi to Bunny, is bad/wrong according to what I've said before about names, but it's even more bad, given that the only reason for the meaning having any relevance, is due to the whole notion of a rabbit on the moon, that doesn't exist in the West. Anyone who'd know about that, is likely to also know that "usagi" means "rabbit", anyway.
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Just According to Keikaku intensifies.

"Everything is going to be daijoubu" (the Japanese, here, was "daijoubu", BTW)
"Ich will protect you"
(from Yurikuma Arashi. Dunno which fansub group)

Post #775363
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1:25 am, Mar 31 2020
Posts: 41


I think it entirely depends. Sometimes, a character's name has meaning that wouldn't have the same meaning if we just romanized the Japanese, or other language, name. Melinda Megamelons from Way Of The Samurai 4, for example. Is her name Melinda Megamelons in the original Japanese version? No. For some reason, she is a westerner coming to Japan for the first time with a Japanese name, but that is an entirely other thing. But her name got localized to Melinda Megamelons because her name was originally a boob joke to begin with. I don't remember what exactly it was, but it if you knew Japanese and you saw it, you would instantly know "Oh, that's a boob joke" (which is extremely not okay, considering she's a pretty cool character)

So yeah, I'm pretty indifferent towards localized names if they suit the character and have meaning. I'm not going to be taken out of the immersion just by that tiny thing. Like, if that shattered my suspension of disbelief, I'd have rioted every time I read IN ENGLISH high schoolers struggling in English class.

I do have to admit that it is way easier to remember certain characters though. I remember when I first read Lookism, back when there were only fan translations, I couldn't remember anyone's names. I was a little pissed at the official translation at first for giving them western names, but the more I read it, the more I was like "Yeah, this guy IS a Logan. He gives off the exact vibe of someone with the name Logan"

Post #775366
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2:19 am, Mar 31 2020
Posts: 118


I'm torn for one simple reason, that it's easier to get confused when every name sounds japanese. Manga like One Piece and Naruto have very distinct names, AND they handle the introductions of them very well.

But then we also have other manga, typically in a high-school setting, that offer little in terms of original names, AND it's more common than not that a manga author's writing ability isn't up-to-par, and they just throw you into the deep end with a bunch of characters all at once. This gets confusing even in english fiction.

(Disclaimer: Obviously there's shou/nen/jo-manga that are amazingly written, and most of them that aren't are still very enjoyable for adults, but they're labeled for teens for a reason.)

ADD to that the current norm of drawing-style this last decade or so might be pretty (well, I personally hate it but I guess people like its superficial qualities) and offers VERY LITTLE in terms of original art. It's practically impossible to look at a character and spot from which manga it's from, and many times it's even hard to see differences between characters in THE SAME EFFIN' MANGA. I miss the 90's/early 00's, and I look forward wholeheartedly to the next evolution.

In those cases, give me an easily recognizable Julian Star any day of the week.

But in general, I dislike it, because it's not the author's input, and I prefer my fiction as clean as possible. And I was thoroughly annoyed by watching DQ: Your Story - there was no need to change Henri to Harry or Papasu to Pankraz because they're easily recognizable as is, and hearing the J-voices say one name and the translation say another is jarring and immersion-breaking.

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6:14 am, Mar 31 2020
Posts: 205


Uh not sure if you're just being willfully ignorant here or not but the dub for digimon while they did keep the japanese name and setting intact where pokemon didn't, did not exactly maintain the names 100%. the original digimon dub shortened the character's names / gave them nicknames and let's not forget that they changed taichi's family name to a DIFFERENT but still japanese name for some reason.

there was still some manner of adapting the source material to be more palatable to a foreign audience even if they didn't change it 100% and that's not even considering all the edits made to make it less violent and shorter for the shorter allotted broadcasting time.

i'm personally a fan of how they handled the name changes in the original beyblade

takao -> tyson
Kyoujyu -> kenny
kai -> kai
rei -> ray

kept a lot of names the same but the ones they did change they kept close to their original japanese names
and if i recall i think they handled the laptop character was SUPER interesting, she wasn't even IN the original japanese version?? they purely invented her for the english dub and she was super charming

and while on this topic i always found it very bizarre how they made tao ren and tao jun in shaman king british in the english dub. they changed ren/len -> lenny (lol) but like... he and his sister are still wearing super stereo-typical ~chinese~ (actually jun's qipao is manchurian) so making them british is just confusing?

and also i never understood why they kept yoh as yoh in the english but changed hao to zeke?


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6:29 am, Mar 31 2020
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@zarlan

Quote
Why not? You were clearly fine with "Pikachu".
Not to mention the many fantasy works, that have strange and unfamiliar names, that kids love and never seem to have any problems with.


sure pikachu but you conveniently failed to mention the swath of pokemon that DID receive english names? Hello? Squirtle? charmander? Bulbasaur?

Do you seriously believe pokemon would have taken off in the west if they retained their japanese names of Zenigame, Hitokage, and Fushigidane?

Quote
The general principles of translation, is that the reader/viewer is supposed to get the same thing, the same meaning/feeling/connotations/message, from the work, as the original audience. Names should never be translated. (nicknames and titles, however, generally should ...and names in fiction, that are actually more like nicknames/titles/descriptions/indicators)


And i can't really agree with this either. there's plenty of martial arts movies where they kept "sensei!" and "shifu!" both terms could potentially be translated as teacher or master but sensei has almost come to have its own meaning, at least with how it is seen and used in popular media.

Quote
As such, a lot of things done in the name of localization, a lot of localization period, is wrong.
You shouldn't make it seem like the work is set in, for example, the US rather than Japan. That's ridiculous and wrong, on multiple levels. You shouldn't change Japanese names to "Western" ones. (though when the dog in Excel Saga is named "menchi", the translation should change that to, say, "mince", to reflect how this is her being named as mince meat, reflecting her status as emergency food)


and again this i really have to disagree with. let's look at Ace Attorney
In japanese the main character is called Ryūichi Naruhodō and Phoenix Wright in English. This character is so synonymous with the english name for me that I didn't even realize that it was a name concocted by the localization team. The localization team didn't attempt to maintain the word play in his name and i think that was the correct choice. i recall reading something about how the original japanese team avoided including overt japanese cultural references in the first game in hopes that it would be localized in english but then gave up on that in the second game which caused some issues for the localization team later? And we never even got an official localization of Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken which is a darn shame.

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