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Old 2012-08-22, 10:31   Link #281
Kokujin-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
I think the issue here stems from how ubiquitous that the story has become in Japanese culture that it's almost taken on its own identity. Yes, it's based off a story from China, but that's the _secondary_ reference. Most Rot3K animes is based off the ingrained Japanese versions of the story.

As a different example, why is Goku named Son Goku?
Shouldn't the original Dragonball translators have used the spelling "Sun Wukong"? You're making essentially the same argument.

Now when the original "neta" is chinese directly, and not indirectly, using the Chinese spelling might be more appropriate.
For example if I had translated Night Raid I would have tried to use correct Chinese spellings.
Yeah, I think it'd probably be borderline ridiculous if they tried to use the Chinese spelling of Son Goku, especially since there are other Dragonball characters that have proper Chinese names.

However, I still reject the argument that Chinese names can never in any circumstances be used in place of Japanese versions of those names. This is not to say that I reject subs that uses Japanese names, I think both practices are fine in their own rights. But, as you said, if the anime is actually set in China with Chinese people and Chinese locations, it wouldn't really make sense to me to use Japanese names in those instances.
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Old 2012-08-22, 21:17   Link #282
larethian
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Depends on target audience. You know, there are also those who get pissed when they hear one thing in the show and see a totally different sub, especially those who do not know much about the Chinese origins. I'm sure there are shows that use Chinese names (not talking about RTK references) and the subs uses hanyu pinyin subs for the names, but when the show uses the Japanese names themselves, as a viewer, I'll find it weird to use Chinese names for the subs. Incidentally, I'm ethnic Chinese and well acquainted with RTK since middle school, but I'll opt for using the Japanese names for the subs if I'm the TL.
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Old 2012-08-22, 23:30   Link #283
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Well here's a simple example for people:

What about when someone says "Pekin" in an anime?
There are 3 choices:

1. Subtitle it as Beijing. (Standard us english usage)
2. Subtitle it as Peking. (Standard pin yin spelling)
3. Subtitle it as Pekin. (Japanese spelling)

Which would you prefer, and why?
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Old 2012-08-23, 00:48   Link #284
Raiga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
Well here's a simple example for people:

What about when someone says "Pekin" in an anime?
There are 3 choices:

1. Subtitle it as Beijing. (Standard us english usage)
2. Subtitle it as Peking. (Standard pin yin spelling)
3. Subtitle it as Pekin. (Japanese spelling)

Which would you prefer, and why?
The standard pinyin is actually Beijing, while Peking is the historical spelling (aka Chinese Postal Map Romanization).

*goes back to lurking*
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Old 2012-08-23, 17:02   Link #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
I think the issue here stems from how ubiquitous that the story has become in Japanese culture that it's almost taken on its own identity. Yes, it's based off a story from China, but that's the _secondary_ reference. Most Rot3K animes is based off the ingrained Japanese versions of the story.

As a different example, why is Goku named Son Goku?
Shouldn't the original Dragonball translators have used the spelling "Sun Wukong"? You're making essentially the same argument.

Now when the original "neta" is chinese directly, and not indirectly, using the Chinese spelling might be more appropriate.
For example if I had translated Night Raid I would have tried to use correct Chinese spellings.
The issue here really is lies in the complicated Japanese written system or specifically Kanji.

Goku in Japanese is written Sun Wukong as Kanji. As for pronunciation of those character, it is hard to say it was Japanese original when there are group of historian on historical linguistics believes that current Japanese pronunciation of Kanji is a more correct pronunciation when compares to Middle Chinese around tang dynasty.

The real issue is no matter how you pronounce it, be it Son Goku or Sun Wukong it is still written 孫悟空. English (or any other non Sino-sphere countries) simply doesn't have that kind of advantage.

So the question here is do you defer to the written side or pronunciation side.

Closer comparison is probably FFVII. The Cloud v.s. Claude before the game officially translated and Aeris v.s. Aerith after the game was out.

Personally I don't mind translations based on pronunciation instead of written, but then question arise why isn't names like say, Spike from Cowboy Bepop translate into Supaiku?

Historical series is always tricky. Best way out I think is simply include a note in the end like some early fansubber does or a little disclaimer when the name was first shown.


Besides, languages tend to take the life on it's own. Especially one that's been around as long as Chinese.

Heck, take Chow Mein for example, in most Chinese's eyes, when they hear Chow Mein, they are actually thinking more along the line of Lo Mein then the Chow Mein we know because of the way Cantonese (specifically ones form Hong-Kong) restaurants dominates in U.S.

Speaking of Hong-Kong, we call them as Hone-Kong but official pinyin spelling should be Xiang-Gong and then you have the Wade-Gile and Yale system.
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Old 2012-08-24, 00:55   Link #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
Closer comparison is probably FFVII. The Cloud v.s. Claude before the game officially translated and Aeris v.s. Aerith after the game was out.
Actually I thought Cloud was always the intent from the start since Final fantasy main characters have had a tradition of names relating to natural things.

Terra, Cloud, Squall, Lightning, etc...
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Old 2012-08-24, 01:26   Link #287
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Right, but before the game's official translation, in many game magazine, they assume Claude was the right spell based on the Japanese pronunciation. Same with Aerith, except once the game ports over, Cloud was fix and Aeris didn't.

But that goes to show that name-translation is always a b#*ch when you have different writing system compare to the origin country and there really isn't a perfect way out of it.

Again using Ikkitousen as example, for all intend and purpose, that series was intended to use the Chinese, hell all the location and school in that series were all from China with reference back the Three Kingdom. The series was full of inevitables and how to avoid history from repeating itself. Even the manga adds pages of references for reader who were not well verse in Three Kingdom. In that case the right translation is obviously use the common Chinese romanization since that is the common accepted spelling of the name outside of Sinosphere countries. But as Cyprene mentioned, he got killed by people for it.

An isn't that where this debate started?

SinsI complain about that name should always matches pronunciation and how they were heard. In that case, why even bother with Cerberus it should be Keruberosu all the time and screw names like Matt and make it Matto instead.
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Old 2012-08-24, 17:44   Link #288
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
SinsI complain about that name should always matches pronunciation and how they were heard. In that case, why even bother with Cerberus it should be Keruberosu all the time and screw names like Matt and make it Matto instead.
The names in the subs must be "close enough to be recognized" to what you hear. Xin for Shin is perfectly fine, and you can do really weird things to names like Eisei - Ei Sei, A-Sei, Aye-Sei: all these variants are perfectly fine, so it is only a question of style or your translator's choice of what is more natural. But in no way can one recognize that when one says "Eisei" he actually means "Zheng".
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Old 2012-08-24, 18:33   Link #289
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That was actually subber's fault. Ei-Sei stands for 2 characters, Yin-Zheng and it does sound closer enough once you take away Japanese's pronunciation tendencies.

Besides it goes back that in original work Ei-Sei is still written as 嬴政 and Japanese knows that 嬴政 stands for Yin-Zheng.

And that is what I'm pointed out, Japanese an Chinese has writing system that they can use to avoid pronunciation issue, but there is no such in when it comes to English.

What you are arguing was that creator's intent be damned, to me that is a bigger issue.

You say it yourself, name should be "close enough to be recognized" the argument here is that Yin-Zheng is closer to to be recognized as future Chin-Shi Huang than Ei-Sei.

Of course if you are going to ignore the historical side of it, fine. But don't pass it off as if as if those where not the creator's intend for the series.

Like I say, Cerberus v.s Keruberosu.

And most importantly, subs are written words. In case of Ei-Sei is was written as 嬴政, and those two are spelled as Yin-Zheng in none Sinosphere (here is that word again) countries.
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Old 2012-08-25, 07:32   Link #290
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We are talking about written English names in the subs, not the Kanji counterpart - as you don't hear the kanji. Whatever your choice, be it Cerberus, Kerberos or Keruberosu - any listener would instantly understand that the /ˈsɜrbərəs/ (however distorted by adaptation to the Japanese language) and the name you chose are one and the same. Same with Matt, Mat or Matto.
"Historical" side is OK for the dub/novels, but it shouldn't be brought up in the subs.
Subs are a crutch and not a full blown translation, as you have to heavily rely on external information like character's tone, intonations and the like, so you have to cope up with their restrictions - and not being able to freely change the names the way you like is one of them.
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Old 2012-08-25, 12:52   Link #291
Raiga
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Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
Subs are a crutch and not a full blown translation,
Why do I keep hearing this inane "subs are a crutch" thing? And "not a full-blown translation"? Are you serious?

There are restrictions on the subtitle medium (for example, each line of dialogue must be readable within the time it appears onscreen), just as there are restrictions on manga translations (the dialogue needs to fit in the bubbles and split naturally where the bubbles split), but none of what you mentioned is one of those restrictions.

You have come to like bland, incomplete translations and decided that that is the "correct" way to subtitle. Because the translators were not competent enough to capture a character's tone and personality in translation, you've concluded that you're supposed to rely on the voice acting to understand the character. Because the translators could not or would not do the research to determine the most suitable way of handling the names, you've decided that phonetics are God and to hell with historical references or meaningful names.

Yes, a translator should pay attention to the audio when writing a subtitle, but that doesn't mean he or she cannot do a "full-blown translation". You simply don't want a full translation. Instead of an intelligent translation that conveys meaning in clever ways, you want a dumbed-down translation that lets you fancy yourself the clever one. Meanwhile, you miss out on any deeper layers of meaning that the dumbed-down translation didn't see fit to capture.

If you seriously want to learn the language then seriously go study it, and if you want to use subtitled anime as a learning aid then go for it. But if the subtitles you're using follow this "crutch" philosophy, then believe you me you're not going to learn the language well.

[/rant]
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Old 2012-08-25, 14:35   Link #292
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I agree with Raiga, if it's crunch that you are looking for, guess what those old Hong Kong/Filipino bootlegs is what you are looking for because those are the subtitles you are asking for, they translate the words as you hear them without thinking about the context or the grammatical sense.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
We are talking about written English names in the subs, not the Kanji counterpart - as you don't hear the kanji. Whatever your choice, be it Cerberus, Kerberos or Keruberosu - any listener would instantly understand that the /ˈsɜrbərəs/ (however distorted by adaptation to the Japanese language) and the name you chose are one and the same. Same with Matt, Mat or Matto.
"Historical" side is OK for the dub/novels, but it shouldn't be brought up in the subs.
Subs are a crutch and not a full blown translation, as you have to heavily rely on external information like character's tone, intonations and the like, so you have to cope up with their restrictions - and not being able to freely change the names the way you like is one of them.
Bullshit, I seen fansub groups got killed for translating Cerberus as Keruberosu and ridiculed that they didn't do their work and people who wondering what what the heck is a Keruberosu.

Kanji is exactly the point on fortune names, your are missing the fact that those Kanji are use as Japanese words. It's not counterpart, it's what they use.

Japanese don't write Ei-Sei in the manga or in DVD subtitle, they write 嬴政. As such, that is the standard for any translation crunchy or not. If you believe it just a counterpart, go look at a raw source and tell me otherwise.

Again, what you are asking is to devoid the intention and the meaning of the work, if that is what you want, and historical anime is obviously not your thing so why bother.

And if it's like you say, it is all about character's tone, intonations and the like. Than it's very simple, just romanticize every line you hear, not that would be your dream sub. Maybe I can convince someone (or do it myself) to do a 100% romanticized episode and see how people feels about it.
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Old 2012-08-25, 18:37   Link #293
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I was talking to someone from Mangagamer this afternoon, and since it was being discussed here I asked him if they used Chinese or Japanese names when they did the Koihime game. He said they kept Japanese, because they felt it was important that it matched the voices. I know Crunchyroll's translations did as well. So in terms of anime featuring characters from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms...

Ikkitousen: Professional version used the Japanese names.

Koihime / Shin Koihime / Otome Tairan: Both the professional version and the game used the Japanese names.

Yawaraka Sangokushi Tsukisase!! Ryofuko-chan: Had no professional version, but I'm fairly certain the fansubbers left her as Ryofu.

Sengoku Collection (Had an episode devoted to Ryuubi): I believe we left her Ryuubi for this, though I honestly do not remember.

BB Gundam Sangokushi Brave Battle Warriors: Bandai uses the Japanese names for these, I think. I've got a document sitting around... somewhere, with a list of all their official names.

Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi: The fansubbers used the Chinese names, and the project died rather quickly because of it. I don't know if it was ever successfully fansubbed.


So the question is then, has there ever been a successfully completed 3-kingdoms related anime translation that used the Chinese names for the characters?
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Old 2012-08-25, 18:56   Link #294
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Yes, Souten Kouro was fansubbed with all the chinese names. It was indeed quite helpful for me, when doing some research to understand the background. Three Kingdoms is unknown in France for the regular viewer, and I enjoyed learning about ancient China.

But perhaps it's an exception, since the manga itself seems to use the oldest accounts as a basis, and not the more recent Japanese or even Chinese ones. And of course, it took two years to complete, which could precisely due to all the additional work needed to have such a translation.
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Old 2012-08-25, 19:11   Link #295
Undertaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyprene View Post
I was talking to someone from Mangagamer this afternoon, and since it was being discussed here I asked him if they used Chinese or Japanese names when they did the Koihime game. He said they kept Japanese, because they felt it was important that it matched the voices. I know Crunchyroll's translations did as well. So in terms of anime featuring characters from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms...

Ikkitousen: Professional version used the Japanese names.

Koihime / Shin Koihime / Otome Tairan: Both the professional version and the game used the Japanese names.

Yawaraka Sangokushi Tsukisase!! Ryofuko-chan: Had no professional version, but I'm fairly certain the fansubbers left her as Ryofu.

Sengoku Collection (Had an episode devoted to Ryuubi): I believe we left her Ryuubi for this, though I honestly do not remember.

BB Gundam Sangokushi Brave Battle Warriors: Bandai uses the Japanese names for these, I think. I've got a document sitting around... somewhere, with a list of all their official names.

Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi: The fansubbers used the Chinese names, and the project died rather quickly because of it. I don't know if it was ever successfully fansubbed.


So the question is then, has there ever been a successfully completed 3-kingdoms related anime translation that used the Chinese names for the characters?


Anime, no, video games, yes. Dynasty Warriors series, which is probably most western fans learns about Three Kingdom period and the people.

But what we are talking here is not about professional ports. We are talking about fansubs. Official products are aimed as general western viewer who most likely has no idea about the background, and that goes to those paid translators as well.

There is no profit for doing a fan-sub, and that is why they often go extra miles over official port and the reason many translations in official port often got complained by people who understand original Japanese.

I mean how are you going to measure the success of a fan-sub? Because this is what we are talking about.

Again, I'm not saying that they should always keep the Chinese Romanization, it's the subber's call. But to diss and complain about a subber doing too much and goes extra mile, IMHO, is ludicrous.

BTW, Koihime is a bad choice, the character in the game while keep their official and courtesy Chinese names all of the character also had orginal names that was used primarily in the game. There is no one named Sei that I know of in the Three Kingdom in Historical Record.
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Old 2012-08-25, 20:34   Link #296
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Again, I'm not saying that they should always keep the Chinese Randomization, it's the subber's call. But to diss and complain about a subber doing too much and goes extra mile, IMHO, is ludicrous.
Yeah, I was really upset at the reaction when we did it for Ikkitousen. But that was the reaction we got, especially because it was a lot of extra work. But the fact remains that even a fansub-watching audience, in general, hates it. They're watching Japanese anime and they expect to see Japanese names. The number of people who have ever heard of Romance of the Three Kingdoms in the west is vanishingly small, especially as Dynasty Warriors franchise is starting to fade from memory.
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Old 2012-08-27, 12:06   Link #297
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Originally Posted by Cyprene View Post
So the question is then, has there ever been a successfully completed 3-kingdoms related anime translation that used the Chinese names for the characters?
Well, of course it's not going to count since it's not a RotTK anime, but Princess Jellyfish had a main character who's a RotTK otaku and the official subs apparently used Chinese names for all the heroes she referenced.

Though now I'm curious about how the fans would react if the subbers changed the title of the third anime to Lu Bu-ko-chan
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Old 2012-08-29, 16:07   Link #298
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The recent discussion here clearly shows that "taste" has a lot to do with it, as in most of fansubbing. Big surprise.

However, I'd just like to thank you guys for the recently, in IMHO, rather interesting discussion in a forum that's almost turned dead
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Old 2012-08-29, 19:13   Link #299
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Yeah, target audience is critical. Crunchyroll, for instance, has a MUCH broader audience range than a typical fansub. It's also intended, for example, to be played on mobile devices or on the PS3, so we try to keep signs, notes, etc to an absolute minimum.

I was on a fansubbing project several years ago where I would write endless notes and commentary. I think for the first episode the word count of the commentary section (We threw it at the end of the episode so anybody who didn't want to watch could just turn it off.) was greater than the word count of the actual episode itself. CR would never, ever do that.
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Old 2012-09-01, 16:59   Link #300
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Agree, CR is mostly speed sub, that all truth be told has many translation errors especially when it comes to anime that has more culture and regional references. And it is much easier to spot in series like Chihayafuru and Saki.

But as CP said, everyone got it taste, if that's what people want, fine, but don't disrespect a subber when they do extra work just to let you know what the series is "actually intended" for or where the references are from. In the end, there are plenty of subs out there, you don't like it, you don't have to watch it.
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