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Old 2007-05-14, 20:43   Link #1
tun
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Aspects of Translation

I think it's abou time that we begin to expect our viewers to know the -tachi suffix. It's getting annoying to translate it as X and the others. Do you think this is too much to ask for our leechers to understand?
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Old 2007-05-14, 20:57   Link #2
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Why not just romanize the Japanese and stick that into the subtitles?

English makes liberal (and sometimes questionably necessary) use of pluralization, so I see no reason to leave something in Japanese when it naturally exists in or is very easily translatable into English.
Things like Nee-chan I can abide, as using 'older sister-chan' is just dumb, but if it's easy to translate, why not just translate it?


Disclaimer: Not a lazy leecher, but a translator (term used loosely ) as well.
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Old 2007-05-14, 21:07   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatPianoBoy View Post
Why not just romanize the Japanese and stick that into the subtitles?

English makes liberal (and sometimes questionably necessary) use of pluralization, so I see no reason to leave something in Japanese when it naturally exists in or is very easily translatable into English.
Things like Nee-chan I can abide, as using 'older sister-chan' is just dumb, but if it's easy to translate, why not just translate it?


Disclaimer: Not a lazy leecher, but a translator (term used loosely ) as well.
As a fellow translator, I feel your pain.

BUT... I think the issues with -tachi can be overcome through clever wording and editing, with very little to no loss in meaning.

Suffixes like -san and -chan are impossible to fully translate because no true english equivalent exists. On the other hand, -tachi is not a cultural or social thing, it's simply a slightly different form of pluralizer, and though it sometimes makes literal translations awkward, leaving it untranslated is more laziness on the part of the translator than staying "true to the japanese", IMO.
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Old 2007-05-14, 21:19   Link #4
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Its the literal equivalent of saying "X and the others" ... its not an honorific (indicator of status). I'm on Quarkboy's and FPB's page on this one
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Old 2007-05-14, 22:18   Link #5
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As users browsing the Lucky Star thread must know already, I'm in for "full localization" whenever possible, as a translation student myself. While I haven't got a position taken about honorifics, -tachi isn't a honorific at all, and it's easily replaceable in (I guess) any language. So why the hell do you want to do it?
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Old 2007-05-14, 22:44   Link #6
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It's not like it's hard to work around it and there is multiple ways beside "and the others". You can list the names if it's just a couple people. Beside, it sounds absolutely ludicrous to put in -tachi in a sub unless its some pun.
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Old 2007-05-15, 04:51   Link #7
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And if anyone used -tachi in subs, what about cases such as anta-tachi? "You-tachi"? Nah... using -tachi in subs is a really bad idea. (See above posts.)

In fact I would also like to generally see "less weeaboo". The wapanese-isation of subs is sometimes going too far. I can't bother to dig up any examples now, but being lazy and put the romanisation of some semi-obscure word you can't expect your viewers to remember, and then a note about its meaning, that's just plain bad practice. It only makes your sub harder to understand. Less weeaboo, please. Translate what translated can be. And make notes when there are homonym-dependent jokes.

In fact, in the case of honorifics, I believe it wouldn't be very wrong to entirely drop -san, -neesan, -niisan etc., put something appropriate for -sama but keep endearings such as -chan, -cchi, -rin etc. I think that would generally make subs easier to follow.
(And please, please, if you are going to put wapanese in your subs make sure you do it right. I remember some Da Capo subs where, when they said neesan they put oneesan in the subs, or something to that effect. Wtf?)
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Old 2007-05-15, 05:28   Link #8
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either way is fine.

anime fans are expected to know basic japanese word terms like hello, good, yes, and -tachi.

but if you want to translate to localize its fine too.

it all comes down to what you think is cuter. I like to add in the cuter ending tags and monikers. if you want to try and add an english accent to characters, go for it (just dont use a southern or ghetto accent)


the only real reason to make it necessary to add these in, though, is for the hearing impaired. just beacuse you don't speak japanese doesn't mean your deaf.
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Old 2007-05-15, 10:26   Link #9
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Maybe it's not too much to ask anime fans to understand, but you'll be alienating anyone who wants to even try watching anime.
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Old 2007-05-15, 11:37   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potatochobit View Post
anime fans are expected to know basic japanese word terms like hello, good, yes, and -tachi.
I'm what?
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Old 2007-05-15, 12:17   Link #11
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-tachi => et al., anyone?

I find anime to be a very entertaining media, but I like to think I can learn something worthwhile, like some Japanese, while I watch it (yes, a sad way of learning things, but I take what I can). I've watched enough anime to know what -tachi means, but I'm sure there are plenty of anime watchers out there that don't, and I've noticed recently that there are times when the plural reference isn't kept in the translation/editing which could prevent the learning what -tachi means. It generally isn't a huge problem in terms of an overall picture and most watchers couldn't care less, but it is inaccurate referencing and translating.

I'm all for educating the masses, though. Whether they like it or not.
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Old 2007-05-15, 12:26   Link #12
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First of all, there are the arguments set forth by those before me pointing out how different the case of honorifics and of -tachi is. A lot of honorifics are near impossible to properly and consistently translate. And since honorifics are pretty simple, have no direct semantic/syntactic implications on the sentence itself, I feel that it using these does not harm the understandability of the subs much while they do add more in authenticity and mood-setting. Besides, like it or not, they are already ubiquitous anyway. All of these things do not hold for -tachi. Tachi *is* important to the literal meaning of the sentence and *is* quite translatable, it's the job of editors to make it work as well as possible.

Secondly, if we start adding to the prerequisite 'vocabulary' of fansub watcher like that, we are well on the way towards making them a lot less accessible. That's the best way of making the community die out: raising the threshold for newcomers.

If -tachi should be left untranslated, by induction, we should be leaving half of the conversation untranslated. Stuff like "sou desu", "ne", "sugoi", "kawaii", "echhi". It'd be a sub for Japanese learners rather than for people who have no working knowledge of the language. If you want to be that otaku-oriented be my guest, personally I'd like subs to be for everyone. The more, the merrier.

P.S. By all means, we're already pushing it with the transcription rather than translation of some words.
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Old 2007-05-15, 12:33   Link #13
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Fuyuki-tachi - No.
Fuyuki and the others - Yes.
Fuyuki and Keroro - Yes.

Understand?
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Old 2007-05-15, 12:43   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
Secondly, if we start adding to the prerequisite 'vocabulary' of fansub watcher like that, we are well on the way towards making them a lot less accessible. That's the best way of making the community die out: raising the threshold for newcomers.
I disagree with this sentiment on the angle that fansubbing is a very decentralized process and there are really no set standards on fansubs as a whole. Most of the smaller startup/speedsub groups will most likely not pick up the more complicated standards at the sacrifice of ease/speed of the sub for accuracy. There will also be larger groups that will not adopt anime "jargon," so it's a safe bet that there will be a version of a given series that will be accessible and available to the uninitiated anime watcher.

Last edited by chaos4ever; 2007-05-15 at 13:17.
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Old 2007-05-15, 12:53   Link #15
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i disagree with your view that making people learn japanese will turn off casual watchers.

point number 1.

casual watchers who dont like to listen to japanese will not watch fansubs in the first place. these are the people who watch the english dub versions. if they don't like hearing about japanese do you think they would be into the latest anime trends in japan? no they would not, and most likely they would not be watching any anime other than the real popular titles like bleach and one piece.

point number 2.

if reading a one line word in romanji turns you off, then I wonder how did you sit through the other 400 lines in english without going crazy. must've had a 4 for 1 sale of ridlin down at the walgreens. let me offend your attention span a little more by throwing in a second romanji line in there.

on the other side though, I believe an english equivelent, or at least a western language equivelent (EU) can be found for all japanese honorifics.

what i dont think can be properly translated are ending dialects.

there are no literal words for ending sentences in ~desu, or ~su, or ~be or nyoro~n. sure you can try to use a few slurs here and there, but japan seems to have the patent on making words end in cuteness.
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Old 2007-05-15, 12:57   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potatochobit View Post
point number 1.
casual watchers who dont like to listen to japanese will not watch fansubs in the first place. these are the people who watch the english dub versions. if they don't like hearing about japanese do you think they would be into the latest anime trends in japan? no they would not, and most likely they would not be watching any anime other than the real popular titles like bleach and one piece.
Not a point, only an opinion.
Quote:
point number 2.
if reading a one line word in romanji turns you off, then I wonder how did you sit through the other 400 lines in english without going crazy. must've had a 4 for 1 sale of ridlin down at the walgreens. let me offend your attention span a little more by throwing in a second romanji line in there.

on the other side though, I believe an english equivelent, or at least a western language equivelent (EU) can be found for all japanese honorifics.

what i dont think can be properly translated are ending dialects.

there are no literal words for ending sentences in ~desu, or ~su, or ~be or nyoro~n. sure you can try to use a few slurs here and there, but japan seems to have the patent on making words end in cuteness.
But as far as I can tell, there is no real "reason" to use "-tachi". The other honorifics like "-san", "-kun", etc. dictate a sort of seniority/honor level towards other people, which is really hard to translate in English mainly because the best we have is "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Miss", etc. which would all sound rather odd. Of course we could try really hard and use them if you want.

Here's a case example; say in Japanese an anime refers to "Tachibana's group", would we say "Tachibana-tachi"? Just how much more moonspeak do we really want to throw in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
If we start adding to the prerequisite 'vocabulary' of fansub watcher like that, we are well on the way towards making them a lot less accessible. That's the best way of making the community die out: raising the threshold for newcomers.

By all means, we're already pushing it with the transcription rather than translation of some words.
QFT.
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Old 2007-05-15, 13:17   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos4ever View Post
I disagree with this sentiment on the angle that fansubbing is a very decentralized process and there are really no set standards on fansubs as a whole.
Unless I am misunderstanding tun's sentiment, the phrase 'we should start pushing' indicates the attempt to start a trend/custom which implies making it pretty widespread. Of course fansubbers are as diverse as the series they fansub, but it does not detract from the fact that even if only half of the fansubs become less accessible the body of available fansubs as a whole suffers too. I know of no particularly strong correlation between editing choices made by groups and their viewership among 'newbie anime-watchers', but then again, I've never given it too much thought.

In short, fansubbing is certainly decentralized as you point out, however that doesn't change the relevance of the concern I voice, since the indirect topic at hand deals with 'pushing' for a general change (presumably through 'opinion-making' threads like these) in the opinions and practices of a great many fansubbers. (Believing us to have such power would, I might add, be a bit arrogant. But that does not make the question less valid.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos4ever View Post
Most of the smaller startup/speedsub groups will most likely not pick up the more complicated standards at the sacrifice of ease/speed of the sub for accuracy, so there will always be some version of a given series that will be accessible to the uninitiated anime watcher.
- I don't get what you're saying about speedsubbers. I could just as easily say that they would be extra eager to apply these sort of things, since it makes editing less ambigious, thus faster and easier.

- "Some version of a given series"?
Firstly, there are some series which do not enjoy having half a dozen fansub groups subbing it start to end. </understatement>
Secondly, how exactly do you expect the so-called 'uninitiated anime watcher' to discern which version would be best for them? Even experienced people can't tell at a glance without being led by preconception.


P.S. To potato: One line of romaji obviously doesn't mean the end of the world. That is why I spoke of trends. ("well on the way towards", "by induction" etc.) Not subbing -tachi is fundamentally different from not subbing honorifics, as pointed out by many before me.

P.P.S. I would like to add that I am not particularly against leaving character-specific speech mannerisms untranslated. By all means let Misuzu say "Gao" in the subs. ;-) And leaving certain show-specific phrases/terms untranslated can add some extra coolness. ("Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!") But again, -tachi does none of these things.
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Last edited by Crovax; 2007-05-15 at 13:29.
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Old 2007-05-15, 15:40   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
In short, fansubbing is certainly decentralized as you point out, however that doesn't change the relevance of the concern I voice, since the indirect topic at hand deals with 'pushing' for a general change (presumably through 'opinion-making' threads like these) in the opinions and practices of a great many fansubbers. (Believing us to have such power would, I might add, be a bit arrogant. But that does not make the question less valid.)
You may push to introduce more -tachi and other similar jargon, but it is still for the individual groups to decide whether or not they wish to adopt it. It's like the h264 vs XviD and XviD vs DivX debate that came around. Some groups will decide to "upgrade" their codec choice, which could put off potential viewers for a particular series. Getting anime episodes to run with non-default codecs takes time and effort, but it's nothing a few questions in a forum or a FAQ or an IRC channel, or a little research can't handle. -tachi, similarly, would require a similar investment in effort, but can be explained with a TL note or a quick answer to a IRC/forum question.

Another point is that honorifics, -tachi, and many anime/series jargon (like "Shinigami" instead of "Death God" in Bleach) can be understood or taken in stride by context when used sporadically, even if there is nothing there to explain it outright. But yeah, if you get a line that says "Inoue-tachi thinks Shinigami are kawaii," then, yeah, draw that line.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
- I don't get what you're saying about speedsubbers. I could just as easily say that they would be extra eager to apply these sort of things, since it makes editing less ambigious, thus faster and easier.
Editing is a tricky thing. Some groups care about it; some don't. On the whole, unless you have a very good group with an editor to back it up, they won't even bother with such details with honorifics and just let the translator do whatever he wants. But that's besides the point. I have yet to see -tachi being used [widely] in small groups and speedsubbing, so I think it's a safe bet that it'll stay that way for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
- "Some version of a given series"?
Firstly, there are some series which do not enjoy having half a dozen fansub groups subbing it start to end. </understatement>
Again, the codec analogy applies here.

But in addition, the trend of the fansub scene has been continued growth with more fansub groups coming up as more and more people get into it (remember one, two, three years ago when there were so many fewer groups that worked on a series consistently?). I think it's pretty safe to say that more fansub groups will continue to come up and sub different series on a consistent pace in the future, which will give plenty of fansub versions from which people can choose.


If the point is to make anime accessible to anime initiates, the best way is by suggesting groups with the subs that make the most "sense" to the context of the anime, which is similar to many of the US anime releases. To vastly oversimplify things, only the long-time watchers who have sold their soul to anime are really obsessed with quality and accuracy.

Last edited by chaos4ever; 2007-05-15 at 16:13.
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Old 2007-05-15, 15:48   Link #19
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While we're at contemplating using "-tachi" (not that I will), how about we contemplate using "yatsu" too?
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Old 2007-05-15, 16:34   Link #20
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Just a question or two, and a thought. Isn't it preferred to leave nothing untranslated except nouns/names and honorifics? What would you do if something like "... Nee-sama-tachi" came by? Would the TL be "... Elder Sisters and the others"? Or would it be translated as "... the rest of Nee-sama".

Also,

Quote:
But that's besides the point. I have yet to see -tachi being used [widely] in small groups and speedsubbing, so I think it's a safe bet that it'll stay that way for a while.
I've yet to see -tachi used anywhere in most of the animes... Could anyone point out some examples? And also, why is there a segregation of "speedsubbing"?
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