"The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

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"The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:24 pm

On the back of the box for Funimation's Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season 1, among bullet points such as "True to the manga and packed with action" and "Backed by a spectacular new English dub", there's one statement that caught my eye:

"The most accurate subtitle track ever".

Are these subtitles any more accurate than those done by Steve Simmons for Dragon Ball Z? I assume they just put this on the box to appeal to more buyers, but is there some truth behind this? Are there even any notable differences in the translation?
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Ajay » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:58 pm

They're still by Simmons himself, but they're phrased much more naturally than his earlier work. Japanese idioms that were translated literally are now translated with the English equivalents, for example.

That said, I wouldn't say they're the "most accurate" thing ever.

For some weird reason, he switched from just "senzu" (Sage Bean) to "senzu bean" aka "sage bean bean", so that's a mark off there.

He also left in arguably his biggest error that's still present in both the sub and dub to this day - https://twitter.com/AnimeAjay/status/739900750223028224

I imagine there's still a plethora of other issues. It's just marketing speech for the most part, but I find the more natural phrasing in Kai to outweigh any of its shortcomings.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:13 pm

I didn't know about the time machine mistake! That's pretty interesting. Also, I thought "senzu bean" was used in the Dragon Box subtitles (I remember that catching my attention) but I could be wrong.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Ajay » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:50 pm

I haven't watched the series in its entirety for a good few years now, but I did rewatch some of the Android stuff prior to Super's Future Trunks arc and he was using "senzu" there, at least:

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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:31 pm

I just went back and checked, myself. He must've changed how he translated "senzu" sometime after the Saiyan arc, because he was still using "senzu bean" then.

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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Ajay » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:41 pm

Huh, how weird. Ah well, good to know!
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby ABED » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:57 pm

They're still by Simmons himself, but they're phrased much more naturally than his earlier work. Japanese idioms that were translated literally are now translated with the English equivalents, for example.

I'd rather he kept things like "weasel's last fart" because A) It's more colorful, and B) It's what Goku said.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Ajay » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:00 pm

I don't because a) that doesn't mean anything to English speakers and b) that doesn't mean anything to English speakers. Translating Japanese idioms literally is stupid. He's saying that's his last-ditch effort, so get that across. If you need to hick it up, then do so, but leaving it as so isn't translating. The number of threads asking what the hell that means should show you utterly asinine leaving it alone is. A more experienced Simmons clearly realised that, thankfully.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:03 am

This is a hard argument because I see the logic in both sides. "Weasel's last fart" is what Goku said, but "last parting shot" is what he meant.

I feel like "Weasel's last fart" isn't a great example for this. I was able to infer what it meant pretty easily, and I'm sure there are much more foreign idioms used in the series that would be worth changing.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Puto » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:05 am

Of course idioms shouldn't be translated literally. Anybody who speaks multiple languages fluently can tell you that... Let me exemplify.

For the sake of argument, let's take a hypothetical example of translating something in English to any random language (Spanish, Japanese, Italian, French, whatever). Imagine that you're translating a line that reads like this:

"Wow, that chick's pretty hot!"

Now, anybody with any decent knowledge of English knows that the character in question is saying he finds a girl to be attractive. But if you were going to translate idioms literally, to a target language that doesn't have the same idiom, you'd end up with a line reading like this:

"Wow, that baby chicken has a really high temperature!"

Kind of loses the entire point, doesn't it?
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Cure Dragon 255 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Ajay wrote:I don't because a) that doesn't mean anything to English speakers and b) that doesn't mean anything to English speakers. Translating Japanese idioms literally is stupid. He's saying that's his last-ditch effort, so get that across. If you need to hick it up, then do so, but leaving it as so isn't translating. The number of threads asking what the hell that means should show you utterly asinine leaving it alone is. A more experienced Simmons clearly realised that, thankfully.


This is the VERY FIRST THREAD I have ever seen about the subject...but you are right, its not Nakama levels of stupid but it means nothing to an english speaker. But I finally see why TanookiKuriboh picked such a colorful name for his website.


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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Metalwario64 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:35 am

I absolutely love Simmons' Kai subtitles. The wording is so much improved over his Z subtitles, which were usually overly literal in wording, and sometimes felt a tad awkward to me.

One big example I always reference is in Z, Goku says to ape Vegeta "I'll give you your fill of the Genki Dama!", but in Kai he says "I'm going to shove this Genki Dama down your throat!"
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:00 am

Puto wrote:"Wow, that baby chicken has a really high temperature!"

Kind of loses the entire point, doesn't it?


That does help put it into perspective a bit. I don't know, I never noticed any idioms in Dragon Ball that I couldn't figure out, but I guess it does make more sense to change them as long as it gets the message across.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Puto » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:27 am

Footlong Shoe wrote:I just went back and checked, myself. He must've changed how he translated "senzu" sometime after the Saiyan arc, because he was still using "senzu bean" then.

Just to remind you, the Saiyan arc was only translated after the rest of Z, for the Ultimate Uncut edition.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:10 pm

I didn't think about that, although I did notice something else. In episode 36, it gets translated to "Senzu", but in Episode 37 it's back to "senzu bean". However you look at it there's some inconsistency here.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Herms » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am

"Senzu bean" is really just part of a greater trend in Simmons' subtitles. Elsewhere there's mention of the "Bukujutsu technique" (Levitation Technique technique) and "Kikoha blasts" (Ki-Control Blast blasts). It seems like his method for leaving proper nouns untranslated while still conveying their basic meaning. Personally, in a world of ATM machines and PIN numbers, I think it's a perfectly valid approach.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Footlong Shoe » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:37 am

Thanks for the input, Herms. As for the other discussion, do you feel any certain way about how idioms should be translated? I'm starting to lean more towards changing it to fit the language it's being translated into.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Cure Dragon 255 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:24 pm

GOD DONT TELL ME STEVE SIMMONS LEAVES BUKUJUTSU UNTRANSLATED. That's soooooo tacky. Well, I shouldnt complain, its not like I buy those DVD's or that they should appeal to me.


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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Puto » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:46 am

Yeah, Mandelin does too. They consider it to be a proper technique name.
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Re: "The most accurate subtitle track ever"?

Postby Kamiccolo9 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:10 am

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:GOD DONT TELL ME STEVE SIMMONS LEAVES BUKUJUTSU UNTRANSLATED. That's soooooo tacky. Well, I shouldnt complain, its not like I buy those DVD's or that they should appeal to me.

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