VegettoEX wrote:Then you've got names like "Idasa" and "Ikose" which are just regular ol' Japanese words, so do you "translate" them (a la what Viz did with only one of the two), or do you leave them as-is?
"Idasa" and "Ikose" aren't actually Japanese word, they're anagrams of the Japanese words dasai ("un-hip") and sekoi ("petty"). Hence why Viz adapted Idasa's name as "Laem", an anagram of "lame".
VegettoEX wrote:A great example that I think Adamant tossed out in another thread was the name "Batman". We all know what that means and where it comes from, but would someone speaking an entirely different language (let's say Arabic for no particular reason) understand both the English words "bat" and "man" and why they are combined? Or should you go with the Arabic words for "bat" and "man" and somehow combine the two? Or is his name just his name and that's what you use?
Notably, the approach worldwide seems to be to leave his name as "Batman" rather than using the equivalent words in whatever language the franchise is adapted into, or so I gather from Wikipedia. Which brings up the issue that maintaining brand recognition can be more important that what the name actually means. On that note, it's well known that “Pokemon” is short for “Pocket Monsters”, but Nintendo didn't change the spelling to “Pockemon” for the English-speaking market. There's also the issue that even if a name has a pretty straightforward meaning, those who coined the name might have been placing equal or greater importance on having the name be snappy or sound cool. If the English word for those small flying mammals had not been “bat” but, I don't know, “wally-patang”, perhaps Bob Kane wouldn't have given his creation quite so direct a name.