How do you feel about the Viz translation?

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Fizzer
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How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby Fizzer » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:44 am

It might not be as literal as the Simmons subtitles and others that are out there, but reading through the manga again I can't help but think how much I enjoy the way this translation is done. Even at times when it seems to take some creative liberty, like translating the names of Baba's fighters as "Count Dracula", "The Invisible Man", "The Mummy", and "The Devil", somehow it just seems to work well.

I'm particularly fond of the way it deals with gods, translating "Kami", "Kaio" and "Kaioshin" respectively as "God", "Lord of the Worlds" and "Lord of Lords", and with titles in general by translating them or preserving the Japanese in different contexts. Some choices seem odd, like using Japanese instead of Chinese for the names of the Dragon Balls, or calling the Otherworld "Hell" (because we can?), and the strange speech pattern they gave Piccolo early in Z. In fact I'd say a lot of strange choices were made in the Saiyan arc, but overall I think Viz did a good job with the manga.

Being able to put translation footnotes on the pages is very helpful, and that does give a manga translation a big advantage over anime subs or dubs in terms of how much nuance it can convey.

How do you feel it compares to other versions, be they anime subs, dubs or unofficial translations? Are there any particular elements that you like or dislike?

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby Cipher » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:23 am

It's frustrating in that while it's mostly very good at capturing voice and flavor -- and yes, I agree that it does a great job with the series' cosmology and many of its distinctly Japanese and Chinese cultural elements -- the ways in which it falters are related mainly to avoidable terminology-related decisions. Early weirdness with Piccolo's dialogue in the Z portion notwithstanding, of course.

So close to being a fantastic translation, and yet so far away in really simple, stupid ways. It's one clean-up away from being ideal.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby Duo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:51 am

The best things about it are that it's widely available and not terrible.

Like Cipher said, if it were just cleaned up a little bit, it would make quite the difference. The fact Hercule carried over into Super means that we'll probably be dealing with that nonsense forever.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby TheBigBoy » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:03 am

Hot take: Piccolo's weird ass Shakespearean way of talking rules and they should have kept with that. I mean...at the point of the story that he's introduced, he's the son of what people think is the devil, who himself had been sealed up for hundreds of years. Why WOULDN'T he have an antiquated way of speaking?

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby floofychan333 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:51 am

I think the translation is mostly good but Mr Popo's way of talking really irritates me.
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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby TobyS » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:00 pm

TheBigBoy wrote:Hot take: Piccolo's weird ass Shakespearean way of talking rules and they should have kept with that. I mean...at the point of the story that he's introduced, he's the son of what people think is the devil, who himself had been sealed up for hundreds of years. Why WOULDN'T he have an antiquated way of speaking?


I agree I feel like it never fully went away and there was one seeming reappearance of it at the buu arc budokai, where he says to an attendant: “away from me man, Piccolo is green” iirc.
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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby TheGreatness25 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:53 am

Since I am blissfully unaware of any real strong inconsistencies between Viz and the original (aside from names, where I know what their names are anyway), I'd say it's fine. However, when I learn Japanese and learn to read in hiragana and katakana (at least) -- I'm pulling for 2032 -- then I'll be able to judge for myself.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby Chuquita » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:25 am

It's been a while since I've read it, but I recall it being passable; the only thing I don't care for in it is the whole Vegerot naming.
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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby KBABZ » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:35 pm

Chuquita wrote:It's been a while since I've read it, but I recall it being passable; the only thing I don't care for in it is the whole Vegerot naming.

Makes me think of spoiled produce.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby LowRyder2005 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:38 pm

I'd just second the "one clean-up away from being truly perfect" quote.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby TheGreatness25 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:46 pm

Unfortunately, the clean-up will never happen. I'm not a huge fan of censorship in the manga either, but that's why I got the Japanese version. All of the name changes are annoying, but the same can be said for any translation or adaptation. Personally, I know what their names are, so every time I see a name change like "Hercule" or "Vegerot" or "Djinn," I read them as their proper selves. As far as the dialog, I'm really not sure.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby 8000 Saiyan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:12 pm

It's good, but I'm not fond of some things about it.
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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby GreatSaiyaman123 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:39 pm

Besides Popo sounding stupid i'm fine. I actually like some adaptations like "Vegerot", it sounds pretty funny.
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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby rereboy » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:22 am

Cipher wrote:It's frustrating in that while it's mostly very good at capturing voice and flavor -- and yes, I agree that it does a great job with the series' cosmology and many of its distinctly Japanese and Chinese cultural elements -- the ways in which it falters are related mainly to avoidable terminology-related decisions. Early weirdness with Piccolo's dialogue in the Z portion notwithstanding, of course.

So close to being a fantastic translation, and yet so far away in really simple, stupid ways. It's one clean-up away from being ideal.


I second this. It's pretty good overall but there are some details of it that are unnecessary and that tend to irritate the reader. Nonetheless, some of the criticism by the fans regarding some specific choices makes no sense since they are legitimate choices.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby Krillin1994 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:47 pm

any chances of any of the translation being updated if they continue to release the colour versions?

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby KBABZ » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:07 pm

Krillin1994 wrote:any chances of any of the translation being updated if they continue to release the colour versions?

I don't think so, unless they're on a hiatus to redo the translation "once and for all". They've had many opportunities in the past to do so however so I don't think they will, especially when the general descriptor for it is "not perfect but more than adequate".

One reason why the Full Colour releases take so long might be because the US versions are practically in OG Shonen Jump size and much larger than the Full Colour release in Japan.

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby GreatSaiyaJeff » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:09 am

Over all I like Viz's translation, however the only thing that bugs me is they refer to Buu as Djinn instead of Majin.
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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby rereboy » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:47 am

GreatSaiyaJeff wrote:Over all I like Viz's translation, however the only thing that bugs me is they refer to Buu as Djinn instead of Majin.


That's a perfectly legitimate choice. From Herm's Demon guide:

- "While it can be used for lots of different mythological and fictional magical beings, the term majin is very often used in Japanese for genie/djin. It’s generally used in translations of the story of Aladdin, and in fact the Disney character Genie is called “Majin Genie” in Japanese. This is why Viz translated it as “djinn”".

- "In the original series Buu is the only one associated with Babidi who is called a majin, but fans have long referred to those Babidi controls with his magic as majin as well"

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby KBABZ » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:04 am

It bothers me since he then has an M on his belt for no reason!

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Re: How do you feel about the Viz translation?

Postby rereboy » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:48 am

KBABZ wrote:It bothers me since he then has an M on his belt for no reason!


Actually, it's never confirmed that the M in his belt stands for Majin, that's just a fan assumption. Babidi wears the M symbol himself and Babidi's minions all have it even though only Buu is ever called a Majin, so it can be just a magic brand like an omega symbol without actually standing for a word, or it could stand for something else like "madoushi".

To quote Herms on this:

Herms wrote:
Senzu_Bean wrote:I am pretty sure Herms already covered that up but I can't find in his guides. What does the "M" on Babidi's henchmen stand for?

We don't really know. It could stand for "majin", or it could stand for "madoushi". Or it might be some alien symbol that only coincidentally resembles an "M", like how Superman's "S" crest is actually supposed to be some Kryptonian symbol.


In short, I see no need for it to bother you since you don't even know if it's related to Majin.


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