Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

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Nex Carnifex
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Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Nex Carnifex » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:43 pm

I've noticed that in the Viz translation of the Dragon Ball manga (rated T for teens) all swear words are replaced with 'phooey', pretty sure no teenager says 'phooey' instead of 'damn' or 'shit'. But in the Dragon Ball Z manga (rated E for everyone) they do not hesitate to have the characters curse. I don't get Viz's reasoning behind this, they went as far to make all the names original and keep the blood and violence and perverted humor why go out of their way to dumb down the language, I'm not reading Blues Clues. I'm just curious, I've read Herms' translations and they are much different.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by SHINOBI-03 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:09 pm

Have a drink every time a character says "Curse You!". :P Sorry... I just had to say that.

However, I remember Nappa calling Kuririn a "dung ball" after he shot the kienzan. Or as I remember it to be.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by dprez » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:20 pm

I noticed that a lot of the swear words in the viz manga kind of disappear after the Freeza arc, iirc.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by SHINOBI-03 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:27 pm

dprez wrote:I noticed that a lot of the swear words in the viz manga kind of disappear after the Freeza arc, iirc.
For example, Vegeta's infamous "!!!!".
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by dprez » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:32 pm

SHINOBI-03 wrote:
dprez wrote:I noticed that a lot of the swear words in the viz manga kind of disappear after the Freeza arc, iirc.
For example, Vegeta's infamous "!!!!".
Where was that?

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Fin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:52 pm

dprez wrote:
SHINOBI-03 wrote:
dprez wrote:I noticed that a lot of the swear words in the viz manga kind of disappear after the Freeza arc, iirc.
For example, Vegeta's infamous "!!!!".
Where was that?
Boo arc. I think while he and Goku were running around inside Boo? Lemme see if I can find it.

Edit: Never mind, he doesn't say it there. I was actually thinking of the scene before they fuse, but there he lets out a generic string of characters, not the quadruple exclamation mark. I had a quite look at a few scenes in the Boo and Cell arcs I thought it might have been, but my memory apparently sucks. Oh, well.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by dprez » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:55 pm

Me too! Then I'm gonna put in the Dragon Box disc with that episode and see what he actually says. I'm gonna guess shit or dammit but yea..

Didn't see it there...

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Bussani » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:47 pm

Remember that Japan doesn't really have many "curse words" in the way we understand them--that is, words that are inherently taboo. I'm not necessarily saying this means that Viz's choices of swear words are justified, but at the same time, I'm not sure it's "dumbing it down" or "censoring it" when the Japanese word could technically be translated several different ways with various levels of tabooness. And given that, rated for teen or not, Dragon Ball is a children's comic, Viz's choice not to use the most taboo words might make sense in its own way.

All that said, Viz is pretty inconsistent with their choices over the years. I guess that might just come from translating such a long manga, with standards constantly changing as they went.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Nex Carnifex » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:26 pm

I read the first Z manga and there were plenty of damns and Piccolo called Radtiz an ass, I wish it was like that for the entire thing, words like 'fooey' just don't sound right at all, especially when trying to depict strong feelings of anger (Goku after Kuririn's 1st death). The Japanese have plenty of profane language its just that they don't care unlike here where people are sensitive.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by kemuri07 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:13 am

Nex Carnifex wrote:I've noticed that in the Viz translation of the Dragon Ball manga (rated T for teens) all swear words are replaced with 'phooey', pretty sure no teenager says 'phooey' instead of 'damn' or 'shit'. But in the Dragon Ball Z manga (rated E for everyone) they do not hesitate to have the characters curse. I don't get Viz's reasoning behind this, they went as far to make all the names original and keep the blood and violence and perverted humor why go out of their way to dumb down the language, I'm not reading Blues Clues. I'm just curious, I've read Herms' translations and they are much different.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by SHINOBI-03 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:59 am

dprez wrote:
SHINOBI-03 wrote:
dprez wrote:I noticed that a lot of the swear words in the viz manga kind of disappear after the Freeza arc, iirc.
For example, Vegeta's infamous "!!!!".
Where was that?
When he was blasting away the newly fresh Perfect Cell.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Bussani » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:48 pm

Nex Carnifex wrote:The Japanese have plenty of profane language its just that they don't care unlike here where people are sensitive.
I don't think I agree with that. A word isn't profane just by being descriptive of something; for example, "poop" is a lot less profane than "shit", even though they describe the same thing. Japan has rude ways of saying things, but the things themselves aren't usually rude in and of themselves, and this means you have to judge what the best way to translate something is based on both the context and on your target audience.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Nex Carnifex » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:12 am

Bussani wrote:
Nex Carnifex wrote:The Japanese have plenty of profane language its just that they don't care unlike here where people are sensitive.
I don't think I agree with that. A word isn't profane just by being descriptive of something; for example, "poop" is a lot less profane than "shit", even though they describe the same thing. Japan has rude ways of saying things, but the things themselves aren't usually rude in and of themselves, and this means you have to judge what the best way to translate something is based on both the context and on your target audience.
http://www.youswear.com/index.asp?language=Japanese

Not sure how accurate this is, but I have been told before "kuso" is equivalent to our curse words in Japan, "fooey" not being one of them.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Super Sonic » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:26 am

Nex Carnifex wrote: I'm just curious, I've read Herms' translations and they are much different.
Some guys translate things differently. If you have the dvds or vhs release of the first 3 DBZ movies by Pioneer, you might notice they translate "Cha-La Head Cha-La" differently than the FUnimation releases do. Also on another similar note, I remember the Tokyopop version of Chobits vol. 1 had a couple of f-bombs and translated Sumomo's name to Plum, but the new Dark Horse omnibus version of the first volume didn't have f-bombs and left Sumomo's name as-is.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Nex Carnifex » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:31 am

some translations are less intentionally altered as well, I know for a fact Viz's were.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Tsukento » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:18 am

Didn't Viz go back and redo some of the dialogue in their later reprint editions of the Freeza saga to remove some of the "harsh language?" Was around the same time they started editing all of Bulma's nude moments in DB, too.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Bussani » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:47 am

Nex Carnifex wrote:Not sure how accurate this is, but I have been told before "kuso" is equivalent to our curse words in Japan, "fooey" not being one of them.
Like I said, it's not something that has a 1:1, right or wrong translation. Kuso literally means feces, and you can say it to express frustration, but it isn't taboo, meaning even a kid can say it. Blindly translating it to a taboo English equivalent would be a bad idea. Sometimes something a lot less taboo captures the intent better.

Like I said, I'm not defending Viz's decisions. I've never cared enough to analyse the swearing in their translation.
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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Majin Boo » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:14 am

Lots of times "Damn (it)!"/"Dammit!" is a better translation for kuso than "Shit!" because it works better and is what someone is more likely to say in English.

Sonic the Hedgehog shall now demonstrate an instance where "Shit!" is an appropriate translation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXxIVb4Pixk

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Fox666 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:18 am

Bussani wrote:I don't think I agree with that. A word isn't profane just by being descriptive of something; for example, "poop" is a lot less profane than "shit", even though they describe the same thing. Japan has rude ways of saying things, but the things themselves aren't usually rude in and of themselves, and this means you have to judge what the best way to translate something is based on both the context and on your target audience.
Here in Brazil they usually remove the profanity from american movies. The problem is whenever you are watching a subbed movie, and you hear a guy screaming in English "son of a bitch" and there is no profanity at all in the sub. It's not like there is a lot of people who doesn't know what these words mean in English.

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Re: Swear words in Dragon Ball Manga

Post by Super Sonic » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:13 pm

Tsukento wrote:Didn't Viz go back and redo some of the dialogue in their later reprint editions of the Freeza saga to remove some of the "harsh language?" Was around the same time they started editing all of Bulma's nude moments in DB, too.
It wasn't just there. Noticed some reprints ofearly Naruto gns also remove some harsh language that were in the magazine's first run. Though on the good side, they did fix typos and names that weren't quite romanized yet at one point.
Majin Boo wrote:Lots of times "Damn (it)!"/"Dammit!" is a better translation for kuso than "Shit!" because it works better and is what someone is more likely to say in English.

Sonic the Hedgehog shall now demonstrate an instance where "Shit!" is an appropriate translation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXxIVb4Pixk
That seemed like one of those times when they put a curse or two in family films just so they'll be PG instead of G rated.

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