Opinions and rules behind name spellings

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Chibi Mystic Gohan » Wed May 16, 2012 6:10 am

While the hat Kuririn's was wearing on Namek did indeed say "Kulilin," this spelling appeard at the 23rd Tenkaichi-Budokai:

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by LiamKav » Wed May 16, 2012 7:53 am

Bussani wrote:
Gaffer Tape wrote:Well, with a person's name, the correct pronunciation is how the owner of that name pronounces it.
I suppose so, but that's still generally based on where it's from, right? Especially when it comes to surnames. My point is that a name might not be pronounced as you'd expect, but that's to be expected when it originates from somewhere else, rather than just. There's a reason for it, rather than, "It's written differently to how it's pronounced because I felt like it."
Actually, this does tie into my surname and "Cell". There's (sorta) an Irish and English pronounciation of Kavanagh. I use the Irish pronounciation, despite living in England, because that's how everyone in my family pronounces it, but it's probably slightly different to how they'd say it because some of them have Irish accents, and I don't. (I'm reminded of Mike saying that the capital B in his surname is there because his dad just decided to start spelling it that way. If I suddenly start pronouncing my surname a different way, I am still "right" regardless of the origin of the name, because it is MY NAME and I get to pronounce it how I want.)

So, with Cell, if the character pronounces is "Seru", how is that any different? It may have originally been an English word, but he is pronouncing it Japanese style. Shouldn't we respect that and spell it "Seru" or whatever the technically exact translation would be?

(Now, I personally can't stand seeing overly precise translations of English-Japanese-English words. On the other hand, I also get very annoyed at people saying "KaVARna" rather than "KAvana". So, I'm being a hypocrite? I dunno.)

For Bulma, I want to double check the DVD because I can only remember the VIZ translation of the manga, but it goes something like:

Bulma: My name is... Bulma.
Goku: Bulma? That sounds like Bloomers!

So the question is how accurate is that translation? Does Goku say "Your name sounds like Bloomers", or "your name IS Bloomers?"

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Bussani » Wed May 16, 2012 8:22 am

LiamKav wrote:Actually, this does tie into my surname and "Cell". There's (sorta) an Irish and English pronounciation of Kavanagh. I use the Irish pronounciation, despite living in England, because that's how everyone in my family pronounces it, but it's probably slightly different to how they'd say it because some of them have Irish accents, and I don't. (I'm reminded of Mike saying that the capital B in his surname is there because his dad just decided to start spelling it that way. If I suddenly start pronouncing my surname a different way, I am still "right" regardless of the origin of the name, because it is MY NAME and I get to pronounce it how I want.)
Hmm, that's fair enough, I guess.
So, with Cell, if the character pronounces is "Seru", how is that any different? It may have originally been an English word, but he is pronouncing it Japanese style. Shouldn't we respect that and spell it "Seru" or whatever the technically exact translation would be?
I don't think so, personally. The Japanese are only pronouncing it that way because of the limitations in their phonetic and writing systems. It's as close as they can get, in a sense, although there are obviously exceptions to that. Some Japanese can pronounce English perfectly, but in general, within Japan itself, it just isn't necessary. A Japanese friend of mine once told me how she learned English in Japan, but because her teacher wasn't a native speaker and didn't have the native pronunciation, she couldn't understand anything when she visited England.

Anyway, point is that these names that are English words would probably be pronounced exactly like the English words if it weren't for these language-quirks. That's how I feel about it, at least.
For Bulma, I want to double check the DVD because I can only remember the VIZ translation of the manga, but it goes something like:

Bulma: My name is... Bulma.
Goku: Bulma? That sounds like Bloomers!

So the question is how accurate is that translation? Does Goku say "Your name sounds like Bloomers", or "your name IS Bloomers?"
I think in Japanese he just says, "Buruma?! Haha! That's a weird name," followed mostly by laughing and repeating it to himself. I guess Viz had to make it more obvious what the pun was, what with "Bulma" not really making it obvious.

Edit: Oh, I just checked my Viz copy and they changed it to, "Bulma? Doesn't that mean bloomers?" Then just, "Ha ha ha, 'Bloomers'!" rather than repeating her name over and over. Interesting to note.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed May 16, 2012 9:42 am

Bussani wrote:
Gaffer Tape wrote:Well, with a person's name, the correct pronunciation is how the owner of that name pronounces it.
I suppose so, but that's still generally based on where it's from, right? Especially when it comes to surnames. My point is that a name might not be pronounced as you'd expect, but that's to be expected when it originates from somewhere else, rather than just. There's a reason for it, rather than, "It's written differently to how it's pronounced because I felt like it."
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to diminish your point or saying that's an open card for FUNimation or whoever to pronounce names however they see fit. I'm just saying that if you met someone who's name was spelled Goku, but he pronounced it Steve for some bizarre reason, then that's his prerogative. But we know that the Goku from Dragon Ball pronounces his name Goku, so there's no reason to change it.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Piccolo Daimao » Wed May 16, 2012 12:10 pm

I’m not entirely consistent with my own naming scheme either. I've started using “Blooma” to better convey the pun, but I borrow some of Viz’s decisions like “Dabra” and “Jheese”. Like JulieYBM, I used circumflexes in the past, but switched to writing out the full kana, to display the pronunciation (e.g. Gokuu, Kaiou).

I also use “SS” as an abbreviation for “Super Saiyan”, rather than “SSj”, because I don’t use “Super Saiya-jin”. I translate “Kami” as “God”, yet I keep titles such as “Kaioushin”, “Daimaou”, “Kame-sennin” and “Muten Roushi” untranslated. One reason is that it's just simpler to write out or say the Japanese names, rather than "Lord of the Worlds" and "Great Lord of the Lords" or whatever "Muten Roushi" means, because I always forget ("heavenly old martial arts master" or something like that, which just doesn't roll off the tongue in English). I use “Ginyuu Special-Squad” rather than “Ginyuu Force”, because it’s closer to the actual Japanese name.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by JulieYBM » Wed May 16, 2012 12:16 pm

You don't have to use the wordy 'Lord of the Worlds' for Kaiou. If I did translate his title it'd simple be World King. For Kaiou'shin I would use World King God, or whathaveyou.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by LiamKav » Wed May 16, 2012 12:27 pm

I think the only thing that's been established so far is that no-one is 100% consistent with their own rules. Which I suppose is going to happen when you've got Japanese to English, where some of the Japanese is based on English words, some is based on Chinese words, some have different translations by the two companies who have the rights to produce the manga/anime in the US, people all got exposed to the show different way, and several of the names can be translated differently.

Phew.

I use "Super Saiyan" rather than "Super Saiya-jin", but I don't like to use SS, because, well, it says SS. That brings something completely different to mind. It's fine saying "SS3 Goku" or whatever, but I'd avoid ust "SS Vegeta", especially if he's in the movie with "The Dictator"...
Gaffer Tape wrote:Like JulieYBM, I used circumflexes in the past, but switched to writing out the full kana, to display the pronunciation (e.g. Gokuu, Kaiou).
But (playing devil's advocate here), if everyone knows how to pronounce "Goku" (and even my non-show watching wife said his name correctly when I showed her the spelling), is it necessary to write "Gokuu", or is it a bit like writing "Dan-e-yal"?

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Puto » Wed May 16, 2012 12:36 pm

Piccolo Daimao wrote:I’m not entirely consistent with my own naming scheme either. I've started using “Blooma” to better convey the pun, but I borrow some of Viz’s decisions like “Dabra” and “Jheese”. Like JulieYBM, I used circumflexes in the past, but switched to writing out the full kana, to display the pronunciation (e.g. Gokuu, Kaiou).

I also use “SS” as an abbreviation for “Super Saiyan”, rather than “SSj”, because I don’t use “Super Saiya-jin”. I translate “Kami” as “God”, yet I keep titles such as “Kaioushin”, “Daimaou”, “Kame-sennin” and “Muten Roushi” untranslated. One reason is that it's just simpler to write out or say the Japanese names, rather than "Lord of the Worlds" and "Great Lord of the Lords" or whatever "Muten Roushi" means, because I always forget ("heavenly old martial arts master" or something like that, which just doesn't roll off the tongue in English). I use “Ginyuu Special-Squad” rather than “Ginyuu Force”, because it’s closer to the actual Japanese name.
For a very short period, the original portuguese translation of the manga (I think) and possibly the portuguese dub adapted Muten-Rōshi as "Great Master."
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Puto » Wed May 16, 2012 12:37 pm

Actually, most English-speaking people including FUNimation get the syllable emphasis on Gokū wrong. Same thing with Kaiō. (Emphasis should be where the accents are, in case it isn't obvious)
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Piccolo Daimao » Wed May 16, 2012 12:51 pm

JulieYBM wrote:You don't have to use the wordy 'Lord of the Worlds' for Kaiou. If I did translate his title it'd simple be World King. For Kaiou'shin I would use World King God, or whathaveyou.
I know that, but Viz's translation sounds more grand, appropriate and specific. "World King" just sounds like it may as well be describing, well, the King of the World, that dog guy on Earth. "World King God" just...doesn't sound right to me. It's hard to explain, but it's like someone just mashed together a bunch of words and made it into a name, and I know that's how many names are made, but I dunno, it just seems more evident here.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by LiamKav » Wed May 16, 2012 7:10 pm

I've not seen the Artificial Human arc in Japanese yet, so just to check... are #17, #18 etc's names said in English or Japanese? If it's the latter, does anyone say them in Japanese out loud?

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Akumaito Beam » Wed May 16, 2012 7:14 pm

LiamKav wrote:I've not seen the Artificial Human arc in Japanese yet, so just to check... are #17, #18 etc's names said in English or Japanese? If it's the latter, does anyone say them in Japanese out loud?
It's the latter and yeah, characters say Juuhachigou a ton since she's in the Boo arc too.

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by LiamKav » Wed May 16, 2012 8:06 pm

Sorry, I was unclear. I mean does anyone here say their names in Japanese, or does everyone say "eighteen" etc in their head or out loud?

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Pokewhiz7 » Wed May 16, 2012 8:16 pm

LiamKav wrote:Sorry, I was unclear. I mean does anyone here say their names in Japanese, or does everyone say "eighteen" etc in their head or out loud?
I translate it to "Eighteen", just like I translate "Kami" to "God."

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by dbboxkaifan » Wed May 16, 2012 8:25 pm

The name Kurilin is a mix of Japanese with Chinese? It looks cool but as for sounding, I'd still go for Kuririn.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by desirecampbell » Thu May 17, 2012 8:54 am

LiamKav wrote:Sorry, I was unclear. I mean does anyone here say their names in Japanese, or does everyone say "eighteen" etc in their head or out loud?
The names are completely in Japanese. Trunks or Goku or the Artificial Humans themselves will speak aloud "jinzôningen jûhachi-gô", or often just "jûhachi-gô" ("number 18").

-edit- A more detailed break down of the name, in case that's necessary:
人造人間 18
jinzôningen jûhachi-
artificial human number 17

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Gaffer Tape » Thu May 17, 2012 10:19 am

Most of the time I will translate it in my head, but sometimes I'll say those names/numbers in Japanese. I mean, that is what I hear constantly when I'm watching the series.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by LiamKav » Thu May 17, 2012 10:33 am

Pokewhiz7 wrote:I translate it to "Eighteen", just like I translate "Kami" to "God."
(Not go go off the specific topic of spelling but...)

The problem I've always had with that is that in English, "God-with-a-capital-G" has always had a pretty strong connection to the Christian/Jewish etc god. Kami is a "god" (in DragonBall terms at least), he is the only "god" of Earth, but he is not the Christian god, "God". If it's being used as a title, should it be capitalised? Then you have Dende, who becomes God, but I don't think anyone when discussing that portion of the series calls him "God" rather than just "Dende". I suppose it's a bit like, all names have meanings, and Kami's means "god", but it's easier to call him Kami, like it's easier to call him Gohan rather than Rice.

On the original spellings point, I was thinking that some of this stuff might be a useful thing to add to the Wiki, so I'm going to list every official spelling of the main characters names so that I've got a reference to go back to. By official, I'm saying anything used by an official English language licence, er, licence-having team (FUNi, Viz), any times the names are written using the Roman alphabet in the manga, and anytime they've been written in the Roman alphabet in a video game. I'm not saying these are "correct", by the way. Just what have been used in an official production.

Goku (FUNi, Viz), Gokou (most 90s games, I believe)
Gohan (everyone seems to agree on this one! Yay!)
Goten (yay again!)
Yamcha (FUNi, Viz), Yamucha (FUNi subtitles), Zedaki (Harmony Gold)
Tenshinhan (Viz), Tien Shinhan (FUNi)
Krillin (FUNi), Kuririn (Viz, outfit worn during the 23rd Tenkaichi-Budokai), Kulilin (on spacesuit on Namek-era title pages)
Vegeta (FUNi, Viz) I'm not sure if Vegita appeared on some early video games. Does anyone know?
Bardock (FUNi, Viz), Burdock (original FUNi subtitles)
Bulma (FUNi, Viz, several of her outfits)
Piccolo (all sane people), Big Green (insane UK dub)
Korin (FUNi), Karin (I think Viz goes with this), Whiskers the Wonder Cat (Harmony gold)

I can't remember how Viz spell Muten Roshi and Kame Sennin. Also, what was Karin's insane name in the Harmony gold dub? And wasn't Goku's name spelt differently on a Namek-era title card spacesuit image?
Last edited by LiamKav on Thu May 17, 2012 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by VegettoEX » Thu May 17, 2012 10:39 am

LiamKav wrote:Then you have Dende, who becomes God, but I don't think anyone when discussing that portion of the series calls him "God" rather than just "Dende".
Oh man, I totally forget the context of the scene, but someone does a generic "praying to God" thing, and someone (maybe Kuririn?) turns to them and says something like, "You know God is just Dende, right?"

There does seem to be a general human Dragon World population thought that there is "a God/god", and there are probably multiple religions (as seen by Namu). It's only because we as the readers know through the heroes that "God" is just a green alien who inherited the job that the classification and western trend to shy away from calling him "God" with a big ol' capital G comes into play.
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Re: Opinions and rules behind name spellings

Post by Gaffer Tape » Thu May 17, 2012 10:45 am

VegettoEX wrote:
LiamKav wrote:Then you have Dende, who becomes God, but I don't think anyone when discussing that portion of the series calls him "God" rather than just "Dende".
Oh man, I totally forget the context of the scene, but someone does a generic "praying to God" thing, and someone (maybe Kuririn?) turns to them and says something like, "You know God is just Dende, right?"
Switch that around to Kuririn praying and Piccolo correcting him. :wink: And the context was Kuririn praying about getting a good matchup in the 25th Budoukai.
Yamcha (FUNi), Yamucha (Viz), Zedaki (Harmony Gold)
Viz uses "Yamcha" as well. The FUNimation subtitles use Yamucha, at least under Simmons. Can't remember in regards to Mandelin.
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