How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:32 pm

LiamKav wrote:I'm not getting at all how those two are the same thing. One is Toriyama not being able to remember a character he hadn't written about or drawn for at least ten years. The other is your perceived idea that he didn't do a good job romanising a character's name which he wrote on her clothes pretty much constantly for the entire time he was working on the manga.

Like, the response to the Tao Pai Pai thing is to say "Toriyama is silly and forgot". The Bulma/Blooma thing is personal opinion as to what he meant, and considering that sometimes his puns were just literally the English word (eg, "Trunks") and other times they were variations on an English word (eg, "Vegeta"), you can argue either way. (You could argue that Bulma's family names tend to be direct words so you should follow that path, but in that case you'd surely have to call her "Bloomers"? In any event, it's an opinion, and very different to the Tao Pai Pai thing.)
Well, no, it is the same thing because my only point was, "Authors are not necessarily gospel when it comes to their own works. They make mistakes. Both of those examples are things I think of as mistakes." So, yeah, in that sense, they are exactly the same. I'm not entirely sure what context you're referring to, though. It certainly wasn't, "A is true, so therefore B is true," if that's what you're thinking, although I'm not sure how you'd arrive at that conclusion.
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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by LiamKav » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:55 pm

But the Tao Pai Pai thing isn't him making a mistake with his work. It's him forgetting an aspect of it several years later. That's very different. The Bulma thing is going directly against what he has written. You could argue that spelling her name differently is no different from spelling it "Goku" rather than "Gokuh", or, for that matter, pronouncing it "Seyun" rather than "Cyan". They all go against the original in different ways.

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:08 pm

How? How is it different when my only point was that I don't think an author is infallible in regards to his own work? Can he forget a character? Yep. That makes him fallible. Can he not know how to write a character's name in a foreign language? Yep. That makes him fallible. Same thing.

And while I don't want to turn this into a "Blooma" defense thread, it actually is relevant, as it's very similar to the "Saiyan" problem, and I'm glad you brought up the "going directly against" thing because "Bulma," well, at least the "Buhl-muh" pronunciation that the dub uses is very much going directly against how the character's name is actually pronounced based on how Toriyama has written it in kana as well as the root word of the name. So I actually see myself as trying to go much closer to his intentions. It's not his fault he's not fluent in English.
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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by LiamKav » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:38 pm

No, but using the "he forgot a character in an interview" as an excuse to say "he's wrong about lots of other things so I'm going to ignore them" is a pretty slippery slope. Of course he's infallible. You don't need to prove that. He often drew the wrong armour on characters. He forgot Lunch while he was actually drawing the series. But if you're going to use that to change whatever you like about the show, it's giving you carte blanch to just rewrite whatever you want.

Changing the pronounciations of words is a tricky thing. I mean, we all change the original Japanese pronounciation of "Cell", but that's because that's an English word. Saiyan isn't, but it is pronounced very, very similar to an English word. There was a post right at the start of the thread saying that maybe it was changed because it was difficult for kids to say, and the English words it was similar to were words kids don't say. To which I'd respond that if a kid can say "Wobuffet" or "Pikachu", he's perfectly capable of saying "Saiyan". And as pointed out, it's very similar to the English word "science", and if there are any people who are going to be using that word multiple times a week, it's children who are at school.

Half the US can't pronounce "nuclear". Doesn't mean we should change the pronounciation of it.

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:45 pm

LiamKav wrote:No, but using the "he forgot a character in an interview" as an excuse to say "he's wrong about lots of other things so I'm going to ignore them" is a pretty slippery slope. Of course he's infallible. You don't need to prove that. He often drew the wrong armour on characters. He forgot Lunch while he was actually drawing the series. But if you're going to use that to change whatever you like about the show, it's giving you carte blanch to just rewrite whatever you want.
Why do you keep saying that? Why do you keep assuming I have any desire to just willy nilly change whatever I want? Where do you get that impression at all? Please stop putting words in my mouth because that's the exact opposite of what I want. I want to get things as accurate as possible. All I'm saying is that there are circumstances when even the original author, through forgetfulness, through lack of knowledge, or through retroactive perception, can get in the way of accuracy. Why, otherwise, would I be arguing against the Seyun pronunciation?

For the final time I'm going to say this: my point was that authors are fallible, a point that had more to do with George Lucas than Toriyama to begin with. That's it. Please, please, please do not make any assumptions based on my statement beyond that, especially ones that are so far off the mark from anything I actually said.
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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by LiamKav » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:54 pm

Gaffer Tape wrote:Why do you keep saying that? Why do you keep assuming I have any desire to just willy nilly change whatever I want? Where do you get that impression at all? Please stop putting words in my mouth because that's the exact opposite of what I want. Why, otherwise, would I be arguing against the Seyun pronunciation?
It was only because you had used the example of Tao Pai Pai to say that Toriyama was fallible, and therefore we shouldn't trust him on other things, like how he renders Bulma's name in English. I didn't mean to say that you were actually changing what you liked about the show, more that you had given yourself an excuse to if you wanted. It came out wrong and I apologise. I will drop it, because you have asked me to and because it is taking the conversation off-course. I don't want to seem argumentative for the sake of it.
Gaffer Tape wrote:And before you ask, yes, it does annoy me that Toriyama altered parts of the Kanzenban, however minor some of them may be. And it's been my sincerest hope that I'm able to track down the original versions before I reach those points in my Dragon Ball Dissection videos.
Just out of curiousity, how long does a "mistake" have to last before you would consider it part of the original works and no longer corrected? Say, if "Well Come" was in the original jump printing, but they corrected it when it appeared in the Tankōbon, would you consider that a Lucus-like example of over-editting, or just fixing a mistake when it became convenient? Does it matter if they caught the mistake half way through printing that issue of Jump and corrected it, so the wrong spelling only appeared in a few copies? Or, as in this case, whether the mistake was fixed several years later? And how is your desire to keep the original "Well Come" sign, which you admit is a mistake, any different from the people who want to keep "Seyun"?

And, for the people who prefer "Seyun", if they had changed the pronounciation after, say, 5 episodes of the original 90s dub, would you still be arguing for it? What about if they changed it when FUNimation took over the dubbing in season 3? What about if they had changed it with Kai? How long does the mistake need to last before it becomes, in your eyes, "correct"?

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:05 pm

Damn. You caught me before I had finished editing my post. I hope you won't mind going back and reading that first paragraph again, because I think it illuminates my mindset a bit more clearly. Suffice it to say, I didn't bring up the Tao Pai Pai example as a way of saying, "This example means we can ignore him on other issues." But I'm sorry if I got a bit frustrated. It's just been seeming like I haven't been able to get through to you what I've been saying, and that every new post from you was getting farther and farther into territory I never intended to say. :P
LiamKav wrote:Just out of curiousity, how long does a "mistake" have to last before you would consider it part of the original works and no longer corrected? Say, if "Well Come" was in the original jump printing, but they corrected it when it appeared in the Tankōbon, would you consider that a Lucus-like example of over-editting, or just fixing a mistake when it became convenient? Does it matter if they caught the mistake half way through printing that issue of Jump and corrected it, so the wrong spelling only appeared in a few copies? Or, as in this case, whether the mistake was fixed several years later? And how is your desire to keep the original "Well Come" sign, which you admit is a mistake, any different from the people who want to keep "Seyun"?
Because, quite simply, "Seyun" is a mistake made from change, change from a random third party, no less, while "Well Come" is a mistake that is actually part of the work. I've always been a follower of the phrase ending in "...warts and all." So to answer your question, how long does a mistake have to last? As soon as it's published, in my opinion. As soon as it hits official, wide release, it should never be touched again unless it's to restore or clean without alteration. Even if they are mistakes. Yep. I'm very much a hardliner in this regard. I'm the kind of person who would have been more inclined to buy Dragon Ball Kai if that next episode preview where Tenshinhan fires his unrendered checkerboard Kikoho like in the original broadcast had been kept. I mean, we have that preview in Z where Goku fights in hell as SSJ and then in the actual episode, his hair is black. I feel these things need to be preserved, just as they are, not swept under the rug. I mean, besides changing a tiny piece of history, where's the fun in it all being perfect? It's much more fun to be able to point out Indiana Jones's reflection when he encounters the snake.
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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by LiamKav » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:17 pm

I'm a Doctor Who fan, and that's also an example of an old TV series getting a DVD release where some things are changed. And it has similar arguments. Some people want them to leave everything untouched. Others want them just to tidy up film mistakes, hairs, voices out of syn and similar stuff. Others want them to change mistakes that weren't noticed (for instance, in one episode they are a million years in the past, but a shot of Earth shows it with present-day continents. An edit on the DVD replaces that with a shot of the Earth as it would have looked a million years ago). And some people want them to go crazy, adding in CGI effects and the like.

It's impossible to please everyone. Even though when they do CGI additions, they leave the "original" on, it is still a fixed version of the original, with the film tidied up and sound mistakes fixed. Basically, some people would not want a Dragon Box version of the show. They want it EXACTLY as it would have looked on TV in the 60s, even if that's worse than what they can make it look like now.

My opinion is... I don't know. I can see all sides of the argument. And I think the only reason this conversation seemed to frustrating is that, if we were sat in the pub, it would have taken about 5 minutes of exciting and heated debate, before I eventually realised that we needed another drink, went and got one, and then we started talking about what a terrible father Goku is when I got back. I think it was just one of those things where the medium of type made it seem like I was being stubborn, whereas I think I was failing to get my point across to you. For what it's worth, I really like the addition of the shots of all the other planets celebrating at the end of Return of the Jedi. I don't mind fixing the colour grading so that it doesn't change time of day when Artoo is captured by Jawas in ANH. I hate Han not shooting first. And I find the addition of "nooooooooo" to Vadar throwing the Emperor quite funny, since I'm now convinced that Lucus is just doing it deliberatly to wind up the hard-core fans).

(A thought... do you play video games? Are you against patching them after release?)

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by TonyTheTiger » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:38 am

Video games are a different monster entirely since there are basic functionality issues to consider. Wanting to preserve editing mistakes in a movie doesn't equate to wanting to preserve game crashing bugs in a video game. Usually with video games the interest in preserving unintentional screw ups comes into play when the screw up can benefit the player such as the select glitch in Mega Man 1 or nifty shenanigans like the minus world in Super Mario Bros. But these days with so many games relying on multiplayer, pretty much everything needs to be fixed because of fairness concerns. Film, being a static medium, doesn't have these problems.

That being said, I'm not sure the pronunciation of Saiyan can be fairly compared to post-release editing ala George Lucas. That would be like saying people who prefer "Krillin" would be perfectly happy changing the spelling on his cap on Namek to match it. That's a very different issue.

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by Piccolo Daimaoh » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:51 am

Fox666 wrote: And if you want to take language in account, don't forget this days there is something called Internet. No matter how many US fans pronounce something, there is an equal number of non-native English speaker who doesn't care about what happens in US at all. This forum is quite a good example, and it would never happen for this place to go for the US dubs.
I'm not talking about the US exclusively. Yes, the dub that brought about the "mispronunciation" was made in the US, but since then it has spread to most English-speaking countries. If you're insinuating that I have some sort of bias, understand that I am not from the US, nor have I ever been there. I am speaking as someone who is moderately well read in linguistics.


Furthermore, I don't know why you're prattling on about non-native speakers. This is predominantly a discussion about English.
desirecampbell wrote:Colloquialisms aren't "phrases that don't make sense"
... I didn't say they were.
desirecampbell wrote: they're just phrases that are used frequently enough that the phrase itself is recognized more than the actual words.
colloquial: "of ordinary or familiar conversation, informal; not to be used in formal speech or writing."

colloquialism: "colloquial word or phrase."

(source: The Australian Oxford Dictionary)
desirecampbell wrote: If a person says "I could care less" to convey that they don't care, they haven't invented a new colloquialism; they've failed at language.
I disagree. If someone misuses or misspells a word, I don't see them as having "failed at language". I just see them as being at odds with the consensus.
desirecampbell wrote:Not that saiyan is a colloquialism, that it's mispronounced frequently, and people defend the mispronunciation as legitimate. Your defence of "could care less" is analogous to defending "seyun".
It isn't. "Could care less" is used much less than the "correct" usage, "Couldn't care less", whereas "Sei-yun" is used much more than the "correct" usage, "Seye-yun".
desirecampbell wrote:You've floated the idea that "saiyan" is a loan-word, and can now be considered an "English word" for purposes of spelling and pronunciation. I disagree.

That is the extent of your, and anyone else's argument that "seyun" may be correct. The counter argument is "no, it's not nearly popular, common, or old enough to be considered a loan-word". It's been in use only since the mid '90s, and not consistently, and not by the majority of the English speakers.
Firstly, "Saiyan" is not quite a loanword. "Angst" and "schadenfreude" are loanwords. "Saiyan" is more of a loan-translation, rather like the Dutch "vrijbuiter" becoming the English "freebooter", since the "jin" part of the original word was anglicized to "an". It's also different in that it comes from fiction and is not a word you'll find in any dictionary.


Secondly, I'm well aware that most English speakers don't use the word "Saiyan" because most English speakers don't know about Dragon Ball or know about it very superficially. But I think the number of people who do know about Dragon Ball or even like it is enough for the dub pronunciation to be considered an acceptable variant. I also think that, these days, being part of pop culture since the mid-nineties is sufficient. This is all perhaps a matter of opinion, though. As I've said, it would be rather difficult to argue conclusively one way or the other because of how unpredictable language can be and the absence of any figures relating to the word's usage.

LiamKav wrote: I'm curious as to what you mean by "serious writing". Are you saying that because no-one would use "could care less" in a research paper, then it doesn't matter that the phrase is wrong? Or do you not consider quotes in newspaper articles, or novels, or articles on magazines "serious writing"? Casual doesn't necessarily mean not serious.
"Formal writing" probably would have been a better choice of words, yeah.
LiamKav wrote: And in this case, it may be a colloquialism, but "couldn't care less" has an actual, definable meaning which you can understand just by looking at the words. It's not like someone saying "too many cooks" and trailing off when talking to someone who only knows English as a second language, and then having to explain the rest of the saying. If you say that you are incapable of caring less about a subject under discussion, it is obvious what you mean. Saying that you could care less about it, when you mean the exact opposite... THAT then stops it being a turn of phrase and turns it into something else.
I think when someone says "I could care less", it's pretty clear that they mean "I really don't care about this at all". "Head over heels" is another colloquialism that apparently doesn't make sense; your head is usually above your heels.
LiamKav wrote: On the actual argument, can I bring in the capital of China? For decades we translated it as "Peking". And then one day we (the Western World) decided that wasn't a very good translation and so switched to "Bejing". Are the people arguing for "Seyun" saying that we should have stuck with Peking? And for the people who think we were correct to change the name, what do you think when you still see "Peking Duck" on a menu? Why have we only re-translated the word in some circumstances?
To be honest, I really don't know. I don't know enough about the Chinese language or nation to be able to comment on that.

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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by Adamant » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:11 am

LiamKav wrote:And for the people who think we were correct to change the name, what do you think when you still see "Peking Duck" on a menu? Why have we only re-translated the word in some circumstances?
I've never seen that dish called anything but "Beijing Duck" on any actual restaurant menu, so if "Peking Duck" is the de facto spelling in American restaurants, I'd say they're just slow on the uptake. It's not circumstantial at all.
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Re: How is Seyun (Saiyan) pronounciation wrong?

Post by LiamKav » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:36 am

It's how I usually see it on menu's in the UK, although I will admit that it's not like I'm in there every day.

(The UK is also a bit different in that "oriental" isn't considered offensive over here. It tends to get used because "Asian" is more often used to describe people from India and surrounding countries. I will he happily corrected, though.)

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