What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

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What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by MarCas92 » Mon May 11, 2015 2:26 pm

Do you prefer them being said/spelt as the Original Japanese with a note explaining translation? Or do you prefer a straight translation of the name?

Personally, I prefer the original Japanese, as the translations sound pretty uninspired in my opinion. I''ll fully admit, it might be just be the added mystique of them being in a different language, but they sound more like attacks if you don't translate them. It's hard to articulate why, but I just feel that way.d

Genki Dama > Energy Sphere.
Kamehameha > Turtle Wave Beam.
Makankosappo>Demonic Piercing Light Murder Gun. and many other more examples.

Which do you prefer and why?
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by VegettoEX » Mon May 11, 2015 2:36 pm

In a world of "Hadoken" and "Shoryuken" I don't see much of a problem with things like "Kienzan" or "Kikoho" at all.

Translating them in their first instance either in subtitles (in parenthesis right below it; not that digisubber bouncing top-of-the-screen crap) or in a sidebar manga note is a nice practice.

I mean, there's a ton of Japanese in FUNimation's English dub that fans brush over because they don't even know it's Japanese ("Roshi" and "Baba" being two great examples). Attack names shouldn't be an issue. It's a crapshoot in terms of which attack names they keep in Japanese versus making something up, so why not be consistent about it? I like consistency. Even when I can't be consistent. But I try. Sorta.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Mon May 11, 2015 2:38 pm

I like the Japanese names for attacks. Though I will admit that some of them don't roll off the tongue as nicely as I'd like.

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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Dyno » Mon May 11, 2015 2:46 pm

I prefer the Japanese/original version.

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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by One_Instance » Mon May 11, 2015 2:49 pm

I like the Japanese names because their dub counterparts don't sound nearly as cool, Destructo Disc being the best example I can think of. I really wish they would have stuck with the Japanese names for most of them, attacks like the Makankosappo having name changes is understandable, however. I also understand why they changed the names, but in games like Street Fighter, kids memorized the names of attacks like it was nothing, just like they did with the Kamehameha, so I don't see why Genki Dama would be to hard for them to remember, as well.

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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Thouser » Mon May 11, 2015 2:55 pm

Personally I like the Japanese names and knowing what they mean. I don't really care for the exotic approach of treating them as cool sounding gibberish.
MarCas92 wrote: Kamehameha > Turtle Wave Beam.
Actually, the way it's written is just "Kamehame Wave" (かめはめ波). "Turtle Wave Beam" would be something like Kame Ha Kōsen (亀波光線).

The "kame" could obviously be assumed to be "turtle" (亀), but the "hame" is just gibberish.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Lord Beerus » Mon May 11, 2015 3:08 pm

I much prefer the original Japanese names of attacks than what their dubbed counterparts are.

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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by SSJ God Gogeta » Mon May 11, 2015 3:13 pm

Original Japanese for me. I don't know why, they just sound more badass.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Ajay » Mon May 11, 2015 3:21 pm

I prefer them left alone. The translations that many come up with simply destroy the original connotations, or just sound plain corny. And, as VegettoEX already mentioned, most people wouldn't even question their inclusion. They just sound like 'cool' names.

I think there's two sides to this, though. You can translate them, and as long as the show explains their origins, it's probably okay. On the other hand, there's a great deal of depth to a lot of these attacks that I think you simply can't translate as they're very Eastern concepts.

The 'Genki Dama', for example. The dub calls it a 'Spirit Bomb', which isn't a bad translation, but it does seem quite far removed from the original idea behind it. Fortunately, you do get an explanation from Kaio, and the English script is similar:
The Genki Dama is a technique that takes all of the Genki energy from grass and trees, from people and animals, and even things and atmosphere, and allocates a little bit from each of their energies, concentrates it, and shoots it.
Even a Genki Dama from a planet as small as this had that kind of destructive force. The Earth, where you’ll be fighting, is so much larger than this planet, it doesn’t even compare. Furthermore, you can harness the support of the Sun’s enormous energy. It will be a Genki Dama of incredible power. If you slip up, it wouldn’t be too hard to destroy the very planet you’re trying to protect.
We don't really have this concept of 'Genki' in the west. I can understand why FUNi opted to use 'Spirit' as it's probably the closest thing we have, but it isn't quite perfect. Derek Padula actually goes into great detail about the etymology of the Genki Dama. It's a fascinating read that details what exactly these words mean and the idea behind them.

So what about something like 'Taiyō-ken'? The dub calls that 'Solar Flare' and there's no explanation behind it. I can kinda see what they were going for, but it kinda undermines the whole martial arts, spiritual energy thing that Dragon Ball has going for it.

Just leave them alone. Let them speak for themselves. If someone wants to look up some meaning behind them, then at least they've got the original term right there.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Thouser » Mon May 11, 2015 3:41 pm

AjayLikesGaming wrote: So what about something like 'Taiyō-ken'? The dub calls that 'Solar Flare' and there's no explanation behind it. I can kinda see what they were going for, but it kinda undermines the whole martial arts, spiritual energy thing that Dragon Ball has going for it.
Taiyō Ken (太陽拳) literally means Solar Fist (or Sun Fist). It has nothing to do with "spiritual energy."
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Ajay » Mon May 11, 2015 3:57 pm

Thouser wrote:Taiyō Ken (太陽拳) literally means Solar Fist (or Sun Fist). It has nothing to do with "spiritual energy."
That's not strictly true, and you really shouldn't dismiss people like that. I have no issue with being mistaken, but please be a little nicer about it. :thumbup: To clarify - by "spiritual energy", I'm talking about how everything in Dragon Ball is linked to Ki. Not specifically "spiritual energy" being attached to any translation.

Again, to link to Mr. Padula's work as he does a great job of following these concepts back to their origins, you should find a detailed look at the etymology of the term, alongside some links to Daoism.

Though I appreciate not everyone believes Toriyama had these concepts in mind when naming the techniques, I find them fascinating and very appropriate links considering Dragon Ball's ties to Chinese ideology and folklore.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Kakarot88 » Mon May 11, 2015 4:25 pm

I prefer literal translations where possible and to be left alone where that won't work. I find it odd when a sub just keeps the attack name without a parenthetical explanation. For dragon ball a lot of the attacks have word pun meanings so the parenthetical explanation via sub whould have been nice, but given the complexity and number of attacks it makes sense why Steve Simmons did what he did.

All that being said, while I do love Steve Simmons work, I think it was incredibly odd he kept Rei Gun in Yu Yu Hakusho rather than translating it as spirit gun but I guess for consistency sake that makes sense...but that's where consistency should not trump an easy direct translation.

I think where the attack name is readily and easily translatable it should be translated because the whole point is to understand what the character is saying.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Payne222 » Mon May 11, 2015 4:42 pm

Having been introduced to the series with the Funimation dub, I'm perfectly fine with English translations. Having watched the anime as well at 7 years old in Japanese, I'm fine with the Japanese names. I personally don't think it's a huge deal if a localized version has localized translations of those things.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by MarCas92 » Mon May 11, 2015 4:51 pm

Payne222 wrote:Having been introduced to the series with the Funimation dub, I'm perfectly fine with English translations. Having watched the anime as well at 7 years old in Japanese, I'm fine with the Japanese names. I personally don't think it's a huge deal if a localized version has localized translations of those things.
Well, I feel "translations" is a very loose term when it comes to the FUNI dub. Sure, they kept a lot of the original Japanese names and a lot of the ones they invented are pretty cool. However, I feel that calling things like Solar Flare and Spirit Bomb "translations" isn't correct.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Kaboom » Mon May 11, 2015 4:57 pm

I don't mind technique names being translated when they're translated well and even just mostly accurate. "Wolf Fang Fist" is good. "Spirit Bomb" is okay.

But ones like "Special Beam Cannon" and "Tri-Beam" are stupid. If they were translated as something more accurate like "Evil Drill Cannon" for the Makankosappo and "Life Cannon" for the Kikoho, I'd be cool with it.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Mon May 11, 2015 5:15 pm

It depends on the name. As Kaboom mention, some dub names are okay while others are just plain stupid. I would have use Light Gun instead of Special Beam Cannon, but in 1996 they needed to keep the show family friendly as possible.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Captain Sauza » Mon May 11, 2015 5:16 pm

I like them all. It's cool to see the differences between the English translation of the japanese attack, and whether they do a literal translation or come up with something that sounds more cool to them. I like to compare these differences with a lot of video games too, particularly JRPGs.

One of my favorite JRPGs is Legend of Legaia, and I went about getting translations for a lot of the attack names in the JP version and found that the NA release of the game just made up their own English version of certain attacks rather than doing a literal translation.

Example:
One boss shoots a ball of fire that looks similar to a hadoken.
JP attack name: Haou Jaen Satsupa (覇皇邪遠殺波)
Literal Translation: Supreme Emperor Evil Killing Wave From Afar
NA attack name: Hyper Wave

Sometimes the made up translation works, other times I like the original better. But I can't say that I straight up like the original japanese over the translation or vice versa.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Payne222 » Mon May 11, 2015 5:22 pm

Kaboom wrote:I don't mind technique names being translated when they're translated well and even just mostly accurate. "Wolf Fang Fist" is good. "Spirit Bomb" is okay.

But ones like "Special Beam Cannon" and "Tri-Beam" are stupid. If they were translated as something more accurate like "Evil Drill Cannon" for the Makankosappo and "Life Cannon" for the Kikoho, I'd be cool with it.
You have to take into context the time that it was being translated and being brought to the American public. A foreign cartoon talking about the Devil and death? Many parents would be apprehensive to let their children jump right into that. And that's perfectly ok, it's a cultural thing. Kinda like how Pokemon changed Brock's onigiri to donuts. At 5 years old I have no idea what the fuck onigiri was, so they adapted it a bit for the audience.
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Thouser » Mon May 11, 2015 5:37 pm

AjayLikesGaming wrote:
Thouser wrote:Taiyō Ken (太陽拳) literally means Solar Fist (or Sun Fist). It has nothing to do with "spiritual energy."
That's not strictly true, and you really shouldn't dismiss people like that. By "spiritual energy", I'm talking about how everything in Dragon Ball is linked to Ki. Not specifically "spiritual energy" being attached to any translation.
You said that the name "Solar Flare" undermined the idea of spiritual energy. I'm just saying that translating it accurately, as Solar Fist, would still having nothing to do with spiritual energy. I didn't mean to come off as confrontational. The "fist" in the name does however preserve the martial arts theme, which you also mentioned.
AjayLikesGaming wrote:Again, to link to Mr. Padula's work as he does a great job of following these concepts back to their origins, you should find a detailed look at the etymology of the term, alongside some links to Daoism.

Though I appreciate not everyone believes Toriyama had these concepts in mind when naming the techniques, I find them fascinating and very appropriate links considering Dragon Ball's ties to Chinese ideology and folklore.
I doubt that over-analysing radicals has anything to do with Toriyama's reason for picking the name. Taiyō means the Sun. Ken means fist. It's an attack that resembles the light from the Sun. That's pretty straightforward if you ask me. Plus, this guy gets lots of stuff wrong anyway.
the dao of dragon ball wrote: So taiyō-ken (太陽拳) means the “supreme sun fist,” “ultimate sunlight technique,” or “extreme yáng hands.”
太 does mean something that's great in size. For example, it is used to mean describe someone "fat" in Japanese.

But 太陽 just means the sun. When people read it, that's what they picture. 陽 is related to the sun, just as 陰 (yin) is related to the moon, but nobody calls the sun just yang/yō. Even in Chinese the sun is called 太陽 (taiyang, the same characters as taiyō).

The translation "extreme yang hands" is ridiculous. 拳 doesn't even mean "hands." 手 (te) is hand. You'll notice that the character for hand is inside the character for fist, since a fist is made from your hand. 拳 also doesn't mean technique.

Just for fun, in Japanese those names would actually be:

Supreme Sun Fist: 最高の太陽拳 (Saikō no Taiyō Ken)
Ultimate Sunlight Technique: 最高の日光術 (Saikō no Nikkō Jutsu)
Extreme Yang Hands: 極度の陽手 (Kyoku no Yōzu)
Kaboom wrote: I don't mind technique names being translated when they're translated well and even just mostly accurate. "Wolf Fang Fist" is good. "Spirit Bomb" is okay.
Again, just for fun, these names back-translated to Japanese:

Spirit Bomb: 元気爆弾 (genki bakudan), or maybe 精爆 (seibaku), or even 魂爆 (konbaku)
Wolf Fang Fist: 狼牙拳 (rōga ken instead of rōga fūfū ken 狼牙風風拳)

Special Beam Cannon would be 特光線砲 (tokkōsen hō) or 特ビーム砲 (toku bīmu hō)

And hell, Destructo Disc would be 破壊ディスク (hakai disuku)
Payne222 wrote: You have to take into context the time that it was being translated and being brought to the American public. A foreign cartoon talking about the Devil and death? Many parents would be apprehensive to let their children jump right into that. And that's perfectly ok, it's a cultural thing. Kinda like how Pokemon changed Brock's onigiri to donuts. At 5 years old I have no idea what the fuck onigiri was, so they adapted it a bit for the audience.
How many people really would have been offended/confused if Genki Dama had been translated as "Energy Ball" or "Spirit Ball" (a name they actually used in the Funi dub, except for Yamcha's sōkidan (操気弾, "manipulate ki bullet" )?
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Re: What do you prefer for the attack names in sub/dubs?

Post by Kaboom » Mon May 11, 2015 5:42 pm

Yeah, that's why I intentionally used the word "evil" instead of "demon" or "devil."

As for the Pokémon example... I don't think American kids would have been flabbergasted by the term "rice balls."
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