The translators just... keep... finding me...!

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The translators just... keep... finding me...!

Post by kenisu3000 » Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:21 am

Oh my crap.

Oh my FRIGGIN' sunnagun CRAP is it a small world.

Okay, I know this has very little to do with DragonBall, so let me explain in advance how this ties in. To my knowledge, there are two people who submit(ted) translations to FUNimation for their subtitles on the DragonBall/Z/GT DVDs: Steven J. Simmons and Clyde Mandelin. Now, as most of us know, Steve is on this very forum. When I first joined here, I nearly doubled over when I saw "Daimao" on a poster's username and came to the realization that it was legit.

Well, Clyde Mandelin to me was some sort of phantom "second translator" when he came into play for the DragonBall DVD sets. I had convinced myself that, unlike Steve, he didn't take part in internet fandom of anything... for all I knew, he was just some guy FUNimation hired to pick up where Steve left off on DragonBall. And I'm now a little ashamed to have always scowled at Clyde's translations, as blaringly incorrect as some of them have been, because it turns out I knew him (or had heard of him) for a bit longer than I thought, under the username of "Tomato".

You see, as much as I am a fan of the DragonBall series, there also comes my secondary obsession: a Japanese Nintendo game series called "MOTHER". The second game, MOTHER 2, for the Super Famicom, was released in the U.S. under the title "EarthBound", if that helps you to recognize it. Some of you may scoff at this because a lot of people think this game series is... uh, weird, to say the least. Or, odds are, you've never even heard of it since it never got as much hype as other games.

Well, for time out of mind, I've visited an EarthBound fansite (I'm not going to divulge the link as that would be blantantly advertising something that doesn't involve DragonBall whatsoever), and one of the major administrators for the site who translates stuff about the MOTHER goodies that Japan gets and we don't, happens to be Clyde Mandelin himself.

Okay, so why would something as trivial as this drive me to actually post it on this forum, risking my status on the board as it's only partially related to DragonBall? Well, try to imagine visiting a fansite for a little-known video game for years, and clinging to the administrators' every update, knowing them only by their username, and respecting one of them deeply for the translation work he does. At the same time, you start purchasing the DragonBall DVD sets and first discover that it isn't the beloved Steven J. Simmons who translates them, but someone you've never heard of and are very apprehensive about. Even given some time, the apprehension still doesn't go away. You get a tiny twinge of "well, that's funny", when your respected EarthBound translator Tomato mentions he works for FUNimation, but think nothing of it. Then, one day a year or so later, you stumble across one of Tomato's EarthBound translation projects and it has "Clyde M." at the top. Immediately my eyes widened, and I wasted no time in posting a message to him asking him point-blank if his last name was Mandelin. Sure enough, his answer came back in the affirmative! So just imagine how taken aback I was that this Tomato whose translations and updates I had read for so long turned out to be the same person doing the DragonBall translations! It sounds like something out of a whodunnit or a Harry Potter book or something...

Anyway, I hope I didn't come across too much as trying to advertise EarthBound on a DragonBall site. On the contrary, I was trying to give a little background on the game so you knew where I was coming from. Also, I'd like to say that this just goes to show you (and this is going to sound incredibly cheesy) that as long as someone stays a stranger to you, you'll be apprehensive about them, but once you make friends with them, or recognize them for who they are, that makes all the difference. I don't care about the errors in his DragonBall translations anymore... if anything, it inspires me to become a top-notch Japanese linguist myself so that I don't need the subtitles.

Posting this topic is my way of kissing my past misgivings goodbye.
BGM forever! If only more people paid attention to it... well, I intend to change that.

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Daimao
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Post by Daimao » Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:46 am

Yep, the internet is teeming with us translator types. Better make sure your virus definitions are up to date and your firewall is working. :wink:

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Post by Ash » Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:33 am

Oh, I have known that for a year or so now. Tomato also did a translation Tantei Famicom Club pt. II, which I love, love!
[i]"Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God's good earth"[/i] - The Lamp of God, Ellery Queen

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Post by El_Diablo » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:20 am

Lobster_Rage155 linked to his website and whatnot in this topic:

http://db.schuby.org/daizex/viewtopic.p ... ght=#62276
Where's the beef?

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Post by SaiyamanMS » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:32 am

Ah, very cool. I've known of EarthBound for a few years now thanks to Super Smash Bros. (I'm a large fan of Pokemon.) and I must say, Ness is one of the more fun characters to play as. :D

And uh... I can't think of anything more on topic that I can say. XD

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Post by Kirbopher » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:43 am

Well as for your last statement, I think even Mike and Meri ended up learning that as well when they had personally met some people at FUNimation too :3

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Post by Adamant » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:36 am

Tomato is Mandelin? Well, that sure came as a shock. He has churned out some very good SNES translations over the years, including Live a Live, Star Ocean, and one of my favorite games ever, Bahamut Lagoon.

I guess the thing is, when translating written material, especially stuff like video games, where you can't throw in footnotes all over the place, you are allowed to take a few liberties to make things sound better. Subtitles call for a much more literal translation, where jokes that don't work in english are explained, instead of ignored and replaced with another joke you made up yourself.

Of course, Mandelin's DragonBall translations aren't BAD, it's just that they would benefit from sticking closer to the original script.

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Post by kenisu3000 » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:40 pm

Adamant wrote:Tomato is Mandelin? Well, that sure came as a shock. He has churned out some very good SNES translations over the years, including Live a Live, Star Ocean, and one of my favorite games ever, Bahamut Lagoon.

I guess the thing is, when translating written material, especially stuff like video games, where you can't throw in footnotes all over the place, you are allowed to take a few liberties to make things sound better. Subtitles call for a much more literal translation, where jokes that don't work in english are explained, instead of ignored and replaced with another joke you made up yourself.

Of course, Mandelin's DragonBall translations aren't BAD, it's just that they would benefit from sticking closer to the original script.
Hmm, I guess it isn't just the EarthBound community he's with (fan-wise) then. So apparently you and I were the only ones unaware of this :) But isn't it awesome when something like this happens? Like I said before, it's like a real-life whodunnit.
Yeah, now that I can take a second look at his DragonBall translations with my apprehension now diminished, I can tell I was a little overly biased in favor of Daimao.
Clyde/Tomato's DB subtitles are *certainly* not bad. I can't believe I nitpicked when he has a far greater ear for the spoken Japanese language than I do (basically I was only able to catch the errors because I followed along with the manga).
SaiyamanMS wrote:Ah, very cool. I've known of EarthBound for a few years now thanks to Super Smash Bros. (I'm a large fan of Pokemon.) and I must say, Ness is one of the more fun characters to play as.

And uh... I can't think of anything more on topic that I can say. XD
Yeah, Smash Bros. was how I was first introduced to Ness and EarthBound as well. EB didn't get very much hype *at all* when Nintendo brought it to America, so only a precious few have even *heard* of the game. It definitely falls into the category of "cult following" (no Happy Happy Village puns intended). Of course, in Japan, this game series is apparently huge (which would explain why Ness made it into SSB), and that only goes to show you how much the Japanese have a deeper tolerance for difficult games with so-so graphics than Americans.
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Post by laserkid » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:52 pm

Yeah I've known Tomato did the DB subtitled script for some time. I've known him for all his translation work through Dejap, most prominintly on Star Ocean.

edit: Hes got his own site, looks like he's done quite a few things for FUNimation. http://tomato.fobby.net/
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Post by linkdude20002001 » Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:59 am

When I first discovered that I was surprised too. It's cool how he translated games that Nintendo never released like Famicom Detective Club part 2. Maybe he’ll translate MOTHER 3 if it'd never released, if not he’ll still make a walkthrough.

I like all of Dragon Balls subtitles, but some subtitles I've seen weren’t very good. Dragon Ball's lucky to have Daimao & Tomato translating it.

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Post by The S » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:35 pm

Imagine my surprise when I found a summary on Koji Suzuki's "Loop" on a Ring fan site written by Mr. Mandelin. :p It was about the same as your revelation.
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