If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

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If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Bianju » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:16 am

... how would you go about the names? While I am all for keeping the names as close to the originals, it's undeniable that writing and speaking are two different things, and some of the Japanese names would be difficult to work into dialogue. So, my question is, if you were in charge of the scripts, how would you go about some of the names?

In my case (at least, the ones I think are worth mentioning):

Son Gokuu = Son Gokou: I frankly prefer the Japanese "Gokou" spelling over the more common western "Goku" spelling, mostly for the sort of name symmetry that happens with Gohan and Goten eventually, what with all three of them now having five letter names. And, frankly, I think it'd be pretty intuitive for a voice actor to say the "ou" as a long "u".

Kuririn = Chaolin: Alright, hear me out on this... I think this works on a number of levels. First of all, it combines elements of the original name pun; the "ch" from our "chestnut" and the rest of our "shaolin", which preserves the name a bit closer than "Krillin" does, or even really "Kuririn" (which a lot of people in the west mistake; one of my friends thought it was taken from clitoris!). Second, when the introduction of Chaozu happens, it'll make the joke of them being analogous to each other even more apparent, and in my opinion a little bit funnier.

For the record, if "Bulma" wasn't written on every one of her possessions I would be one hundred percent in favor of "Blooma".

Shenlong = The Almighty Dragon: Personally, I like Harmony Gold's "Dragon God" translation way more than either "Shenlong" or "Shenron". I think this gives him a flare which also allows Polunga to stand out when eventually introduced.

Kami-sama = God: He's God. Just God. No Kami or Kami-sama or whatever. Just God. This would likely make dialogue writing even easier, what with a few extra syllables available. Not to mention, it could occasionally be used to comic effect (characters saying "Oh, God.." in relation to him appearing), and would add an interesting element to him and Piccolo.

Kaio-Sama = The King of All Northern Worlds (but nobody would call him that) : Basically, his title is his name, but Gokou (in usual fashion) would just call him something short-hand "Gramps", or "Old Timer", or just "Yer Highness" if he wanted to be polite. The other Kais would get similar treatment, though they'd likely refer to each other by their full titles.

When it comes to attack names, I would keep most of the really iconic ones the same (Kamehameha, Kai-o-ken, Genki-dama, Kienzan, Sokidan) but use some more interpretive translations when it comes to other ones; I am a huge fan of Viz's recent "Light of Death" translation for the Makankosappo.

How about you guys? How would you handle these kind of translations/adaptations if you had scripting duties? Personally, I'm interested how you guys would handle Kamesennin.
Last edited by Bianju on Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:19 am

I wouldn't change a thing that I didn't have to, it's not the adapters place to change names, titles, plot points, etc. I'd simply have everything converted into the natural speech of whatever language I'm adapting it to.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Ki Breaker » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:28 am

If I was in charge of something like this, its not a question of how I would go about the names, the question is how royally will I screw things up..
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by UltimateHammerBro » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:38 am

If I were to work on it from the very beginning of the series, I assume I'd try to hire a renowned Japanese translator who had little or no previous experience with the series (so he wouldn't be influenced by previous translations) and just go with whatever he chose.
Bianju wrote:Kaio-Sama = The King of All Northern Worlds (but nobody would call him that) : Basically, his title is his name, but Gokou (in usual fashion) would just call him something short-hand "Gramps", or "Grampa", or just "Yer Highness" if he wanted to be polite. The other Kais would get similar treatment, though they'd likely refer to each other by their full titles.
Apart from the "Gramps"/"Grandpa"/"Yer Highness", this is something I'd actually like to see.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by El Diabeetus » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:16 am

I'd keep what I can and adapt everything else, translate/adapt as much as possible.

Kaio = Galactic Overseer(s)
Kaio-shin = Supreme Universal Overseers (shorthand Supreme Overseers)
Kaio-ken = Overseer's Burst
Kami = God (of Earth)
Shen Long = The Godly Dragon
Muten Roshi = Divine (Arts) Master
Hakaishin = God of Destruction
Zen'oh = Omni King, shortned to Omni or Lil' Omni for Zen-chan.
Kuririn = Kurilin
Umigame becoming Urigome = Sea Turtle -> Soy Turtle
Nyoibou = Willpower Staff (Pole)
Ginyu Tokusentai = Ginyu Special Rangers

Kibito = Tendant (It comes come Tsukibito, cut the beginning of attendant, there you go.)

Retain Goku's hick speech:
- Some ain'ts, yer, fer, 'bout, gonna, wanna, etc.
- Mispronounce varriants of worry and times, etc. where they are originally. Like Daijobu becoming Deijobu = Ain't gotta werry. Jubei = Tames (rather than times). Mild cussing here and there or a shit or fuck if maybe once if it calls for it. Fuck would definitely be more of a Vegeta word.

Evil Dragons reverted back to their numbers:
One Star, etc.

Attacks adapted where I can like the a Kaio-ken example:
Makankosappo = Demonic Piercing (Death) Cannon
Kienzan = Slicing Energy Disc
Kikoho = Energy Control Ray
Ki = (Spiritual) Energy
Genki-Dama = Spirit Bomb (close enough and doesn't sound clunky)

So on, so forth.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Bianju » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:44 am

El Diabeetus wrote:I'd keep what I can and adapt everything else, translate/adapt as much as possible.

Kaio = Galactic Overseer(s)
Kaio-shin = Supreme Universal Overseers (shorthand Supreme Overseers)
Kaio-ken = Overseer's Burst
Kami = God (of Earth)
Shen Long = The Godly Dragon
Muten Roshi = Divine (Arts) Master
Hakaishin = God of Destruction
Zen'oh = Omni King, shortned to Omni or Lil' Omni for Zen-chan.
Kuririn = Kurilin
Umigame becoming Urigome = Sea Turtle -> Soy Turtle
Nyoibou = Willpower Staff (Pole)
Ginyu Tokusentai = Ginyu Special Rangers

Kibito = Tendant (It comes come Tsukibito, cut the beginning of attendant, there you go.)

Retain Goku's hick speech:
- Some ain'ts, yer, fer, 'bout, gonna, wanna, etc.
- Mispronounce varriants of worry and times, etc. where they are originally. Like Daijobu becoming Deijobu = Ain't gotta werry. Jubei = Tames (rather than times). Mild cussing here and there or a shit or fuck if maybe once if it calls for it. Fuck would definitely be more of a Vegeta word.

Evil Dragons reverted back to their numbers:
One Star, etc.

Attacks adapted where I can like the a Kaio-ken example:
Makankosappo = Demonic Piercing (Death) Cannon
Kienzan = Slicing Energy Disc
Kikoho = Energy Control Ray
Ki = (Spiritual) Energy
Genki-Dama = Spirit Bomb (close enough and doesn't sound clunky)

So on, so forth.
I will not deny, "Overseer's Burst" has a pretty nice ring to it. Actually, a lot of things in your translations do. Though I think I'd leave just a few of these alone (Nyoi-bo, for instance).

I agree I'd like to preserve a lot more of Goku's speech pattern, but I think the harder swears would probably be better suited for Piccolo and Vegeta... Most of the time. And even then, I can't imagine anyone from the cast ever using the 'F' bomb. Piccolo has said "shit" before (the second arcade game comes to mind), and Vegeta seems like it would just suit his manner of speaking. However, I think for most of the main cast the amount of swearing that's in the Kai script is probably more accurate to their manner of speaking.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by laserkid » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:30 pm

Honestly, I'd just use Japanese names unaltered if I was given the choice, the show is drenched in Japanese culture as is - so I don't see a problem with the world learning some of that from the show.

BUT if I was FORCED to make adaptation changes for whatever reason.

I'd leave Goku as just Goku, I would make refference tot he 'son' family and if it came to full name "I'm Goku, Goku Son" - because if we're going to do the adaptation thing, we may as well get people the correct impression of what Goku's family name is.

If the name is already an english pun, I'm leaving it alone because it's unecessary to change.

Krillin is a servicable name for an adaptation for Kuririn, mainly so the voice actors don't fail horribly at pronouncing Kuririn.

Kami - this is totally one where I'd call him God, I know showing many friends Dragon Ball I had to explain Yajirobe's disbelief in Kami is the fact that Kami means God to so many people this change would solve that issue.

King Kai is fine as it is for a localization name - Kai-O literally translates to King Kai (which is as an aside an annoying fact of the official sub of super referring to Kaioken as King Kai fist, I know its accurate but it drives me nuts), and Sama is an honorific which doesn't need to be translated, at least not for a name.

Shen Long I'd actually keep the 'Eternal Dragon' name, or go with the original. The whole Shenron name makes me wince every time.

Kaioshin I'd really want to keep as is, but if you forced me to translate the name, given the connection to the Gods of Destruction, I'd go with God of Protection or something along those lines.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by RedRibbonSoldier#42 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:45 pm

laserkid wrote:
Kai-O literally translates to King Kai (which is as an aside an annoying fact of the official sub of super referring to Kaioken as King Kai fist, I know its accurate but it drives me nuts), and Sama is an honorific which doesn't need to be translated, at least not for a name.
It only half tranlates to King Kai. It'd be like calling the Androids Jinzou Humans.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by El Diabeetus » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:06 pm

Bianju wrote:
El Diabeetus wrote:I'd keep what I can and adapt everything else, translate/adapt as much as possible.

Kaio = Galactic Overseer(s)
Kaio-shin = Supreme Universal Overseers (shorthand Supreme Overseers)
Kaio-ken = Overseer's Burst
Kami = God (of Earth)
Shen Long = The Godly Dragon
Muten Roshi = Divine (Arts) Master
Hakaishin = God of Destruction
Zen'oh = Omni King, shortned to Omni or Lil' Omni for Zen-chan.
Kuririn = Kurilin
Umigame becoming Urigome = Sea Turtle -> Soy Turtle
Nyoibou = Willpower Staff (Pole)
Ginyu Tokusentai = Ginyu Special Rangers

Kibito = Tendant (It comes come Tsukibito, cut the beginning of attendant, there you go.)

Retain Goku's hick speech:
- Some ain'ts, yer, fer, 'bout, gonna, wanna, etc.
- Mispronounce varriants of worry and times, etc. where they are originally. Like Daijobu becoming Deijobu = Ain't gotta werry. Jubei = Tames (rather than times). Mild cussing here and there or a shit or fuck if maybe once if it calls for it. Fuck would definitely be more of a Vegeta word.

Evil Dragons reverted back to their numbers:
One Star, etc.

Attacks adapted where I can like the a Kaio-ken example:
Makankosappo = Demonic Piercing (Death) Cannon
Kienzan = Slicing Energy Disc
Kikoho = Energy Control Ray
Ki = (Spiritual) Energy
Genki-Dama = Spirit Bomb (close enough and doesn't sound clunky)

So on, so forth.
I will not deny, "Overseer's Burst" has a pretty nice ring to it. Actually, a lot of things in your translations do. Though I think I'd leave just a few of these alone (Nyoi-bo, for instance).

I agree I'd like to preserve a lot more of Goku's speech pattern, but I think the harder swears would probably be better suited for Piccolo and Vegeta... Most of the time. And even then, I can't imagine anyone from the cast ever using the 'F' bomb. Piccolo has said "shit" before (the second arcade game comes to mind), and Vegeta seems like it would just suit his manner of speaking. However, I think for most of the main cast the amount of swearing that's in the Kai script is probably more accurate to their manner of speaking.
Oh yeah, it'd definitely be more of a Vegeta only thing if it were to be done, in regards to f-bombs (even then if used would be rare).

I can't really think of an adaptation for Kinto'un that doesn't sound clunky (without straight up renaming it, most of the terms I did might be re-worded but they describe the points of the terms), so your idea of keeping Nyoibou untranslated might work better so it isn't inconsistent with Kinto'un. As far as I can tell it's near impossible to make Sommersault Cloud sound natural when thrown into conversation.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Bianju » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:01 pm

Kinto-Un would be a bit of a hassle for VA's (even I'm not totally sure how much the "UN" should be emphasized), but I'd keep it the same. "Flying Nimbus" has simultaneously too much and no importance, "Magic Cloud" is just undeniably silly in a way that Dragon Ball usually avoids (if it is meant to be somewhat serious, of course), and "Candy Cloud" is just... Wrong...

... On another note, does anyone know any other of the more 'idiosyncratic' translations from the Nippon Golden Network subtitles?

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:12 pm

Something to keep in mind. If we're talking about translating the manga, the attack names mentioned thus far are perfectly acceptable. If we're talking about the anime, however, a lot of these names have too many syllables to match the lip movements, and it might force the voice actors to shout the attack names at an awkwardly fast speed in order to match the lip movements. If you'll notice, many--not all--but many of the attack names FUNimation came up with have the same (or very, very close to the same) amount of syllables as their Japanese counterparts. That's all about matching the lip flaps. For example, "Makankosappo" (five syllables) --> "Special Beam Cannon" (five syllables).

So, for that reason, I'd just keep all the attack names in Japanese. That approach takes care of two problems at once, in that it's both loyal to the original script and matches the lip flaps.

As for Goku's "hick" mannerisms, Goku may not necessarily be a hick. He's obviously a dumbass, but it's debatable to what extent it's appropriate to consider him a "hick," as his hickish speech mannerisms are not something that Toriyama emphasized himself so much as it is an aspect of the character that Masako Nozawa made the decision to emphasize in her performance (and that Steve Simmons chose to emphasize in his subtitles). So, FUNimation's current approach of portraying Goku as stupid, but not hick stupid, is fine by me.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by laserkid » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:03 am

RedRibbonSoldier#42 wrote:
laserkid wrote:
Kai-O literally translates to King Kai (which is as an aside an annoying fact of the official sub of super referring to Kaioken as King Kai fist, I know its accurate but it drives me nuts), and Sama is an honorific which doesn't need to be translated, at least not for a name.
It only half tranlates to King Kai. It'd be like calling the Androids Jinzou Humans.
While this is true there's only so far I'd go in translating a persons name. I mean if we really wanted to we could translate Gohan's name to "meal". I don't think it's always necessary to translate out a person's name. I only suggested Kami to God due to translational issues for why someone wouldn't believe in Kami.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by RedRibbonSoldier#42 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:08 am

laserkid wrote:
RedRibbonSoldier#42 wrote:
laserkid wrote:
Kai-O literally translates to King Kai (which is as an aside an annoying fact of the official sub of super referring to Kaioken as King Kai fist, I know its accurate but it drives me nuts), and Sama is an honorific which doesn't need to be translated, at least not for a name.
It only half tranlates to King Kai. It'd be like calling the Androids Jinzou Humans.
While this is true there's only so far I'd go in translating a persons name. I mean if we really wanted to we could translate Gohan's name to "meal". I don't think it's always necessary to translate out a person's name. I only suggested Kami to God due to translational issues for why someone wouldn't believe in Kami.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by laserkid » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:18 am

I can't speak for the Kanji of it, but I took enough to know the various meals of the day being based around when one was having it, bangohan being dinner for example. But it has been a good 11 years since my one year of Japanese study so what do I know?

My point is there's only a point to which I'd translate a characters name.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by RedRibbonSoldier#42 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:32 am

laserkid wrote:I can't speak for the Kanji of it, but I took enough to know the various meals of the day being based around when one was having it, bangohan being dinner for example. But it has been a good 11 years since my one year of Japanese study so what do I know?

My point is there's only a point to which I'd translate a characters name.
But Kaiou is not a personal name. It's a title; "King Kai" makes it sound like a king whose name is Kai or that he is the king of a people called kais, like how Bowser is King Koopa.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by huzaifa_ahmed » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:43 pm

Jinzoningen MULE wrote:I wouldn't change a thing that I didn't have to, it's not the adapters place to change names, titles, plot points, etc. I'd simply have everything converted into the natural speech of whatever language I'm adapting it to.
Pokemon, Gyakuten Saiben, several others come to mind. Robotnik was entirely an American creation. And almost every foreign media that gets popular outside, gets a replacement soundtrack, music aside. Beyond that, comparing name/title localizations to story changes...these two are very different things. One re-presents, & the other alters the themes of what made the thing good in the first place.

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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by laserkid » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:44 am

I've done a ton of thinking on the Kaiosama/King Kai issue that's been back and forth and while I still stand by the King Kai is enough of a translation for me, if we lock that out a friend of mine has actually given an interesting suggestion.

Given that he is the Kaio of the northern worlds, my friend suggested King North as translation to get across quickly that he's the king of a large region, but not the only one.

To go with this, for Kaioken he suggested King North's Rage as the companion translation.

I just thought you might appreciate this thought, also since my friend isn't on Kanzenshuu I was asked to pass this idea along. I do want to introduce my friend to Kanzenshuu at some point, but he's only seen DBZ Kai as it has aired on Toonami and the chances the Buu Saga will be accidentally spoiled to him is too high for now.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:02 am

laserkid wrote:I've done a ton of thinking on the Kaiosama/King Kai issue that's been back and forth and while I still stand by the King Kai is enough of a translation for me, if we lock that out a friend of mine has actually given an interesting suggestion.

Given that he is the Kaio of the northern worlds, my friend suggested King North as translation to get across quickly that he's the king of a large region, but not the only one.

To go with this, for Kaioken he suggested King North's Rage as the companion translation.

I just thought you might appreciate this thought, also since my friend isn't on Kanzenshuu I was asked to pass this idea along. I do want to introduce my friend to Kanzenshuu at some point, but he's only seen DBZ Kai as it has aired on Toonami and the chances the Buu Saga will be accidentally spoiled to him is too high for now.
I'm not a fan of any of those, but Viz used "Lord of Worlds", and I rather like that one.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by SmugStick » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:04 pm

I would change some things in the Latino dub so that the call Kamisama 'God' and Chi-chi named... Chichi, because the changed it to Milk. The adaptation is fairly loyal to the original, I would hust get rid of censorship
Last edited by SmugStick on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If You Were in Charge of an International Adaptation...

Post by Bianju » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:08 pm

SmugStick wrote:I would change somethings in the Latino dub so that the call Kamoisama 'God' and Chi-chi named... Chichi, because the changed it to Milk. The adaptation is fairly loyal to the original, I would hust get rid of censorship
I heard about this, and it does seem like the biggest censorship in that dub. Funny how that's a joke that would actually translate really well into Spanish but not English; I bet that inner monologue with Roshi (where he wonders if Chi-Chi lives up to her namesake) could probably be translated word-for-word and make just as much sense.

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