Adamant wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:07 pm
...if you're so convinced "ningen" is this super meaningful word that cannot possibly be translated into English as "human" you should probably locate some sources for that claim beyond "my understanding", because come on man, I've provided translations of articles explaining both the words "cyborg", "jinzoningen" and "ningen" itself, plus references to the use of "jinzoningen" in Japanese media to refer to certain people that are arguably cyborgs. I don't know what else to tell you.
If you're this convinced Simmons, Herms and whoever translated the manga for Viz were wrong when they translated ningen as "human" I suggest poking Herms on Twitter about it, because I'm not super interested in dragging this on any longer.
Hey man, all I'm saying is that if it's as simple as "Ningen literally means human, nothing more to it", then Toriyama's use of terminology makes no sense. It's like if an English piece of media had some sweet, jam-filled bagels... I'd be pretty sure they have the wrong word. Ginyu, Namekians, and Cell are not homo sapiens, so a word that literally means "Human" doesn't apply. I saw this debate come up a lot when Super had the "Zero Humans Plan" or "Zero Mortals Plan", depending on how you wanted to render it. (IIRC the fansubs and Crunchyroll subs generally went with the former, but Funimation's dub went with the latter?)
By occam's razor, the simplest explanation is often the correct one, and in this case, what's simpler?...
A. Toriyama uses terminology that doesn't make sense any sense in English or Japanese, and all the translations adapt this fine.
B. There's a minor cultural/linguistic difference here that Simmons arguably didn't render in the clearest possible way in his subtitles.*
*(That's not to say that this is, as you put it, "this super meaningful word that cannot possibly be translated into English as 'human'", it's to say "Japanese is a notoriously different, difficult language for English-speakers, so maybe this common word doesn't exactly map to this common word, but it's close enough in most cases, but creates some weird edge-cases in subtitle tracks that are as literal as Simmons' tend to be)
I don't see what your problem is with understanding the idea that maybe this word that you can only seem to define via a Wikipedia article that mentions it in passing when defining a different word, doesn't literally go into the English word "human" as cleanly as you're convinced it does.
Granted, I've never studied any Japanese. So, yes, it's entirely possible I have the wrong end of the stick here; I'm fully expecting to find out I have some wrong idea somewhere in here. But to be blunt, your attitude so far of "you're wrong, now shut up and read my proof: This list of times this confusing edge case has popped up, and my translation of a wikipedia article for a different word which briefly mentions this word in passing as also referring to this" is baffling to me, and is making this discussion feel needlessly dramatic and confrontational. If you actually do understand Japanese, there are less rude ways of saying "My understanding is it literally just means 'homo sapien', much like the English word 'human'."
However, regardless of how you put it, my understanding has always been that your belief that "ningen" means "human" in a literal, exact sense, is not correct, and now MyVisionity is saying they have come to understand the same thing, so... Maybe you're not quite the expert you've thought yourself to be in this thread so far, and maybe "Ningen" is a word like many in Japanese that doesn't quite have an exact counterpart in English (such as most honourifics), so the translators involved here have just used their best attempt at an adaptation of it, but it's created some weird edge-cases, many of which arise from the very literal way in which Simmons phrases his dialogue...
This isn't some ridiculous idea of "it's a deeply complex word that doesn't translate, like nakama or keikaku", and I'd appreciate it if you didn't frame it as if I'm suggesting that; it doesn't contribute anything to the discussion other than make it harder for me to respond to you. Feels like I have to say the same thing two or three times or you'll ignore it and act like I've said something else entirely.
As for poking Herms on Twitter, I don't have Twitter; it's never appealed to me, and frankly I've got enough distracting things to waste time on without joining a social media platform that forces you to communicate in the most condensed-down, nuance-free way anyone can possibly use.
If someone else wants to poke him, I'd be interested to hear what he says. Though I imagine he'll similarly say "'Human' is a close enough approximation, but it generates some odd edge cases."
On a sidenote, I think it's quite fitting that a thread about whether some dub terminology is lacklustre, has devolved into an argument about whether or not some sub terminology is lacklustre.
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.