[Worldwide translations/dubs] Sailor Moon Eternal Netflix thread (Parts 1 & 2 on June 3rd)

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Jun 26, 2021
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When I played a bit of the film this morning and heard the honorifics in the dub, I was so surprised I had to have a look online to see whether other people had noticed and what they thought.

I watched a bit of the beginning of the first film, starting with the Japanese with Japanese subtitles as that's how I usually get familiar with media that's been translated. I was surprised to see so many words in the English subtitle track went untranslated. For instance, when Palla-Palla says "Tora-no-me-chan (虎の目ちゃん、lit. Little Tiger's Eye)" or uses the spell "Gyaku-Tama (lit. 逆玉、Reverse Ball)."

I noticed Diana calling Usagi and Mamoru Usagi-sama and Mamoru-sama, respectively, and thought, "Alright, that's a choice" but was pretty surprised to hear the honorific on the English dub track, which was my next stop on my assessment of the localization. Not that there's any reason to do it this way. I'm weird and always take the opportunity to use Japanese media as a study opportunity to keep myself sharp in my language skills. I often ask myself, "How would I have translated that?"

I translate media freelance, mostly from Japanese to English but sometimes also English to Japanese. I can say the standard in fiction, music, film, and poetry is usually what is called 意訳 ("i-yaku," or literally "translation of meaning") as opposed to 直訳 ("choku-yaku," or literally "straight [literal] translation"). The highest compliment I can get as a translator is someone telling me, "If I didn't know, I wouldn't think this was a translation."

Coming from this perspective, the untranslated terms and honorifics were pretty jarring to me. Even in the subtitles, I think my first instinct would have been to translate -sama depending on its context (Queen Nehelenia-sama is kind of redundant, so would probably drop -sama, for instance, but Diana could call Usage "Lady Usagi" to similar effect, for instance).

Same could be said about Tora-no-Me-chan (Little Tiger's Eye or Sweet Tiger's Eye or something like this) or Gyaku-Tama (Reverso Ball or something). If not translating, might be helpful to have translator's notes at the beginning of the film to let people know some of these. People unfamiliar with the honorifics might feel it difficult to understand the dub, especially children (the target audience, after all). So, I thought that was a pity.

How to translate is always a choice, and I wouldn't say there is a wrong philosophy to adopt, just maybe more and less useful ways to go about it. Certainly, mistranslations and errors happen, but when considering how much original terminology or sociolinguistic info to leave untranslated is a choice. I used to, when I was first studying Japanese, err on the side of literal translation. However, studying it in Japan in university, I remember we discussed the older Japanese translations (there are several) of the Salinger novel "Catcher in the Rye" versus the new edition by Haruki Murakami.

The title of the older edition was ライ麦畑で捕まえて (Catch Me in the Rye Field) versus a transliteration used in the Murakami edition, キャッチャーインザーライ (just "Catcher in the Rye" rendered in katakana), and we were having a discussion about the recent propensity for things to go untranslated, instead just transliterated in katakana (phonetically rendered so Japanese people can read the original word). My instructor argued that the very point of translation is to ensure people with little or no knowledge of the foreign language can consume and understand the content. And so, although I was arguing for direct translation as more faithful, I realized that her argument for a translation that was faithful to the spirit, intent, and meaning of the original but unfettered by linguistic constraints was more advantageous in most cases.

So, I guess now I'm firmly in that camp now, and that's my guiding maxim when I translate.

It was interesting to hear that the author, Naoko Takeuchi, might have put this stipulation of leaving the honorifics untranslated, even in the dubbing process, on the properties during localization. Where did this information appear? I feel like that's quite an insider scoop!

I still haven't gotten very far into the film but hope to watch more sometime this weekend. I'm glad people are watching it and also interested in this discussion about the dubs and subtitled releases. Of course, my points of reference are the English and Japanese, but its super interesting to hear about the others, as well.
 
Apr 16, 2013
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When I played a bit of the film this morning and heard the honorifics in the dub, I was so surprised I had to have a look online to see whether other people had noticed and what they thought.

I watched a bit of the beginning of the first film, starting with the Japanese with Japanese subtitles as that's how I usually get familiar with media that's been translated. I was surprised to see so many words in the English subtitle track went untranslated. For instance, when Palla-Palla says "Tora-no-me-chan (虎の目ちゃん、lit. Little Tiger's Eye)" or uses the spell "Gyaku-Tama (lit. 逆玉、Reverse Ball)."

I noticed Diana calling Usagi and Mamoru Usagi-sama and Mamoru-sama, respectively, and thought, "Alright, that's a choice" but was pretty surprised to hear the honorific on the English dub track, which was my next stop on my assessment of the localization. Not that there's any reason to do it this way. I'm weird and always take the opportunity to use Japanese media as a study opportunity to keep myself sharp in my language skills. I often ask myself, "How would I have translated that?"

I translate media freelance, mostly from Japanese to English but sometimes also English to Japanese. I can say the standard in fiction, music, film, and poetry is usually what is called 意訳 ("i-yaku," or literally "translation of meaning") as opposed to 直訳 ("choku-yaku," or literally "straight [literal] translation"). The highest compliment I can get as a translator is someone telling me, "If I didn't know, I wouldn't think this was a translation."

Coming from this perspective, the untranslated terms and honorifics were pretty jarring to me. Even in the subtitles, I think my first instinct would have been to translate -sama depending on its context (Queen Nehelenia-sama is kind of redundant, so would probably drop -sama, for instance, but Diana could call Usage "Lady Usagi" to similar effect, for instance).

Same could be said about Tora-no-Me-chan (Little Tiger's Eye or Sweet Tiger's Eye or something like this) or Gyaku-Tama (Reverso Ball or something). If not translating, might be helpful to have translator's notes at the beginning of the film to let people know some of these. People unfamiliar with the honorifics might feel it difficult to understand the dub, especially children (the target audience, after all). So, I thought that was a pity.

How to translate is always a choice, and I wouldn't say there is a wrong philosophy to adopt, just maybe more and less useful ways to go about it. Certainly, mistranslations and errors happen, but when considering how much original terminology or sociolinguistic info to leave untranslated is a choice. I used to, when I was first studying Japanese, err on the side of literal translation. However, studying it in Japan in university, I remember we discussed the older Japanese translations (there are several) of the Salinger novel "Catcher in the Rye" versus the new edition by Haruki Murakami.

The title of the older edition was ライ麦畑で捕まえて (Catch Me in the Rye Field) versus a transliteration used in the Murakami edition, キャッチャーインザーライ (just "Catcher in the Rye" rendered in katakana), and we were having a discussion about the recent propensity for things to go untranslated, instead just transliterated in katakana (phonetically rendered so Japanese people can read the original word). My instructor argued that the very point of translation is to ensure people with little or no knowledge of the foreign language can consume and understand the content. And so, although I was arguing for direct translation as more faithful, I realized that her argument for a translation that was faithful to the spirit, intent, and meaning of the original but unfettered by linguistic constraints was more advantageous in most cases.

So, I guess now I'm firmly in that camp now, and that's my guiding maxim when I translate.

It was interesting to hear that the author, Naoko Takeuchi, might have put this stipulation of leaving the honorifics untranslated, even in the dubbing process, on the properties during localization. Where did this information appear? I feel like that's quite an insider scoop!

I still haven't gotten very far into the film but hope to watch more sometime this weekend. I'm glad people are watching it and also interested in this discussion about the dubs and subtitled releases. Of course, my points of reference are the English and Japanese, but its super interesting to hear about the others, as well.
Nehalennia-sama = Queen Nehelennia or "Majesty".
Usagi-sama &Mamoru-sama = Your highness Usagi / Mamoru.

Anyway, it was stupid to keep the "chan" or whatever in the subtitles. It's ugly to read.
 

Rika-Chicchi

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The title of the older edition was ライ麦畑で捕まえて (Catch Me in the Rye Field) versus a transliteration used in the Murakami edition, キャッチャーインザーライ (just "Catcher in the Rye" rendered in katakana), and we were having a discussion about the recent propensity for things to go untranslated, instead just transliterated in katakana (phonetically rendered so Japanese people can read the original word).
It's been more & more so in the recent decades, either due to laziness or that rendering English words in katakana feels more "Westernized"/hip (especially for the younger generations & those who've learned English in the school), or both. If I remember correctly, the Japanese govt. has released a list of proper Japanese translations, in kanji & hiragana, of foreign words commonly transliterated in katakana, but to no avail, as it seems.

It was interesting to hear that the author, Naoko Takeuchi, might have put this stipulation of leaving the honorifics untranslated, even in the dubbing process, on the properties during localization. Where did this information appear? I feel like that's quite an insider scoop!
As I recall, some people working on the dubs have disclosed that, but even if that's unreliable, it's a reasonable guess, as we can't imagine any other causes (certainly no local dubbers would make such a decision lol ).
 

kasumigenx

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It's been more & more so in the recent decades, either due to laziness or that rendering English words in katakana feels more "Westernized"/hip (especially for the younger generations & those who've learned English in the school), or both. If I remember correctly, the Japanese govt. has released a list of proper Japanese translations, in kanji & hiragana, of foreign words commonly transliterated in katakana, but to no avail, as it seems.


As I recall, some people working on the dubs have disclosed that, but even if that's unreliable, it's a reasonable guess, as we can't imagine any other causes (certainly no local dubbers would make such a decision lol ).
Japan is more open in this dimension/timeline I guess.:rofl:


I really like Sailor Moon Eternal, it was an enjoyable watch.
 
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Rika-Chicchi

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They can't. There are a lot of homophones in Japanese. :ninja::ninja::ninja:
Then at least abandoning all the kanji, like in children's books? lol

Have they officially added the letter 'L' and teach it to kids in Japan?
As I understand, nope in Japanese lessons, but of course, it's always been taught in English lessons. lol
 
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kasumigenx

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If it wanna be so open, then why doesn't it abandon all the kanji, hiragana, & katakana, & wholly adopt romaji instead, like what some other countries have done to the written form of their languages? lol
Japan is more open because Japan uses more geoblocking in my home reality than this one like in Facebook.

I used to have a username in this forum which got corrupted in the database.

I find the woke stuff in this timeline as an overreaction.
 
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As I understand, nope in Japanese lessons, but of course, it's always been taught in English lessons. lol
Youtube just recommended this to me.


Apparently the language is taught the Japanese way (as in old way) which can be problematic.

 

sapphire91

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Youtube just recommended this to me.


Apparently the language is taught the Japanese way (as in old way) which can be problematic.

Yeah, basically all they learn is grammar and rarely if ever practice their speaking skills. One thing that in my opinion is essential is the fact most films and stuff are dubbed and this is the easiest and most pleasant way to learn English specifically - games and shows, 90 %of the entertainment stuff are in English.
 
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Rika-Chicchi

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Youtube just recommended this to me.


Apparently the language is taught the Japanese way (as in old way) which can be problematic.

They've been importing native English speaking teachers in the past one or two decades - hope that can alleviate the problem. lol BTW, there're also native English speaking forum members here who taught English over there, but they've long been inactive here.
 
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They've been importing native English speaking teachers in the past one or two decades - hope that can alleviate the problem.
Based on that interview it feels like they've just started with these improvements. :lol:

I don't think any of these native English speaking teachers have a say in anything these past 2 decades given how inflexible the Japanese are to the point common sense is objected over long time tradition/culture. XD

That one girl interviewed in the video had to learn proper English from WWE. XD
 

Rika-Chicchi

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Based on that interview it feels like they've just started with these improvements. :lol:
That "the past one or two decades" thing is based on what I read in the news back then. Those forum members I mentioned in my last post were also active here more a decade ago. :)

I don't think any of these native English speaking teachers have a say in anything these past 2 decades given how inflexible the Japanese are to the point common sense is objected over long time tradition/culture. XD
That's why I said "hope that can alleviate the problem. lol" in my last post. lol I don't think that'd have zero impact, tho, but it'd be quite limited.
 

NJ_

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