Apostles?

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Apostles?

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Postby Apostle » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:49 am

Dear English-speaking fans,

As you will know, a teaser page for Evangelion has been recently added in the Netflix catalog:

https://www.netflix.com/title/81033445

It most likely contains a glimpse of the new translation, and from what I can see in the Italian page, Angels are now called Apostles. Is it the same for the English version? Since VPNs are blocked, I can't check personally. What do you think about translating "Shito" as "Apostles"?

Thank you.

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Re: Apostles?

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Postby eldomtom2 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:45 am

If you're referring to the clip of the end of Episode 1 that plays, both it and the description still say "Angels" in English. Probably some sort of fuckup by the Italian translators.

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Postby LPeyrani » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:16 am

The linguistic duality of the anime (spoken Japanese words that are visually coupled with English words with different meaning) is representable in every language apart English (you can't change the English writings in the drawings). Translating Shiro with Apostle is correct. I just watched the Italian adaptation and this double level really enhances the fruition of the show. They are Apostles but have names of angels; Sachiel is called "apostle" but at the same time the screen flashes with the English writing of the word angel. Everything gets more mysterious and sinister.

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:05 pm

It might be an equivalent to a trick that is normally baked right into chinese-influenced writing systems

I've seen this a lot in anime & manga that they use the choice of glyph to indicate some extra meaning while having the way it sounds allude to something else, or they will give something a semi-foreign name but use chinese characters to write it, with a similar but not exactly the same meaning.

You can do something quite similar by having an English word correspond to a subtly different terms. It's like when you give several synonyms to elucidate how exactly you mean something.

By contrast I've heard that it's a lot harder to, often you get "logical" transliterations rather just re-spelling the term. The term for the planet Uranus (which was discovered in early modern times), for example, is not "Uranus" spelled in Japanese letters, but something meaning "Sky king celestial body", since it's named for a god of the sky.

Like the viewer has a delayed reaction just because they might need to google or think about at least one part of the words...

Though they refer to different things in the cristian context (supernatural beings vs. literal messengers/disciples send out by the mythical hero) oth could be described as "messengers of god". There's a little bit of a structure here particulary when you feature in the Evangelions and how they turn out to be essentially the same, or derived from Angel-like entities.

Though its evident that Anno is one of those people who thinks that everything can be enhanced by sprinkling in some foreign words - again the clou, I think, is in the delayed realization that draws more attention to the meaning being conveyed. Even if you speak a particular foreign language if you learned it after early childhood there's a longer path to processing it in your mind. Indeed ppl over here often use Asian languages or gratuitous Latin to the same end.
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Postby Bhorium » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:17 pm

Was there, like, a whole controversy in Italy about their translation being shoddy? I believe the Italian division of Netflix even issued a public apology and promised to overhaul the translation.
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Postby LPeyrani » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:06 pm

Yes, you are right. But the problem with that adaptation and Netflix' subsequent behaviour are a rather complex subject.
IMO, the adaptation (very literal, very close to Japanese) was "hard" but not necessarily wrong. It had been thought and rethought, that's for sure: it's not a case of lack of knowledge of Eva's world on the translator's side. The same guy translated "angels" 22 years ago and now translates "apostles", and he's an Eva maniac. The dialogues could have been smoothered, but the technical choices of words are better than the older ones and than those of the English versions.
On the other hand, Netflix behaved quite smartly and improperly: they immediately agreed with the complaints, even making fun of some of the translator's harder choices, and retired the adaptation from the platform. They chose the translator, accepted his work, published it and then... they make fun of his work. Kind of absurd, but most peple are buying this as a victory of the consumers.
I really don't know what they're going to do now, but, for someone who cares about understanding the most possible and not the fastest possible, this adaptation wasn't bad at all. Really strange, really brave in its choices, but very interesting too. I think that in some fifty years that is going to be standard. Today is not accepted yet.

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:06 pm

I can confirm the English dub on Netflix still refers to them as Angels, despite being overall much more literal (individual Pilots still being referred to as "the Xth Children" despite how awkward it sounds).

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Postby Kakyoku » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:38 pm

Doesn’t 真剣 mean apostle anyways or am I incorrect?
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Postby Reichu » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:28 pm

真剣 【しんけん】
(n,adj-na) (1) seriousness, earnestness, (2) real sword (as opposed to unsharpened or wooden practice weapon), (P)

The characters you may have been looking for are 使徒 (しと).

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Postby UrsusArctos » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:43 am

Interesting that this apostle/angel translation fuss came up - the Angels in the old NGE proposal were literally called "Apostolos" as a straight translation from "Shito", because the Japanese word for Angel, "Tenshi" (which is so prominent in a Cruel Angel's Thesis) doesn't have the "messenger" connotations that the word "Angel" does and which Anno was looking for.

So this translator was technically 100% correct but chose the wrong word in the given context - with the presence of the English word "Angel" and since all the Angels in NGE are so prominently named after Judeo-Christian or even Islamic angels, the correct translation of the word should have been the Italian equivalent of "angel". Pulling the whole translation seems rather like overkill, though.
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Postby LPeyrani » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:55 pm

Thank you for the explanation! It's the first time I read something this precise.

PS: the adaptation wasn't pulled exclusively because of the Shito issue. Or because of the translation issue in general. The main problem, IMO, is the failed alchemy between the adapted translation and the dubbing performance. The director of dubbing couldn't manage the awkward renditions, I guess, so the ending result isn't convincing and the Italian public blamed the translation. It's quite a complex situation...

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Postby UrsusArctos » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:46 am

You're welcome!

That does sound like a complex and messy situation, and since I don't know Italian I don't know how much the dialogue director was to blame for the bad dubbing. Was the translator directed by Khara to use more literal translations of the Japanese terms? I do know that Khara is now far more controlling of the foreign language dubs of its products than it used to be, so perhaps some of the awkward dialogue and word choices were the result of the translator being instructed to be more literal in his word choices and in dialogue in general, and that came off the wrong way. I certainly hear the difference in English between the old ADV dub and the new Netflix dub, or between Evangelion 2.22 and Evangelion 3.33 in terms of how the conversations sometimes sound rather odd in English (while sticking very close to the Japanese originals).
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Postby LPeyrani » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:16 pm

Yes, Khara instructed all translators to be as literal as possible, but the Italian situation is unique. Gualtiero Cannarsi, who already adapted the old version of the series (the one everybody likes better) twenty years ago, in the meantime has developed a personal approach to adaptation and translation. He's been in charge for all of Studio Ghibli's films' Italian versions, and he has turned more and more literal with time, blending this maniacal precision with a taste for old, rare terminology, using as he says "the whole of Italian language", and even creating neologisms. This of course is something just a minority of fans appreciates; still, he usually had time to interact with the dubbing staff and to check the final product, so that, even if not everybody liked him (in truth many hated him), his work was technically perfect, and he always kept his role. With Evaflix this wasn't possible, apparently. Apart from his usual literal and literary style, many mistakes slipped in, the dubbing performance as I said wasn't a satisfactory rendition of what he wrote and the fanbase, that was already very tense for the new version, immediately decided who was to blame. A big "meme war" came up on the socials and Netflix, to keep everybody calm, pulled it.
Big mess

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:12 pm

That is a very good explanation. Thank you, LPeyrani! I can now see why Netflix and the fans acted the way they did, even if it doesn't excuse them.

"Big mess" is right. This will take a long time to set right, if that ever happens. In the meantime, I expect Cannarsi's career will be negatively affected.
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