oOoOoOo wrote:Dr. Nick
, I am sort of exaggerating with the Tokyo/Manhattan thing. Little bit of an Akira live-action joke.
Is isn't really necessary to call a feudal prince a "daimyo" is it? Can't we just call the "Shogun" a "Prince-Regent", since that's what he is? If we're talking about a story set within a foreign culture, what's wrong with that? Why bother using words like "sultan" or "vizier"?
Literary translators have it easy, because they're not working under horrendous time and screen space limitations. It's perfectly easy for them to maintain "shogun" and to smuggle in an explanation for the term using any number of overt or covert methods.
If a character suddenly starts dropping/adding an honourific but doesn't otherwise change their tone of voice or speaking style, how is that conveyed?
Creative rewriting, essentually. I think Bandai used a similar strategy in Gundam 0083. Kou changes his self-referential pronoun, to which Nina responds in the translation "When did you become so macho?" or something to that effect. It is a kind of a shitty duct tape style strategy which leaves a lot of blanks for the viewers to fill in, but subtitling is very often like that.
However, I would assume that crafting such functional rewrites can be pretty damn difficult if the translators is translating a currently airing show with no idea how the character relationships are going to play out. Hence, if the anime is set in your average Japanese moeblob school setting, it might be preferable to maintain the basic honorifics in translation, especially if speedy output is of the essence. In that way the translators may avoid painting themselves into a corner.
It's kind of like the surname/given name thing. Does it matter which goes first?
I can't really say. The question is not so much how some specific item should be translated. It is more important to have a consistent overall strategy. For example, a typical inconsistent strategy (often seen in fansubs) is to use a foreignizing translation with lots of Japanese words, supplemented by heavily naturalizing sign translations photoshopped to look like real text in the story universe. The result is a bipolar translation which doesn't know whether it wants to give us a view to a foreign culture or to alter realia elements within this foreign environment.
But leaving in the honourifics would be an easy way to retain some of the original meaning, since we're mostly talking about anime translations, and not literary novels or histories.
Foreign material can be left in, and this is often done by professionals. When I read Finnish translations of Jules Verne's novels set in India, they're chock full of sahibs and rajahs. When I translate from English into Finnish, I often leave in Sir
in military contexts, because it gives the text a bit of a flavor (and because the corresponding Finnish forms of address are horrifyingly long and must include the rank).
But there is a difference in using foreign expressions and considering them to be essential and untranslatable. They should always be considered non-essential, since that is pretty much the only solid strategy that can be used to counter the slippery slope tendency of constantly increasing foreignization. This tendency is probably not a big threat in most text types, but I can see it happening with anime translations. To use an example devised by a person smarter than me (it might have been Jonathan Clemens) a young, overzealous fanboy has learned what a Japanese term means since it was left untranslated in the translation, and he thanks the translator for this cultural exposure. However, this same fanboy contacts the translator next week, and tells him "I've learned what sukumizu
means! Now you can (and should) leave that untranslated from here on". The next week it's some new word again, and so on.
With the non-essentialist approch the translator can basically slap the fanboy with his monstrous cock and to tell him "Listen, dipshit, I'm only leaving some of these words in as cultural flavor. If I wanted to, with a bit of effort I could translate these same episodes using only words found in the Oxford English Dictionary, and this would result in only negligible signal loss. So get off my lawn."
America is retarded enough to hate anything subbed, whether it be live action or animated.
Dubs are not an American thing, it's the dominating mode of AV translating in most big European countries. And there's really nothing retarded in it, because broad decisions regarding TV translations were made in the early days of the medium. It's mostly by random chance that Finland became a sub-only society: supposedly three guys at the National Broadacsting Service voted for dubbing, and four for subtitling.
One thing that is a major pain in the ass when it comes to subs is that they can sometimes take up like half the screen if not done right. My platinum edition does this occasionally, and it pisses me off when someone's face is covered by a wall of text.
If you think this is bad in official releases, you might want to stay away from a lot of fansubs
Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Dub scripters do roughly the same thing, but they have the extra pressure of making the words fit the lips, which means they frequently have to take liberality with the accuracy of the meaning to make the words fit. Sub scripters have no such problem.
I don't disagree with your assessment of the pros and cons of the two modes, but at least dubbers can cram in more of the original meaning by simply speaking faster. With subtitling the space constraints are unyielding. This is not really comparable to fansubbing, but in my work as an AV translator I operate with two 37-character lines and "average schmuck" reading speed settings. This means that practically every spoken sentence needs to be trimmed down. I almost never experience writer's flow in my job, because every line is an unholy Tetris puzzle.