Value of the various subtitle translations

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Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby pharmswede » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:14 pm

Hi, long-time first time!

I'm looking for a summary of the differences between what seem to be the "big four translations" of the show subtitles in the post-Netflix release world. And if someone considers other translations to be vital as well, I'd love to hear about it. My personal experience is limited to my Platinum Edition box set. After reading old forum entries, this is my initial take and questions on the main translations:
    Perfect Collection: The first North American release. Some commenters seem to say the translation is more artful or flows better than the Platinum releases, but maybe less accurate in places?
    Platinum Collection: Generally viewed as definitive, with inaccuracies generally only in places where direct translation from Japanese is challenging. Is it based on the Perfect Collection, or was it a generally new work?
    Bochan_Bird: An independent translation aimed at clarification some literal aspects of the text? Better regarded than any other fan translation, or are there others that are well-loved? There seems to be a lot of criticism directed toward this translation. Are there enough insights in it that make it worth, say, following along with while watching the series?
    Netflix release: An official new translation. Watchable, but it doesn't seem like it is particularly accurate or useful if going for a literal understanding or scholarship.

What thoughts, clarifications, and corrections do you have?

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby LPeyrani » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:25 pm

Hello there. Take a look at this thread: thread/12123/Best-subtitles-for-Evangelion-TV-series/

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby pharmswede » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:28 pm

View Original PostLPeyrani wrote:Hello there. Take a look at this thread: https://forum.evageeks.org/thread/12123 ... TV-series/


Thanks! I'm sure I'll learn a lot from digging deeper through that thread.

I had also spotted Mjolnir Mark IV 's thread on his translation, but rapidly became overwhelmed by some passionate discourse between him and some others regarding the technical aspects of the project. Looking at it now, I imagine his work is worth regarding as well as a major translation; I'm sure he presents 99% of what anyone could want out of a perfected version of the Perfect Collection translation.

What I'm still fuzzy on is what are the translation differences if any between the Perfect Collection generation of releases and the Platinum Collection. Despite Mjolnir Mark IV and maybe others carrying a torch for the older version, commonly accepted word seems to be that the Platinum Collection is an improvement and entirely adequate. But the only thing I've seen cited are some animation and songs changes. What about translation changes?

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:43 pm

View Original Postpharmswede wrote:What about translation changes?

Famously, "like" vs "love". But there are other posts in the forum that say more.
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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:23 pm

View Original Postpharmswede wrote:
    Netflix release: An official new translation. Watchable, but it doesn't seem like it is particularly accurate or useful if going for a literal understanding or scholarship.


Official as in, Khara's in-house translator, Dan Kanemitsu, who's no stranger to Evangelion (the Rebuilds and NGE) translations in the past :wink:

I'm uncertain if his "months ago translation corrections to Netflix" (this is from back in August) were finally uploaded, could anybody else confirm or deny?
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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:01 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:Official as in, Khara's in-house translator, Dan Kanemitsu, who's no stranger to Evangelion (the Rebuilds and NGE) translations in the past :wink:

I'm uncertain if his "months ago translation corrections to Netflix" (this is from back in August) were finally uploaded, could anybody else confirm or deny?


Apparently not, though they DID fix a mistake in Ep 1 with Ritsuko saying too many zeroes in the subs!

Also, OP... I am surprised you mentioned the Perfect Collection first, instead of the VHS subs, which were the actual first subtitles. In fact, because the Perfect Collection was "in between" it and the Platinum Collecttion, it is pretty poorly known. No idea if Platinum was made from scratch.

You can find them here: thread/17787/Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-Digitally-Re-Created-VHS-Subtitles/

I can tell you the Netflix/Khara subtitle is as good or even better than the Platinum Collection sub, though that one is good too. I think the new dub is the most notable improvement, really. I don't like posting this article again, but it also has some information on the background for it, as well as on the old subs, which you might be interested in. Namely, the old dub was based off fan translations, according to Gendo's VA.: https://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_An ... ranslation

Bochan-bird was one of the "premier" translators in the early years of the fandom, and we still owe a large part of supplemental material to them. There are other big fansubs, but after the Platinum Collection those were largely unnecessary. The funny thing, though, is that thanks to the... difficulty of acquiring Eva legally and the mangled early releases of Eva, a lot of fans have watched the show with pre-Platinum or even pre-Perfect Collection fansubs, thinking those were the official subtitles. It's why we got part of the Ep 24 outrage, with people complaining about "worthy of my grace" even though the previous subtitles used "regard" and "sympathy", not "love".

Anyway, EoE was notably not done by ADV either, but instead by Manga Entertainment (though sharing most of the cast). Manga - or as they were also known, Mangle Entertainment, was *well known* at the time for taking great creative liberty with their adaptations of many anime, and this can be reflected in the added sound effects, added profanity and plain mistakes on the EoE sub and dub. We had a fansub of EoE made by a forum member, and up until the Netflix release this was definitely the "definitive" EoE sub. In fact, it even shares many of the word choices and corrected mistakes as the Danslation of EoE. You can find it here: thread/18332/The-newest-most-accurate-EoE-subs-to-date-are-out/

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby eldomtom2 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:39 am

View Original PostFelipeFritschF wrote:and we still owe a large part of supplemental material to them.

And a great deal of misinformation, if I'm correct in thinking that he was one of the people peddling the "Evangelion was censored" bullshit - lies still repeated in Evageeks articles made this year!

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:21 pm

View Original Posteldomtom2 wrote:And a great deal of misinformation, if I'm correct in thinking that he was one of the people peddling the "Evangelion was censored" bullshit - lies still repeated in Evageeks articles made this year!


I don't know, he translated some of the initial stuff actually contradicting this. I'm not sure how that interpretation/rumour got started. Though I do remember some of it being mentioned by the ADV staff in their commentaries as well as some interviews. They also spread some theories like Asuka being pregnant or being a "mixture" of herself with Rei and Misato in EoE.

Also, what articles are you talking about? Made this year, even? I seem to remember a bunch of stuff being added this year actually contesting that. If you have any specific complaints I'd be glad to take a look at them.

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby eldomtom2 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:27 pm

No, I'm fairly positive he was peddling it on the mailing list. Someone respected who lived in Japan and translated stuff did, anyway. And the article on the Netflix translation of Kaworu's lines directly quotes an obviously bullshit explanation of the production of episodes 25 and 26 (it mentions the 24' EoE preview!) in footnote 40 (which is linked three times!).

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:50 pm

Hmmm I remember there are a lot of sources regarding this and I could never quite be completely sure regarding the production of ep 25 and 26 from a business standpoint. I recall some stuff about it from a creative standpoint, showing the "creative breakdown" and such, but I welcome any suggestions and specific, more primary sources you might have for that if it needs to be amended.

Regardless, I am not sure how the quote on that article is implying "they ran out of money" or any of the other usual claims regarding censorship, not at the least because those are always aimed at the series as a whole or at least the second half. TV Tokyo having done that does not seem to be because of censorship so much as being caught by surprise by shocking content which they did not previously review and deciding to add on that. We do have to remember that we do know for instance that Anno was not allowed to kill Toji, and that does technically count as censorship, though of course no in the scale or way that is often claimed. I did add that in also, though of course it actually illustrates a limit of outside creative control over Eva.

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby eldomtom2 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:46 pm

View Original PostFelipeFritschF wrote:Hmmm I remember there are a lot of sources regarding this and I could never quite be completely sure regarding the production of ep 25 and 26 from a business standpoint.

I have never found a single primary source, or someone repeating that they heard from one, saying that they were censored.

Regardless, I am not sure how the quote on that article is implying "they ran out of money" or any of the other usual claims regarding censorship, not at the least because those are always aimed at the series as a whole or at least the second half.

What parallel universe do you live in where the "running out of money" narrative doesn't state they ran out of money after episode 24? It's certainly claiming that censorship led to the last two episodes, which is a narrative that should be dead and buried at this point.

TV Tokyo having done that does not seem to be because of censorship so much as being caught by surprise by shocking content which they did not previously review and deciding to add on that.

Assuming anything in that source is accurate. If it's true that "you can’t show a 14 year old popping his 14 year old friend’s head off at 6.30pm on TV, even in Japan", then presumably episode 24 would have been pulled from broadcast. Yet there is no indication that the many stations that broadcasted Eva after its initial premiere (including TV Tokyo affiliates like TV Aichi) skipped the episode, and many of these put Eva out at 6.30pm or earlier.

We do have to remember that we do know for instance that Anno was not allowed to kill Toji, and that does technically count as censorship, though of course no in the scale or way that is often claimed. I did add that in also, though of course it actually illustrates a limit of outside creative control over Eva.

Most of the claims rely on the idea that Gainax made something that was then shot down, not that restrictions existed from the start.

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:25 pm

I mean, that source does not say that running out of money was the cause of that. Nor does it say they were censored, just that TV Tokyo demanded the episodes sooner. This is a form of meddling, sure, but it is not censorship. It does mention, also, that the violence previously showed on Eva made TV Tokyo execs uncomfortable (I don't doubt that), but that the decapitation in Ep 24 was crossing over a red line. Not because this broke over a specific law or anything but because it was particularly jarring, leading to a (maybe disproportionate?) reaction from the network, but not censorship. This is usually how moral restrictions work for that matter, they might get more or less bended when it might be convenient to do so, which was the case of Eva and its huge success while airing, which the source also says was the reason the previous violence was tolerated (plus, that was mostly giant not-robots).

Hell, if you go to the source in the anthology, it literally begins by saying that:

The running out of cash thing isn’t true

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Postby eldomtom2 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:40 am

No, it explicitly states they were censored.
...the network staff demanded to see the storyboards for the next two episodes.

Since the storyboards they were then shown were the two episodes which ended up in EoE, it’s no surprise that the network execs told Gainax that they were having a bleedin’ bubble, and insisted (with seven days to go!) that they make new episodes instead.

He also specifically claims that Kaworu's death was not acceptable for something "broadcast in a 6.30pm weekday slot on Japanese national television". He also never mentions anything about the violence in previous episodes causing concern among TV Tokyo or anything like that.

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:55 pm

That is not censorship. If a network wants to remove or modify something in your work, that's one thing, if they impose some sort of condition on the production of the show, unreasonable as it may be, that's another. You are right about the violence though, I seem to have misremembered that. Nonetheless, I hardly find this a dubious claim when such interference had precedent in the case of Toji. I can only imagine the KR representative was concerned a similiar problem could arise. For that matter, this hardly changes much since the whole point of that source is to illustrate that violence and gore were by far the biggest concerns any moral guardians could have on Japan.

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Postby eldomtom2 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:13 am

What? How are the claimed events not censorship?
Nonetheless, I hardly find this a dubious claim when such interference had precedent in the case of Toji.

So non-dubious not a single primary source said anything even remotely hinting at it.

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Re: Value of the various subtitle translations

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Postby Mjolnir Mark IV » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:38 am

View Original Postpharmswede wrote:What I'm still fuzzy on is what are the translation differences if any between the Perfect Collection generation of releases and the Platinum Collection.

Which do you value more: emotional impact or comprehension?

For the deepest emotional impact, try the VHS translation. For superior comprehension, go with the Platinum Edition. The Perfect Collection is somewhere in between the two, but closer to the VHS translation.

The Platinum Edition translation is more its own thing. The dialog isn't as natural—somewhat mechanical at times. To me this dulls the personality of the characters a bit, which makes them less interesting and causes the tone of some of the scenes to fall a bit flat by comparison. It kind of makes the series less entertaining, because the characters are the life of the narrative. But the translation is more accurate.

The VHS translation is written in a way that brings the characters to life in a more believable way. They're more accessible, more relatable, and that allows the tone of the scenes to resonate more. I feel connected to the characters on a more personal and intimate level. But the mistranslations misinform the viewer about certain aspects of the plot, particularly in episode 24 in which the most infamous and erroneous mistranslation of all occurs—"humans" instead of "Lilim." I recall this being the first mistranslation I set my sights on correcting when I began my project.

You're going to be both gaining and losing something whether you go with the VHS translation or the Platinum Edition, which is why I humbly recommend trying my subtitles. My project uses the VHS tapes as the base translation, but I've done my best to correct all the mistranslations I know of, integrating a few lines from both the Perfect Collection and Platinum Edition.

A substantial update is also coming to my project this year.
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