Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:28 pm

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:It may be hearsay, but in the absence of a proper explanation it's the best we've got - in fact, it's the only thing we've got that makes sense. The "tiers of canonicity" stuff was fan-created during the Eva Commentary project, by the way, and a second or third-tier canonical source holds in the absence of a first-tier explanation for this sort of thing. "Third Child" sounds far better than "Third Children", of course, but the latter is the canonical term. Unless it's proven that the canonical term was based on a grammatical error and not a deliberate creation, we don't have any grounds to change it.

But if we don't have grounds to change it, why did every pre-Netflix sub, both official and fanmade, change it to "Third Child?" You'd think that at least one fansub would use "Children" in the name of accuracy, but it seems like everyone unanimously decided that "Child" sounds a lot better than "Children." Given that, like you said, there's no proof it was deliberate, it turns into a matter of what you think sounds best. And I think that "Child" is the best option.

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby Zusuchan » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:53 pm

"Third Children" sounds a lot clunkier than "Third Child"-however, it is still the canonical term and whether or not it sounds better than an alternative has nothing to do with it. The Netflix translation is generally considered the most accurate one, as well, so if we have "Third Children" there and an explanation for the "Children" usage in a semi-canonical material, it would probably be a better idea to go through with what has been presented as the canonically correct form.

You can of course say "Child" if you wish, I don't think which version you choose is really all that important at the end of the day.

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby Mjolnir Mark IV » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:13 pm

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:"Third Child" sounds far better than "Third Children", of course, but the latter is the canonical term. Unless it's proven that the canonical term was based on a grammatical error and not a deliberate creation, we don't have any grounds to change it.

I think it's more complicated than that. In translating Japanese (which includes the Japanese use of English), there is the importance of both translation and adaptation, but these two elements are sometimes at odds and the solution becomes a subjective matter, hence the controversy and debate that arises over things like this. While it may seem logical to retain English words used in Japanese when translating—they are, after all, in English!—the problem is that English words don't always have the same implications in Japanese that they do in English. For example, the word "group" in Japanese can have a militaristic applicability that it doesn't have in English. So strangely, a more accurate translation of the intended meaning in some cases would be to use a word like "squad," even though this would mean trading one English word for another.

Anyone please speak up if you know better, but my understanding is that when a Japanese speaker hears the English word "children," that word to them doesn't carry with it the same level of explicit plurality as it does to an English speaker. They could interpret it as "child," whereas we would never do that. So using the canonical Japanese term in Japanese slips a hidden meaning under the radar without raising any definite red flags. However, choosing to adhere to the word "children" in an English translation changes the narrative. The plurality raises an immediate question to English speakers—and one that is strangely never acknowledged in the narrative in a way that patches the logic together—and the viewer is left wondering why plurality is assigned to each pilot, or left assuming it's a mistranslation instead of questioning the possibility of a deeper meaning.

And this is what I mean by that:
View Original PostMjolnir Mark IV wrote:If we're meant to think that the use of "children" is an intentional part of the narrative, isn't it strange that in a story with so many secrets, outright lies, and massive coverups, that Nerv would just go and hang that "children" title out there like that? The whole scandal with the replacement Reis is a closely kept secret until episode 23. And isn't it also strange that Shinji never once questions why each of the pilots are referred to as "children" and not "child"?

He does, after all, ask a lot of questions, as one would in his position.

View Original PostMjolnir Mark IV wrote:Initially referring to Rei as children makes perfect sense—at least for the people who actually created them. But keeping that title for everyone to see instead of changing it does not.

What would make sense is if "First Children" was short for "First of the Children," and then "Second of the Children," and so forth. That would have been a slick coverup for the initial reason for the title. But there's no mention of this


So it's either "children" or "child," depending on whether you want the viewer to misunderstand the intended meaning 100% of the time—"children"—or question it 0% of the time: "child."

My personal opinion is that when a translation requires the audience to research the original language in order to understand the translation, it's a failure in translation.

View Original PostGrand_Admiral_Thrawn wrote:thanks to all of you who spent time working on these subs one question though, can someone explain the movies of evangelion? I Remember someone saying they're a reboot?

You're welcome!

After the series, Death and Ribirth and The End of Evangelion were released. The Death portion of D&R is a recap of the series with some important narrative additions and artistic musical interludes. In terms of understanding the story, if you watch the Director's Cut of episodes 21–24, then there's no real point in watching Death, as all of the most crucial additions in Death are included in the DC episodes. And if you watch The End of Evangelion, there's no point in watching Rebirth, as it's essentially just the first part of The EoE.

For most of the TV ending, we're seeing inside the characters' heads and catching glimpses of reality. The EoE is much more literal in showing the reality of the situation. While both the TV ending and movie ending are philosophical and have numerous parallels, they are quite different endings. The EoE punctuates the climax of the story with intense action and drama, rather than focusing on inward revelations.

Also check out the project I did for The End of Evangelion. It's different in that it's a fansub, but it's meant to be a companion project to this one in that the look of the subtitles is the same, and it has consistent terminology and some of the same translations for some of the recurring phrases.

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Years later, the movie series Rebuild of Evangelion was started. You can think of it as a reboot, but it's probably more complicated than that. It starts off close to the original, but diverges the further along it progresses. The final film in this newer series has yet to be released.

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:Seems like I overlooked the completion of this project in the midst of everything else happening. It's awesome to see this. Congratulations!

Thank you! I'm getting flashbacks of the end of episode 26, which definitely had a double meaning for me when I transcribed the series, because it was the final part of the final episode that I did.

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:(A Chiss Grand Admiral of the Galactic Empire and a Mjolnir Mark IV battleroid walk into a bar...sorry, couldn't resist!)

:thumbsup:
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:53 pm

View Original PostZusuchan wrote:The Netflix translation is generally considered the most accurate one, as well

Is that true, though? I heard that ADV's Platinum subs were considered more accurate: the Dansubs have a more loose, less literal translation than them. I don't know for certain, but that's what Reichu says, and she clearly has quite a bit of experience with the Japanese language.

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby Blockio » Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:37 pm

Platinum and Dansubs are both very good translations. Dansubs are a bit more mushy with the specifics of Adam and Lilith, but better in other areas
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:36 am

Child/Children - what we need is an English term which doesn't distinguish singular and plural, as the Japanese doesn't. We do actually have such a word, though it would be unnatural to use it... Offspring. "Hi, third offspring, how are you today?"
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:46 am

Third offspring, or perhaps "third candidate"? If I remember correctly, Episode 17's Japanese title translated into "Sanninme no Tekikakusha" or "the fourth qualified person (candidate)". Of course, that makes them sound like they're politicians and not Eva pilots.

View Original PostMjolnir Mark IV wrote:
View Original PostMjolnir Mark IV#892181 wrote:Initially referring to Rei as children makes perfect sense—at least for the people who actually created them. But keeping that title for everyone to see instead of changing it does not.

What would make sense is if "First Children" was short for "First of the Children," and then "Second of the Children," and so forth. That would have been a slick coverup for the initial reason for the title. But there's no mention of this


So it's either "children" or "child," depending on whether you want the viewer to misunderstand the intended meaning 100% of the time—"children"—or question it 0% of the time: "child."

My personal opinion is that when a translation requires the audience to research the original language in order to understand the translation, it's a failure in translation.


Even I've been wondering if it's supposed to be "First of the Children", "Second of the Children" and so forth, as a possible oblique reference to Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. Childhood's End features an ending very similar to Instrumentality in Evangelion (although not quite the same as Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Man). The Children in question are human beings who have evolved beyond human limitations to form a psychic collective, prior to joining with the godlike Overmind. If that was the intended meaning, "First Children", "Second Children" and so on make complete sense.

I think there are one or two English-speaking Japanese fans on the board, perhaps I should draw their attention to this thread and ask them what they think of the Child-Children difference in Japanese and English?

It's also possible that Shinji doesn't think too much about "Children" because he doesn't know much English beyond a few phrases and hasn't registered the distinction. He understands Misato's "you are number one" or "target center, pull switch", but I'm not sure he's familiar with English or any other non-Japanese language. The person who I think would logically ask "Why 'Children'?" is Asuka, the only person in the cast who is established to know German and (almost certainly) English. Asuka may not question why she's fighting the Angels, but can't imagine her not asking "Why am I the 'Second Children' and not the 'Second Child'?"

View Original PostUrsusArctos#909358 wrote:Seems like I overlooked the completion of this project in the midst of everything else happening. It's awesome to see this. Congratulations!

Thank you! I'm getting flashbacks of the end of episode 26, which definitely had a double meaning for me when I transcribed the series, because it was the final part of the final episode that I did.


Uh-oh! Umm, I hope the Episode 26 flashbacks are a good thing...right? -o-;
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Feb 06, 2021 5:27 am

Have any translations of Eva into other languages than English also used the plural form?
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby Mjolnir Mark IV » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:05 am

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:Even I've been wondering if it's supposed to be "First of the Children", "Second of the Children" and so forth, as a possible oblique reference to Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. Childhood's End features an ending very similar to Instrumentality in Evangelion (although not quite the same as Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Man). The Children in question are human beings who have evolved beyond human limitations to form a psychic collective, prior to joining with the godlike Overmind. If that was the intended meaning, "First Children", "Second Children" and so on make complete sense.

Very interesting. I also saw the similarly that certain aspects of Evangelion has to certain aspects of 2001: A Space Odyssey (artificial evolution, exogenesis, AI, moon excavations, monoliths, repurposed classical music, symmetrical compositions, Pen Pen...okay maybe not Pen Pen).

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:I think there are one or two English-speaking Japanese fans on the board, perhaps I should draw their attention to this thread and ask them what they think of the Child-Children difference in Japanese and English?

Yes, bring them all!

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:It's also possible that Shinji doesn't think too much about "Children" because he doesn't know much English beyond a few phrases and hasn't registered the distinction.

I don't think it's the case that it crossed Shinji's mind (or anyone else's) that "children" was meant to imply plurality. I think that they are hearing the word in the context of the Japanese language accounts for this—that plurality is not explicit with English loanwords used in Japanese.

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:
Thank you! I'm getting flashbacks of the end of episode 26, which definitely had a double meaning for me when I transcribed the series, because it was the final part of the final episode that I did.


Uh-oh! Umm, I hope the Episode 26 flashbacks are a good thing...right? -o-;

Yeah, you said "Congratulations!", which gets repeated a bunch of times at the end of episode 26. That was the very last thing I transcribed for this project, so after meticulously transcribing 26 episodes not just word-for-word but letter-for-letter (really the only way to ensure perfect accuracy), it was almost like the characters were congratulating me. I just wonder which of them I'm going to see when it's my turn to burst into orange juice. :penpen_aghast:
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:49 am

View Original PostMjolnir Mark IV wrote:Very interesting. I also saw the similarly that certain aspects of Evangelion has to certain aspects of 2001: A Space Odyssey (artificial evolution, exogenesis, AI, moon excavations, monoliths, repurposed classical music, symmetrical compositions, Pen Pen...okay maybe not Pen Pen).


You forgot the Pan Am-looking spaceplane with the single passenger (okay two passengers) from Episode 07, although that is shared by Jeremy Stone in the 1971 movie adaptation of the Andromeda Strain, feeling like Onassis. We've actually got a visual and thematic list of that sort of thing on the wiki page below -
https://wiki.evageeks.org/Tributes_to_O ... ce_Odyssey

And there's a separate page for the Andromeda Strain thematic similarities, which are actually pretty darn big-
https://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_An ... eda_Strain

pwhodges wrote:Have any translations of Eva into other languages than English also used the plural form?


:headscratch: I don't know, I'd have to ask that question to people who watch Eva in other dubs.
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Postby Mjolnir Mark IV » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:50 am

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:We've actually got a visual and thematic list of that sort of thing on the wiki page below -
https://wiki.evageeks.org/Tributes_to_O ... ce_Odyssey

And there's a separate page for the Andromeda Strain thematic similarities, which are actually pretty darn big-
https://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_An ... eda_Strain

Good stuff! I had no idea there were so many similarities/homages/shameless copyright infringements.

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Child/Children - what we need is an English term which doesn't distinguish singular and plural, as the Japanese doesn't. We do actually have such a word, though it would be unnatural to use it... Offspring. "Hi, third offspring, how are you today?"

In defense of "offspring," the pilots are pretty much never addressed by their titles rather than their names. It's almost always only when speaking about them. The only time it ever happens is when Asuka addresses Shinji as Third Child/Children, and probably only to dehumanize him or mock his reputation.

I'm not exactly sure if this idea solves the issue of plurality, but "scion" would have been a good pick. The First Scion, the Third Scion, etc. It's a bit more provocative than "child." And it also implies this person is special in a way that "child" doesn't. And the additional bonus is that it could also allude to the Nerv logo with its other meaning in horticulture. And don't even get me started on Kaji's watermelons. :wink:
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:21 am

View Original PostMjolnir Mark IV wrote:Good stuff! I had no idea there were so many similarities/homages/shameless copyright infringements.


Homages, sir. Not similarities, and certainly not shameless copyright infringements. Homages, in the true sense of the term.

Yes, "scion" sounds like it'd make a very good choice indeed. *Noms on Kaji's watermelons*
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Postby Pluto » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:59 pm

On the urging of UrsusArctos, I'm going to try to shed some light on the child/ children distincting from a cultural and linguistic perspective knowing some Japanese and living in Japan for some time. Certainly, if anyone has any better insight or if I'd made any mistakes feel free to let me know.

The short answer is that when the say children, they mean child. It's a consequence of something called 和製英語(waseieigo), Japanese created english.

There's a few anecdotes I can give you regarding this which you may or may not be aware of.

1. There's no distinction between plural and singular nouns in Japanese unless it's specified.

That is 子供 (child) can mean child or children depending on the context. Certainly you can specify and say:
a. 子供が二つ (there are two children)
b. 子供がいる (there is a child OR there are children)
c. 子供達がいる (there is a group of children OR there are children) ( The 達 (tachi) suffix usually has the nuance of referring to a group of people as groups are important in Japan. )

The reason why I'm mentioning this is that I've taught writing, HS english, business English, presentation english, etc in Japan and this seems to be an extremely common mistake with respect to english usage by the Japanese which is either not using OR conjugating incorrectly plural nouns.

Now, if I wanted to say "The third child" it would be 3番目の子供 so it could be easy to make the mistake of choosing the correct world child or children. Probably looking it up in a Japanese to english dictionary, both words would be listed.
My feeling with the above phrase has the feeling of the third among children or the third among a group of children hence third children. Going off of the series, the numbering system is consistent with the order they were selected to be pilots.

This brings me to my next point.

2. Common incorrect use of english words due to a either a different meaning or usage in Japanese (e.g. 和製英語 (waseieigo)or katakana words)

From a cultural perspective Katakana english is prevalent in Japan and has been on the increase since the 80s. Often in commercials, TV, adverts, etc a direct english translation will be used in a slogan or phrase. From what my friends/students have told me, the katakana english words have an aura of cool to them. For example, チャレンジする (to challenge) is an extremely common Japanese verb but has a completely different meaning in english. We'd only use it in the verb form to challenge someone to a fight or match but here the nuance means to try something hard that you haven't done before.

The key point here is that using katakana english is cool in Japanese. From the original script it is written as サードチルドレン

3. Consistent Japanese mistakes with English anecdotes.

Many times when reading Japanese written english or listening to Japanese people speak english who are at an intermediate level I've heard and read certain phrases like:

"I am children" instead of I am a child.

Plural nouns and articles like "the" and "a" are extremely difficult for Japanese to consistently learn and use properly and I imagine the writers of NGE did not have much above a basic to intermediate understanding of english when they came up with the terms and wrote the script.


To sum it up, based on my experience with Japanese and taking a look at the NGE script, I honestly don't think there is any merit to the phrase "Third Children/サードチルドレン" having a deeper meaning beyond the fact that it sounded cool. Again, often times incorrect english usage or phrases becomes the norm in Japanese based on a paradigm that becomes consistent in media (anime theme songs and subway adverts come to mind).

Again, thanks to UrsusArctos
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:39 am

View Original PostPluto wrote:Again, thanks to UrsusArctos


The thanks truly go to you for such a wonderfully detailed, thoughtful and helpful response and deeply relevant insights!
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Postby BusterMachine4 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:11 pm

I guess "Third Child" is correct, then. Good to know. Kanemitsu's translation probably shouldn't have been so literal in that area.

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:05 pm

Well, in a certain sense, you're right that "Third Child" is correct, but even though that's what was meant, "Third Children" is still the most literal and correct translation regardless of how well it sounds.

But I guess we've already covered this ground, so not too much point in repeating the same points. You're certainly free to say "Third Child" if you so wish.

Edit: Added a "was". Ain't gonna tell you where, though!

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:19 pm

There is one fly in the ointment when it comes to saying "Third Child" -

Pluto wrote:My feeling with the above phrase has the feeling of the third among children or the third among a group of children hence third children.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:15 pm

Well, if someone wants to translate the phrase as “Third of the Children,” they can certainly do so. But there are only two translations that have been used by any official sub: “Third Child” or “Third Children.” And “Third Child” sounds a lot better to me, especially when you take into account Japanese linguistic norms.

And about what Zusuchan said, I don’t think anyone is doubting the fact that “Third Children” is the most literal translation. But when you take into account Japanese linguistics and how to adapt Japanese grammar to English grammar, “Third Child” is clearly the better option. Remember, no one used “Third Children” until Kanemitsu’s translation decided to prioritize literalness over grammatical correctness.

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:56 pm

You misunderstand me. I don't deny that "Third Child" is a better option than the ear-grating "Third Children" ("SADO CHIRUDOREN") or that the possibility that this is a mistake hasn't gone up - Pluto gives a very clear reason why "Third Child" might have been a better option. The real issue is that we still don't know for sure and that "Third Children" remains the canonical term despite Anno and company having had 25 years to correct that error by this point.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles

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Postby Mjolnir Mark IV » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:43 pm

Great stuff, Pluto. Thanks for your insight!

In regards to those of you who prefer literal translations because you perceive that approach as being the most accurate, one thing I'd like to point out is that if you always took this approach in a translation from Japanese to English, you are sure to encounter sentences that will make no sense whatsoever. Literal translation might work for something like Spanish to Italian, but not Japanese to English. There are times when you have to adapt the intended meaning to the language rather than stick with the literal translation. Ironically, there are times when sticking to a literal translation results in a less accurate translation. So, it's not a good idea to always rigidly stick to only literal translation.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles
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