The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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eldomtom2
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The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby eldomtom2 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:04 am

"Instrumentality was translated as "Complementation" in the Japanese versions of Cordwainer Smith's works, so "Complementation" in Evangelion (a deliberate reference) was back-translated into "Instrumentality" without taking into account the different meanings of the two words.

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:40 am

I don't know if I would say they were unaware of the English meaning of "Instrumentality". For instance, Death is structured around Shinji, Asuka, Rei, and Kaworu coming together to perform Pachelbel's Canon, where any particular role is incomplete but all four together create a beautiful piece of music. It's an Instrumentality allusion where complementation is key, but the "instrumental" aspect is knowingly played with.

In any case, this sort of thing is par for the course in NGE. A similar example is "Blood Type", which in Japanese is the much more sensible "wavelength pattern", but they just have to cram that sci-fi reference in there if they can possibly help it. They take this so far that one of the Angels literally has blue blood, and a diagram of hemoglobin is displayed at least once when an Angel's wavelength is being analyzed. Attaching the concepts of blood type and intrinsic wavelength pattern mostly just makes things more confusing, from what I can tell.....

Sometimes it works out pretty well, like with the Apostle/Angel dichotomy. Both words refer to messengers of God (whether God the Son or God the Father). The use of both creates a mixed message initially about what these beings actually are: "Apostles" are human, but "Angels" are not. Ultimately it turns out that our definition of what was "human" needed to be both refined (we are "Lilin" specifically) and expanded ("humans" encompass many types of existence beyond our own).

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Schalkguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:09 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote: Ultimately it turns out that our definition of what was "human" needed to be both refined (we are "Lilin" specifically) and expanded ("humans" encompass many types of existence beyond our own).

Is this true? I thought that humans were the same in Eva as in real life. I mean the Angels are earthlings, but are they human? I mean monkeys and bacteria are lilim because they were created by lilith. Humans are just one specific type of lilim. Is my terminology just totally off? In a unrelated question where did Adam's soul get a human body?

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:56 pm

View Original PostSchalkguy wrote:Is this true?

There are a number of things foreshadowing the reveal, and Misato states flat-out that Adam's Children are another form of humanity in EoE.

I mean monkeys and bacteria are lilim because they were created by lilith. Humans are just one specific type of lilim. Is my terminology just totally off?

Yeah. "Lilin" isn't generic for "all life that arises from Lilith". It specifically refers to us. Listen to Kaworu talking in episode 24 and imagine that every time he says "Lilin", he means "the sum of all carbon-based lifeforms that arose from Lilith". It gets ridiculous very quickly.

In a unrelated question where did Adam's soul get a human body?

It was created in the transgenic experiment that led to Second Impact. Seele salvaged Adam's soul into it later.

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Schalkguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:57 pm

Okay. Maybe I need to give the show another rewatch. Can you give more details on how Angels are another version of humans? Wouldn't they be totally unrelated giving they come from the seed of life rather than the seed of knowledge? Also does this mean Humans are inherently special in NGE and does the whole evolution thing hold true here? Or did humans come from Lilith fully formed. Can you give more detail about the whole Adam's human body thing. I thought the second impact was just a minimized purge resulting from removing the lance? What is this about a transgenic experiment? For every answer I find in Eva it seems to ask 5 questions.

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Schalkguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:58 pm

And sorry if I seem to be argumentative. No offense is intended.

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:18 pm

Neither of those things are really anywhere close to the topic, unfortunately.

It looks like the most recent time I wrote about the "human" issue was over here. There's a basic primer on Kaworu's creation here. Why don't you take a look?

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Re: The mystery of why "complementation" was translated into English as "Instrumentality"

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Postby Schalkguy » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:08 pm

That's true. Thanks for the links.


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