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View Poll Results: Which names should the Headmasters DVD subs use?
American names (Optimus Prime leads the Autobots, and Blaster dies) 16 66.67%
Japanese names (Convoy leads the Cybertrons, and Broadcast dies) 8 33.33%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2005-05-14, 10:14 PM   #1
Nevermore
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Default UK Headmasters DVD coming up

For the details, see here:

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread74216.html

However, there's been a debate spawned off about whether the subs should keep the Japanese names (Convoy, Broadcast, Cybertrons/Seibertron/Destrons etc.) or revert to the American names (Optimus Prime, Blaster, Autobots/Cybertron/Decepticons).

This will only apply to the characters who have already been established by the US cartoon and will not affect future projects for Masterforce and Victory, which have completely difefrent characters from their respective US counterparts.
 
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Old 2005-05-14, 10:54 PM   #2
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On the one hand, I feel that since the shows are not American, they should stick with the original names. On the other hand, this may confuse many of the people who'd buy the DVD, and might put others off.

I'd personally prefer they use the Japanese names, but in terms of commercial sensibility, it makes more sense to use the American ones.

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Old 2005-05-14, 10:58 PM   #3
Denyer
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The original Japanese names, so that you can read an approximation of what you're hearing. Substitution would be more confusing.
 
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Old 2005-05-14, 11:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
The original Japanese names, so that you can read an approximation of what you're hearing. Substitution would be more confusing.
What you're hearing is Japanese. That's already a lot of substitution. What difference do the names of characters make?

Plus, imagine the outcry of an audience whose primary exposure to Transformers is the original TF:TM, and maybe the American cartoon, but who have no clue about "Tatakae" and "2010". Alternators Meister will be nothing compared to that.
 

Last edited by Nevermore; 2005-05-14 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 2005-05-14, 11:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
What you're hearing is Japanese. That's already a lot of substitution. What difference do the names of characters make?
They aren't the same characters, for a start. Prime lives in the US show, Convoy dies (again) in the Japanese.

I like being able to match parts of dialogue to subtitles; I also dislike a lot of liberties being taken in producing idiomatic translation—I'd rather have original metaphors, for example. I've sat through English films with subs, and even with what I know of the languages the subtitles were in, I could pick out parts that conveyed the wrong intention, when blocks of dialogue were omitted, etc.

Throw in a "who's who" sheet and unusally interested fans (who are the market for subtitled eps—an average viewer in the UK won't watch a subtitled video except under duress) will love it.

People wouldn't bother writing out my name as "second who manages the King's affairs" or yours as "stone holy to the thunder god", either. It's easier to stick to names as written. The same goes for manga that's reversed in printing, but goes on to refer to a character's left and right in the text.

Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
Plus, imagine the outcry of an audience whose primary exposure to Transformers is the original TF:TM, and maybe the American cartoon, but who have no clue about "Tatakae" and "2010". Alternators Meister will be nothing compared to that.
Meister has been widely accepted—very few people bother to write out 'Alternators Jazz'. Plus, I derive a certain amount of pleasure from the 'misery', infantile whining and opportunity to put the boot in.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 12:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
They aren't the same characters, for a start. Prime lives in the US show, Convoy dies (again) in the Japanese.
They're based on the same character who originated in the US show and then got his name changed for the Japanese dub of "Tatakae".

Quote:
I like being able to match parts of dialogue to subtitles; I also dislike a lot of liberties being taken in producing idiomatic translation—I'd rather have original metaphors, for example.
Nah. That really doesn't work - literally translating idioms gives you lots of strange sentences hardly anyone who doesn't happen to know a bit about the original language could make sense out of.
Translations should be done as close to the original as possible, but as "free" as necessary. If a metaphor makes zero sense in English, a substitute metaphor with roughly the same meaning should be picked instead.
What's extremely difficult to translate is puns. An example from German: When translated into English, you can't have some juvenile jokes about how "primal instinct" looks when spelled in two words - in German, "Urinstinkt" would get separated into "Urin stinkt", which would then mean "urine stinks". The best substitute would be the old "Uranus" joke. Literally translated, you'd run into major problems in terms of undertsnading the joke, without knowing jack about the original language in the first place.

Quote:
I've sat through English films with subs, and even with what I know of the languages the subtitles were in, I could pick out parts that conveyed the wrong intention, when blocks of dialogue were omitted, etc.
Sure, translation is a tricky field. I know some guys who work as comic book translators, and the one thing I could gather from reading discussions about this matter on message boards was that it's impossible to have a "perfect" translation. A translation is always an interpretation as well (i.e. "what did the writer want to say with this dialogue? How do I best convey that intention into the other language?"), and literal translations tend to be rather difficult to understand.
The best compromise for a good translation, as stated above, is trying to stick close to the original meaning but use as many liberties as necessary to make the dialogue look fluent enough for the target language.

Quote:
Throw in a "who's who" sheet and unusally interested fans (who are the market for subtitled eps—an average viewer in the UK won't watch a subtitled video except under duress) will love it.
Yeah, those will probably feel appalled by the Star TV dubs... Though I think Chris said he'd try and get a special notw on the "quality" of those dubs onto the DVD.

Quote:
People wouldn't bother writing out my name as "second who manages the King's affairs" or yours as "stone holy to the thunder god", either. It's easier to stick to names as written. The same goes for manga that's reversed in printing, but goes on to refer to a character's left and right in the text.
We're talking about characters who have established English names for about 20 years, though. Plus, those English names are their original names, with the Japanese names being the "translations" to begin with.

Quote:
Meister has been widely accepted—very few people bother to write out 'Alternators Jazz'. Plus, I derive a certain amount of pleasure from the 'misery', infantile whining and opportunity to put the boot in.
You seem to be visiting other places than I do. I see many people go on bragging about "Alt Jazz" or how "stupid Hasbro SHOULD have given him his REAL name".
 

Last edited by Nevermore; 2005-05-15 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 2005-05-15, 01:51 AM   #7
Alpha Trion
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I'll import the DVD if they leave in the Japanese names, but I'll stick to my fansubs if they use Optimus Prime, Blaster, etc. Few things bother me than when characters' names are changed when anime is translated. The big red robot who turns into a truck was never referred to as "Optimus Prime" within the context of Headmasters; why should he be called that on the DVD? It's inaccurate. Same goes for Cybertron/Autobot, Seibertron/Cybertron, etc.

Most people outside the TF fandom picking this up will never use the subs and Japanese track anyway; the uninitiated are just going for a bit of nostalgia and will most likely only watch with the dub, which doesn't have proper names anyway (Billy!). You might as well keep the subs accurate to the Japanese dialogue.

Somebody at 2005 was saying that not only should the returning characters from the dubbed US show have their western names, but also the entire main cast who make their first appearance in Headmasters. This is a terrible idea; they're definitely not meant to be the same characters. That line of thinking is what turned me off from the fandubs; even the Dinoforce members in Victory were referred to by the names of similar western toys.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 02:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
literally translating idioms gives you lots of strange sentences hardly anyone who doesn't happen to know a bit about the original language could make sense out of [...] A translation is always an interpretation
Reading or watching is already an interpretation; I'd prefer not to have someone rewrite the story further on top of that.

The place for rewrites is dubbing. For instance, Shrek has been released in many different languages and jokes rewritten to be topical to different audiences. When watching subtitles, I want to know what's being said rather than what someone thought was better and guessed the writer may have meant.

Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
those English names are their original names, with the Japanese names being the "translations" to begin with.
As you point out, they aren't translations. They're names assigned to characters from the beginning of that continuity. The continuity becomes substantially different to the US show, by which they're emphatically not the same characters. What begins as a transposition doesn't end up that way, so releasing it as an extension to the US show with Season Three characters, as an 'alternative' to Season Four... is nonsensical.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 02:13 AM   #9
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Bear in mind I haven't read the link, as AOL is being very, very ****ty at the mo.

Yeh, but you visit a special fanboy-crammed board, it would seem, as I've never seen half the crap you claim fanboys are always banging on about anywhere [outisde of the posts where you mention it anyway]. Maybe I have limited experience with TF boards. Or maybe I get the right amount. Who cares?

Erm, Japanese names. Because they're Japanese shows. These things will be selling to a bunch of hardcore fans within fans. As Denyer says, only the hardcore anime/foreign film fans will even look at the cover of a subbed DVD over here. This thing's going to be selling to converted Transformers fans only, and then only really the ones of those that care for the Japanese shows. It'll cause as much confusion Westernising the names as anything else... Sure, it makes things easier for the four people interested who haven't got thirty-odd sites of Japanese Transformers stuff bookmarked, for those first dozen episodes where the characters from Season 3 are still around. But then what do you do about Fortress Maximus, for example? So Spike's a small robot, right? And he climbs into Cerebros, who's his bigger suit, and looks totally different to the way he did in Rebirth... oooookay. And then there's Mega-Zarak. Sure, it might sound like something off Dragonball-Z, but then you've got the Trainbots charging around with names like Yukikaze and Getsuei. Or is it that it'll upset some fans to rename loved characters things like Sprung, Lambor [Gobots!], Dinosaurer and Wipe. Because if that's the problem, then they'll be in real trouble later on when guys with names like Cab, Roadking and Gaihawk turn up. Or are they just going to Westernise some, meaning it's pointless to do any?

My basic thoughts are that as it's only particularly relevant to the first half of Headmasters, there's no point whatsoever. Why bother doing Star-TV subs? Anyone who cares enough to buy the things will know that Convoy is Op in Japan, and respectable sleeve notes will cover up any minor problems.

Plus there's also the question of how much of the deep, subtle meanings of Headmasters we'd lose as a result of literal translations. The thing's idea of subtlety is to kill off a major Autobot character, go for a big weepy ending, bring him back as a new toy a week or so later, and then stick him in a bit part role for thirty episodes.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 02:54 AM   #10
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Japanese names. I mean, really, how hard would it be for the average viewer to figure out that "Optimus Prime" is called "Convoy" in Japan by watching the DVD? I don't think it would take too much effort. I think a disoriented/confused viewer would figure it out pretty quickly.

Personally, I prefer accuracy when it comes to translations. At least with proper nouns. I don't want names "Westernized", especially when the characters are speaking in Japanese. If anything, if a character is yelling "Fortress!" and the subtitle reads "Spike!" it'll probably just cause even more confusion.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 05:56 AM   #11
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I say half-and-half.

All the characters who are basically the same as their American versions can keep their American names (eg. Optimus Prime, Hot Rod, Punch/Counterpunch, the Monsterbots, Autobots, Spike). The Japanese exclusive characters use their Japanese names (the Trainbots, Soundblaster, Twincast, Sappho). Considering that they're a different take on the same characters as the American versions, the Headmasters and Targetmasters go both ways – the big robots and the transtectors use the American names (with the exception of Scorponok) while the heads and guns (and Scorponok) use the Japanese names.

Of course, that's probably too complex for a subbing company, but – eh.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 08:07 AM   #12
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Japanese show, japanese characters -> Japanese names.

There aren't that many and with a proper introduction who's who list, it's easy to understand. There's a fan involved in the project, so I'd think they can make it work.

Quote:
I like being able to match parts of dialogue to subtitles; I also dislike a lot of liberties being taken in producing idiomatic translation—I'd rather have original metaphors, for example. I've sat through English films with subs, and even with what I know of the languages the subtitles were in, I could pick out parts that conveyed the wrong intention, when blocks of dialogue were omitted, etc.
A bit off topic of translation. I'm more on Nevermore's side. Most of the foreign language programs (and there's a lot) here is subtitled. In my opinion it works the best when the translation is as much as possible literal, but also using good Finnish. Everything can't be straight word for word translation without becoming bad language.

I'm also of the opinion that when the wordplays can't be translated, use the similar meaning expression. Those who understand the original dialogue can spot the difference and possibly learn something new, and those who don't understand can get the meaning otherwise they wouldn't. Subtitles are meant for those who don't understand the original dialogue after all.

One particular problem with Finnish, is that the words are long. Sometimes translators run out of space trying to translate everything from the dialogue.

Edit: There's a poll now
http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread74437.html
 

Last edited by Osku; 2005-05-15 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 2005-05-15, 09:17 AM   #13
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When something literally translated is, will it like this looking. Thereby can many understanding problems arise. Yoda much?

Seriously - the idea is really just to re-change the names of a small number of characters who are already established characters in the West. For the newly introduced HM cast, they're thinking about keeping the Japanese names (yes, evenm Yukikaze and Getsuei). They won't name the small head for Fortress Maximus "Spike" because Spike is a separate character, and they're still thinking about a good solution for the whole "(Mega)Zarak/Scorponok" issue.

But the primary concern for this poll is really just Convoy/Optimus Prime, Broadcast/Blaster, Hot Rodimus/Hot Rod, Rodimus Convoy/Rodimus Prime, Cybertrons/Autobots, Seibertron/Cybertron, Destrons/Decepticons, Char/Kup, Sprung/Springer and maybe one or two more.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 09:20 AM   #14
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I call them by their Jap names when I am watching/mentioning the Jap cartoon or when I refer to my MP Convoy. Personally, I can't stand when subbers take too many liberties so I say keep them in Jap. Besides, how difficult would it be to put two sets of subs into the DVD? It's only a matter of swapping every instance of several words in thirty-five twenty-minute cartoons.
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Old 2005-05-15, 01:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
When something literally translated is, will it like this looking.
Grammar and syntax are an overlay on a language[*]; idiom isn't. "Du bist wohl vom wilden Affen gebissen!" doesn't mean "you're out of your mind", for instance, and that's the type of mangling I'd like to avoid—it doesn't matter that "bitten by a wild monkey" isn't a common English idiom.
[*]Especially in glyphic languages and cultures. One of the biggest challenges in Kemetian records is that order is often coincident with appearance. That and a reader today is more inclined to look for single-word translation rather than connect 'ibis' and 'Nile'.

Speaking of which, as far as pluralities in modern Japanese go, I'd rather not see a digression by translators to give context to, say, 'four' being related to 'death'. The nuance is there for anyone who'll recognise it anyway, without having to throw in another sentence or fragment that isn't there in dialogue.

Mega Zarak isn't Scorponok. Scorponok was last seen tumbling into space, or for preference was melted by Unicron. Scorponok never said "Fortress Maximus himself has come," unless my memory of the Headmasters comic is betraying me.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 01:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
Grammar and syntax are an overlay on a language[*]; idiom isn't. "Du bist wohl vom wilden Affen gebissen!" doesn't mean "you're out of your mind", for instance, and that's the type of mangling I'd like to avoid—it doesn't matter that "bitten by a wild monkey" isn't a common English idiom.
Well, I'd certainly not translate something like that literally. It'll confuse more people than it would give an impression of foreign idioms. If it's self-explanatory from the context, it might be okay to keep it, but if it'd just come off as confusing, I'd favor a substitute.

I know this debate all too well. There's also been lots of debates in the past whether established translated/substitute German names for superheroes should be kept or whether the trend to revert to English names ("Die Spinne" became "Spider-Man" once Panini picked up the Marvel licenses, for example, and the "Gerechtigkeitsliga" was re-re-dubbed "Justice League" by Dino and subsequently also by Panini) should also be expanded on "Die Rächer" (the Avengers) and "Die Fantastischen Vier" (the Fantastic Four).

Quote:
Mega Zarak isn't Scorponok. Scorponok was last seen tumbling into space, or for preference was melted by Unicron. Scorponok never said "Fortress Maximus himself has come," unless my memory of the Headmasters comic is betraying me.
And neither are RiD and Armada Optimus Prime G1 Optimus Prime. Your point being?
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 01:53 PM   #17
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Well since this is on DVD I assume its safe to say that TV-Nihon can no longer supply fansubs?
If that's the case I'll have to order the set from the UK, then re burn it to Region 1 DVD for my home viewing.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 02:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
And neither are RiD and Armada Optimus Prime G1 Optimus Prime. Your point being?
That they're all different characters, in clashing continuities?

Armada Prime isn't RiD Prime who isn't 'G1' US cartoon Prime who isn't G2 UK comic Prime who isn't Galaxy Convoy who isn't FSRL Convoy.

Ta for making the argument for me, though...

Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
I'd certainly not translate something like that literally.
To put it as simply as possible: I'm not interested in what the translator wants to write. I'm interested in what the author wrote. That means I've got the original audio and some visual notes on it; if the notes are simply fabrication, there's no value to having the original audio.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 04:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
[B]That they're all different characters, in clashing continuities?

Armada Prime isn't RiD Prime who isn't 'G1' US cartoon Prime who isn't G2 UK comic Prime who isn't Galaxy Convoy who isn't FSRL Convoy.
The point he's making is that if these characters can all be called Optimus Prime, why can't Convoy be called Optimus Prime for these subtitles? By your rationale, he can still be called that without being G1 US cartoon Prime.
 
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Old 2005-05-15, 04:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Guest
he can still be called that without being G1 US cartoon Prime.
It wasn't inferred he couldn't—I'm asking why change something that's been established for twenty years for a forced parallel?

God Ginrai can be called Optimus Prime; Metalhawk can be called Optimus Prime; each is similarly inaccurate and arbitrary. There's no reason to rename characters except to ape a series which Headmasters, Masterforce etc aren't part of the continuity of.
 
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