Author Topic: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????  (Read 7669 times)

Shin Lupin Sansei

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Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« on: July 24, 2015, 12:17:10 am »
Just watched Siberia and I can't stand the translation of "Iron Cleaver" or whatever it was. I haven't had the chance to see DT's release of Bye, Bye Liberty, Hemmingway, or Napoleon yet but i don't remember seeing it translated this way previously in other Disotek releases (or even in fansubs for that matter). Can we just call it Zantetsuken, or Zantetsu? Iron Cleaver sounds like a culinary tool....

mikezilla2

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 01:24:58 am »
seriously they localized that in the script ? 

Reed

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 03:41:37 pm »
Our subtitles follow the policy that the objective of a translation is to make the viewing experience as close as possible to the Japanese viewing experience. When a Japanese person hears "Zantetsuken" they hear an archaic way of saying "[Iron/Steel]-cutting Sword". "Zantetsuken" is exotic and "sounds/reads cool" to English-only ears and eyes, but it doesn't mean anything to them. Swords have often had names. Sometimes they're named after their creators, sometimes they're just something that "sounds cool," but in Zantetsuken's case, that's not what a Japanese viewer hears.

Liner notes will always mention the original name. In fact, here's the matching liner note from The Castle of Cagliostro, where the name debuted and apparently no one minded until now:

Quote
Goemon’s Steelcleaver

The name of Goemon’s mighty sword is Zantetsuken, or “Sword That Can Cut Steel.” The meaning of the name is relatively clear to a Japanese listener, but completely obscured to most English-language viewers. Lupin fans will probably continue to favor the Japanese name, but the final script uses an original name: Steelcleaver. It sounds a little stilted and traditional, in keeping with both Goemon’s character and fashion sense.

At least one previous release, First Contact, used "Zantetsuken". But the subtitles awkwardly crammed in the meaning of the sword to accommodate this policy. Professional translator Shoko Oono who did "Cagliostro" for us proposed this translation and we liked it, and will continue to use it moving forward in the interest of consistency.

No one is taking "Zantetsuken" from you, though. Feel free to call it whatever you like in online discussion and conversation with friends. As for fansubs not using anything like "Steelcleaver" in the past, fansubs are also famous for retaining things like "nakama" in One Piece, even though the word is easily (and accurately) translated as "friend", "companion" or "comrade."
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 03:49:15 pm by Reed »
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GATSU

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2015, 12:53:15 am »
Reed: I understand what you're saying. But from a marketing perspective, it sounds better to keep it as Zantetsuken. Plus, the Japanese readers and viewers may know what it means, but I think they interpret it as a 'name' for the sword, just like we do. They're not 'visualizing' in its literal context. It's also the reason why those attacks in fighting games and shonen series are generally shortened, and/or or sped up, when read out loud. Because they just wanna see the moves. But, in your defense, I will say that one of the terms for one of the Lupin fansubs was literally 'sword that can cut through steel'. I think it was Dragon of Doom or something.

Shin Lupin Sansei

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 12:25:53 am »
Thanks for the insights Reed. I still have an aversion to this "full" translation of the sword's name. If we're going with that line of thought then shouldn't Fujiko be called "Child of Wisteria" as that would be a more accurate translation of her name? I do see where it makes sense to try to express the name's meaning through the translation so that the viewer would have a better understanding similar to a native speaker, but to me it still feels awkward and strange. Haven't watched DT's Cagliostro release yet so I missed it until Siberia.

fantasticmrfox

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 01:42:07 pm »

At least one previous release, First Contact, used "Zantetsuken". But the subtitles awkwardly crammed in the meaning of the sword to accommodate this policy. Professional translator Shoko Oono who did "Cagliostro" for us proposed this translation and we liked it, and will continue to use it moving forward in the interest of consistency.

No one is taking "Zantetsuken" from you, though. Feel free to call it whatever you like in online discussion and conversation with friends. As for fansubs not using anything like "Steelcleaver" in the past, fansubs are also famous for retaining things like "nakama" in One Piece, even though the word is easily (and accurately) translated as "friend", "companion" or "comrade."

The only thing I have to question is the possible "what-if" scenario of what happens if you guys get the rights to the "Burn Zantetsuken" special. Previouslu translated as Dragon of Doom by Funi, but you guys do it more literal. So would that be Burn Steelcleaver or would you keep it as Burn Zantetsuken for legacy reasons?

GATSU

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2015, 10:47:22 pm »
They'd probably stick with Dragon of Doom, because it's a more marketable title.

Akai Shuichi

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2015, 12:47:15 pm »
Yea, I believe Reed said they would stick with the FUNi titles because they are already well established under those titles.

Reed

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2015, 06:13:55 pm »
Quote
Thanks for the insights Reed. I still have an aversion to this "full" translation of the sword's name. If we're going with that line of thought then shouldn't Fujiko be called "Child of Wisteria" as that would be a more accurate translation of her name?
I see what you mean, but in the case of human character names, nobody would ever do this except as a novelty on Wikipedia pages. But I get you. Everyone has their preference but I personally think if we leave it as "Zantetsuken" we're doing people a small disservice. Should we translate everything? No, but translation of other elements shouldn't be feared or dismissed either. Funimation dubs called it The Almighty, which is quite unfaithful vs. the Japanese, and AFAIK no one complained. We're at least trying to retain the meaning, which is the point. I am not outright dismissing arguments about retaining "Zantetsuken", as a long-time fan I had my reservations about translating it originally too. But I believe it's just one more hurdle for a new viewer to have to memorize that which--to an English speaker--looks and sounds like a random string of letters and vowels. The meaning of "Steelcleaver" is clear, it's concise, it's accurate, and it's in English.

And yes, any FUNi TV Special re-releases I expect will retain their original US title. That way someone looking for a reprint of, say, Voyage to Danger, won't be bewildered by some alternate-title re-release called "The Lupin Assassination Order" or whatever (our Mamo DVD broke the rule because Secret of Mamo WAS the alternate title).
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sprak

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 11:54:47 pm »
Funimation dubs called it The Almighty, which is quite unfaithful vs. the Japanese, and AFAIK no one complained.

That assumes anyone listened to their dubs. *cough*

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But I believe it's just one more hurdle for a new viewer to have to memorize that which--to an English speaker--looks and sounds like a random string of letters and vowels. The meaning of "Steelcleaver" is clear, it's concise, it's accurate, and it's in English.

Yes, that's the problem I've heard from new Lupin fans for the past decade. Too big of a hurdle. No, wait... I've never heard that.

Personally, I think this is one of the instances where a translation robs the item of its flavor. It's a Japanese sword, a very unique Japanese sword. Calling it Steelcleaver makes it sound like a kitchen utensil. We don't say Milo's Venus or the Arch of Triumph. Loses a bit of the majesty, the mystique. Leaning Tower of Pisa is fine because you lose nothing in the translation. A tilted tower is pretty dang cool no matter the language.

MGFanJay

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 09:31:51 pm »
HERE COMES THE JIGGEN!

The early Funi dubs were...not exactly a shining light on the franchise. Although to be fair, Sonny at least almost admitted some fault for that in the Fujiko Mine commentary track. He did come off as having a bit of a thin skin though since he was so passive-aggressive about "SOME of the fans were upset with our pronunciation...", but they did at least massively improve on the dubs for the second half of their titles.

DrFurball

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2015, 02:31:16 am »
I always liked how the Geneon releases referred to it as the "Zantetsu Sword". But, honestly, I'm fine with "Steelcleaver", for previously-stated reasons.

And for what it's worth, the second manga series (at least in TOKYOPOP's translation. I'm just assuming it's the same in Japanese) referred to Goemon's sword as "Ryusei"...although that seems to mean "shooting star", judging by some quick research. Not sure if it's relevant here (since we're talking about the anime), but it's a neat trivia bit, I guess.
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Robotech_Master

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2016, 02:53:40 am »
And for what it's worth, the second manga series (at least in TOKYOPOP's translation. I'm just assuming it's the same in Japanese) referred to Goemon's sword as "Ryusei"...although that seems to mean "shooting star", judging by some quick research. Not sure if it's relevant here (since we're talking about the anime), but it's a neat trivia bit, I guess.
Interesting. Probably refers to the origin of the sword that holds it was forged with iron from a meteorite. (As in the TVTrope "Thunderbolt Iron".)

Anyway, the new name makes for another interesting bit for my commentary track. Have to make a note of that.

Reed

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 02:14:05 am »
For the concerned, the last few Discotek releases have used "Zantetsuken" with explanation in liner notes.

Upon further introspection, "Steelcleaver" is really best suited for select entries in the Lupin canon like Cagliostro that are designed by their author to have wider appeal, or in an English dub of the show. The Part II subtitles also use "Zantetsuken" instead of Pioneer's "Zantetsu Sword" (you can figure out it's a sword from context pretty easily).
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EdmondDantes224

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Re: Can we just call it Zantetsuken????
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 04:27:56 am »
Dudes, I totally would buy a movie called "Burn, Steelcleaver!"

and I'm sorely wishing that Discotek had gotten the rights to the Super Sentai shows instead of Shout Factory if this is Discotek's translation policy.