Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1)

Dug up my copy of the official US release of CCA, figured I might as well give the subtitles a look.

Not watching the movie in its entirety at this point, just jumping to memorable parts.

Literal translation:  "Why would you drop such a thing on Earth?"
"Crashing this to Earth"... I don't know, since when did you crash things to others? And where's the question mark?

"That's why I declared that I would kill them all."

 Yes this openly contradicts the stuff from later on where he says his goal is to get people to move into space but that's what it says. And minor and inconsequential change, but "declared" becomes "decided".

Another minor change- Amuro says that people (in general) don't have the right to punish others.

And then this. "I, Char Aznable, will purge them, Amuro!" becomes this load of made-up bullshit. What the fuck?

"That's your ego!". I mean, sure, the meaning doesn't change that much, but the use of the word "ego" is a Tomino thing that really ought to be left intact. This completely pointless change turns a great one-liner into just another line.

I've heard that the decision to translate 強化人間 (literally enhanced or augmented human) into "cyber newtype" was made on the Japanese side and so the translators shouldn't be blamed for it. It's still fucking stupid, though. Cyber? Seriously?

This line suggests that the translator wasn't familiar enough with Gundam; They didn't enhance his skills, they enhanced him, and as you can see in previous shows that results in the subject going slightly nutty. This guy's worried that Gyunei might start crying about the sky falling down.

She asks if the ReGZ can be used, and when told that it can't, replies with this. If she already knows then why is she asking? Simple: She doesn't. This is an elementary mistake- She didn't already know, she just knew from Astonage's answer. This line isn't difficult to translate at all- "Alright" or "got it" or "okay", any of these would've been fine, but the translator made the mistake of thinking that 分かる is the same thing as 知る which is the kind of stuff you ought to have learned in a JLPT4 class.

Another case of "ego" being removed.

She doesn't say she just wants to be with them, she wants to be between them.

No "psychically" in the original line. It's not wrong, but I feel that it just kind of cheapens the line.

Like with Hamaan's, "zokubutsu" is for some reason extremely frequently mistranslated. A quick google search shows that Japanese to English dictionary entries say

And this is completely wrong. People relying too heavily on Japanese to English dictionaries is a major problem in translation (look at all the people mistranslating 偽善者 to "hypocrite"!). What they ought to be doing is looking up the word in a purely Japanese dictionary, which in this case would tell them that a zokubutsu is a greedy person who cares only for material wealth.


"So that's why even married couples will fight each other."
Yes she's talking about her own parents but god damn that's a weird wording choice.

"The world can't handle the ego of all humans!"
Once again "ego" is purged from the script, and the stuff about parasites seems to me like it comes from the translator mishearing the line (can't handle = "nomikomeyashinai" → nomi something → fleas → parasites).

First of all, he's not questioning Amuro's use of "wisdom" which is what the "so-called" suggests. And "those ignorant people" suggests a specific group, when the wording is such that he's talking about ALL people, which means something like "the ignorant masses" would be more appropriate.

He addresses her not just as Quess but as "Quess Air", which is what she calls herself because Neo Zeon kind of probably would recognise her real surname if she used it.

"貴官ら" is literally translated to "you officers" but is just another way of saying "you".

The song lyrics are completely different, but that isn't entirely a bad thing considering how the chorus is "Char believing our pray pray".

Fun fact: Char talks about the kakushin (革新, reform or revolution, "rebirth" is fine too) of mankind here. This phrase would be revisited much later in 00 with Innovators being referred to as such.

Another reason why the use of "psychic" by Quess before feels odd to me- When Gyunei talks about his becoming a newtype, her use of the word ("esper" in the original Japanese) has a mocking tone to it; Her idea of newtypes seems to be closer to the hippie understand everything version than to the I CAN CONTROL LASER GUNS WITH MY MIND PEW PEW version.


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