Keeping your eye on the Dragon Ball: translating Japanese anime

This workshop explores the language of stereotypes that pervades anime. How can a translator avoid flattening a character’s uniqueness when it is rooted in a particular language system – Japanese ‘Yakuwarigo’ – that has no direct equivalent in English? Comparing Japanese and US versions of the same anime film trailer will highlight the impact of dubbing, music and shot selection has on how Japanese anime is presented to the Western world. Students will go on to translate a Dragon Ball Z film trailer dialogue, and present their work as a voiceover. Will the students catch the Dragon Ball or drop it…? It all depends on their translation!

“Translation is much more interesting and complex than what I thought - you have to take into account the author's background but also analyse your own biases in interpretation.”
– Student, Lycée International Winston Churchill

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