The most common arguments regarding One Piece and anime as a general is whether the Japanese or English names should be used. The common disputes are over character or group names. Here is a explanation as to why these such name conflicts happen.
How do names change between languages?Edit
- Basically, different languages don't always share the same pronunciations. To make things easier, some dubbing companies outside Japan change names to make it easier for the people watching the show to pronounce them. The Japanese language is very different to the English language and many other languages around the world. A common example is regarding the letter 'L' which the Japanese often pronounce as a 'R', so the 'Lu' in Luffy's name comes out as 'Ru'.
- Other times, it is simply how the name transfers into the country's written language when the script for the episodes are handed over to the dubbers. Usopp when translated into one written language comes out as 'Liar Bo', therefore that translation uses that name.
- In the case of 'Zolo', 4Kids changed 'Zoro's' name to 'Zolo' to avoid copyright problems with the other well known fictional swordsman 'Zorro'.
- Sometimes it is done to avoid words such as 'death' or weapons such as 'pistol'. Sometimes this is done because the TV station showing the series has rules against these words or references (Jettix for example). Other times it's the companies own regulations that are the reason behind the change
- Religious related terms such as 'Miss Merry Christmas' are often removed to avoid offending non-Christians.
- Other times it will be done to sound more exotic or fashionable. Others will simply get more uncommon romanizations. For example, changing 'Edward' to 'Ward'.
- Lastly, there is the case where the dubbers simply choose to change the name to one that sounds more familiar to the audience. One example in One Piece is 'Miss Goldenweek' (a reference to a Japanese holiday) being changed to 'Miss April Fools day'.
Why choose Japanese names over English dub names?Edit
For several reasons:
- It is the original language, therefore all other dubs are based around it.
- Most character names were known by the English speaking fans even before Viz and Funimation came into the scene.
- They are usually the more popular name for one reason or another.
Initially, both the English and Japanese names are referenced on a page to show what everything is known as in both versions. Redirect links are also used to transfer readers from the dub name to Japanese name also.
English translations on an English wikiEdit
Questions may be raised as to why the One Piece English Wiki does not use the names provided by the official English translation, especially as the VIZ manga has improved its translations and Funimation has stayed much more loyal to the original manga than 4Kids. Both of the official translations also come out at the same time as the official Japanese release, making them much more easily accessible to people.
However, just because the translation is official does not make it objectively better than the others. Some 4Kids names have stuck, especially for VIZ, who keeps them in order to maintain consistency, with "Zolo" being chief among them. To this day, the VIZ translation still often changes various names and phrases to localize them for native English speakers; while this does help make the manga more understandable to that audience, this wiki does not have to localize names in order to document understandable information in English.
What if I disagree with using the Japanese names?Edit
Sadly there is little you can do to change this. The greater community prefers the use of the Japanese names as a rule. It's the names they use and the fans of the series know. If you want to debate over a name, you can on the character or organisations discussion pages, but please don't leak the debates onto other pages. Meaningless debates such as 'Zoro Vs Zolo' should only be on the page for that character. To date, the only exception to the rule is One Piece: Grand Adventure, wherein no actual Japanese counterpart exists to begin with.
But mostly, to avoid arguments, please use the Japanese names.