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I guess this is the big problem. You think to be as close to the original art is the best way to translate or localize a pice of art while I think translating from one language to another is an art itself.
These are just two different kind of philosophies. The difference is that you think someone who doesn’t follow yours is just wrong.
Right, on can say, I want them stay close to the original art, out of respect for that art. I don’t want a word by word, literal translation, but the show is not the art work of whoever is doing the titles in German but the work of A&E and their team of writers – and I expect the translation to stay true to their work, and that includes the episode titles. We’re not talking creating fan fiction here or some German reproduction of the show, which would offer some more creative freedom.
Translation into another language is an art in itself, I agree, but one these German title makers don’t master IMO, or don’t care about. What they do is marketing strategy, they assume that these titles are more appealing to a German audience. Maybe they’re right, and it sells better with those titles, but they take away from the original art created, they don’t care to keep the tone the creators of the show have set (the most difficult task in translating), they care about what they think a German audience might find interesting enough to tune in.
Captain America is as such known as well in Germany, they didn’t use a different name in the comics here. But what is truly hilarious about the German film title is that it is not German at all, the change of title was plain marketing strategy (as was the English title).
One is about business and selling it to a specific market, the other about good translation. They might sell it better, but I still dislike it from the point of view of art.
@MatthewPaul I haven’t watched Sailor Moon myself, but I read a bit about the criticism of the U.S. american dubbed version of it. It’s an example of how dubbing was used to even change the text of a show and adapt it to a different culture, ignorant to the context and text of its original culture (though one can do the same with subtitles). Besides changing names they erased the gay/lesbian/bisexual/queer sides of the characters. Not how I like art to be handled.