Other-language plural/possessive issues

View Poll Results: Are you in favor of or against proper pluralization of trainer's Pokémon in articles?

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  • Yes

    5 38.46%
  • No

    8 61.54%
  • Other (please explain "other" in your post)

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Thread: Other-language plural/possessive issues

  1. #1
    BP Appearance Coordinator Jioruji Derako's Avatar Bulbapedia Staff
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    Default Other-language plural/possessive issues

    Alright, here's a discussion that just started on the wiki, that could use some discussion before anyone goes fixing things. A quick summary:

    Character's Pokémon are named "Character's Pokémon" in English; for example, "Ash's Bulbasaur".

    In the Japanese translation/romanization, we keep the same format. "Ash's Bulbasaur" becomes "Satoshi's Fushigidane". The problem? The Japanese language doesn't pluralize or use possessives like the English language, i.e., there's no "s" to signify a plural. "Satoshi no Fushigidane" would be the correct translation. "Bulbizarre de Ash" would be proper French.

    There is, of course, a counter-argument to this. For one, it's a romanization of the language, on an English website, so simplifying things to cater to English readers is a minor benefit. I personally am biased towards the correct translations, seeing as we aim to correctly document Pokémon; that should extend to documenting other-language titles correctly as well, if at all.

    PROS:
    *Correct translations would be more helpful to users who wanted to see exactly how Ash's Bulbasaur is named in Japanese (or other languages).
    *The English-possessive translations teach users the wrong names for trainer's Pokémon, while not indicating that there's anything different about them.

    CONS:
    *Changing every other-language title on the wiki would be a large job. A very large job (not only would trainer's Pokémon need changing, but also TCG cards of trainer's Pokémon).
    *Translations might require users with foreknowledge of the languages in question, research for the cards in other languages to get the titles right, and more hard work.

    I'm sure more pros or cons could be thought up, but I'm drawing a blank right now. (I'll add more to the list as people suggest them, if the discussion goes on that far.)

    Opinions?

    :EDIT: The poll might seem a bit confusing; I messed up a bit on the grammar when I made it, and I don't think I can edit it. "Yes" means in favor of, and "No" means against. I should have read it through before I submitted...

    :EDIT 2: Yes, yes. As many people have pointed out, I mixed up "Plural" and "Possessive". Fixed.
    Last edited by Jioruji Derako; 26th August 2008 at 12:27 AM.

  2. #2
    追放されたバカ Transfinite's Avatar
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    ...first off, "Ash's" isn't plural. It's possessive. What the fuck is wrong with you? "Satoshi's" is perfectly fine grammar.

    It's people like you who add apostrophes to plural nouns.

  3. #3
    Registered User The Outrage's Avatar
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    So what, the wiki actually still uses Japanese names on the articles about the characters who have an english-language name or something? Or do we have a spearate article for Satoshi and Ash?

    Why don't we jsut argue to use proper japanese grammar and everything if your arguing sometihng like "Satoshi no Fushigidane"

    I don't see why we need a Japanese grammar lesson on articles with Japanese names that will instantly change once their english names are released.

  4. #4
    Can I get an encore? evkl's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Ket is 100% right, Ash's Bulbasaur uses the possessive apostrophe, not a plural. Ash's Bulbasaurs would refer to multiple Bulbasaur that Ash possesses; Ash's Bulbasaur could refer to a single Bulbasaur owned by multiple entities named "Ash," but that really isn't an issue as far as I know...
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  5. #5
    Registered User Adamant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jioruji Derako View Post
    In the Japanese translation/romanization, we keep the same format. "Ash's Bulbasaur" becomes "Satoshi's Fushigidane". The problem? The Japanese language doesn't pluralize like the English language, i.e., there's no "s" to signify a plural. "Satoshi no Fushigidane" would be the correct translation.
    Is this a joke? We're writing in English, not romanized Japanese. Go read the Japanese Pokemon Wiki if you want to read everything in proper Japanese.
    So.

  6. #6
    Pokémon Warlord Trainer-c's Avatar
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    This is splitting hairs over something ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with the translations because they are indeed correct. The particle "no" is used to indicate possession. Hence, Satoshi's Fushigidane.
    I still can’t believe my dragons lost to you, Red! You’re now the Pokémon League champion! …Or, you would have been, but you have one more challenge ahead. You have to face another Trainer! His name is… Blue! He beat the Elite Four before you. He is the real Pokémon League champion! -Lance

  7. #7
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    Ok, I was the original person who bought this up over the wiki and I said I wasn't gonna start an account but I feel I have to do now as you've mis-understood the whole point.

    I wasn't complaining about the incorrect use of plural, I was complaining about the incorrect use of the possessive. Japanese do not use "'s" to indicate possessive, it's insulting to dumb it down like this.

    I was also not suggesting that we turn the whole wiki into Japanese, but most pages have a Japanese translation. ie Ash's Bulbasaur claims the Japanese for it is "Satoshi's Fushigidane". This is incorrect.

  8. #8
    Moderator Maverick Nate's Avatar Bulbanews Senior WriterBulbapedia Editorial BoardModerator
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    I think it is too much server stress to satisfy a couple of people who "don't like it." It would also open up a whole other group of people who don't like it when it would be changed. We would just get into edit wars over this...never a good thing.

  9. #9
    Registered User Lilac Hill's Avatar
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    Has the wiki became a basket-case of trivial issues?
    *gone*

  10. #10
    φιλομαθής Zhen Lin's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    The fundamental question is, are we trying to do a transliteration or a (partial/literal) translation? There's a difference - サトシのフシギダネ is transliterated Satoshi no Fushigidane, サトシのフシギダネ is translated Satoshi's Fushigidane.
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  11. #11
    Bulbapædist electAbuzzzz's Avatar Archives StaffBulbapedia Staff
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    Zhen, that goes beyond possessive in that case. What about "Tokiwa City" and "Masara Town", for example? Do we change towns and cities and all other locations to the Japanese words?

    I think we should use translations, not transliterations. If we were using transliterations we'd write transliterated episode names as well. The point is to translate.

    ~buzzzzy

  12. #12
    φιλομαθής Zhen Lin's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    The names of the towns and cities are a strange case - for some reason, they use English words (シティ、タウン) instead of the appropriate Japanese words (市、町).
    Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.

  13. #13
    Avatar mostly by Asci Kthleen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ketsuban View Post
    ...first off, "Ash's" isn't plural. It's possessive. What the fuck is wrong with you? "Satoshi's" is perfectly fine grammar.

    It's people like you who add apostrophes to plural nouns.


    So that's why it wasn't making any sense. Plural s, Saxon genitive (apostrophe-s), same thing.... D:



    Anyway, Zhen Lin's question is the right one to consider. Also, unless you're looking to save space, why not use both if someone's willing to look into and take the time to add them? It could look like this:

    Ash's Squirtle (Japanese: サトシのゼニガメ Satoshi no Zenigame, Satoshi's Zenigame)

    That is:

    English (Language: language's version transliteration, English translation)

  14. #14
    Can I get an encore? evkl's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Kthleen, I think your format, while expansive, doesn't really cover much ground. Satoshi no Zenigame means Satoshi's Zenigame for all intents and purposes in English. I think our goal should be accessibility to English-language speakers. Satoshi no Zenigame means nothing to an English speaker with no knowledge of Japanese. Satoshi's Zenigame provides a much more informative description of the Japanese characters, even if it is 'incorrect.'
    "And we're not gods, we're just hacks."

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  15. #15
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    Who is stupid enough to not figure out that "Ash's Squirtle (Japanese ??? Satoshi no Zenigame)" is telling you that "Satoshi no Zenigame" is japanese for Ash's Squirtle. I have no knowledge of japanese, but logic told me it had to be wrong, which is why I brought it up. It's very insulting that you feel the need to dumb it down like this, not everyone is a retard.

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