Translation Peculiarities

Kokoro 心

“Kokoro” means “mind,” “heart,” or “spirit” (which ADV sometimes translates as “soul”). With the exception of “spirit,” I’ve used each of these translations at some point, based on context.

Mama vs. Momma

I’ve used both “mama” and “momma” because both spelling variations are present in the ADV translation of the series. One could argue that this is just simple spelling inconsistency, but “mama” tends to be used by the pilots when they’re little kids, or when they mentally regress to early childhood.

Squad vs. Group

Since the word “group” doesn’t have the same militaristic applicability that it does in Japanese, I chose to adapt it as “squad.” While this isn’t a literal translation, it’s probably a more effective adaptation in terms of how an English-speaking audience interprets it.

F Layer

While I strive for accuracy with these subtitles, there is one situation where I have intentionally mistranslated something in order to correct it. In both the spoken dialog and the original Japanese script (episode 26’, page 69), there is an error that the creators surely would have corrected had they known about it.

“220,000 km” is the literal translation of 22万キロ, the altitude the Black Moon ascends to upon reaching the F layer—but that is an impossibly high number. The F1 layer is at 150–220 km, while the F2 layer is at 220–800 km. Therefore, I have dropped three zeroes and changed it to “220 km,” as keeping the error rather than correcting it would only retain the unintended potential for non-Japanese speakers watching the movie to question its credibility (in terms of a work of fiction having a believable nonfictional backdrop).

Senpai 先輩

Maya calls Ritsuko “Senpai” at one point, a word which in this case means “senior” (at work), “superior,” or “elder.” None of these words have any sensible English equivalent given the context, so I chose to adapt it as “Dr. Akagi,” which works better than adapting it as simply “Ritsuko,” since “Dr.” at least carries over the respect that “senpai” implies.

See also: