Magi 03 – notes and the like

He keeps cursing all the episode. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. I even put in some effort to fit the curses to the Arabic environment.

Some awesome karaoke there for you.

I put “ifrit” and not “demon” (I’m quite unhappy that someone changed it back). If you don’t like the 1001 Nights-style linguo, that’s too bad for you. The environment is completely Arabic, so what is there to complain about at all? If you think this is trolling, then you have no idea what the word “trolling” means. Jahannam is the name of Hell in Islam, so it’s literally “who the hell do you think you are”. Get used to vocab like this popping up every now and then. Not the swearing part – I’m sure most characters in the future won’t swear as much as this spoiled brat did. (And even so, the “up your ass” part might’ve been a bit of an overkill.)

As for the length of this line, he’s murmuring the first half under his breath. I wouldn’t have noticed it myself, but if you turn the volume on, it’s there alright.

Ali Baba awesomeness overload.

I never thought such a cold look was possible in anime.

I totally prefer Ammon above Amon. Some people claim he’s named Amon after the demon in Solomon’s Key, but if you check what the grimoire says, that description has nothing to do with this polite yet strict jinni.

The word 移し身 (usually written as 現身) gave me some trouble. It seems to be very plot-relevant to get this line correctly, but apparently not even the manga is clear about how Aladdin and Solomon are related as of now. Thus: time for some vagueness. “Inheritor of Solomon’s spirit” can mean he’s been entrusted with some of Solomon’s powers, that he follows his teachings or even that he’s his reincarnation. Underline the correct one once the story reveals it.

Looking forward to seeing more of these guys.

There’s so much to explain… I’m looking forward to the next episode.

This entry was posted by Vale.

26 thoughts on “Magi 03 – notes and the like

  1. Pingback: Majee — 03 » GotWoot?

  2. Thanks for your notes, interesting read. I was wondering about the Arabic cursing, lol. Now that I’ve read your post, I agree that it fits more than I initially thought.

    However, I have to disagree on what you said about Amon, because (minor spoiler ahead), all the Djinn who later appear in Magi are also named after the Solomon-demons. (in the manga the dungeons even have said demon’s “Seal” and they even follow the numerical order, like; Amon of the 7th Dungeon, Paimon of the 9th Dungeon and so on).

    As far as I know, it’s not a great big deal to the story itself if you follow this pattern, but it would be easier for those who like researching further into the names and myths the manga is referencing 😉

    Other than that, great job! And thanks for your work 😀

      • I know, I forgot to mention him as the exception to this pattern. For this there’s actually a clue much much later in the manga (which may or may not be a huge spoiler, so I won’t mention this here (unless you want me to xD). But he’s an exception, that’s what’s I’m saying 🙂

  3. Now, I assume that you haven’t read the manga (which is about 100-something chapters by now and still on-going) which is… fine I suppose. But when several people who HAVE read the manga step up and tell you that you are wrong you should really listen.

    First of all, every djinn but Ugo is named after the goetic demons. Just because Ugo is not named after one does not mean that any of the other djinn may break this trend. If anything it simply makes Ugo that much more unique from the other djinn.

    Second of all Magi is NOT SET IN OUR WORLD. It is not set in “Arabia” or any other known middle eastern country, it is a FANTASY setting with it’s own countries and it’s own cultures and it’s own history. There is no such thing as Muhammad or Jahannam in the world of Magi. They don’t even speak Islamic, in fact their entire world (aside from a very small few who speak Toran) speaks a common catch-all language that actually becomes an important plot point later on in the manga. You are giving these characters knowledge of things that they actually know nothing about because neither the Islamic religion or language exists in their world.

    That being said, even if Magi was set in our world you taking such an extreme artistic liberty in subbing is not only irritating but also rather tasteless. I’ve already seen people get up in arms about Magi without knowing anything about it, the last thing this series needs is you ruining it’s reputation even more by shoving potentially offensive words into the characters’ mouths.

    I appreciate you taking the time out of your life to sub this series, do not think that I don’t. But the way you are subbing the series right now is very problematic, not only for political correctness reasons but also because it contradicts the overall plot of the series.

    • I apologize if it upset you.

      However, do you realize you’re being inconsistent? You demand that I follow the spelling of names as per the Ars Goetica, because they’re all Solomon’s demons and so on, but when I dare point out that jinn and all that stuff related to the 1001 Nights is set in an Islamic world, you’re upset beyond reason.

        • As for the demon’s names, maybe. As for the Islamic language, no. I won’t have characters in the 1001 Nights’ atmosphere running around saying “for Christ’s sake”. I’ll tune it down though – I don’t remember anyone complaining about us using “sharif”, which is also an Islamic phrase.

          • I agree with the posts before me.

            “Sharif” is not an Islamic phrase; it’s an Arabic word. Also Muslims don’t say “for Muhammad’s sake”.

            Arabia and Islam are 2 different things, and the references that are causing the problem are the Islamic ones: using “Allah”, “Muhammad”, and “jahannam”. The original script doesn’t use them, so I find it unnecessary and problematic to have them in the translation.

          • Let me quote the wiki.
            >many tales were originally folk stories from the caliphate era
            >caliphate refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented political unity of the Muslim Ummah
            >most of the people in the story are Muslims

          • I would appreciate if you would reply to me all at once so I don’t look like I was somehow ignoring an entire portion of your reply.

            First of all, I am not “upset beyond reason”. This is a series that is going to get a lot of shit already with being placed in foreign fantasy countries that are not similar to Japan, and in fact it already has gotten some detractors claiming that it’s racist and inaccurate to the middle east. We don’t need people believing that this series is supposed to be based in actual countries when it is, in fact, only loosely based and otherwise has it’s own history and lore.

            The Goetica and Solomon references, as well as the character’s names, are an isolated case and at best a simple nod to the 1001 Nights/Solomon stories. You yourself pointed out that Amon acts nothing like the Amon that is described in the Goetic texts. The story itself is very loosely inspired by 1001 nights and I mean very VERY loosely. It is about on the same level as a mangaka naming their characters after demons like “Belphegor” and “Lucifer” when these characters aren’t actual demons at all (I am thinking of Umineko no Naku Koro ni here but it’s a common element used in manga and even other forms of media), my point is Ohtaka very selectively adopted themes from 1001 Nights but after that she went and did her own thing. You’re watching/translating MAGI: LABYRINTH OF MAGIC, not 1001 Nights. It is a completely different story.

            I CANNOT stress enough that “ARABIA” and “ISLAM” do NOT exist in the Magi world. The Muslim religion does not exist. Muhammad does not exist. I know very little about Muslim/Islam or anything of that sort and I apologize if I butcher the terms, but I know for a FACT that they do not exist in Magi. Later on you’re going to see vaguely Chinese looking characters with Japanese names and they all speak the exact same language as the supposedly “Arabic” characters. This turns out to be an ACTUAL PLOT POINT down the road, it isn’t just Ohtaka ignoring the fact that everyone conveniently speaks Japanese because the manga is written in Japanese. They make a very huge deal about the Toran language (there should be an example of it somewhere in the Jamil arc of the anime in fact) because the rest of the world all literally share the same language. And this language is not linked to the Islam/Muslim religion (again I apologize if I’m using the wrong terms).

            For the record I haven’t downloaded any of your subs since the first episode, purely because I disliked the way you translated the OP… and several other things. But that was fine, I could ignore that and download other subs. The reason I am on your case right now is because many people have been screencapping this third episode– most especially the Muhammad line– and complaining about it. Perhaps the reason it went unchecked until now is because Muhammad is a very well known RELIGIOUS word. Religion is an extremely touchy subject. It is also offensive and tasteless to stick it where it does not belong.

  4. I posted this on the main subgroup as well. I hope this explains why there is so much concern:

    “I can see why the translator used those words. At first, I thought it was done intentionally, but I understand where he was going.

    What he was doing was taking the phrases that would have been used in English e.g. “for Christ’s sake”, “God’s creation”, “who the hell”, and replacing them with their Islamic counterparts so that they would sound arabic.

    It wasn’t done with bad intention, but I would like to kindly ask if the sub group could change the translation. There are a few problems with this.

    For one thing, Arabia and Islam are quite separate. Islamic terms aren’t just confined to Arabs (less than 20% of Muslims are Arabs), so the words “Muhammad”, “Allah”, and “Jahannam” refer to the religion not the region. So the use would be taken more personally by Muslims.

    Also, because the characters aren’t Muslim and the setting isn’t Islamic (although it is Arabic), the translation comes across as taking the religion lightly. The phrases in the translaton aren’t used in normal Arabic speech anyway.

    Even Muslims wouldn’t be using those words without reason. Muslims don’t use religious references unless we actually are talking about those religious things, so they’re not exactly secular phrases, if that makes sense. So if someone would say in an Arabic drama, “may Allah be with you,” this is meant seriously and the cast are actually Muslims.

    I remember my old teacher saying that even the phrase “what the hell” in english should not supposed to be said by Muslims, because we regard hell as a reality and not something to be said for no reason. Of course because people don’t really consider that, when they say “hell”, they’re referring to Hell (and also due to widespread usage and the fact that in worldwide culture it’s not meant in that way), alot of Muslims will say it anyway.

    I want to thank the subgroup for the hard work they put in, and again I would like to kindly ask if they could change the translation. Those specific terms refer to Islamic rather than Arabic references and are regarded as personal and sacred values.”

    I really appreciate your translation and hard work. I know you didn’t mean anything wrong, but this is the situation with the Muslim viewers at the moment.

  5. Never knew Sinbad could be spelled Sindbad, that confused me for a sec. I suppose this one is a trade off between the common spelling and what it sounds like in the audio.

    The other one was jinni. A personal preference, but I came across the word originally with the silent d, so think it should be spelled djinni.

    Anyway, great subs, great show, thanks!

    • It all boils down to how accurate the transliteration is. Early transliterations (which did not fall out of use) are very loosely based on the original Arabic/Persian pronunciations, which causes the English proper nouns Sinbad and Aladdin to sound somewhat foreign to me or any native speaker of said languages.

      As for Jinni (جِنّي), both spellings could work. The same goes for the plural form of the word (جِنّ): jinn or djinn.

  6. Moral of the story: Scanlators are always right and never get liberal. And Christians can be clubbed to death since their Christs and Hells can be used freely whereas another one’s is disrespectful to all the 10 Muslim viewers and the other thousands who dare not discriminate.

    Sounds good.

    Don’t care what you do Vale, just don’t make boring subs.

  7. Pingback: Magi 03 — v2 » GotWoot?

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