The Spanish translation of Dragon Ball Z “It’s Over 9,000!” When Worldviews Collide is in progress!
Dragon Ball has hundreds of millions of fans across the world, and not all of them speak English. I’ve received requests from readers saying they would love to read the “It’s Over 9,000!” book in their native language, so I’m going to do my best to make that happen one language at a time.
I’m starting with Spanish because it has the largest Dragon Ball fan base outside of English and Japanese.
In case you didn’t know, Dragon Ball was exported to Spain, France, Italy and other European countries before it arrived in the United States, where it became a huge success. It was also exported to Mexico and South American countries where it exploded in popularity and became a phenomenon that continues to this day.
But Spanish in Spain is very different from Spanish in Mexico and South America, and each of the dubbing companies translated Dragon Ball in a different way, with different voice actors and localized terminology.
This means I need two different versions of the translation, otherwise fans in different parts of the world may not be able to understand the book or enjoy it, and that defeats the whole purpose of making a version just for them.
Another problem is that my Spanish is limited to one semester in 6th grade, and I don’t think that would take me very far.
To solve both problems I’ve partnered with two Dragon Ball fans who are not only extremely dedicated to the series, but also native speakers of each form of Spanish!
The Spain (España) Translation
The first translation in Spanish (España) will be done by Antonio, a native Spaniard who has been speaking English since childhood and is now earning his degree in English Philology in Germany.
We were connected when Javier Secano (the artist who did the cover art for the book) posted an article on the Bola de Dragon website, one of the largest Spanish DBZ forums. The webmaster Diego emailed me about promoting the book, and I mentioned I was interested in doing a translation to appeal to that audience. Diego recommended Antonio for the job because he was the most dedicated bi-lingual member of the forum.
But here’s the crazy part. It turns out Javier and Antonio are friends in Spain… and are both getting their degrees in English at University!
After this 2 page trial translation received good feedback I told Antonio he was hired, and he was really psyched, saying:
“I’m so excited about this job, I’m speechless! Dragon Ball is part of my life and this is really important to me. This project is an incredible opportunity as well as a great responsibility. I’ll do my best because Dragon Ball deserves the best.”
Aside from his language skills, Antonio grew up with Dragon Ball and is a huge fan. Just look at his bedroom in Spain!
That’s Antonio in the middle. Talk about being a super fan, right?
[And notice my book in the middle left square. So cool!]
He’s also the Spanish translator for Dragon Ball Absalon, a new fan made animated series.
On top of that he just launched his own Dragon Ball site called Dragon Ball Dream.
With Antonio on board I can be confident the Spanish speaking fans will have the best translation possible!
Now what about the rest of the Spanish speaking audience?
The Mexican and Latin Spanish Translation
To produce the ultimate localized version for the Mexican and Latin fan base I had to find a specialist familiar with those Dragon Ball dubs.
To do that I posted in r/DBZ on Reddit, asking for help and to review Antonio’s sample translation from above.
Adrián answered the call from the other side of the world in Argentina. Adrián is another huge Dragon Ball fan, grew up watching the Mexican dub, is familiar with all of the localization’s (for example: Chi-Chi = Milk), and he’s fluent in both English and Latin Spanish.
After a few emails I found out that he runs one of the largest Facebook pages dedicated to Goku and Dragon Ball, with over 256 thousand Likes. He lives and breathes DBZ.
That sealed the deal and now Adrián’s on the job!
It’s not easy to find talented translators who also understand Dragon Ball AND care enough about it to dedicate themselves to making it the best. I’m really happy I found Antonio and Adrián.
In terms of progress we’re currently working through the key terminology of both translations and deciding on the title. Then we’ll go through the book chapter by chapter.
Since two translations are being done concurrently in the same language it means they’ll probably come out at about the same time. I can’t give estimates at this point, so I’ll just say… soon!
Or rather… pronto!
Stay tuned for more news about the translation, and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.