Fan-subs or fan-dubs of anime always make me laugh, and wonder how exactly certain phrases end up in the final product.
Not being fluent in Japanese, I, to this day have no idea what ‘grasp the camel-clutch of fate’ ought to have been translated as, but here is a guess at the process that brought the phrase to my computer.
(Mislaid in translation)
“Supreme Lord Commader! The enemy of the robot nation is massing his… uh…his…”
“Linda, we’re recording this y’know.”
“Sorry Cal. Ahem. Supreme Lord Commander! The enemy of the robot nation is massing his… his… Cal look, are you really sure this is supposed to read ‘carrot’?”
Cal sighed and muted the microphone, pausing the harshly hued animation on his computer-screen. “Linda, this is a fan-dub, not rocket science. We have to get this episode posted tonight or we’ll start losing subscribers.”
Linda flapped the script in front of her and raised her eyebrow. “But Cal, ‘carrot’? Seriously? It just doesn’t make sense.”
Cal drummed his fingers on the arm of the second-hand wheelie chair that he thought of as his ‘Producer’s Seat’.”Linda, Linda, Linda, it’s AH.NI.MAY, it’s not supposed to make sense. Besides, Kuan translated it for me after design class yesterday, and his dad’s half asian, so it’s fine. Besides, you know how weird stuff from Japan is.”
“Not ‘carrot’ weird Cal.” She gestured to the screen, “They don’t even look like carrots.”
“And Nappa from DBZ didn’t look like a cabbage, what’s your point?”
Linda shook her head, “I’m just saying Cal… I don’t think.”
Cal cut her off, “Linda, sweetheart, I don’t pay you to think, I pay you to read lines that I match up to lip flaps.”
She glared at him, “You don’t pay me at all, you ass, I’m only doing this because I’m dating your sister and she asked me to!”
“Sorry sorry sorry.” Cal held up his hands by way of apology, asking timidly, “Can we carry on now?”
“Okay Cal, sure, but I still don’t like it. Ahem. Supreme Lord Commander! The enemy of the robot nation is massing his armies of carrots! We must grasp the camel-clutch of fate before we lose our chance!”