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Can I get help settling a translation dispute?


23 May 2023
Unless it's rude to ask, I would like responses mainly from Japanese native speakers, please.
There is this scan from the guidebook for the Dragon Ball Z anime with a translation that is generally debated. The scan describes the Dragon Ball afterlife, which is a higher plane of existence.


The full relevant text is ["天よりも高く、人間界からは窺い知ることが できない次元を超越した天の国神々はこの地から世界のすべてを見おろしている"]. While there are many translations explaining the gist of this excerpt, we need to know what [次元を超越] means in this context, as it's vaguely translated as "dimensionally transcendental" or "transcending dimensions." Please choose which of these 3 options most accurately describes the meaning.

[次元を超越]: The word "transcendental" often refers to metaphysics and spirituality. That is to say, apart from the word's usual definitions that indicate some kind of superiority, transcendental can also be a synonym for spiritual. [次元を超越] has nothing to do with superiority of any kind and the kanji for "transcendental" only describes how the afterlife is a spiritual world.

[次元を超越]: As a higher plane of existence, the afterlife is above the other realms in the universe. The word "dimension (at least in English)" can also describe parallel worlds as opposed to axes and aspects of time and space. [次元を超越] only means the afterlife is physically above the other realms and says nothing about some kind of spatial qualitative superiority.

[次元を超越]: The afterlife is a super-dimensional space (like a 4-dimensional space, 5-dimensional space, 6-dimensional space, etc.). It is a plane of existence that is higher dimensional, in the sense that it transcends the spatial and [possibly] temporal boundaries of the space below it. [次元を超越] means the afterlife is a transdimensional plane of existence.

Out of these 3 interpretations, which one most likely and accurately describes the meaning of [次元を超越]?
I'm not a native speaker but I think it has to do with planes of existence in the esoteric sense as explained in this link. Not transdimensional in a mathematical or physical sense.

Anyway it clearly says it's a 次元 that can't be fathomed from the human realm. As a human I'm afraid you won't be able to understand it beyond the vague explanation they give.
Dragonball, after all, was written as a kid's comic in the Shonen Jump magazine. The primary audience was children...maybe up to college age as a light read. It's not really meant to be very deep.
"Transcending dimensions that are themselves already unfathomable from the human plane of existence" is just a lazy way to create a setting where you can suspend disbelief and accept that whatever happens. Any sort of explanation you arrive at after the fact is just trying to shoehorn this fiction into a more academic framework.

In other words, don't try to find tengoku by explaining it in metaphysical terms, it's just a kid's show.
Patience, patience...

In a hundred years or few, there'll be the equivalent of the gospels, and a thousand years after that, wars will have been fought due to it.
Things overheard in 2250:
  • Goku didn't die and come back for you to disrespect your parents!
  • By Master Roshi's beard!
  • Eat your peas or Frieza is going to come for you!
  • Kamehamehaaaaaaa (as a battle cry)
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