TRANSLATION AND DEFINATION OF NAMES
Several names change for the English version of Dragonball. Most notably, Son-Goku becomes simply Goku for the series. There is no real reason given for this name change.
A character from the original Dragonball series, Lunch, has her name changed to Launch. Again there is no official reason given for the name change. It is believed by several fan-based web-sites to be changed because the name Lunch implies the character is nothing more than a sex object (Psaros-a, 2002).
The most unusual of the name changes is a character from Dragonball Z. Originally a character was created to be a humorous foil to Goku and company. A human character who is perceived by the general populous of the series to be very strong but, when compared to Goku, simply isn't. His name in Japan is Mr. Satan (Psaros-a, 2002).
There are no real religious aspects of the character. The name is not much different than that of Mark Calloway being called The Undertaker in the World Wrestling Federation. The name implies great power and may be considered awe inspiring, but that is all (wwfundertaker.com, 2002).
An interesting twist to the naming of characters is the grouping. Every little group of characters in the series is named after related items. For example: Mr. Satan has a daughter Videl, an anagram of devil, and a granddaughter Pan, a character from Greek mythology whose image is generally used when portraying the religious Satan (Toryama-f, 1994).
Goku's human friends are named after foods. For example, Tienshinhan means fried rice and Krillin means chestnut (theotaku, 2002).
The Sayian characters are named after vegetables. Kakarott, Goku's birth name, means carrot. Vegita means vegetable; Nappa means cabbage and Radditz means radish (theotaku, 2002).
Bulma and her family are named after undergarments. Bulma is a Japanese slang word for bloomers, female gym shorts. Her father, Dr. Briefs, and children, Trunks and Bra don't really need translation (theotaku, 2002).
In the original Japanese, the names have a double meaning through with humor can be found. The translation of the names does not have the same potential for humor.