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Subtitling, Voice Dubbing, They Are All The Same For Localizing
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Posted 1/9/09
Yes, but I don't like dubs that are not original. I still prefer reading while watching.
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24 / F / canada
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Posted 1/9/09
Well dubbing the Anime's in English is certainly good for the company's popularity..they'll gain more Anime fans outside their home country. I bet that also mean that when they dub something, we have to pay for it..what I'm saying is, maybe that would mean something like pay per view..they dubbed it, we pay them. But can they give us a guarantee that it'll be a good quality? what about the dubbers accents and the way they express words? i mean, Japanese Seiyu are better in that field. I think they can express words in a cute, scary, and all sorts of different expressions better than other dubbers can do. Also, I agree with Arcuied, what about the Japanese honorifics? How would they call a senior? or even just an older brother? isn't it better to hear the Onii-sama than Older brother or calling him by name and using English accent? Again, it's just what I think. I certainly do no intend to offend someone in here, I'm just saying my comments about this issue. Anyways, it's still better for me to use the original audio and read subtitles rather than hear some amateur dubbing group confusing me of what the real emotions of the characters are. However, for other people who just started watching anime, of course it will be great not to read subtitles while watching. It would surely slow them down and I bet they'll hit the pause button and go back a few seconds if they miss anything they weren't able to read, it would spoil a great anime. just like how i was before :)

If only we can watch something original and subbed for free right after the episode was released..
Posted 1/9/09 , edited 1/10/09

Arcuied wrote:

I think it's rather that people consider dubbing=Americanizing, which sometimes it is (e.g. Initial D), which is also one of the reasons fans prefer fansubbing over official subs, this could also translate as "licensed manga vs. scanlated manga".

Let's face it, some companies do suck and try to make changes that they believe are for the better but instead, end up ruining the anime (e.g. Dragon Ball in it's first years), yet others do try to keep the original dialogues as much as they can. Unfortunately, they also need to cater to newcomers to anime, and that can be a bit difficult when trying to translate words or terms that are rather untranslatable or it would change the whole context (e.g. -senpai, -sama, hitsuzen), or cultural quirks (e.g. calling classmates by their last names but your girlfriend or friends by their name).

But I found that the English dubbing on some anime series were done so well with the scripts, the voice acting and directing, that it was even better than the original Japanese voice acting. Godannar, Dai Guard, G-Gundam, actually a lot of super robot genre anime series with over-the-top acting, all have superb English voice dubbing.

Now that I think about it, the English dubbing in anime is trying to compete with the Japanese voice acting in terms of script writings, acting and directing. And as an anime DVD collector, I'm getting twice as many acting contents with my North American licensed DVD that featured both spoken languages. Now talk about being spoiled.
Posted 1/10/09

checsalvador wrote:

Well dubbing the Anime's in English is certainly good for the company's popularity..they'll gain more Anime fans outside their home country. I bet that also mean that when they dub something, we have to pay for it..what I'm saying is, maybe that would mean something like pay per view..they dubbed it, we pay them. But can they give us a guarantee that it'll be a good quality? what about the dubbers accents and the way they express words? i mean, Japanese Seiyu are better in that field. I think they can express words in a cute, scary, and all sorts of different expressions better than other dubbers can do. Also, I agree with Arcuied, what about the Japanese honorifics? How would they call a senior? or even just an older brother? isn't it better to hear the Onii-sama than Older brother or calling him by name and using English accent? Again, it's just what I think. I certainly do no intend to offend someone in here, I'm just saying my comments about this issue. Anyways, it's still better for me to use the original audio and read subtitles rather than hear some amateur dubbing group confusing me of what the real emotions of the characters are. However, for other people who just started watching anime, of course it will be great not to read subtitles while watching. It would surely slow them down and I bet they'll hit the pause button and go back a few seconds if they miss anything they weren't able to read, it would spoil a great anime. just like how i was before :)

If only we can watch something original and subbed for free right after the episode was released.. :P

Well it all depends on how seasoned the individual audiences were when they're watching the anime series. But both you and I can be sure that for those with zero experience on anime subculture, they would prefer a viewing preference that's closest to their local. And as long as anime still remain as but a subculture, a more accommodating English voice dubbing is need, IMO.
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39 / Weird World
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Posted 1/10/09 , edited 1/10/09
Thx for the info.... I still like subs better though.
Posted 1/10/09 , edited 1/10/09

Ddkz wrote:

Thx for the info.... I still like subs better though.

As long as it serves your purpose to enjoy anime in your local, it's all good localization. Both subtitling and voice dubbing were all meant to accommodate foreign materials to their local audiences, so they were never in competition against each others.
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F / school. stuck here!
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Posted 1/10/09
well, so actually, it all depends on the watcher's tastes.
i prefer subbing more then dubbing because i love the language, besides, japanese has a few terms that are kinda hard to translate and weird too, if it was... well, to me, its like that.
especially if its:
"nyako-sensei" = "cat teacher"
:sweatingbullets:
Posted 1/10/09
I just hate the ultra-fake voices, therefore im pro-sub anti-dub =P since when they speak japanese and i dont understand if its crappy voice acting or not, it doesn't bother me as much and im used to reading while watching xP happens after watching subbed anime for 3 years... you just read and watch at same time..
Posted 1/10/09

ichido_naru wrote:

well, so actually, it all depends on the watcher's tastes.
i prefer subbing more then dubbing because i love the language, besides, japanese has a few terms that are kinda hard to translate and weird too, if it was... well, to me, its like that.
especially if its:
"nyako-sensei" = "cat teacher"
:sweatingbullets:

Exactly, for I think that subtitling is also doing a good job at helping its audiences to understand the Japanese language in its literal meanings. It's simply that subtitling and voice dubbing in anime, are each serving a set of audiences with different preferences, and both sets of audiences themselves still managed to appreciate anime because of it.
Posted 1/10/09

-Leecher- wrote:

I just hate the ultra-fake voices, therefore im pro-sub anti-dub =P since when they speak japanese and i dont understand if its crappy voice acting or not, it doesn't bother me as much and im used to reading while watching xP happens after watching subbed anime for 3 years... you just read and watch at same time..

But both subtitling and voice dubbing are trying to help localizing anime for audiences who don't speak Japanese, and they all managed to capture more fans by working towards the same goal. There's really no need to hate one or the other, since it's just simply up to the audiences' preferences.
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25 / M / The place where o...
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Posted 1/10/09
meh
still prefer sub and jap audio over dub
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Posted 1/10/09
i prefer fan subs,
i can not stand dubbing though, it feels like some (most) of the meaning and emotion get lost,
also, some of the things they say are absolutely retarded but since it is in a foreign language it can get by easier. like some of the movies i got, i watch subbed first and then dubbed, boy does dubbing make me cringe.
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40 / M / Massachusetts
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Posted 1/10/09 , edited 1/10/09
I actually was on a panel at Anime L.A. last weekend that was all about translations called "Translators or Traitors?" about the translations done for anime... there were two anime experts (Alec Orrock and Sid Narged - me) and two Japanese speakers/culture experts (Mihoko Tarada Sensei and Amelia Horswill) to go through some of the different things that have to do with translating; from cultural references, americanizing, paraphrasing, honorifics (sama, san, chan, kun, han, etc.) and just complete changes in story.

For starters, Imagine releasing a kid's title like Pokemon in subtitles. Many kids who are of the target age for Pokemon cannot read fast enough, or have the focus to follow the story through subtitles. This would seriously effect the business aspect of releasing a product to your target audience. Titles for children are almost always localized through dubs for this reason.

Another dub issue... I have talked with quite a few voice actors and actresses about the industry as well as ADR director's and scriptwriters... and they all talk about matching the mouth movements or "Flaps." we usually don't even think about how much we expect to see the mouth move in time with someone talking... until it's off time. A straight translation is not possible in this case, as the translation would then have the wrong number of syllables, and wouldn't line up. Also trying to match mouth movements is unnatural, and sometimes leads to the "William Shatner" syndrome of awkward pauses and sentance pacing.

Translating from Japanese into English for Subs or Dubs has it's challenges anyway. Some words in Japanese are gender specific, and their misuse is difficult to translate. The use of "Boku" by a girl is one of those concepts that doesn't translate well into English. In subtitled versions, sometimes you will get an explaination of the fact that "Boku" is a personal pronoun used by boys... and when a female says it, it's wierd... or tomboyish...or cute. Like if a boy is crossdressing in anime and says "Boku" it could give him away... the concept that he should be saying "Atashi" or something else while dressed as a girl is lost in translation... unless explained... and that's difficult to comprehend if you don't understant the language and culture.

It would be like if the English language had a sparate "I" or "ME" for males and females... the concept is difficult to portray in a dub, because that concept doesn't exist in our language.

Jokes are sometimes difficult to translate exactly as well - especially verbal slips. If you change one syllable of a word it could have a completely different meaning... and that may not translate easily in a Dub... in a sub, that slipup can be explained (Usually noted at the top of the screen in Italics)

Cultural references and folklore may not make any sense... like in Japan if you sneeze - it means someone's talking about you... where in English lore it is usually if your ears are ringing. Other things like breaking dishes being bad luck, and that sort of thing just aren't easily understood by those who have never been exposed to them.

Sometimes, there are situations where entire stories and plotlines get modified for different reasons... (Sailor Moon) sometimes the reasons are to make an anime acceptable for a particular market or age group... maybe editing it and removing content... other times the stories can be changed slightly to make them reference another series to tie them together... (Original Robotech series.) This can sometimes be subtle or extreme... but is usually frowned upon in todays anime community.

Most people say they want the translation as close as possible to the original, whether it be sub or dub. And I think the main point is to get the plot, intent, emotions, and characteristics of the stories portrayed faithfully... even if a certain amount of paraphrasing is needed for Dubs, or explaination made in Subs... The story is the important part... and remember this is entertainment... it needs to be entertaining.

These are just a few of the points that were brought up in the panel last weekend, and I felt this would ba good venue to "paraphrase" it for the anime fans on Crunchy Roll, for those who couldn't make it to Los Angeles for the Panel.
(I forgive you - just don't let it happen again.)
:)

Sid Narged
Author - "Anything I ever really needed to know I learned from Anime"
Posted 1/10/09

sidnarged wrote:

I actually was on a panel at Anime L.A. last weekend that was all about translations called "Translators or Traitors?" about the translations done for anime... there were two anime experts (Alec Orrock and Sid Narged - me) and two Japanese speakers/culture experts (Mihoko Tarada Sensei and Amelia Horswill) to go through some of the different things that have to do with translating; from cultural references, americanizing, paraphrasing, honorifics (sama, san, chan, kun, han, etc.) and just complete changes in story.

For starters, Imagine releasing a kid's title like Pokemon in subtitles. Many kids who are of the target age for Pokemon cannot read fast enough, or have the focus to follow the story through subtitles. This would seriously effect the business aspect of releasing a product to your target audience. Titles for children are almost always localized through dubs for this reason.

Another dub issue... I have talked with quite a few voice actors and actresses about the industry as well as ADR director's and scriptwriters... and they all talk about matching the mouth movements or "Flaps." we usually don't even think about how much we expect to see the mouth move in time with someone talking... until it's off time. A straight translation is not possible in this case, as the translation would then have the wrong number of syllables, and wouldn't line up. Also trying to match mouth movements is unnatural, and sometimes leads to the "William Shatner" syndrome of awkward pauses and sentance pacing.

Translating from Japanese into English for Subs or Dubs has it's challenges anyway. Some words in Japanese are gender specific, and their misuse is difficult to translate. The use of "Boku" by a girl is one of those concepts that doesn't translate well into English. In subtitled versions, sometimes you will get an explaination of the fact that "Boku" is a personal pronoun used by boys... and when a female says it, it's wierd... or tomboyish...or cute. Like if a boy is crossdressing in anime and says "Boku" it could give him away... the concept that he should be saying "Atashi" or something else while dressed as a girl is lost in translation... unless explained... and that's difficult to comprehend if you don't understant the language and culture.

It would be like if the English language had a sparate "I" or "ME" for males and females... the concept is difficult to portray in a dub, because that concept doesn't exist in our language.

Jokes are sometimes difficult to translate exactly as well - especially verbal slips. If you change one syllable of a word it could have a completely different meaning... and that may not translate easily in a Dub... in a sub, that slipup can be explained (Usually noted at the top of the screen in Italics)

Cultural references and folklore may not make any sense... like in Japan if you sneeze - it means someone's talking about you... where in English lore it is usually if your ears are ringing. Other things like breaking dishes being bad luck, and that sort of thing just aren't easily understood by those who have never been exposed to them.

Sometimes, there are situations where entire stories and plotlines get modified for different reasons... (Sailor Moon) sometimes the reasons are to make an anime acceptable for a particular market or age group... maybe editing it and removing content... other times the stories can be changed slightly to make them reference another series to tie them together... (Original Robotech series.) This can sometimes be subtle or extreme... but is usually frowned upon in todays anime community.

Most people say they want the translation as close as possible to the original, whether it be sub or dub. And I think the main point is to get the plot, intent, emotions, and characteristics of the stories portrayed faithfully... even if a certain amount of paraphrasing is needed for Dubs, or explaination made in Subs... The story is the important part... and remember this is entertainment... it needs to be entertaining.

These are just a few of the points that were brought up in the panel last weekend, and I felt this would ba good venue to "paraphrase" it for the anime fans on Crunchy Roll, for those who couldn't make it to Los Angeles for the Panel.
(I forgive you - just don't let it happen again.)
:)

Sid Narged
Author - "Anything I ever really needed to know I learned from Anime"

I believe that as anime fans who care greatly about our anime subculture, we are morally obligated to bring justice to our anime community by telling the truth. That is the purpose for our group's publications on the CR Anime Forum. And I thank you once again for your generous contribution to this cause with your post.

And I agree that as long as the story itself was delivered, by both the sub and dub, to their respective local audiences faithfully and truthfully, is the bottom line for all localization on licensed anime that's aimed to entertain a wide range of fans alike. And to be honest, the only friendly competition that I would love to see, is the voice acting quality between the original Japanese voice acting production and the English voice dubbing in terms of scripts, voice acting performances and directing skills. No to mention that voice dubbing has the disadvantages of lip sync and cultural barriers.
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Posted 1/10/09

DomFortress wrote:


Arcuied wrote:

I think it's rather that people consider dubbing=Americanizing, which sometimes it is (e.g. Initial D), which is also one of the reasons fans prefer fansubbing over official subs, this could also translate as "licensed manga vs. scanlated manga".

Let's face it, some companies do suck and try to make changes that they believe are for the better but instead, end up ruining the anime (e.g. Dragon Ball in it's first years), yet others do try to keep the original dialogues as much as they can. Unfortunately, they also need to cater to newcomers to anime, and that can be a bit difficult when trying to translate words or terms that are rather untranslatable or it would change the whole context (e.g. -senpai, -sama, hitsuzen), or cultural quirks (e.g. calling classmates by their last names but your girlfriend or friends by their name).

But I found that the English dubbing on some anime series were done so well with the scripts, the voice acting and directing, that it was even better than the original Japanese voice acting. Godannar, Dai Guard, G-Gundam, actually a lot of super robot genre anime series with over-the-top acting, all have superb English voice dubbing.

Now that I think about it, the English dubbing in anime is trying to compete with the Japanese voice acting in terms of script writings, acting and directing. And as an anime DVD collector, I'm getting twice as many acting contents with my North American licensed DVD that featured both spoken languages. Now talk about being spoiled.


I agree that some dubs do end up being better than the original. A few years ago, Mexican dub was considered the best in the world, I'm not kidding, and not just including Japanese anime, American cartoons and movies as well.

I don't think this has been mentioned before, but in Japan, dub acting is a well respected career, whereas in other parts of the world it could be considered a side-job or hobby. That might be one of the reasons the original dub is considered superior, since it's taken more seriously unlike in America. That's changing now though.

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