Subtitles/Translation Discussion
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Posted 2/22/09
At the wise suggestion of Madmortigen (and probably others) I'm starting a thread so people can discuss their...er...differences of opinion on the translation of Naruto. This has been on the Wall for some time, but the posts tend to be so long that they overflow the 250 characters, leading to giant horrible wall clogs that really get in the way. The wall should really be for short little comments about the show. Not that I'm one to talk.

Anyhoo, in the interest of avoiding a bloody quagmire of carnage and tears, I was thinking there should probably be some guidelines, perhaps including the following:
-Logical fallacies. Learn what they are. Avoid them. This site is very helpful on the subject: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
-People on the internet are people too. Would you say that to the guy's face? Would you still say it to his face if, say, your grandmother or a potential employer was watching? No? Reword it or don't post it.
-Don't make the same exact argument over and over.
-No double posts.
-Try to spell.
-If you need to quote someone, only quote the relevant bit. We don't need a recap of the entire thread with every post.
-Use specific examples so everyone knows exactly what you're talking about.

Roughly two weeks ago, I argued on the wall with H911Reiver for some three hours about the quality (or lack thereof) of the CR subs. I think there were good points made on both sides and I really want to see a more organized and coherent debate on the subject.

Good luck and please please please don't kill each other.
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Mahzes 
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Posted 2/22/09
You know, after watching through the newest Naruto Unleashed DVD box set, I'm going to retract my statements -somewhat-.

Not to say I'm agreeing with the people who say they're awful, but still. The newest DVD set (eps 118-130) does indeed have some -very- awkwardly direct or just plain awkwardly-worded translations, HOWEVER I don't think that any of the subs on Crunchyroll have been quite that awkward just yet.

With the example H911Reiver gave on the wall, yeah, I'll agree that it could have been worded better. But at the same time, I don't really think it's fair to call it 'awful', either; you can still understand perfectly well what the line is supposed to mean. Granted, it could be in plainer English but it's still understandable.

In the new DVDs, though, even I was hard-pushed to say they were 'fine'. Having Itachi's line "Do you hate me?" subbed as "Do you think ill of me?" is taking things a bit far, as well as a few other lines that were worded especially awkwardly . But like I said, I don't think there have been any instances on CR that have been quite -that- awkwardly-worded.

So yeah, I suppose I'm meeting half-way at the moment, if you will; I'll admit that the subtitles could be presented in plainer English, but at the same time as they are now is still perfectly understandable and doesn't really spoil my enjoyment of the series. But that's just me, I suppose that fact might spoil it for some people.

I probably did come off as a bit arrogant in my wall posts, so sorry for that. The sheer awkwardness of some of the recent DVD translations made me realise that those complaining about the subs actually do sort of have a point, although I still don't believe that CR has had anything that could really be classed as 'terrible' or 'awful', even if there is some room for improvement.


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Posted 2/22/09
The main point of the previous "discussions" covered Five main issues:
1. 'Poorly' (Inadequate, inaccurate & distorting) done translation of words, phrases and mainly idioms which have valid & clear English equivalents. A properly done translation helps people learn other languages by accepting and understanding their idiosyncrasy, customs, figures of speech, etc. which is the way we all learned the language we speak now. Professional translators understand the cultural backgrounds of the languages they speak and write, thus are able to properly convey the ideas from one into the other. Direct translation is avoided like the plague and is considered by them as lower than amateur work.

2. The "fee" required for the 'privilege' of 'seeing it first' (ála Pay Per View) without the actual benefits of such an scheme: Clear, uninterrupted, audio/ video feed & quality translation services/subtitling. It is self-deprecatory for TVTokyo to distribute low quality subtitles & will only enforce people to look elsewhere for better, if illegal/unofficial ones.

3. The clear superiority of fan (many of which are native Japan citizens with proper knowledge and command of English) made subtitles' quality, proper wordage for the different characters' personas, cultural references' explanations, etc. as opposed to its parent company's paid for services.

4. Arbitrary decision on what to add/remove from the dialogs the character's hold in the hopes of "Localization" as opposed to offering early explanations to broaden the audiences culture, accept and even look forward to know what's similar between their culture and our own instead of what's different and ultimately pave the way for more official product sales.

5. Being "satisfied" with the current quality and not doing anything about it sends the wrong message to TVTokyo. Message which has to be: "Improve your subtitles' quality if you want to end with the illegal/unofficial offerings". TVTokyo has enough money to either hire properly trained translators or subcontract a third party. TVTokyo could easily hire Disney Character Voices Intl. for the English dubs, thus providing proper dubbing quality.

Some phrases, keywords or even dialogs have clear and direct Japanese to English translations (as do many other languages), but the real quality is shown when a directly untranslatable idea is clearly conveyed into the other language by the use of cultural knowledge, lexis, ingenuity and even idiom-equivalent usage which is what professional and high-quality translators do. There's always room for improvement, but subtitles are not a manufactured product, nor do they require new technology or techniques to be delivered... Just adequately prepared professional humans to do the job.
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Posted 2/23/09
I would like to add another thing which is the fact that they don't translate anything that is written on the screen. Most people who can't speak Japanese also can't read Japanese
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22 / M / Clovis,California
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Posted 2/23/09
This goes out to all who complain about the CR streams.Whether it be poor quality,translations,or some pointless reason you chose to hate on them. I say, grow up, be happy that you are able to watch it.Besides All of the newest streams have been prefect quality with no problems. Who cares if the translation leaves out things, (such as them not putting chan, kun, sama, etc. on the translation,) honestly is that a big deal?!? Come on...... though I agree with H911 Reiver in the fact, that maybe they could give just even a brief translation of what some of the written things say, and also the opening and ending songs should be translated. Now i don't care if it is flashy or not as long as im able to understand the song im good.
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32 / F / United States
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Posted 2/23/09
I have to say that I have not had a problem with the subs on crunchy. I can't speak for the DVDs... my experience with any Naruto DVD was a... less than legal set a college buddy had before the series was really airing in the US, and those were terrible, and I shall speak no more of them.

As for the subs on crunchy, aside from some stylistic differences (using Mr. instead of -san, etc) I thought everything flowed nicely. They are less dialectic than DB was, that's for certain, but I'm used to reading proper English in books all the time, so I don't have a problem with proper English in subtitles. If I read over something that was a grammatical error, I guess that's my own fault. Usually I'm watching at like 4am, so you'll have to forgive me.

I guess as long as I understand what is being conveyed, I'm not that picky. Though, I would like to see the opening and endings translated. I miss being able to sing along, and don't feel like memorizing the lyrics. >>;
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Posted 2/25/09
Wow, some people have really low standards :/

and hello everybody, I've been gone a few days, things are hectic, but I'm going to keep disagreeing with everyone who thinks these are not bad
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M / Your guess is as...
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Posted 2/28/09
My solution to this whole bad quality thing is: Maybe a petition or something similar could be made to voice your opinions to CR/Shinji to get the quality better, the more people who agree with this or sign up to it, the more likely that it is CR/Shinji will listen- think about it.
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Posted 3/1/09
The quality of the uploads is the one of the 2 main perks for upgrading to an anime membership, and boy is it worth it. If quality means that much to you, pay for the membership, it's worth it.
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25 / F / New Zealand
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Posted 4/12/09
i notice as i'm now watchng the earlier shippuden eps again that the subs r different. the main 1 i have an issue with is that sai says 'pussy' and 'dick' and they made it 'equipment' i mean hello lil kids cn watch the dubbd version lets hve it like its meant 2 b. miss dattebayo
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3/ M/ Local church
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Posted 4/28/10
I think crunchyroll should add subtitles for the omakes too
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M / In An Cave With D...
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Posted 4/28/10

stuff55 wrote:

My solution to this whole bad quality thing is: Maybe a petition or something similar could be made to voice your opinions to CR/Shinji to get the quality better, the more people who agree with this or sign up to it, the more likely that it is CR/Shinji will listen- think about it.


You got that right. I dont see why people bitch, they could help Crunchy by doing a vote or something like that. They can only do so much for us. and We are like spoil brats waiting for parents to give us wat we need, if not, we bitch.

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3/ M/ Local church
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Posted 5/7/10

stuff55 wrote:

My solution to this whole bad quality thing is: Maybe a petition or something similar could be made to voice your opinions to CR/Shinji to get the quality better, the more people who agree with this or sign up to it, the more likely that it is CR/Shinji will listen- think about it.


Sensible. But this is all talk, I haven't seen some action since this has been posted. I also noticed that the font has changed since ep. 158 (it is thinner now and the black border is thinner too.) Someone should start this now, like a poll or something. (too bad i can't make one)
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Posted 5/22/13
Spring forum cleaning! To keep the forums neat and tidy we only keep 6 months worth of threads since its May 22, 2013 [5/22/13] we will keep only keep posts open from December 22, 2012 [12/22/12]. Please feel free to recreate any thread closed, as long as someone else didn't open another similar one before you.
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