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Crunchyroll drops honorifics in simulcasts
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26 / M
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
Lately Crunchyroll has been getting more and more shows to simulcast which is a good thing in itself. They started off getting only a few shows and now are heading close to the 100% mark of all anime streamed but throughout this entire process a few things were lost in translation.

If you have been watching anything from this season you may have noticed by now that all of the honorifics have been taken out from the script. For those who do not know, honorifics are Japanese words such as chan, kun, san, sama, and dono. I am not 100% sure if this includes words such as senpai and sensei if they are still there then it is only a matter of time really. Naturally this also includes words such as onee-san and onii-chan just to name a few.

The reason for this is because the company that does most shows for Crunchyroll, MxMedia, has randomly decided to drop them this season and for all seasons in the future. They do everything except one or two shows on Crunchyroll so its only a matter of time before they end up doing every show and fansubbing slowly dieing this means you will never get your honorifics back. For those of you who enjoy having honorifics will forever be without them. Those other two shows that mxmedia is not doing should have all of the honorifics intact.

Honorifics in general give us a closer look at the relationship between the characters. Truthfully all of these terms can be translated into English without some loss of meaning and what is even worse is that many jokes will not make sense in English because they rely so heavily on the Japanese honorific system. Scripts are getting closer and closer to American DVD translation quality.

I'm wondering what everyone's take on this is since it probably will effect our anime watching for years to come. This is quite important to some people.

I'm quite concerned on why they did this without telling people. I think people should have a say on specific topic such as this.
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Posted 10/20/10
The honorifics are such an integral and important part of Japanese culture that one cannot properly translate without taking them into account. As a westerner, I know I will miss much of the cultural references and experience with out them. I enjoy anime, in great part, because it is different from western, especially American, productions. Rather than devaluing the art form by dumbing it down for mass appeal, its differences should be honored, emphasized, and celebrated.
Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
As a part of adaptation, this makes sense. It gets tiring seeing all the -sans and -samas.
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29 / M / Colorado, USA
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
I agree that honorifics are a very important component of the Japanese language and is not something that sounds good when translated (Lady..., Honorable..., Great...). A character speaking without honorifics at all is also a significant thing.

I personally am not bothered much by such a change because I have learned plenty of japanese to compensate for differences subtitles bring, and my ears can easily pick up the honorifics used. I could also easily hear honorifics before I studied Japanese. But I don't expect every listener can be so attentive, so I do still think such a change is detrimental.

I take pride in anime's progressive uniting of cultures, but to do that one must be exposed to altered culture elements. I would rather see them "progressively" leaving in more and more japanese, specifically common elements so that people may learn another culture well. Leaving in oft undestood words is easy, such as sakura, shinigami, ofuro, hanabi, etc.
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
bring honorifics back!!!!! It shows us how close/far the relationship between the two characters areee...
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36 / M
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
Umm.. The way I read it, they aren't actually taking anything away. They just aren't going to bother writing it out in the subs. I don't see what the issue is there. You'll still hear it, and they aren't all that complicated.
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
I'm with tantallous on this. I hear all all the Chan's, Dono's, Sama's, etc just fine and easily associate it with the characters. I have no need to have to read it too. That being said, I have no problem with them including them in the subtitles too, but it's really no issue for me.
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
I have no problem with this, to me its not really necessary to read it as long as you hear it.
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25 / M / Here
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
as long as I can hear them saying it I have no problem not reading them.
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10

Northerner wrote:

As a part of adaptation, this makes sense. It gets tiring seeing all the -sans and -samas.


Speaking for myself, I loathe adaptation. I very, very strongly prefer translation with explanation where needed (see most episodes of Gintama, a show so steeped in Japanese pop culture explanations are mandatory). Honorifics themselves aren't a massive concern to me, but if dropping them signifies a shift toward less accuracy in favor of more "approachability," I'll be very disappointed. I watch anime and read manga in large part because they're NOT from the same origin as the culture I know. Attempts at skewing them closer to what I see every day are wholly unwelcome.
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23 / M / In Hell
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
its a good thing because they are not real words, why complain i am sick of little kids these days abusing these words. making fuss over this is kind of stupid. if you dont like it go to a fansub they illegal but at least they good
Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10

locklear93 wrote:


Northerner wrote:

As a part of adaptation, this makes sense. It gets tiring seeing all the -sans and -samas.


Speaking for myself, I loathe adaptation. I very, very strongly prefer translation with explanation where needed (see most episodes of Gintama, a show so steeped in Japanese pop culture explanations are mandatory). Honorifics themselves aren't a massive concern to me, but if dropping them signifies a shift toward less accuracy in favor of more "approachability," I'll be very disappointed. I watch anime and read manga in large part because they're NOT from the same origin as the culture I know. Attempts at skewing them closer to what I see every day are wholly unwelcome.


Yet the better informed of us can overlook this slight issue by listening to the original audio track and easily picking out any of the honorifics we wouldn't want taken from the subtitles. I feel that translations of signs, and other things, should always be present for those who can't read Japanese characters. It used to be that the names of characters where changed in order to make anime more accessible to the west, yet they decided to be less bigoted and retain the identities of said characters. For instance; a character with the name Akira doesn't need to be called Bob. So much meaning is lost if that happens.
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32 / M / Amelia
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
In a sense they are real words, they have a meaning and a purpose. Tho like others I know a decent amount of the language to get me by. I can hear enough if they are saying chan,kun,sama or w/e else they throw my way. Now if the actually anime industry where to drop it all together then I'd be disappointed. Just as if they where to westernize the name basis and had characters start calling each other by first name instead of by last. Just small details that makes the anime more enjoyable. Those who do not understand why this has a meaning prolly only understands about half of the shows they actually watch.
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
but... i dont need to read kun/chan/sama/san etc. on screen to not HEAR the characters saying them, so it wont make a difference, even if u dont know japanese, which i dont either
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M / Atlanta
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Posted 10/20/10 , edited 10/20/10
hmm, well i have noticed it recently and it really doesn't matter how they translate it. as long as what the characters are saying are correct, and hopefully the script would make sense. other then that, i'm fine with that. i also agree with vulcanx if the real anime industry dropped the honorifics then i would also be disappointed. and how many times people heard those honorifics? like a billion times. so i really don't mind if they took it out. please enjoy the shows that crunchyroll has been streaming, and for the fact that MxMedia works so hard to translate these shows.
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