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Who else dislikes some subs?
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Posted 5/12/12
***PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE THROUGH BEFORE POSTING*** (Also, sorry if duplicate. I don't see a thread on bad subs so far.)

I'm like most anime fans. I prefer subs over dubs any day of the week, any week of the year, any year of the decade. Dubs often have actors that don't live up to the originals or are mismatched (Johnny Yong Bosch as Kiba in Wolf's Rain?!), or the dialog will be butchered with American cultural references and mistranslations.

However, I feel that some subs carry their own problems, such as unsynchronized subtitles, intentional mistranslations, and worse yet - typos. Unsynchronized subtitles can occur during video encoding if the encoding isn't done properly. This occurs all the time on the 4Kids sub of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. You will hear a voice, and the subtitles will not appear until a second later. It's a shame, because the sub gets about everything else correct.

Mistranslations are quite prevalent. It goes without saying what this means. I'll single out Wolf's Rain and Outlaw Star for this. In Wolf's Rain, a character named Cheza talks about herself in the third person, while the subs use "I" and "me". In Outlaw Star, Jim refers to his partner as "Aniki", which means something among the lines of "honorable brother", while the subs just have him saying, "Gene." It should be noted that Bandai subs in general use the same dialogue as the English dub, regardless of what the Japanese version says. While some of this is nitpicky, it seems disrespectful to the source material.

What isn't nitpicky, however, is typos. Most of the them involve bad grammar and punctuation, which in themselves aren't horrible, until you see see it repeated and repeated. Viz subs are very guilty of this. From Inuyasha to Bleach to Naruto, and almost everything in between, they're in there. It's sad when you see fansubs do a better job than the official licensees. If I see the Sacred Jewel in Inuyasha being "imbedded" in something again, I will snap. Most of this could be remedied with mere proofreading.

Anyone feel the same way about certain subs?
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Posted 5/12/12
this sound like a personal issue remedied by learning Japanese language

i admit i wish those that those that do the dubbing would choose better actors instead of the few that reoccur constantly but this is out of our hands
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Posted 5/12/12
I actually prefer dubs. You are also very whiny. Get over it. So sometimes they make mistakes in the subs. Who honestly cares? You're just taking this to an extreme level. And they use the American culture in English dubs so you are more familiarization and can relate with it more.Just be grateful you even have dubs. By the way Johnny Yong Bosch is my favorite voice actor.
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Posted 5/12/12
if you have a problem with subs go learn japanese, problem solved if you know the language you wouldn't have to watch the subs

if you want something done right do it yourself ~ <- who said that?
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Posted 5/12/12
the only thing i don't like is when the subs are way off what the anime characters are saying like when the anime character is talking the subs don't come in till 30 seconds later after they start talking about something else. that is very annoying. since i don't want to learn Japanese and need subs i think this is a bad thing about the people that do subs they don't take the time to carefully program the subs to be synced with the anime characters
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Posted 5/12/12
This a pointless thread.
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Posted 5/12/12
I can't help notice that you said " From Inuyasha to Bleach to Naruto, and almost everything in between". there's not really much "in between" those. they're all kinda they same type of show.

That said it's common knowledge that translating from japanese is more of an art than a science. A lot of things don't translate very well and you can't expect bandai or viz or any of them to not localize the content. There are a lot of things that most people don't know about japanese culture and if they want to make money they can't be having a bunch of stuff in there that people won't get.
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Posted 5/12/12
You must haven't seen to many fan subs if you think the are more accurate.

Hidan from Shippuden. Super sailor mouth Hidan is a product of fansubbers but you can't get most to believe that and they think the dub somehow toned down his language.

I have also seen some fansubbers totally skip entire conversations if it moved to fast.
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Posted 5/12/12 , edited 5/12/12

BetaWolf47 wrote:
However, I feel that some subs carry their own problems, such as unsynchronized subtitles, intentional mistranslations, and worse yet - typos.


I do get your general point, but I don't fully agree. These seem to be your three main points, so I'll comment on each of them.

Unsynchronized subtitles would be annoying, but unless they're *way* off, it probably wouldn't be horrible. I might have seen some fansubs that were a bit off, but with what I watch now, I don't think anything's so far out of sync that I'd notice it. I think that makes it a relatively minor issue. It probably still exists, but since I rarely come across it, it's not something I usually think about.

As for intentional mistranslations, I don't think that's really what's happening. As I understand things, translating involves a lot more than doing basically literal translations. You have to make things sound natural in the target language. I think your examples are cases where more literal translations were dropped in favor of more natural-sounding English translations. People normally don't talk about themselves in the third person in English, so translating Japanese speech that way would seem odd. Hence the first person pronouns when going to English; it's more natural in the target language. With things like "aniki", "onee-chan", and the like, Japanese expresses a lot more about inter-personal relationships. English doesn't have that variety in its typical pronouns. Translating "aniki" to "brother" might be closer to the original Japanese, but that's not usually done in English for close relations like siblings (other relations do use some sort of "title" though, like Aunt or Uncle). Translating it to a person's name may not capture the true feel of the original, but it's how people would normally talk in English. As I've heard more and more Japanese via anime, I've started to learn more about these sorts of things, and can tell (sometimes) when the English subs are a bit off in this way. But it doesn't really bother me, because I think of it as me knowing a bit more about what the original meant, which is kind of a nice feeling. :)

I will basically agree on typos and grammar errors though, at least when they're repeated. Anyone can make a mistake, so usually I'll let them go if I see them, but if they're repeated, they can get annoying. I'm usually willing to cut fansubbers some slack, since they may be pushing to get things out within a week for currently airing anime. But professional anime companies/distributors should have sufficient time to get things right, so I don't expect many mistakes from them. When they make them, I wonder why no one caught them. And depending on how bad an error is, it can make me wonder if they had editors proofread the scripts before the finalized them and committed them to DVD. So I think I will usually notice these mistakes when they happen, but I try not to let them detract from my enjoyment of the show.

I'm not sure there is a way to get anime into English without losing a little of something. As others indicated, if you know or learn Japanese well enough to watch the originals, that might be ideal. But failing that, subs are usually better than dubs IMO, even if they aren't perfect.
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Posted 5/12/12

uhohimdead wrote:

this sound like a personal issue remedied by learning Japanese language

i admit i wish those that those that do the dubbing would choose better actors instead of the few that reoccur constantly but this is out of our hands





shirayukiIce wrote:

I actually prefer dubs. You are also very whiny. Get over it. So sometimes they make mistakes in the subs. Who honestly cares? You're just taking this to an extreme level. And they use the American culture in English dubs so you are more familiarization and can relate with it more.Just be grateful you even have dubs. By the way Johnny Yong Bosch is my favorite voice actor.



AnimeKami wrote:

if you have a problem with subs go learn japanese, problem solved if you know the language you wouldn't have to watch the subs

if you want something done right do it yourself ~ <- who said that?


It seems I did come off too whiny It's not that I have a major issue with dubs. I simply wanted to discuss the uglier aspects of them. Really, the quality of subs can vary as much as dubs. It does get irritating when a sub is full of grammar, spelling, and punctuation problems.


DronakI do get your general point, but I don't fully agree. These seem to be your three main points, so I'll comment on each of them.

Unsynchronized subtitles would be annoying, but unless they're *way* off, it probably wouldn't be horrible. I might have seen some fansubs that were a bit off, but with what I watch now, I don't think anything's so far out of sync that I'd notice it. I think that makes it a relatively minor issue. It probably still exists, but since I rarely come across it, it's not something I usually think about.

As for intentional mistranslations, I don't think that's really what's happening. As I understand things, translating involves a lot more than doing basically literal translations. You have to make things sound natural in the target language. I think your examples are cases where more literal translations were dropped in favor of more natural-sounding English translations. People normally don't talk about themselves in the third person in English, so translating Japanese speech that way would seem odd. Hence the first person pronouns when going to English; it's more natural in the target language. With things like "aniki", "onee-chan", and the like, Japanese expresses a lot more about inter-personal relationships. English doesn't have that variety in its typical pronouns. Translating "aniki" to "brother" might be closer to the original Japanese, but that's not usually done in English for close relations like siblings (other relations do use some sort of "title" though, like Aunt or Uncle). Translating it to a person's name may not capture the true feel of the original, but it's how people would normally talk in English. As I've heard more and more Japanese via anime, I've started to learn more about these sorts of things, and can tell (sometimes) when the English subs are a bit off in this way. But it doesn't really bother me, because I think of it as me knowing a bit more about what the original meant, which is kind of a nice feeling. :)

First off, thanks for taking the time to post this reply. Given the tone of my original post, a respectful reply is, perhaps, more than what was warranted.

I don't often come across unsynchronized subtitles often either. To me, it's an annoyance worse than bad lip syncing. It's distracting when you already have to focus on the animation and the subtitles themselves, and the subtitles do not match the animation. If you've ever dealt with a particularly bad sync, it can really ruin your concentration, more than you'd think.

As for making things sound natural to a native English speaker, I agree to a certain extent. Most people do not use "brother" in typical conversation with their siblings. I still think something should be done to the dialogue in these scenarios. In cases like Gene and Jim from Outlaw Star, the sub leads people to believe that they are simple business partners, while the actual dialog reveals that Jim greatly looks up to Gene. Should the characterization be abandoned simply because there is no natural-sounding translation?

You mentioned people not speaking in the third-person in English. It doesn't typically happen in Japanese, either. It mostly happens with characters with poor social skills, or shy characters with poor social skills. It probably sounds as awkward to the Japanese viewer as it would to the English speaker. It's part of the character.


I will basically agree on typos and grammar errors though, at least when they're repeated. Anyone can make a mistake, so usually I'll let them go if I see them, but if they're repeated, they can get annoying. I'm usually willing to cut fansubbers some slack, since they may be pushing to get things out within a week for currently airing anime. But professional anime companies/distributors should have sufficient time to get things right, so I don't expect many mistakes from them. When they make them, I wonder why no one caught them. And depending on how bad an error is, it can make me wonder if they had editors proofread the scripts before the finalized them and committed them to DVD. So I think I will usually notice these mistakes when they happen, but I try not to let them detract from my enjoyment of the show.


Typos are actually something I see less in fansubs than in official subs. Some of it is laziness. Typos are done over and over in InuYasha. Some happens due to encoding errors. In Bleach on Hulu, some accented letters are glitched, so you'll see strange characters in the middle of words. I would like to think that subbers would view their material before clicking OK, but it's often not the case. While I don't watch many fansubs, the ones I have watched typically have fewer errors.

I'm not sure there is a way to get anime into English without losing a little of something. As others indicated, if you know or learn Japanese well enough to watch the originals, that might be ideal. But failing that, subs are usually better than dubs IMO, even if they aren't perfect.
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Posted 5/13/12
This' why I don't watch anime with the word; "fansub" tagged to it. They can be inaccurate at times and really don't fit into what the character is saying.
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Posted 5/13/12

Kevin_Levin wrote:

This' why I don't watch anime with the word; "fansub" tagged to it. They can be inaccurate at times and really don't fit into what the character is saying.


The way I see it, if you know that they're messed up, its because you can speak japanese and don't need subs, if you don't speak it, you'll have no idea that something is wrong.
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Posted 5/13/12 , edited 5/13/12

shirayukiIce wrote:

I actually prefer dubs. You are also very whiny. Get over it. So sometimes they make mistakes in the subs. Who honestly cares? You're just taking this to an extreme level. And they use the American culture in English dubs so you are more familiarization and can relate with it more.Just be grateful you even have dubs. By the way Johnny Yong Bosch is my favorite voice actor.


And you could come off a little less bitchy. Get over it.

--

Dubs usually suck. I say usually because I liked Inuyasha and Cowboy Bebop dubbed. They were actually my first adult experience with anime thanks to Cartoon Network (my first real experience was Starblazers). However, I am still traumatized by that abomination known as the Eureka 7 Dub. *shudder*

Most of the time dubbed anime comes off as flat. The actors that I have experienced always sound like they just dont care about what they are doing, or they are trying to hard.

YOUR opinions may vary. Dont come on here and tell me I am wrong or start with ad hominem attacks because my opinions are different than yours; I don't do it to other people, I expect the same.

As for subs... some times they suck, but generally I think the fansubbers do a better job quality-wise than the corporate versions. For example the K-drama I'm a Flower Too (yes, yes, I know its not anime) had horrible subs. MBS seems to screw up the worst for subtitles. A lot of gibberish symbols where punctuation should be, or just flat out not translating something. I have never seen this happen with fansubs.

My biggest gripe with corp. subs is that they use this hideous bright yellow colour and 14pt Courier font... or they use white as 10pt Courier that you cant read on bright coloured scenes. I also hate it when they needlessly change the titles of anime. The biggest offender in my opinion was Karin. There was absolutely no need to change it to Chibi Vampire. None.

Kevin Levin says that fansubbers are often inaccurate, I never came across that problem. I do know enough Japanese to know if they are screwing something up. GG, Mazui, and certain others are topnotch when it comes to translations. Corp translations often change stuff around, such as switching names from Japanese form to western (first name first). Or they change greetings, or other little things that just ruin it (in my opinion). Sometimes both parties (fansub and corporation) will change the wording a little bit to make it easier to understand. Corporations however, are the only ones that hack up a series and remake it to "suit" american audiences. Examples being Starblazers, Voltron, Escaflowne, Sailor Moon... I'm pretty sure there are others they butchered as well.

I'd rather put my faith and trust in Fansubbers, they more often care about what they are doing. Corporations just do it for the money.

If youre going to tell me to learn Japanese so I dont have to deal with subtitles. Grow up. We have every right to expect quality from a product were paying for. And yes, even on Crunchyroll, if you're paying for a subscription like I am, the same still stands.
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Posted 5/13/12

UnbridledChaos wrote:
The way I see it, if you know that they're messed up, its because you can speak japanese and don't need subs, if you don't speak it, you'll have no idea that something is wrong.

I could see a person catching the occasional phrase or word that they know isn't being properly translated, without knowing how to understand Japanese as a whole.




kitsuneshoujo wrote:
My biggest gripe with corp. subs is that they use this hideous bright yellow colour and 14pt Courier font... or they use white as 10pt Courier that you cant read on bright coloured scenes. I also hate it when they needlessly change the titles of anime. The biggest offender in my opinion was Karin. There was absolutely no need to change it to Chibi Vampire. None.

I've seen this complaint about Karin before, and I don't understand how it applies to the anime, since when I watched it on DVDs from Netflix, the title was clearly Karin. As I understand it, Chibi Vampire was used for the title for the translated manga.

As to your complaints about fonts, I'm closing on 52, so my eyesight isn't as good as when I was your age, but I rarely have a problem with the font choices for professional subs. OTOH, back when I was still watching fansubs, I had a number of encounters with subs that either used too small a font (probably looked fine the 20-something encoding the video with their face a foot away from the monitor), or fanciful fonts that became nearly illegible when subjected to the poor compression and/or low bitrate too common to many streamed fansubs when I first started (and still not that great when sites started using better repositories than MegaVideo).


Examples being Starblazers, Voltron, Escaflowne, Sailor Moon... I'm pretty sure there are others they butchered as well.

The only one of those that was even dubbed in this century was Escalflowne, and like the others, it was re-edited to make it fit the targeted U.S. audience for cartoons: Kids. Any show that is pushed through that sieve is going to come out the other side worse for wear. Even if we lived in some alternate universe where the law didn't permit dubbing, and they had used subtitles, the same editing of the material and changing of (subbed) dialog would have still occurred.


I'd rather put my faith and trust in Fansubbers, they more often care about what they are doing.

That may be still true for some, but isn't it true that more fansubbers these days care about being first, rather than good?

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Posted 5/13/12

TheAncientOne wrote:


UnbridledChaos wrote:
The way I see it, if you know that they're messed up, its because you can speak japanese and don't need subs, if you don't speak it, you'll have no idea that something is wrong.

I could see a person catching the occasional phrase or word that they know isn't being properly translated, without knowing how to understand Japanese as a whole.



true, but like i said in a previous post, translating Japanese is more of an art than a science and just because you understand something one way it may not be the same for someone else. also the translators tend to look at the context of what's being said. so they have to translate it in a way that makes the most sense to an English speaking audience.
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