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Post Reply Small history of anime fansubs
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28 / M / Bay Area CA
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Posted 2/3/13 , edited 2/3/13
On the topic of honorifics, there is a lot of subtle differences and ways to interpret their meaning as dacan13 pointed out. Frankly there are some things you should just eventually understand by watching subbed anime after a while. Things itadakimasu and tadaima are different because you can get close to a literal translation without it sounding stuffy or unnatural.

I'd much rather see onii-chan on screen because the second I read big bother it sounds awkward as hell because few people talk to their siblings like that in english. It's even worse when its translated with regional dialect such as broski, if the phrase used in Japanese was odd to begin with then I would be ok with translators taking liberties like that.

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Posted 2/3/13 , edited 2/3/13
VHS-era fansubs were more professionally done than modern fansubs.

Even now, fansubs are pretty much dead thanks to sites like CR, Hulu, FUNimation, Crackle, etc.

Why the hell didn't the Japanese companies catch on sooner? If they adopted streaming earlier on, the Great Anime Crash of the late 2000s wouldn't have happened.

@ tommythecat: Then just use the character's name without any honorifics. If they can do it in live-action J-flicks, why not anime?
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19 / F / Canada
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Posted 2/3/13
I actually prefer if subbers didnt translate the honorifics, simply because it's part of their culture, and it really adds to the characterization of the characters. Like if a person was to use kun and san a lot then they're probably more reserved...if they use chan they're probably more comfortable with the person. It's a small part, and people catch on very quickly so I think the honorifics should be left as is. Another thing about honorifics is the fact that people in japan refer to others by their last names, and if the subber was to translate it, it would lose some of it's meaning.

What bothers me is how people don't translate food names > <
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Posted 2/3/13

The_Libertarian_Otaku wrote:

VHS-era fansubs were more professionally done than modern fansubs.

Even now, fansubs are pretty much dead thanks to sites like CR, Hulu, FUNimation, Crackle, etc.

Why the hell didn't the Japanese companies catch on sooner? If they adopted streaming earlier on, the Great Anime Crash of the late 2000s wouldn't have happened.

@ tommythecat: Then just use the character's name without any honorifics. If they can do it in live-action J-flicks, why not anime?


Because you are altering the product too far at that point. If you are watching subbed anime to begin with it's a good bet that you can pick up on the subtle meanings behind certain phases and words with honorifics so leaving them untranslated is fine. Now J movies and dramas are probably different because their audience likely to be much different than the typical anime fan who hears the same things said constantly in anime.

Basically the more liberties that translations take the more you are reading what the translator thinks you should read. I've seen quite a few animes where a bunch of cuss words are thrown around it no matter how you look at it nothing approaching that level of intensity was said.
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M / Delaware, U.S.
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Posted 2/3/13
That's just special pleading, Tommy. But it could be worse--it could be a 4Kids-style Macekre.

I vaguely recall Sony not using honorifics in their subs of Tokyo Godfathers. It's been a while since I last watched it, but I don't remember them leaving the honorifics in.

Anime with cuss words thrown in: "Kuso" can be translated so many different ways it's not even funny. It all depends on who the licensors market the anime to. Manga UK put a whole assload of cuss words in their dubs to distance their product from Western children's cartoons.
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23 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 6/26/13
Also bumping... Fansubbing.
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Posted 6/26/13
I watch anime on one fan-sub site where the streaming is as good or less problems than Funi and sometimes CR.Last week CR was kinda hanging up so I go to the fan sub no problems clear quality and most song lyrics are subbed.You can watch the same anime on CR where the curse words are out but over there they are in and the anime has new meaning.
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