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why arent there foreign characters that are voiced by a foriegner
hpi 
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Posted 3/4/14
when there is a foreign character that's from a different country like the U.S. why are they always voiced by native Japanese speakers? I think it would make more sense to have a native English speaker play that role rather than a native Japanese speaker. Also things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ragl2aVU2DA) wont happen.
Guardian of A/M/P
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Yo Mama's House
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Posted 3/4/14
Maybe subcontracting someone to do so will probably drive up the costs.
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Posted 3/4/14
Generally speaking, there are only a few lines in which the foreign language is being spoken in and getting actors from overseas is an expensive process. There is that, and these seiyuus only have to say those phrases and knowing what they mean isn't really needed.
Posted 3/4/14

Bakaneer wrote:

Generally speaking, there are only a few lines in which the foreign language is being spoken in and getting actors from overseas is an expensive process. There is that, and these seiyuus only have to say those phrases and knowing what they mean isn't really needed.


Agreed. (I still have no idea what a 'Vocaloid' is but;) Learning another language is long process. I'd assume any english/or otherwise is learned phonetically. Picking up a few phrases for a small bit in a song (they sing right?) is faster/easier than learning an entire second tongue.

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Posted 3/4/14 , edited 3/4/14

Bakan wrote:

Generally speaking, there are only a few lines in which the foreign language is being spoken in and getting actors from overseas is an expensive process. There is that, and these seiyuus only have to say those phrases and knowing what they mean isn't really needed.


Agreed. Yet, I have seen native English speakers voicing someone who's an English speaker in animes, though they only usually have a few words or lines to say. Also, I don't know about you, but I've seen quote a few native English speakers voice in English in the Japanese dub, and let me tell you they are certainly not qualified to even remotely act at all they are so bad. I'd rather hear awkward English spoken by a native Japanese speaker than half-assed, shitty English by an English native that knows they don't have to try that much because chances are no one can understand him anyway.

Here's an example: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtzlKJ1dObU
Posted 3/4/14
You could ask why the cast of Vikings are Americans, Australians, and Brits, of which there's only one Scandinavian who can pronounce the names of Scandinavian people and locations correctly. Let's face it, if you're Scandinavian, it sounds very awkward whenever they try to pronounce "a", "e", "i", "o", and "u". Example: They pronounce Ragnar as Rædjnæjr, and that's like wtf, do you have a speech impedement, or what?
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Posted 3/5/14

hpi wrote:

when there is a foreign character that's from a different country like the U.S. why are they always voiced by native Japanese speakers? I think it would make more sense to have a native English speaker play that role rather than a native Japanese speaker. Also things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ragl2aVU2DA) wont happen.


It's funny that you mentioned Kinmoza. Personally, I think it's one of the better examples out there.

Yes, the "English" characters sound accented, with American infleitons i nothing else, and like English isn't their first langue, but they also manage to speak fairly smoothly. Certainly compared to some other shows.

Take Suzu in SYD. Apparently fluent in several lanugages and lives(and studied) in America. Yet she talks like this... http://youtu.be/RI3x28YRZWM?t=32s

She sounds like she's reading from a script.
Where I work has a lot of international students and staff and i've heard bad English spoken more smoothly. :-p

At least in Kinmoza at sound like they've either got actors, a director or dialect coaches who can actually speak English. it sounds natural and conversational, even if it doesn't sound natively spoken.

I guess part of the problem is that you don't actually see the actors, so they don't feel the need to get someone who is actually a native English speaker. Especially if they either speak Japanese for the bulk of a series or if they're a one-scene character.
Contrast live-action shows, especially tokusatsu shows, where they pretty much have to get Western actors to portray English-speaking characters.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 3/5/14

hpi wrote:

when there is a foreign character that's from a different country like the U.S. why are they always voiced by native Japanese speakers? I think it would make more sense to have a native English speaker play that role rather than a native Japanese speaker. Also things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ragl2aVU2DA) wont happen.

In the specific example you've given, keep in mind that character also has to speak Japanese, and it would be rather difficult to find one that speaks English like a native, also speaks Japanese clearly (more important for an anime), and is a decent voice actor.

A better example would be a character that speaks only English. Even then, keep in mind the primary audience is in Japan, and few of the people in that audience are going to notice the English isn't spoken well or doesn't have the proper intonation.

Even in western productions, when a US TV show needs a character that speaks a foreign language, how often do you think they go to the trouble of someone that sounds like a native speaker, and instead just get someone that can say the words in that language? Even in the more culturally diverse US, what percentage of the audience would notice?


Interestingly, in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, the two main intelligent devices yielded by the main characters were voiced on the Japanese soundtrack by native English speakers, namely Donna Burke as Raising Heart, and Bardiche by Kevin J. England. This was despite the vocalizations being simple phrases that could have been voiced by a Japanese speaker:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyGdpE_tGsE

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Posted 3/5/14

TheAncientOne wrote:.

A better example would be a character that speaks only English. Even then, keep in mind the primary audience is in Japan, and few of the people in that audience are going to notice the English isn't spoken well or doesn't have the proper intonation.

Even in western productions, when a US TV show needs a character that speaks a foreign language, how often do you think they go to the trouble of someone that sounds like a native speaker, and instead just get someone that can say the words in that language? Even in the more culturally diverse US, what percentage of the audience would notice?

Interestingly, in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, the two main intelligent devices yielded by the main characters were voiced on the Japanese soundtrack by native English speakers, namely Donna Burke as Raising Heart, and Bardiche by Kevin J. England. This was despite the vocalizations being simple phrases that could have been voiced by a Japanese speaker:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyGdpE_tGsE



Neat info on Bardiche! I've really got to watch Nanoha.... eventually.. if I can ever legally find it.

Depending on the language, native speakers can be found with relative ease. Spanish speaking actors exist, and non-animated adaptations tend to specifically go for such. I remember Heroes and Lost and their Japanese and Korean actors, even if speaking both languages for a role was new to them at the time.
-Bit of a side-track here. But in Heroes, most of Hiro's jokes and geek-references were all Western based. Like Marvel or DC related, but he managed to sneak in a few anime jokes through his Japanese lines that they couldn't catch! Specifically Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and at least one DBZ joke. I found that hilarious and wanted to share it.

English and Japanese are vastly different languages however, while Spanish and English are closely related, sharing a root and all.

You have to keep in mind, English is a mandatory class in Japan, and many have a cursory knowledge of English...even if they don't practice and really don't care to properly learn it. So finding a voice actor able to say English lines isn't too hard.

Now, I can't find a clip on youtube, but it's here on Crunchyroll! DD Fist of the North Star has an episode where Souther tricks people into entering his "English teaching school" in which he teaches poorly pronounced English words to kids. In the middle of the episode, an actual English speaker shows up looking for a job, and provides really really good English, abet with a bit of a Kansai accent(I don't know how...but the narrator points it out, and wonders why his perfect English has a Kansai accent)

Just, everybody is sharing moments of Engrish in anime, I feel DD Fist of the North Star(A parody anime even!) has a great bit of English thrown into an episode(an episode about learning English the wrong way)
And I don't know how they did it.
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Posted 3/5/14
Just recently we had an actual German guy speaking German as a VA... in Hamatora of all the anime! Playing the part of ドイツ人議員, German Politician!


http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1440063/
And he had a bit part in "Lost in Translation!" Too funny!
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 3/5/14

Felstalker wrote:

Neat info on Bardiche! I've really got to watch Nanoha.... eventually.. if I can ever legally find it.

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but for the first two series, unless you understand Japanese, your own legal option is picking up the out of print DVD sets from Funimation's expired Geneon license rescue.

For StrikerS, the third series, there is no legal English language option (subtitled or otherwise). In fact, the only legal option I've found other than the expensive Region 2 Japanese DVDs (around $70 each) are the licensed Taiwan Region 3 versions. These are still pricey by US standards (averaging around $22 each, with the same 2-3 episodes per disc as in Japan), and of course still lack any English subtitles.

The two movies at least include English subs, so the only hurdle is the Japanese pricing.



Back more on topic, the intelligent devices that are voiced in other languages don't at first glance appear to get the same treatment. For example, Vita's Graf Eisen and Signum's Laevatein, both of which speak in German, are voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara. While that appears to be a Japanese name, his Wikipedia entry shows he was born in Germany and apparently lived there until he was an adult.

I have to wonder what other surprises I would find in checking the other ID voices.

Certainly it appears the Nanoha series deserves credit for going the extra mile regarding obtaining voice actors that really speak the languages involved.

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Posted 3/5/14

TheAncientOne wrote:
Interestingly, in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, the two main intelligent devices yielded by the main characters were voiced on the Japanese soundtrack by native English speakers, namely Donna Burke as Raising Heart, and Bardiche by Kevin J. England. This was despite the vocalizations being simple phrases that could have been voiced by a Japanese speaker:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyGdpE_tGsE



That's actually quite impressive. It's no more speech than you get in your average Kamen Rider belt, but having it voiced by native English speaker really makes a difference. I'd be interested to know if it made as much of a difference to the Japanese audience.
Sogno- 
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Posted 3/5/14 , edited 3/5/14
how often do you see U.S. (using OP example) shows/cartoons who have characters that say something in a different language actually be a native speaker of that language? why expect Japan to go a step further when most others do the same thing?

and for the record, just because someone speaks a language natively doesn't mean they should be voice acting. Many dubs have proved that.
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Posted 3/5/14

shirayukiIce wrote:

Agreed. Yet, I have seen native English speakers voicing someone who's an English speaker in animes, though they only usually have a few words or lines to say. Also, I don't know about you, but I've seen quote a few native English speakers voice in English in the Japanese dub, and let me tell you they are certainly not qualified to even remotely act at all they are so bad. I'd rather hear awkward English spoken by a native Japanese speaker than half-assed, shitty English by an English native that knows they don't have to try that much because chances are no one can understand him anyway.

Here's an example: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtzlKJ1dObU


I don't know what you mean. That voice actor was virtually perfect.
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Posted 3/5/14

TiggsPanther wrote:
Take Suzu in SYD. Apparently fluent in several lanugages and lives(and studied) in America. Yet she talks like this... http://youtu.be/RI3x28YRZWM?t=32s


I strongly suspect the Japanese actors when speaking English, even when they are fully fluent, are intentionally using this stilted accent. Partly because it's "cute", partly because it would be more believable, and partly I'm betting accented English is easier for a Japanese person to understand than proper English.
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