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Post Reply Funimation English Subs: Why are they so juvenile?
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Posted 3/9/14
I just got done checking out Funimation's English Subtitled version of Attack on Titan on Netflix and I compared this version with the Crunchyroll version. The Funimation version has words like bimbo and an abundance of curse words. I mean, why is it so juvenile?
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Posted 3/9/14
An abundance of curse words is......juvenile? I'm not sure what you're actually trying to say.

Anyway I didn't even know people watched subtitles by Funimation. I thought people usually watched Funi for their dubbed stuff. If you want subs you're probably better off on croll/fan subs.

As for your actual question, I doubt anyone's going to be able to really answer it. That's an odd question and what you see as juvenile is really only your opinion. For example, many people think anime as a whole is "juvenile".
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
You mean, as in the translation? It depends on the translator and how they interpret what's being spoken. Another example is if you take two different writers and tell them to depict the same exact scene -- same character, same setting, same conflict, etc.

No matter what, the two would be different interpretations of the same thing. If that makes any sense.
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Posted 3/9/14
I think Funimation does it for precisely this reason, to make the dialog even more funny, especially for their dubs.

Japanese cursing is not very imaginative or varied compared to English. This allows translators into English to be quite liberal, otherwise it will look rather boring. But it also means you can really crank things up with the cursing if you want. It doesn't really change the meaning. Many Japanese insults are simply impolite pronouns but none literally translate into bitch, bastard, motherfucker or anything like that. Most literally translate into, "Hey you" or "that guy" which is very rude in Japanese but doesn't come across with appropriate strength in English. A deep insult in Japanese, kisama actually means something close to "your highness" but it is used sarcastically like, "yes YOUR HIGHNESS" but is usually translated as bastard or fucker or something like that when really it is nothing even close. Teme is also translated as bastard or fucker when really, it is just a familiar form of you like "y'all".

You can also use very low verbs to refer to people as servants. Very rude in Japanese but English doesn't use polite verbs so again, it just doesn't translate well into English. French and other languages with polite and familiar pronouns and verbs are easier to translate from Japanese.

Japanese would never refer to someone as a female dog, the child of an unwed mother, someone who sleeps with their mother. Even "kuso" can be translated as shit or "gosh darn it".

Crunchyroll does it too. For Aku no Hana they translated Kusomushi literally as "shit worm" when "maggot" would have sufficed and been much less crude.

It is quite funny the other way around. While in Japan I saw Hollywood movies like Something About Mary with Japanese subtitles and they just about killed me... English humor doesn't translate into Japanese very well at all!
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Posted 3/9/14

hpulley wrote:

I think Funimation does it for precisely this reason, to make the dialog even more funny, especially for their dubs.

Japanese cursing is not very imaginative or varied compared to English. This allows translators into English to be quite liberal, otherwise it will look rather boring. But it also means you can really crank things up with the cursing if you want. It doesn't really change the meaning. Many Japanese insults are simply impolite pronouns but none literally translate into bitch, bastard, motherfucker or anything like that. Most literally translate into, "Hey you" or "that guy" which is very rude in Japanese but doesn't come across with appropriate strength in English. A deep insult in Japanese, kisama actually means something close to "your highness" but it is used sarcastically like, "yes YOUR HIGHNESS" but is usually translated as bastard or fucker or something like that when really it is nothing even close. Teme is also translated as bastard or fucker when really, it is just a familiar form of you like "y'all".

You can also use very low verbs to refer to people as servants. Very rude in Japanese but English doesn't use polite verbs so again, it just doesn't translate well into English. French and other languages with polite and familiar pronouns and verbs are easier to translate from Japanese.

Japanese would never refer to someone as a female dog, the child of an unwed mother, someone who sleeps with their mother. Even "kuso" can be translated as shit or "gosh darn it".

Crunchyroll does it too. For Aku no Hana they translated Kusomushi literally as "shit worm" when "maggot" would have sufficed and been much less crude.

It is quite funny the other way around. While in Japan I saw Hollywood movies like Something About Mary with Japanese subtitles and they just about killed me... English humor doesn't translate into Japanese very well at all!


QFT and because I found it very informative.

The sub of K-On I was watching recently went from PG to mature very quickly when f-bombs started getting dropped. But it's hard to translate the level of viciousness that's supposed to come across from Japanese to English (especially in subtitle form) unless you add in some swear words.
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
I've found that setting is often disregarded when deciding on the degree of rudeness in FUNimation's subs/dubs. Well.. setting, tone, and mood seems disregarded in general.

Pani Poni Dash is a good example of translation gone absolutely wrong. In a school setting in-front of an elementary-aged teacher, the characters have no qualms with telling her off with extremely vulgar speech. Phrases such as "what the hell," "what's with the stupid___." "You better___!," and "What a bitch!" are used far too frequently. Combine this with the over-use of "oh my gawd~!" to make the characters sound cliche, personalities being confused and dropped, and some dialogue being translated literally enough to ensure that nobody watching confuses their bizarre speech patterns as dialogue, and you get one putrid translation. Subject yourself to the English dubbing and you get one of the worst anime of all time (though the show is normally rather good >.<)

Having recently watched FUNimation's sub of Danganronpa, I can say that "natural dialogue" or appropriately adapting a concept into its English equivalent is certainly not their forte. NIS America's translation of scenes with the same dialogue and situations from the game can come off as Shakespearean by comparison. And, to be honest, I personally don't think highly of NIS America's translations at all. They come across as mildly bland.
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Posted 3/9/14
yeah I've always liked Funi's dubs, though Space Dandy's is a bit off. But its like Hpulley said, jjust moreso for localization and all.
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Posted 3/9/14

hpulley wrote:

Japanese cursing is not very imaginative or varied compared to English.


Personally, I'd say that the language its-self lacks the variety and imagination available to English in general. While there is certainly impolite, colloquial, semi-polite, and polite versions of many concepts in Japanese, English has a heavy amount of nuance and great number of situational words and phrases (many of which require study and exposure to know or use.) Both language have plenty of unique idioms though.

The result is that a translator has free reign of creativity when translating from Japanese to English. As such, their translation can only improve by accurately "reading" a situation, gauging it, and then applying a knowledge of English that is both natural and appropriately filtering in some of the more artistic and unusual words that aren't covered in basic speech.

Speaking in English is rarely just a tool for portraying a concept and is very much its own art.
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Posted 3/9/14

PsychoGamer8229 wrote:

I just got done checking out Funimation's English Subtitled version of Attack on Titan on Netflix and I compared this version with the Crunchyroll version. The Funimation version has words like bimbo and an abundance of curse words. I mean, why is it so juvenile?


Censorship/ sub translations Yuck! Really!

One reason I watch Funimation is they dont censor curse words! I watch CR too and has a lot of juvenile words! You would destroy an anime like Black Lagoon w/o curse subbed or dubbed!

BTW Bimbo what's so wrong with that.

Hers an example of even CR changing a sub later about " The Big One Later"in Love Lab

My earlier post on Love Lab CR


Some thoughts about the censorship! Warning dont read if you didnt watch yet

Some Of the Censorship is way overboard and takes away the best humor in Love Lab.Instead of Wld One they caught Riko Wild Kid.Instead of wine they call her wacky.
When Riko chases after Suzu and catches up with her in the bathroom she asks why she ran away Suzu says I felt a big one coming.So funny but lost here on CR.
Then a really important part especially upcoming episodes.The harrasament note calling Maki slim instead of Lingerie a really fuuny part of Maki and family.Sorry but that just cuts the story to pieces and ruins a future episode!

The post here! http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-810705/love-lab?pg=7



Also subs are different elsewhere too . It's all in the point of view!
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Posted 3/9/14

HauAreWe wrote:


hpulley wrote:

Japanese cursing is not very imaginative or varied compared to English.


Personally, I'd say that the language its-self lacks the variety and imagination available to English in general. While there is certainly impolite, colloquial, semi-polite, and polite versions of many concepts in Japanese, English has a heavy amount of nuance and great number of situational words and phrases (many of which require study and exposure to know or use.) Both language have plenty of unique idioms though.

The result is that a translator has free reign of creativity when translating from Japanese to English. As such, their translation can only improve by accurately "reading" a situation, gauging it, and then applying a knowledge of English that is both natural and appropriately filtering in some of the more artistic and unusual words that aren't covered in basic speech.

Speaking in English is rarely just a tool for portraying a concept and is very much its own art.
It is such a culture and language clash between English/Japanese West/East that it is at the same time easy and difficult to do the translations. It certainly gives you freedom to change a lot more than you can do when translating between much closer language and cultural cousins.

I think part of the problem is how translations are generally done today. I don't know how Crunchyroll does it but in my professional experience it is all done through tooling which often hides much of the context unless you ask for it and certainly the translators are never just given a novel and told to come back with a finished translation. It is done line by line with terminology already taken out for the most part. I don't know if the translators for Crunchyroll get to watch the episode with script in hand, make notes and so on before doing their translations or if they are just doing it from a computer-aided script translation tool but if the latter, they will lose a lot of context. Fansubbers might have it easier in a way as they have no choice but to watch the episode and listen to the words rather than seeing a script.
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
I would also like to add that most of the time part of the licensing agreement gives the Japanese studio a say in how the show is translated. The majority of the time Funimation and others do not have carte blanche because the studio wishes to protect their product. So if the Japanese studio does not like the way a licensed dubber or subber chooses to translate a series or the tone specific dialogue sets they can have it changed.

For example, when the original Evangelion series was translated there was a bit of a scuffle over the use of "Children" versus "First Child", "Second Child", etc. The Japanese use the word for children to refer to each Eva pilot. However in English calling a single child "children" doesn't sound correct. Eventually the Japanese studio was swayed but had they been insistent Shinji and the others would have all been referred to individually as "Children" in all licensed translations.

There are rare exceptions of course such as Ghost Stories which did so badly in Japan the studio gave Funimation the green light to do whatever the heck they wanted if it might help sell the thing in the US.
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Posted 3/9/14

hpulley wrote:
It is done line by line with terminology already taken out for the most part.


Naturally, I had assumed that voice-overs are always done in-front of the contextual video (to ensure proper timing,) but this would explain why it almost always sounds unnatural (in English or Japanese.) With a script created before-hand (line-by-line for an English version) the voice-overs are bound to sound like an addition rather than a part of the animation.

This is intriguing. Thank you for the insight.
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Posted 3/9/14
Funi's videos are awesome English or Subbed
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Posted 3/9/14
I am following this topic with interest. Funimation, for me, tends to have rather sloppy-looking subs, mostly because of a combination of poor font choice (IMO) and lots of typos, and this seems to have been the case since the days of DBZ on VHS, though they have improved in certain regards. Translation and localization are tricky, delicate things, but one should at least make sure the text is readable and (reasonably) error-free.

As far as added profanity goes, speaking of DBZ, back in the day (mid to late '90s), there was one (fan)subber who turned that show into a solid wall of profanity, thus making it hilarious. Funi does not go that far, of course, but that was the first thing I thought of upon reading that.
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Posted 3/9/14

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:

mostly because of a combination of poor font choice (IMO)


Bandai had some of the worst font. Here's from my limited edition Haruhi DVD..


What a waste
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