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Mispronunciations and American Accents in English Dubs
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Posted 4/15/14

PsychoGamer8229 wrote:


Shrapnel893 wrote:

Again, going from my other post on your Funi hate thread -- no such thing as an American accent. The one I imagine most people think of is a Californian accent/dialect. Like how when most people say British accents they're probably referring to a London accent/dialect.

I don't really feel like going into anything else though.


There are variations of those specific accents. For British, there is English, Scottish, Welsh, Cockney, etc. For American, there is Californian, Southern, Boston, Jersey, Brooklyn, etc. However, I would rather hear any variation of the British accent than those of the American accent. It's my personal preference.


Oh but you can't forget the "Minnesotan" accent dontcha know. Yah, yah, up here in the upper Midwest yah, we have it down. Anyone for a hotdish potluck dinner? Yah sure you betcha! How 'bout them Vikings, eh? Yah sure, Super Bowl here we come doncha know!
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Posted 4/15/14

sundin13 wrote:

I tried my darndest to not say that and I still messed it up @.@ You know what I meant. When I talked about not having an accent I meant not having the correct accent for the place that character is supposed to be from. Just a small slip on my part. Please forgive ;~;


It's nothing to worry about.
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Posted 4/15/14

chiguy1 wrote:


PsychoGamer8229 wrote:


Shrapnel893 wrote:

Again, going from my other post on your Funi hate thread -- no such thing as an American accent. The one I imagine most people think of is a Californian accent/dialect. Like how when most people say British accents they're probably referring to a London accent/dialect.

I don't really feel like going into anything else though.


There are variations of those specific accents. For British, there is English, Scottish, Welsh, Cockney, etc. For American, there is Californian, Southern, Boston, Jersey, Brooklyn, etc. However, I would rather hear any variation of the British accent than those of the American accent. It's my personal preference.


Oh but you can't forget the "Minnesotan" accent dontcha know. Yah, yah, up here in the upper Midwest yah, we have it down. Anyone for a hotdish potluck dinner? Yah sure you betcha! How 'bout them Vikings, eh? Yah sure, Super Bowl here we come doncha know!


That's what etc. was supposed to mean. Etcetera (etc.) means "and the rest".
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Posted 4/15/14



You alright? Having a bad day or something? Wanna talk to someone about your troubles?
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Posted 4/15/14
Sometimes, it's the Japanese voice directors who make the English voice actors pronounce a name differently in English than it is in Japanese. For example: In a panel with Justin Cook and Jerry Jewel (they were mainly talking about Yu Yu Hakusho) a question was brought up about if they ever got to meet the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho (I assume that's what the question was about because you can't hear it very well). As Justin was answering the question he mentions the different pronunciations of names between the Japanese and English.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00a9LxPbwLw

The question starts around 5:50 and then Justin starts talking about the different pronunciations around 6:20.
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Posted 4/15/14

PsychoGamer8229 wrote:

Why is that sometimes when there is an English Dub for an anime with a setting like the UK, Germany, France, etc., they never give those characters accents to suit their location. For example, Attack on Titan takes place in a German based colony with characters that range from being German, Russian, Swiss, Austrian, Turkish, French, etc. Yet the English Dub gives these characters American accents. You see, there is no possible way they could have American accents since logic dictates that since they live in a Central European area, they should have accents that suit that specific area or just have a German accent. Even the beginning of the Opening song, Guren no Yumiya, has a German phrase stating, "They are the prey and we are the hunters". This situation seems similar to the situation of white washing. For example, the new Noah film features an all white cast even though historically, those people were no way near white. The director stated that he wanted to represent the everyman so he made them all white yet this is definitely not the case. Why is it that being white and American is the default for characters in Hollywood and now even anime? There should be diversity.

Now on to the topic of constant mispronunciations in English Dubs. You see, I continually hear these voice actor mispronouncing certain character's names and certain terms. For example, they mispronounced Mikasa's name as Me-kuh-suh when in fact, it should be Me-kah-sah. These voice actors are supposedly experienced yet they can not complete the simplest of tasks. I am not a voice actor yet I can still pronounce everything correctly. It wasn't even difficult at all. All I had to do was just listen to how the original Japanese voice actors said it and replicate that pronunciation exactly as it was said. You see, it isn't difficult at all. All you need to do is just put in the extra effort. It also seems as if they do not do any research into the setting and the culture that are in certain anime.


Have you considered how illogical the premise is?

The point of translating the series from Japanese to English is to improve viewer's ability to understand the show. If we were strictly obsessed with accuracy, then in a German setting all characters would be speaking German. Besides the fact that accents vary by regions much smaller than individual nations, we have two other factors to consider:

1) Accurate accents are likely to garble speech and reduce the viewer's ability to understand what is being said, even if it is in English
2) Not every character is going to have a uniform accent; further confusion plus some people strive to eliminate their accent in a language
3) Too many accents tend to be distracting

It makes sense to dub the show into whatever accent is the "Lowest Common Denominator" for the country for the best shot at it being intelligible to the largest audience. For English, this tends to be the "Midwestern" accent; even if it sounds "off" it isn't a distinct enough beast to be easily recognized.

Implementing accents is difficult. This is anecdotal (because I remember reading it in a magazine nearly two decades ago and so if you need confirmation, you're on your own: when the X-Men cartoon of the '90s was getting its initial voice cast together, they wanted to get an authentic Cajun accent for Gambit, and so that is who they auditioned first for his VA. In the end all the authentic accents were so thick it was difficult for the adults producing the series to understand what was being said, leaving little hope for the kids that were the show's target audience. As such, they broke down and selected someone who could produce a "TV Cajun" accent, something that sounded Cajun to non-Cajuns, but was still assumed easy enough for the target audience to follow.

Oh, and the cast of the recent Noah film aren't "white". They are all very light brown (often referred to as "Caucasian"). If they were truly "white", they'd be albinos or some new human mutation. If you're going to get picky about such things, I have even more reason to focus on opposing terminology that when applied to other ethnic groups is usually considered insensitive e.g. describing someone's skin tone as red, yellow, or black is terribly inaccurate and all are potentially insulting. Still if their pigmentation was your big problem with that movie... "ah... no."
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Posted 4/16/14

KamisamanoOtaku wrote:


PsychoGamer8229 wrote:

Why is that sometimes when there is an English Dub for an anime with a setting like the UK, Germany, France, etc., they never give those characters accents to suit their location. For example, Attack on Titan takes place in a German based colony with characters that range from being German, Russian, Swiss, Austrian, Turkish, French, etc. Yet the English Dub gives these characters American accents. You see, there is no possible way they could have American accents since logic dictates that since they live in a Central European area, they should have accents that suit that specific area or just have a German accent. Even the beginning of the Opening song, Guren no Yumiya, has a German phrase stating, "They are the prey and we are the hunters". This situation seems similar to the situation of white washing. For example, the new Noah film features an all white cast even though historically, those people were no way near white. The director stated that he wanted to represent the everyman so he made them all white yet this is definitely not the case. Why is it that being white and American is the default for characters in Hollywood and now even anime? There should be diversity.

Now on to the topic of constant mispronunciations in English Dubs. You see, I continually hear these voice actor mispronouncing certain character's names and certain terms. For example, they mispronounced Mikasa's name as Me-kuh-suh when in fact, it should be Me-kah-sah. These voice actors are supposedly experienced yet they can not complete the simplest of tasks. I am not a voice actor yet I can still pronounce everything correctly. It wasn't even difficult at all. All I had to do was just listen to how the original Japanese voice actors said it and replicate that pronunciation exactly as it was said. You see, it isn't difficult at all. All you need to do is just put in the extra effort. It also seems as if they do not do any research into the setting and the culture that are in certain anime.


Have you considered how illogical the premise is?

The point of translating the series from Japanese to English is to improve viewer's ability to understand the show. If we were strictly obsessed with accuracy, then in a German setting all characters would be speaking German. Besides the fact that accents vary by regions much smaller than individual nations, we have two other factors to consider:

1) Accurate accents are likely to garble speech and reduce the viewer's ability to understand what is being said, even if it is in English
2) Not every character is going to have a uniform accent; further confusion plus some people strive to eliminate their accent in a language
3) Too many accents tend to be distracting

It makes sense to dub the show into whatever accent is the "Lowest Common Denominator" for the country for the best shot at it being intelligible to the largest audience. For English, this tends to be the "Midwestern" accent; even if it sounds "off" it isn't a distinct enough beast to be easily recognized.

Implementing accents is difficult. This is anecdotal (because I remember reading it in a magazine nearly two decades ago and so if you need confirmation, you're on your own: when the X-Men cartoon of the '90s was getting its initial voice cast together, they wanted to get an authentic Cajun accent for Gambit, and so that is who they auditioned first for his VA. In the end all the authentic accents were so thick it was difficult for the adults producing the series to understand what was being said, leaving little hope for the kids that were the show's target audience. As such, they broke down and selected someone who could produce a "TV Cajun" accent, something that sounded Cajun to non-Cajuns, but was still assumed easy enough for the target audience to follow.

Oh, and the cast of the recent Noah film aren't "white". They are all very light brown (often referred to as "Caucasian"). If they were truly "white", they'd be albinos or some new human mutation. If you're going to get picky about such things, I have even more reason to focus on opposing terminology that when applied to other ethnic groups is usually considered insensitive e.g. describing someone's skin tone as red, yellow, or black is terribly inaccurate and all are potentially insulting. Still if their pigmentation was your big problem with that movie... "ah... no."


Well, why not just have them all speak in German accents then? Catering to the lowest common denominator? That is something I would never do. I will not lower myself to suit these insufferable peons. I despise incompetence. I simply lack the patience for it.

Also, having the whole cast just be made up of Caucasians is still white washing since the characters they are playing were not Caucasian at all. The director said that he did it this way because he believes that Caucasians represent the everyman. Well, I think that is wrong and he should be ashamed of himself for ever thinking such a thing. Why does Hollywood have to think that the default is Caucasian? It's racist.
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Posted 4/16/14
I think you really should go to a convention with some FUNi VA's in attendance, and talk to them. I was talking to Monica Rial when she came to my local convention. When it comes to what and how they can dub a series, their hands are completely tied behind their back by the Japanese companies. They honestly get little leeway in what they can and can not do.

Also calling VA's inexperienced when you have NO idea how the system works yourself is a bit childish in my opinion. Also whats with the whole Hollywood deal? Hollywood has nothing to do with English Dubbing for Anime.

Finally what the fuck is an American Accent? There is no such thing as an American accent. The "American Accent" is made up of hundreds of thousands of Accents from across the world. Remember... maybe from History class if you are old enough... how all the other countries in the world immigrated over to America?


PsychoGamer8229 wrote:


Also, having the whole cast just be made up of Caucasians is still white washing since the characters they are playing were not Caucasian at all. The director said that he did it this way because he believes that Caucasians represent the everyman. Well, I think that is wrong and he should be ashamed of himself for ever thinking such a thing. Why does Hollywood have to think that the default is Caucasian? It's racist.


WAIT sorry this will be my final point... uhm... HAVE YOU BEEN OR EVER SEEN ANYTHING ON GERMANY?! You keep throwing out there that the colony is German, that they should speak with German accents, and then get mad when the cast is all white? Maybe I went to a different Germany 4 years ago... or perhaps I learned about the wrong Germany in school... but Germany is like 90% white.

I also want to see a link where the AoT director said Caucasians represent the everyman, and want to still know why/how Hollywood is even involved in this series at all.

Also I wont even get started on how if all the cast had good German accents, you, and probably more than half of the AoT viewers, wouldn't be able to understand a damn word they said.
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Posted 4/16/14

Stonewolfe wrote:

I think you really should go to a convention with some FUNi VA's in attendance, and talk to them. I was talking to Monica Rial when she came to my local convention. When it comes to what and how they can dub a series, their hands are completely tied behind their back by the Japanese companies. They honestly get little leeway in what they can and can not do.

Also calling VA's inexperienced when you have NO idea how the system works yourself is a bit childish in my opinion. Also whats with the whole Hollywood deal? Hollywood has nothing to do with English Dubbing for Anime.

Finally what the fuck is an American Accent? There is no such thing as an American accent. The "American Accent" is made up of hundreds of thousands of Accents from across the world. Remember... maybe from History class if you are old enough... how all the other countries in the world immigrated over to America?


PsychoGamer8229 wrote:


Also, having the whole cast just be made up of Caucasians is still white washing since the characters they are playing were not Caucasian at all. The director said that he did it this way because he believes that Caucasians represent the everyman. Well, I think that is wrong and he should be ashamed of himself for ever thinking such a thing. Why does Hollywood have to think that the default is Caucasian? It's racist.


WAIT sorry this will be my final point... uhm... HAVE YOU BEEN OR EVER SEEN ANYTHING ON GERMANY?! You keep throwing out there that the colony is German, that they should speak with German accents, and then get mad when the cast is all white? Maybe I went to a different Germany 4 years ago... or perhaps I learned about the wrong Germany in school... but Germany is like 90% white.

I also want to see a link where the AoT director said Caucasians represent the everyman, and want to still know why/how Hollywood is even involved in this series at all.

Also I wont even get started on how if all the cast had good German accents, you, and probably more than half of the AoT viewers, wouldn't be able to understand a damn word they said.


Apparently, you have misunderstood me. I was talking about the new Noah film that's coming out, not Attack on Titan. The director for that movie is the one who said that. That's why I was talking about Hollywood. I have no problem with the cast in Attack on Titan being white. Also, I do have the ability to be able to comprehend a German accent. I am not an imbecile.
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Posted 4/16/14 , edited 4/16/14

PsychoGamer8229 wrote:



Apparently, you have misunderstood me. I was talking about the new Noah film that's coming out, not Attack on Titan. The director for that movie is the one who said that. That's why I was talking about Hollywood. I have no problem with the cast in Attack on Titan being white. Also, I do have the ability to be able to comprehend a German accent. I am not an imbecile.



I do apologize on that then. As I did not see the Noah reference in there. I must of glossed over it with AoT being talked about before it.


Also I do not mean to make it sound like I am calling you, or anyone, an imbecile. Just on the German accent thing, it works much like accents here in the states. Where we may have trouble, or even an impossibility understanding someone from another part of the states. I, being from KS and the city, barely understand my family that lives in the sticks of Georgia. The same thing happens in Germany where people in the Northern parts barely understand people from the Southern parts, because of slang, accents, etc etc.

So for a true "authentic" sounding German there will be some that sound... well more or less like British English, where others sound like breaking glass or a snowblower going over gravel. Having been to Germany, I can say this is fairly true as well. In and around Berlin and Hamburg, the ones who spoke English to me spoke in a perfectly good accent I could understand. Where as when in the South around Munich, I had an easier time listening to their German than their English, and trying to decipher their slang.

Of course I could have just had bad luck in Munich and didn't find anyone who really spoke English, but given it was like 6 different people and all of them spoke english, just HEAVILY accented, I don't think that was the case.
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Posted 4/16/14
Umm...Most of the accents you mentioned are variations of UK accents. American dialects vary on where and what nations settled in a particular area. ie Germans in upper mid-west, French in Louisiana, Spain in the southwest, Britain on the east coast colonies and spread across the south.
To my ears anyway, most dub artists sound Canadian, but I could be wrong.
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Posted 4/16/14 , edited 4/16/14
to answer the question on page 1.... why.

The answer are in different levels...
If you ask the voice talent, its becuase they are directed to do so.


The next level is why the directors direct it that way... however I cant remember exactly the answers I heard years ago .....

Anyway accents are my favorite exercise for voice over . I had a male german engineer classmate in the extension class for Accents I took years ago .Our teacher was an expert in accents, he could fool anyone anywhere lol. . My classmate,,,He had a very mild german accent in his english and he never lived in the USA before but was only in town for training for 4-6 months.

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Posted 4/16/14

iashakezula wrote:

to answer the question on page 1.... why.

The answer are in different levels...
If you ask the voice talent, its becuase they are directed to do so.


The next level is why the directors direct it that way... however I cant remember exactly the answers I heard years ago .....

Anyway accents are my favorite exercise for voice over . I had a male german engineer classmate in the extension class for Accents I took years ago and he had a very mild german accent in his english .


It's just that Funimation had set a high standard with dubs like Baccano. Since then, they backed away from it and just continued doing generic average English dubs. Seriously, the English Dub for Baccano was beautifully crafted. Everyone had the accents that they needed to have and even in that one episode that explained the origins of the immortality elixir, everyone sported an accent that fitted the right time period and place that they originated from. It was as if they doing it for the art. It just seems like they don't really care in the Attack on Titan dub. It seems as if it was just done to cash in on the success. The dialogue in in is atrocious and appeals to the lowest common denominator. Its as if the script write did not do their research. The voice director probably didn't do their research either. Some characters say things that they would never say in both the original Japanese version and the manga itself. For example, they have Levi making quips. Since when has Levi ever made quips. It's just not in his character. Also, Matthew Mercer is just too deep and gruff to be Levi. Levi is supposed to have a higher but calm voice. He's supposed to sound like he is calm, cool, and collected. Levi is supposed to be older than he looks and sounds.
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Posted 4/16/14

PsychoGamer8229 wrote:

It's just that Funimation had set a high standard with dubs like Baccano. Since then, they backed away from it and just continued doing generic average English dubs. Seriously, the English Dub for Baccano was beautifully crafted. Everyone had the accents that they needed to have and even in that one episode that explained the origins of the immortality elixir, everyone sported an accent that fitted the right time period and place that they originated from. It was as if they doing it for the art. It just seems like they don't really care in the Attack on Titan dub. It seems as if it was just done to cash in on the success. The dialogue in in is atrocious and appeals to the lowest common denominator. Its as if the script write did not do their research. The voice director probably didn't do their research either. Some characters say things that they would never say in both the original Japanese version and the manga itself. For example, they have Levi making quips. Since when has Levi ever made quips. It's just not in his character. Also, Matthew Mercer is just too deep and gruff to be Levi. Levi is supposed to have a higher but calm voice. He's supposed to sound like he is calm, cool, and collected. Levi is supposed to be older than he looks and sounds.


You've made three whole threads dedicated to saying the same exact thing over and over, and it's getting very tiresome. Please just stop.
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Posted 4/16/14 , edited 4/16/14


1) I already told you why they shouldn't have everyone speak with German accents; that still makes it harder to understand the VAs as well as making it more difficult (and expensive) to find VAs that can speak with a good German accent. Let alone the fact that the entire point of AoT is that all of humanity hunkered down behind the walls; the exact language they speak really could be English, at least with the information in the animé. 100 years also gives more time for language to change.

2) Noah is a really terrible movie unless you can divorce it so completely from the source material and have a world view in line with the director's. I qualify for neither of those, so to me it is like complaining about being called names by a man who just attempted genocide; it may be annoying but its really not worth focusing on in light of the circumstances.

This has gone from "probably being trolling" to "almost certainly being trolling" so I'm out.
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