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Post Reply Japanese language as a deterrent to really enjoy anime/jp drama for beginners?
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38 / M / 地球
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Posted 9/29/15 , edited 9/30/15
I am a helpless anime fan, but also I've been studying Japanese language since my second year in senior high school. (15+ years now).

I've noticed that many people I've introduced into anime or Japanese drama (my sister by example) are extremely distracted by Japanese pronunciation and VA's voice tone. To the point they become unable to give a proper, objective review of what they just watched, content wise.

Of course, when I want them to view certain anime/drama, I take into account their own tastes, (comedy, moving series, serious topics, terror, action, tearjerkers, etc...) so they can watch what they like but with another artistic perspective. Like if they like soap-operas I show them something alike and such.

You guys know a lot of producers of anime actually spend a lot of time and resources to make a great final product. With amazing OST, intricate/intellectual plot and dialogues; great drawing art and whatnot.

But 90% of those people tend to just being too distracted by the language itself. They try to keep repeating phrases in broken Japanese and make fun of the Japanese intonation, female VA's high voice tone tendency and such (not mocking, just goofing off I think). Instead of watching and appreciating something that they might really like, they end up with actually not remembering a thing about the plot, or just a few pieces of plot that didn't sink into their minds. After 2-3 tries, if they keep doing the same thing, I just give up and let them be.

What do you guys think?

Have you experienced something alike?
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19 / M
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Posted 9/29/15 , edited 9/29/15
If someone is that small minded where they can't get over their ignorance to enjoy a unique and cultural art form, then I wouldn't be too concerned with that persons opinion, because people like them don't deserve to enjoy art since it doesn't cater to their little shitty square that they're stuck in.

Fuck em.
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52 / M / Bay Area
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Posted 9/29/15
I have notice what your describing with some of my younger relatives and their friend so ages 17-24 they prefer to watch a show dubbed then they can get past the giggling or not timely comments that piss me off during a show
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 9/29/15
making fun of the intonation seems pretty childish
(even more so, since they probably can't even pronounce a word in Japanese correctly themselves)

the only thing stopping people from enjoying an anime is the language barrier, but with subs, it's not that much of an issue anymore.
and no, never experienced this. not yet anyways.
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31 / Michigan USA
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Posted 9/29/15 , edited 9/30/15
Well, I've studied Japanese for just about as long as you. One of the reasons I began was because I liked the way that the language was pronounced. Even to this day it is harder for me to get into languages like German or Russian, because I so prefer the way that Japanese is spoken that I find pronouncing words in German and Russian very difficult.

A long time ago, when no one in my town knew what anime was, I found that people were very distracted by Japanese and couldn't keep up with reading the subtitles. Yet I haven't met anyone like that in a very long time. Most anime-lovers I meet now prefer the Japanese dub with English subs.

Listening to anime in English, it sounds so ridiculous to me, there's no emotion, and if there is, it's off or wrong for the scene.

I'm a bit of a purist in this regard for anything though. I prefer movies filmed in Chinese to be in Chinese with an English dub, or movies in Spanish, to be in Spanish with an English dub. If the content was made a certain way, by a certain culture, in a certain language, it should stay that way, and anyone that wants to watch should try to just chill out and enjoy something that is a bit different from what they are used to? Haha. That's what I think anyway.
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21 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 9/29/15 , edited 9/29/15
I've never had that problem, and the first anime I watched (subbed) was Code Geass. xD

Never known, anyone else to have that problem. And if I did, I wouldn't worry about their opinion and I wouldn't recommend anime/watch it with them.
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Posted 9/29/15
Yeah no, i don't know of anyone who has that problem. If anything though i'm kindof the opposite of your sister where i tend to appreciate the way the original VA's portray the characters. I believe a lot of it has to do with the forced syncing done with English dubs. It takes more focus from the English voice actors to try and match the translation to the characters lips and make it look somewhat natural and unfortunately that often decreases the personality that comes from a characters voice. Even though i haven't tried learning any Japanese (if I've learned any I've done so passively) i can still understand the emotions being conveyed through the voices themselves in a much more sincere feeling way. But that's not to say that i prefer any sub over its dub. In the same manner, the English cast of a show can put a lot more character into their voices while the original Japanese VA's fall flat. It's simply a matter of what sounds better to me
Rakabn 
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26 / M / Oklahoma, USA
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Posted 9/29/15
I know a lot of people who think the exact same thing. They ignore the whole story because of the language or even because its animated. I find it silly how we judge junk.
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21 / M / Chicago, Illinois
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Posted 9/29/15
My friends are so backass that they refuse to watch sub. blasphemous, right? they think the dub of any anime sounds better... we were watching Black Lagoon in dub, and it sounded like it was recorded of a cell phone and the voice acting was atrocious.
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35 / M / UK
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Posted 9/29/15 , edited 9/29/15
I've had the reverse happen to me. When I was showing the Ghost Hunt anime to some friends they insisted on watching the English dub. The next couple of hours were filled with giggles and roars of laughter as they mocked the voice acting. It got particularly bad when the supposedly "Australian" character came on with an obviously fake accent.
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24 / M
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Posted 9/29/15
When I first started watching subbed anime I must admit I had to do a lot of adjusting. I had been watching anime since I was very young, but it was all on television, meaning that it was all dubbed. So for me, having never experienced the Japanese language, there were a lot of things that were new. For example the use of -san, -kun, -chan etc. However the more I watched, the more accustomed to it I became. I learned that there were a lot of things that got lost in translation, such as a character's speech habits (ie. Naruto's dattebayo). Now, having watched subbed anime for over ten years, and after a few years of Japanese classes, I feel like I get so much more out of the show. I even catch some mistranslations in the subtitles sometimes.

To answer your question, I believe knowing the language definitely allows you to enjoy the content more, but it shouldn't deter anyone from watching it. However it might be kind of a turn off for someone who's never watched anime. So I say this: develop their love of anime first. Introduce them to some good shows with some decent dubs (Viz Media does a decent job). If they seem interested, ease them into a subbed anime. This will probably be your safest bet because I doubt anyone who truly loves anime will stop after watching it in its original Japanese glory.
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22 / M / Kabe o koete
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Posted 9/30/15

Genetic-freak wrote:

Well, I've studied Japanese for just about as long as you. One of the reasons I began was because I liked the way that the language was pronounced. Even to this day it is harder for me to get into languages like German or Russian, because I so prefer the way that Japanese is spoken that I find pronouncing words in German and Russian very difficult.

A long time ago, when no one in my town knew what anime was, I found that people were very distracted by Japanese and couldn't keep up with reading the subtitles. Yet I haven't met anyone like that in a very long time. Most anime-lovers I meet now prefer the Japanese dub with English subs.

Listening to anime in English, it sounds so ridiculous to me, there's no emotion, and if there is, it's off or wrong for the scene.

I'm a bit of a purist in this regard for anything though. I prefer movies filmed in Chinese to be in Chinese with an English dub, or movies in Spanish, to be in Spanish with an English dub. If the content was made a certain way, by a certain culture, in a certain language, it should stay that way, and anyone that wants to watch should try to just chill out and enjoy something that is a bit different from what they are used to? Haha. That's what I think anyway.


I second this
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U.S.
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Posted 9/30/15 , edited 9/30/15
Well, some animes are predictable. For example, Fairy Tale. Never watched a whole single episode, only my bro does. One look, I already know who are the main characters. Then, introduce them with some struggles/dilemmas/enemies and I'm just like, "don't worry about it. That fire dude will save the day at the end." The more intricately drawn a character is the more it survives. "That guy won't die easily. Psh. Especially that boobie girl. They're not gonna kill that weapon wielding boobie girl. Psh"

Meh
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39 / Inside your compu...
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Posted 9/30/15
Xenophobia
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27 / Naked in a pine tree
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Posted 9/30/15
I'm a purist myself as well. I enjoy watching the original dubs with english subs. Although I'll admit, even someone like me whose been into anime for more than 15 years can still get a bit of an awkward chill from some of the japanese moe character intonation's. The latest example would be Charlotte. I can't even begin to count how many times I cringed with ear pain listening to Ayumi's razor sharp high-pitched voice.
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