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Post Reply Errors in Subtitles.
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/25/17
I know it's Crunchyroll's policy to not go back and fix subtitle errors, and I understand why. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2016-10-28/.108210 < good summary of why.

That said, it's frustrating sometimes.

I'll start by saying that I know I'm talking about shows no one watches. One second season of a show where everyone hated the first season, and then three music shows. I'd imagine things like Boruto or Attack on Titan get more respect than this from the translators, but that's just life.

With the "second season of a show everyone hated," I'm obviously talking about the "I was made here" thing - a character brings his new team to a place, and they're surprised that he knows the lay of the land. He says, "I was made here," - meaning, this is where he was put through ruthless spy training. The subtitle says "I made this place" - which might fit in the context of the flashback shown later in that episode or the next, but it erases a crucial moment of weakness for a character who's been shown to be so strong - but this is where we get to see his other side, and that's part of what makes the series actually really worthwhile despite its flaws.
In the same series, there were also a lot of moments where a character would say something like, "Always... why...", and the subtitle would say something like, "Why can't we catch a break?" The fact that it wasn't a complete sentence adds to the emotional weight of what just happened, and using a turn of phrase like "catch a break" sort of feels like mocking the moment.



But these are relatively minor things.

A translation that completely misses a pun - a character named Tsubasa says "let's show them our wings", using their own name, is just translated as "let's show them what we can do"; a missed Shakespeare reference; a onomatopoeia word (e.g. doki-doki, fuwa-fuwa, etc.) used as a pun on a name, translated literally - these are also minor things.

Then, you get into iffy territory.

There's one series where a supporting character has as his character arc the fact that he's obsessed with another character who's his senpai. He imitates this character, performs this character's act exactly as they did, and just, this character's life and artistic development revolve around this senpai figure. When he finally meets this senpai, the senpai is not impressed, and tells him that it's sad if that's all the character wants to do. This is set up as a foil to the main character whose relationship with his senpai is a lot healthier. Basically, "be your own artist and not just senpai's shadow" is a big theme in this show. The character in question manages to overcome this....
But then, a mistranslation of a line in the last episode makes it seem like this character's development was just undone.
Spoilers under cut, don't read if you might watch this show at some point. No, really, serious spoiler.


But that's like, okay, even that can be overlooked. When the next season comes out, and we see that he hasn't gone back to being crazy like that, it's fine.

But then.

In a new episode, the subtitles literally call an insignificant character by a different character's name.
The character whose name was used doesn't appear much, but they're important to the series outside of this anime. The last time they were actually mentioned, the subtitles got their name wrong.
This time, they called a different character by this character's name. This is important, because the character that was shown is just about the opposite of the character the subtitler thought they were.

This is...
I don't even know.

Like I said, these aren't shows anyone cares about, and I know the subtitles are so swamped with work that they can't really fix it, and it's not like any of these shows are popular enough to get DVD releases (at least not yet), but still...

What's the worst subtitle error you've seen?

(note, though: I've seen people saying a bunch of times that Crunchyroll has some policy of translating "tanuki" as something incorrect. I dunno, maybe that happens in Naruto, but in Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, they said "tanuki" (in episode 10.) So just... leaving that there. There's probably different subtitle teams for everything. A lot of things are inconsistent.)
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/25/17
Amazon absolutely butchered the subs for the Lyrical Nanoha series. It starts out with simple typos that never got cleaned up:


Then, they fail to transcribe perfect English correctly. Not only do they mess this up, they don't even use real English words here.


They fail even when there is correct text that is clearly legible in the animation:


Over the course of a single scene, they give a different transliteration of the same character's name:



They don't understand the difference between the Japanese word "manshon" and the English word "mansion":


On occasion, the translator flat-out gives up on giving a coherent translation:




Sometimes, they forgot the name of the series:


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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/28/17

rysto32 wrote:

Over the course of a single scene, they give a different transliteration of the same character's name:


That is as as bad as the dub was, where they pronounced her name 3 different ways over the course of the first series.

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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/25/17
I personally would rather have correct grammar and proper translations than simulsubs. I noticed a glaring typo in an episode of Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. The sentence didn't even make sense.
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/26/17
Wait, Amazon subbed Lyrical Nanoha? That was like 10 years ago or something, no simulcast pressure there. You sure that wasn't a fansub?
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/26/17
I know what show LavenderMintRose is talking about. I can't really understand much Japanese but reading what's written there feels like I missed some important characterization stuff.

I think I've seen some subs like these before but I don't really remember them. Although I have seen others mention translations being done wrong in video games which has the same problem. I've also seen, I think, a few anime wherein some parts doesn't have any subs. I'm not sure if they're official or fansubs. One of which is Cardcaptor Sakura. Not sure if it was official but it uses the same font style and yellow/white color old official fansubs use. I've seen mistakes or missing subs.
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/26/17

marklebid wrote:

Wait, Amazon subbed Lyrical Nanoha? That was like 10 years ago or something, no simulcast pressure there. You sure that wasn't a fansub?


Amazon re-subbed when they acquired the rights a couple of years ago, I guess. Clearly they didn't spend much money on it, given the quality.
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/26/17

rysto32 wrote:


marklebid wrote:

Wait, Amazon subbed Lyrical Nanoha? That was like 10 years ago or something, no simulcast pressure there. You sure that wasn't a fansub?


Amazon re-subbed when they acquired the rights a couple of years ago, I guess. Clearly they didn't spend much money on it, given the quality.


seems like it was originally subbed by Funimation
distributor: funimation

chances are, Amazon bought the rights to distribute it, but instead of investing on subs, they just decided to go with whatever was already available - in this case, Funi subs (which have a reputation for quality subs
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/26/17

HOOfan_1 wrote:

I personally would rather have correct grammar and proper translations than simulsubs. I noticed a glaring typo in an episode of Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. The sentence didn't even make sense.


Yeah, for me fast availability isn't critical either, but assuming Justin is right (OP linked article) about CR's subtitle team being overloaded all day every day, delays would do no good against a constant deluge of incoming work.

I had a conversation about subtitle typos with Funimation representatives on their old forum in 2015. That whole forum has been deleted and replaced since then, but the gist of their answer was that they wanted typos in simulcasts to be reported to them ASAP directly via email, and mistakes in catalog titles to be reported via a site support ticket. They then copy-pasted that into a new FAQ entry. Since then they've simplified it and now request that all reports be sent via support ticket:

https://www.funimation.com/contact-us/#site-support

How do I report a video issue?
If you’re having trouble watching one of our videos, or if you’ve found a subtitle error, please reach out to us through our Support Page and select “Technical - Other” as your reason for contacting us.


After that I tentatively sent some typo reports in to CR and initially got thanks (as the support staff apparently hadn't been informed yet that corrections were unfeasible), but later got the same response as the asker in the OP linked article.

One Funi subtitle that became infamous (although it doesn't seem all that outrageous to me) was "Just like a plan": https://twitter.com/xythar/status/424312267564281860

I asked them about the "fan theory" (if that term is appropriate) I'd read, that the reason may have been a Japanese publisher mandating that their own official subtitles be used on the show. They confirmed that "Just like a plan" was, quote, "on our end," but also confirmed that in some cases they are contractually obligated to use a Japanese publisher's subtitles.

After the CR/Funi marriage went through, I asked Funi whether they wanted me to send them sub typo reports on Funi content that I watch on CR. They said that was a good question and promised to get back to me later, but never did. The thing is, since subs on CR are locked (see OP linked article), it's not like any fixes Funi makes to catalog titles will show up here, so there's no way of knowing whether they already know about a typo when watching a Funi show on CR.

I always figured that the primary value was to catch and fix any typos in simulcast subs before they make it to physical media. In that case, I imagine Funi would like to know about any simulcast typos in shows that they'll be handling the physical releases for, but I don't know.

An example of a report I sent to Funimation:


Hi, here's a subtitle typo I found:

Overlord
Episode 10
13:17 "I can't tell the different between..."
Also in the same episode:
16:30 "I want to tear them apart and bath in their blood" - the verb for bathing oneself is "bathe," although one can "bath" another, such as a pet or small child.

The next is not a typo, but I think the order the translation is presented in is confusing:

Overlord
Episode 5
1:00 "Slane Theocracy... Goblins, Ogres, Lizardmen, and the like. A theocratic nation that believes humans must unite against all races, if I remember correctly." This preserves the original Japanese order, but in English it sounds like the Slane Theocracy is "Goblins, Ogres, Lizardmen, and the like," until the next line reveals by implication that they are exclusively humans united against such non-humans. I would suggest changing the order the lines appear in to this: "Slane Theocracy... If I remember correctly, it is a theocratic nation that believes humans must unite against all races - Goblins, Ogres, Lizardmen, and the like."

This also is not a typo, but I think it needs to be rephrased considering the context:

Full Metal Panic
Episode 4
16:14 "We shouldn't expect him to release the hostages from the beginning." The context is that this is taking place well after "the beginning" of the hostage situation. The leaders having this conversation had originally expected that the hostages would be released, but have just realized that this is very unlikely, upon learning who the enemy commander is. "We shouldn't have expected him to release the hostages from the beginning" would be better, but I think the most concise and ideal version would be "We never should have expected him to release the hostages." That would also better convey the speaking character's remorse.


I sent that report in August 2016. Overlord was added to CR in May 2017, and FMP was just added last week. Out of curiosity I checked: all of the items reported above are still unchanged. So perhaps fixes are just as unfeasible for Funimation's team as for CR, even though Funi's official policy is to ask for reports. Those were only back-catalog titles at the time when I reported them, though. I should check sometime whether the simulcast reports I sent in made a difference.
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Posted 10/25/17 , edited 10/26/17
I don't remember the anime, but a character said something in ENGLISH and it was subbed wrong. How in hell could they make that mistake? IIRC; it was a Funi show.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17

namealreadytaken wrote:

seems like it was originally subbed by Funimation
distributor: funimation

Funimation only handled distribution. Like some other titles (i.e., The Familiar of Zero, When They Cry, etc.) that Funimation once had, they were actually Geneon titles that Funimation had agreed to distribute.

As such, Geneon commissioned the dubs and no doubt handled the subs as well (although I don't know if Amazon is using the Geneon subs, as they clearly didn't bother with the dub). The first Shakugan no Shana was also a Geneon title, and one of the few that Funimation later licensed as their own.

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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17

yumikikoharu wrote:

I know what show LavenderMintRose is talking about. I can't really understand much Japanese but reading what's written there feels like I missed some important characterization stuff.


Ahhhhh ----- there's so much...

okay, StarMyu season 2 spoilers under cut, but this is something I've been meaning to write up and post on Tumblr, because it's important. This is definitely the sort of thing I don't blame Crunchy for though, because it's... really a nuance thing. Like, the difference only matters for characterization stuff that you'd sort of need to know where it ends up for it to make a difference.
*warning: gushing over shows I like inside*

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Posted 10/27/17 , edited 10/27/17

LavenderMintRose wrote:

Ahhhhh ----- there's so much...

okay, StarMyu season 2 spoilers under cut, but this is something I've been meaning to write up and post on Tumblr, because it's important. This is definitely the sort of thing I don't blame Crunchy for though, because it's... really a nuance thing. Like, the difference only matters for characterization stuff that you'd sort of need to know where it ends up for it to make a difference.
*warning: gushing over shows I like inside*



The 1st sentence you mentioned, I agree that the emotion seems different. The 'Dame desune?' part of the line felt like he's hesitating and actually feels bad about what he's thinking versus the sub that felt like he's just explaining what he thinks. Yeah, small stuff but it gives a little difference in feeling for the fans watching. While the meaning is the same and is right, I guess what the sub failed to capture was the feeling it had originally.
CompzZ 
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Posted 10/27/17 , edited 10/27/17
you have to know that crunchyroll is a business, and we don't matter. I'm sure we deserve it for watching anime of cousin lovers
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Posted 10/27/17 , edited 10/28/17
This is where it's really nice to know a bit of Japanese. There's a lot of nuance in the language that really doesn't translate well into English, if possible at all. Take, for instance, honorifics, and formality; you can understand a lot about characters' relationships from the way they speak to each other, if the subs don't make it very clear. I'm of the opinion that honorifics should be included in the sub because it sheds light on that sort of thing.
On the subject of quality, I guess the only way it's going to get better is if they have a bigger team. Might be an interesting career for someone who enjoys both linguistics and anime. I'm slowly learning Japanese (not just through osmosis; I got Rosetta Stone because I someday want to live there =3), really enjoy the language, but it sounds like a damn stressful job.
Honestly, I'm surprised they don't make more mistakes. The examples above are pretty extreme, and I can't say I've ever encountered any as bad. I think the most common errors are when it comes to wordplay - you may as well give up on understanding a good portion of, for instance, Nichijou's jokes unless you find comments explaining them for non-Japanese speakers.
Oddly enough, the thing that bugs me most of the way they opt to translate "filler" phrases - something simple and literal in Japanese, like "Is that so?", "indeed", or "ridiculous" will tend to be changed to something else entirely, and not really even fit the tone in that moment.
But that little bit of weirdness beats most of the English dub VA's...
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