why the "get out of here if you watch it dubbed"

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Postby Clover » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:59 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:you're just bitter because no old fat pedophile has called you Gumi-chan

Totemo sugoiful monogatari, niisan-chan-kun-sammar-kisama-tachi-sama.

I made sure to use as many honorifics as possible so the rest of the people on the board can understand the deep character development in our relationship.
Last edited by Clover on Sat May 02, 2015 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:14 pm

View Original PostClover wrote:Totemo sugoiful monogatari, niisan-chan-kun-sammar-kisama-tachi-sama.
[...]
I made sure to use as many honorifics as possible so the rest of the people on the board can understand the deep character development in our relationship.

No one should have to read this  SPOILER: Show
Thank you, Mr. Mrs. Ms. Miss, Missus, Mister, Senior, Professor, Doctor, President, King, Czar Username.
Because that's literally what you just wrote right there. Please educate yourself in what you're commenting on before you comment on it. Or at least just ask someone about it. I'm sure they wouldn't mind answering any questions you may have.

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Postby ashneverwind » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:59 am

I sadly don't have an intelligent or deep thing to say about the DUB/SUB argument. but i Belive that its really situational.

I love eva's dub (Asuka's Japanese voice actor is horriable omg!) but I know if I ever saw saikano or when panty and stocking gets dubbed i probably will stick to the subbed versions. not because the dubs are bad but because i already know i enjoy the Japanese voices...
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Postby evafanatic » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:52 am

Well, one of the reasons why I stay clear from the dub is because Grant sounds disturbingly similar to my mother *shudders*.

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:03 am

View Original PostClover wrote:Those honorifics are pretty important man. It's not like we can convey respect through tone of voice or body language or anything silly like that.
Errrr, we CAN convey these things through tone of voice and body language, sure, but how do you translate that into a dub when the American cast and crew are so ignorant about their significance in the original context? That still doesn't change the fact that these things usually go completely untranslated in any shape or form in dubs.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:48 am

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:Errrr, we CAN convey these things through tone of voice and body language, sure, but how do you translate that into a dub when the American cast and crew are so ignorant about their significance in the original context? That still doesn't change the fact that these things usually go completely untranslated in any shape or form in dubs.

Well, some honorifics can be translated into English, which is something that does bother me about some subs. They'll maintain the word "oniichan" in the written subs when it simply means "brother". Some of the other honorifics can be translated differently depending on the context, like "chan" can simply be interpreted as "kid", "squirt", "girl", and so on, depending on the situation. Though, in those cases, I generally contend that it's better to hear it in Japanese to be able to tell exactly what the appropriate meaning would be from the situations in the scene itself, since it can mean different things depending on the situation or person addressed.

View Original PostClover wrote:Doesn't understand

My point exactly. This might help you out a bit, but you can also pick these things up quite easily just by watching Japanese films or TV shows.

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Postby oOoOoOo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:05 am

In some cases I feel the dubs should actually have the English actors adding "-kun" and "-san" to the end of names. There really aren't equivalents in the English language. It isn't like "-san" is exactly like "mister". I wouldn't go around calling younger or older classmates "upperclassman" or something. "Upperclassperson Ophelia, please help me with my homework!" "Sure thing, Juniorclassman!!" Barf! Would you say "commander of a force" instead of "shogun"? Honourifics are a part of Japanese culture and manners.

If we're talking space opera anime or something, perhaps there is less of a case to make. But the writers mean something very specific when they include "-kun" and it isn't a nickname. The Japanese have nicknames already. The short form of "Robert" is "Rob". The short form of "Shinji" is "Shin". Adding "-kun" to a name is intimate in a way that Western shortforms aren't.

Anyway, the animation and Japanese voicework already conveys what it conveys, on top of having honourifics. By removing honourifics we are simply removing one more layer of meaning. Might as well just give everyone Western names and rename "Tokyo" to "Manhattan" or something.

English version: voice + visuals

Japanese version: voice + visuals + honourifics
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Postby Jayfive » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:06 pm

In some cases I feel the dubs should actually have the English actors adding "-kun" and "-san" to the end of names.


Yes. YES.

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Postby Dr. Nick » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:33 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:In some cases I feel the dubs should actually have the English actors adding "-kun" and "-san" to the end of names.


I think some dubs actually do this, since I remember Otaking raging about it.

There really aren't equivalents in the English language. [...] By removing honourifics we are simply removing one more layer of meaning.


While I don't oppose the practice of maintaing some honorifics if it's contextually appropriate, I must point out that the "layers of meaning" argument is a pretty weak one, since translating always involves some level of signal loss. Some level of meaning is always compromised.

Might as well just give everyone Western names and rename "Tokyo" to "Manhattan" or something.


And this argument is just plain terrible. The process of cultural adaptation in translation is something a bit subtler than that.

Furthermore, as more knowledgeable people have pointed out, many anime fans tend to have unnecessarily huge hard-ons for honorifics.

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Postby oOoOoOo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:26 pm

Dr. Nick, I am sort of exaggerating with the Tokyo/Manhattan thing. Little bit of an Akira live-action joke. ^_~ I'm just leaning towards one position for effect. I don't actually disagree with you.

If I go and pull out the oldest Japanese history books in my library they will use European honourifics and political structures to refer to "feudal" Japan. That's less common nowadays. Is isn't really necessary to call a feudal prince a "daimyo" is it? Can't we just call the "Shogun" a "Prince-Regent", since that's what he is? If we're talking about a story set within a foreign culture, what's wrong with that? Why bother using words like "sultan" or "vizier"?

If a character suddenly starts dropping/adding an honourific but doesn't otherwise change their tone of voice or speaking style, how is that conveyed? Often in anime the changes go beyond mere honourifics when it comes to names. A character will refer to someone by the last name all the time, but the translators in the dub switch this around to the first name.

It's kind of like the surname/given name thing. Does it matter which goes first?

Julius Caesar didn't speak in Elizabethan verse, but Shakespeare pulls it off anyway. I suppose it doesn't really matter. But leaving in the honourifics would be an easy way to retain some of the original meaning, since we're mostly talking about anime translations, and not literary novels or histories. That is, we're not talking about awesome translations to begin with. Evangelion's dub didn't receive the same loving care as the latest version of the Pillow Book or something.

Of course, honourifics are the least of our worries when it comes to dubs. Just one more thing to think about.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:38 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:I must point out that the "layers of meaning" argument is a pretty weak one, since translating always involves some level of signal loss. Some level of meaning is always compromised.
This is undoubtedly true, but I think keeping honorifics is one way (out of many; like watching it in the original language with subs) of minimizing the signal loss AMAP.
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Postby oOoOoOo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:47 pm

I just looked at some Japanese novels (translated into English) and to me it seems like a lack of honourifics isn't really a problem. There are plenty of ways to convey meaning because it is prose. We get a lot of internal thoughts and such.

Of course, I don't actually listen to dubs! So it might sound a bit bizarre in some cases. I'm thinking about subtitles and how I like to see honourifics in them. Because when I'm watching a "foreign" film I'm basically mixing everything in my head to create meaning. Example:

Mom is telling daughter to do homework. Daughter says "Hai" in a whiny voice, and the subtitle says "Yes ma'am!" In my mind the daughter is really say "Fiiiiiine". Which is how I would actually address my mother.

Boyfriend is telling girlfriend that their meal is good, and she replies with "Mm!" but the subtitle says "Yes!" In my mind she is simply making a happy noise.

This post is not so much an argument as an explanation of my usual thought process. ^^;
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Postby Cody MacArthur Fett » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:55 pm

You know, in all of this I cant help but wonder if there are people in Japan arguing on the internet right now about whether or not dubs or subs of Avatar: The Last Airbender are worth watching.

Also, since it's been made abundantly clear that there are very few people here actually speak Japanese I now have to ask: does anybody here really believe that anime (never mind Eva) has a snowball's chance in Hell of being anything other then a niche market outside of Japan without dubs?
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Postby Xard » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:12 pm

View Original PostCody MacArthur Fett wrote:Also, since it's been made abundantly clear that there are very few people here actually speak Japanese I now have to ask: does anybody here really believe that anime (never mind Eva) has a snowball's chance in Hell of being anything other then a niche market outside of Japan without dubs?


America is retarded enough to hate anything subbed, whether it be live action or animated. In fact americans don't give a fuck about films outside the USA in general period (just see how as a rule international hits perform way worse in USA than would be expectable). I find this incredibly annoying but it hasn't changed in decades.

Keeping above in mind your question becomes meaningless. Eva has no chance by virtue of being anime alone; dub or sub doesn't change this
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Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby oOoOoOo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:39 pm

Evangelion has a bunch of things working against it. For one, animation is assumed to be for children or "families" in North America. Also there's the crazy Christian imagery stuff. And there's the stuff Xard's talking about. Sorry, I meant to say Xard-kuunnnnnn~!!

It comes about because of cultural dominance. The Anglosphere (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) is the dominant cultural force on the planet. Also the dominant economic force.

For example, Canada has basically two versions of "MTV". One is "English" and the other is "French". The English one only plays English music, but the French one plays both. Lots of urban Quebec youth are bilingual whereas most people in the rest of Canada only speak English. There's no need to speak French, but if you are French you really need to know English or else you're missing out on the dominant culture.

In the Anglosphere there is no pressing need to bother with non-English stuff. People simply haven't trained themselves to read subtitles and watch moving pictures at the same time. The success of the Avatar cartoon (aside from distribution and television issues) is probably due in part to the fact it's dubbed. And why would the Japanese give a shit about this show anyway? They've been doing shonen adventures like this for decades. (Also, the Avatar dub is decent and the dialogue is aimed at eight-year-olds. I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter what language you watch the show in, so long as the voicework is good.)

This kind of mentality is eventually going to change due to demographics. The Anglosphere is fabulously rich, which means birth rates are fabulously low. In a few years we might see mainstream U.S. theatres showing films with Spanish subtitles. In Canada there's going to eventually be more Chinese people than French-speaking people. You'll go to a theatre in Vancouver or Toronto and see a film with subtitles in a bajillion dialects. "Soccer" will eventually be more popular than U.S.-style football or hockey. More diversity will change things and people will start enjoying subtitles more. It is the cosmopolitan future! ^_^ But it may take a few decades.
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Postby Allemann » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:52 pm

Anyone who leaves honorifics in English translation should be brought back to Translation 101 course, English 101, or, even better, just be banished from translating ever again. Either it's in one language or the other. Don't mix them.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:21 pm

View Original PostAllemann wrote:Anyone who leaves honorifics in English
is just following the same accepted style as referring to a Frenchman as M. Grenouille, a German as Herr Kraut, or an Italian as Signor Pasta (with appropriate changes for sex and marital status).
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Postby NemZ » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:07 pm

Oddly enough, in the Rei's betrayal thread we just had a theory shot down by honorifics.
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Postby oOoOoOo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:50 pm

Tines-san (hahaha san) raises a good point. I've seen that a lot, especially when the French are referred to.

And in that Rei's betrayal thread I think we have a good demonstration of what I was talking about earlier. If the End of Evangelion were a novel, it might not matter if "-kun" was used or not. There would be descriptions that would clue us in. Also, let's consider Rei's monotone. Is there a point where she starts calling Shinji "Ikari-kun" or is he always "Ikari-kun" to her? Because with her monotone any use of honourifics is telling.
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Postby DIDDY » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:13 pm

Also, let's consider Rei's monotone. Is there a point where she starts calling Shinji "Ikari-kun" or is he always "Ikari-kun" to her? Because with her monotone any use of honourifics is telling.


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