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

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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:21 pm

View Original PostCody MacArthur Fett wrote:You know, I hear a lot of people praising subs until the cows come home, but here's an interesting question, just how many people here understand spoken Japanese? I, of course, mean virtual fluency in the language.

this is the deal breaker


you might just find some actual Japanese folk out there that say they don't care for the EVA VAs in their own natural tongue

I don't like the Sub Vs. Dub fight mainly because of pure cultural and linguistic differences


and I find subs, despite me preferring them in a live action setting, to be cold and distant and if the dub sucks, then too bad for me :shrug: (and please...although I can tell the emotions in a voice in a foreign language, its again a total linguistic disconnect that doesn't do all that much for me)
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Postby oOoOoOo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:05 pm

View Original PostDIDDY wrote:What?

I mean, does Rei start off just calling him "Ikari" and then eventually she warms to him and calls him "Ikari-kun" as a term of endearment? Or does she call him "Ikari-kun" from the first day she meets him?

View Original PostGasmaskAvenger wrote:although I can tell the emotions in a voice in a foreign language, its again a total linguistic disconnect that doesn't do all that much for me)

Could this be some kind of "women are from Venus" thing? Because to me when it comes to human interaction the actual words used are far less important than the tone, the body language, the facial expressions. (Hence why someone bothered to invent emoticons.) Of course, my personal preference is any language so long as the dub is good. I rarely watch Ghibli films with the Japanese voice actors. The voice is where the emotion comes from, and emotion is the cornerstone of communication. Unless you are conducting a science experiment. But in dramatic fiction it seems emotion would be key. (I enjoyed the Ghost in the Shell series both dubbed and subbed, in part because there's so much being said and it can be very technical. But in most cases the dialogue in a film or anime is pretty straightforward.)

Here's an interesting link that's somewhat related: http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2010/02/22/japanese-prefer-subs-to-dubs-49-vs-47/ (The slight Japanese preference for subtitles probably reflects that whole "cultural dominance" thing I spoke of. I would guess that just about every non-Anglo culture prefers to watch "foreign" stuff in the "foreign" language with subtitles.)

This part made me laugh:
he proportion of movies being shown in theatres subbed is apparently declining – young Japanese movie-goers, it is said, simply cannot read them properly any more

But I imagine if you went to a Japanese forum they'd be having the same debate. Some prefer to watch Anglosphere media with subtitles, some find a disconnect and prefer a Japanese dub over. Obviously the important thing is picking whichever version makes the art resonate most. ^_^
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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:09 pm

its really hard to explain

the best I can put it is: I refuse to watch live action movies dubbed (except in one case, but the movie in question really works fine dubbed), but I have a bizarre neural disconnect/problem with watching animation subbed (not that I won't watch animation subbed, its that my brain and body feels weird watching animation subbed)
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Postby Trajan » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:29 pm

One thing that is a major pain in the ass when it comes to subs is that they can sometimes take up like half the screen if not done right. My platinum edition does this occasionally, and it pisses me off when someone's face is covered by a wall of text.
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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:30 pm

yeah


I would also mention coloring of the subs could also break a sub
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:53 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:Could this be some kind of "women are from Venus" thing? Because to me when it comes to human interaction the actual words used are far less important than the tone, the body language, the facial expressions.
Maybe it is a Male/Female thing as I'd put words and paralinguistics about equal. To me, paralinguistics modify the words being said while helping to dictate specific intensions, but it's not an absolute replacement for them.
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Postby psy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:36 pm

The simple answer to your question is the same answer to the the questions ''why do a majority of 'metalheads' seem to view other music genres as inferior?'' and ''why do my art school buddies laugh at me for not having a Mac?'': Ignorant, snobbish elitism.

When it boils down to it, comparing the quality (translation accuracy, voice acting, appropriateness of context etc) of subs and dubs in one ruling accross all anime is ignorant and unproductive; some anime will have more accurate translation and context in the dub script than the subs and vice versa, and the matter of voice acting is all personal opinion.

With some anime, I prefer subs and find the dub subpar, but sometimes the dubs are brilliantly done. Another weird thing I get is that with some anime, I can keep up fine with subs, even find them immersive, but with others my mind seems to stop paying attention and the subs go 'in one ear (or in this case, eye) and out the other', meaning I end up totally losing large chunks of the storyline or important moments and having the entire series ruined.

P.S. Inb4 someone gets horribly offended by this, but there's also what I like to call 'the weeaboo factor' to be considered; I've lost count of how many times some ignoramus has said that they refuse to watch anything unless it's subbed because they want to hear the Japanese speaking, yet they have no intention of learning the language! This case just ties back in with the elitism, it's not like they care about getting a better viewing experience out of having this attitude, they just want to idolise anything and everything Japanese to the point of claiming that their language is better when they don't understand a thing about it.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:38 pm

View Original Postpsy wrote:The simple answer to your question is the same answer to the the questions ''why do a majority of 'metalheads' seem to view other music genres as inferior?'' and ''why do my art school buddies laugh at me for not having a Mac?'': Ignorant, snobbish elitism.
Uhhh, no. That might be a simple answer, but it's not the correct one.

View Original Postpsy wrote:some anime will have more accurate translation and context in the dub script than the subs
The subtitlers would have to be awfully bad at what they do to make the dub more accurate translation.
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Postby psy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:50 pm

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:Uhhh, no. That might be a simple answer, but it's not the correct one.

I fail to see how it's incorrect, it all boils down to the same concept: "I don't like X because despite having not given it a fair chance, I love Y, so X cannot possibly be better than my awesome Y, can it?"

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:The subtitlers would have to be awfully bad at what they do to make the dub more accurate translation.

Not really, think about it for a second, subbers and dub scripters do the same thing. If you had someone reading out the subtitles to you instead of them being shown on screen, it'd be a dub (minus cues like grunts, gasps, screams etc obviously). I don't see where people get this prejudice from that makes them think that subbers are so much better at translating from Japanese to English than dub script translators are.

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:54 pm

View Original Postpsy wrote:I fail to see how it's incorrect, it all boils down to the same concept: "I don't like X because despite having not given it a fair chance, I love Y, so X cannot possibly be better than my awesome Y, can it?"
That's assuming that's the attitude they take. Some people actually have damn good reasons for preferring, say, subs to dubs, and many (if not most) of them have been listed in this thread. Most of the reasons I've heard for preferring dubs can be boiled down to laziness.

View Original Postpsy wrote:Not really, think about it for a second, subbers and dub scripters do the same thing.
Dub scripters do roughly the same thing, but they have the extra pressure of making the words fit the lips, which means they frequently have to take liberality with the accuracy of the meaning to make the words fit. Sub scripters have no such problem.
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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:01 pm

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:Most of the reasons I've heard for preferring dubs can be boiled down to laziness.

that's rather blunt :hmph:
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Postby NemZ » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:08 pm

oOoOoOo wrote:Could this be some kind of "women are from Venus" thing? Because to me when it comes to human interaction the actual words used are far less important than the tone, the body language, the facial expressions.


No, I think that's just specifically you being you. From this statement it sounds like you've got a mild case of anti-Asperger's or something.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:12 pm

View Original PostGasmaskAvenger wrote:that's rather blunt :hmph:
Let me clear; that's what I'd accuse most of reasons, actually rationalizations, as being. I think the real reason is more more valid and it's one I rarely see mentioned. Namely, there's a visceral element to hearing and understanding your own language that you simply don't get with subs and a foreign language. Yes, you can pick up certain paralinguistic communications by watching a sub, but it's more abstract, and without the element of the immediately understood spoken language there is a bit of a barrier that I don't think you can ever fully bridge. I think that's the REAL reason most prefer dubs, and I think it comes off better than "I don't like read to subtitles".

Still, I think the negative aspects of dubs, especially bad ones, far outweigh that consideration.
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Postby psy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:18 pm

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:That's assuming that's the attitude they take. Some people actually have damn good reasons for preferring, say, subs to dubs, and many (if not most) of them have been listed in this thread. Most of the reasons I've heard for preferring dubs can be boiled down to laziness.

You're misunderstanding my point; what I'm saying is that it's ignorant to hold the opinion that subs > dubs (or the inverse) unless you're talking about one specific anime. Saying ''anime with subs is better than dubbed anime'' is like saying ''people with glasses can see better than people without them'', some people see better without glasses and some see better with them, the same logic applies here.

As for the laziness comment, you're implying that there's anything wrong with making things easier and more efficient if there are no major downsides.

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:Dub scripters do roughly the same thing, but they have the extra pressure of making the words fit the lips, which means they frequently have to take liberality with the accuracy of the meaning to make the words fit. Sub scripters have no such problem.

This point is pretty much voided by the fact that lots of dubbed anime has things such as mouth movements and other animation frames edited to accommodate for the correct words without having to compromise their integrity.
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Postby Dr. Nick » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:24 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:Dr. Nick, I am sort of exaggerating with the Tokyo/Manhattan thing. Little bit of an Akira live-action joke.


Ohhhh.

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"?


Literary translators have it easy, because they're not working under horrendous time and screen space limitations. It's perfectly easy for them to maintain "shogun" and to smuggle in an explanation for the term using any number of overt or covert methods.

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?


Creative rewriting, essentually. I think Bandai used a similar strategy in Gundam 0083. Kou changes his self-referential pronoun, to which Nina responds in the translation "When did you become so macho?" or something to that effect. It is a kind of a shitty duct tape style strategy which leaves a lot of blanks for the viewers to fill in, but subtitling is very often like that.

However, I would assume that crafting such functional rewrites can be pretty damn difficult if the translators is translating a currently airing show with no idea how the character relationships are going to play out. Hence, if the anime is set in your average Japanese moeblob school setting, it might be preferable to maintain the basic honorifics in translation, especially if speedy output is of the essence. In that way the translators may avoid painting themselves into a corner.

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


I can't really say. The question is not so much how some specific item should be translated. It is more important to have a consistent overall strategy. For example, a typical inconsistent strategy (often seen in fansubs) is to use a foreignizing translation with lots of Japanese words, supplemented by heavily naturalizing sign translations photoshopped to look like real text in the story universe. The result is a bipolar translation which doesn't know whether it wants to give us a view to a foreign culture or to alter realia elements within this foreign environment.

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.


Foreign material can be left in, and this is often done by professionals. When I read Finnish translations of Jules Verne's novels set in India, they're chock full of sahibs and rajahs. When I translate from English into Finnish, I often leave in Sir in military contexts, because it gives the text a bit of a flavor (and because the corresponding Finnish forms of address are horrifyingly long and must include the rank).

But there is a difference in using foreign expressions and considering them to be essential and untranslatable. They should always be considered non-essential, since that is pretty much the only solid strategy that can be used to counter the slippery slope tendency of constantly increasing foreignization. This tendency is probably not a big threat in most text types, but I can see it happening with anime translations. To use an example devised by a person smarter than me (it might have been Jonathan Clemens) a young, overzealous fanboy has learned what a Japanese term means since it was left untranslated in the translation, and he thanks the translator for this cultural exposure. However, this same fanboy contacts the translator next week, and tells him "I've learned what sukumizu means! Now you can (and should) leave that untranslated from here on". The next week it's some new word again, and so on.

With the non-essentialist approch the translator can basically slap the fanboy with his monstrous cock and to tell him "Listen, dipshit, I'm only leaving some of these words in as cultural flavor. If I wanted to, with a bit of effort I could translate these same episodes using only words found in the Oxford English Dictionary, and this would result in only negligible signal loss. So get off my lawn."

View Original PostXard wrote:America is retarded enough to hate anything subbed, whether it be live action or animated.


Dubs are not an American thing, it's the dominating mode of AV translating in most big European countries. And there's really nothing retarded in it, because broad decisions regarding TV translations were made in the early days of the medium. It's mostly by random chance that Finland became a sub-only society: supposedly three guys at the National Broadacsting Service voted for dubbing, and four for subtitling.

View Original PostTrajan wrote:One thing that is a major pain in the ass when it comes to subs is that they can sometimes take up like half the screen if not done right. My platinum edition does this occasionally, and it pisses me off when someone's face is covered by a wall of text.


If you think this is bad in official releases, you might want to stay away from a lot of fansubs.

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:Dub scripters do roughly the same thing, but they have the extra pressure of making the words fit the lips, which means they frequently have to take liberality with the accuracy of the meaning to make the words fit. Sub scripters have no such problem.


I don't disagree with your assessment of the pros and cons of the two modes, but at least dubbers can cram in more of the original meaning by simply speaking faster. With subtitling the space constraints are unyielding. This is not really comparable to fansubbing, but in my work as an AV translator I operate with two 37-character lines and "average schmuck" reading speed settings. This means that practically every spoken sentence needs to be trimmed down. I almost never experience writer's flow in my job, because every line is an unholy Tetris puzzle.

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Postby DIDDY » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:30 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:I mean, does Rei start off just calling him "Ikari" and then eventually she warms to him and calls him "Ikari-kun" as a term of endearment? Or does she call him "Ikari-kun" from the first day she meets him?


I think she goes from not calling him at all, to calling him "Ikari-kun".
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:23 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:but at least dubbers can cram in more of the original meaning by simply speaking faster. With subtitling the space constraints are unyielding.
I would really think it would be the other way around considering that people can read faster than they can talk and, again, there's not the constraint of worrying about lip movement.
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Postby oOoOoOo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:24 pm

I'd like to thank Dr. Nick for the super interesting post. Gives me a lot to think about.

View Original PostNemZ wrote:No, I think that's just specifically you being you. From this statement it sounds like you've got a mild case of anti-Asperger's or something.

Well, autism spectrum disorders disproportionately affect males. One of my professors liked to refer to autism as "hyper-masculine thinking". I'm not sure if we can apply this to dub/sub preferences, or how people feel about the importance of tone of voice and whatnot. Can the viewer's sex/gender identity predict whether they prefer dubs or subs? I really have no idea.

But yeah, I have the exact opposite of Asperger's. It's called women's intuition. :3

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Postby Xard » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:04 pm

As usua Dr. Nick knows the best what he is talking about

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:Dubs are not an American thing, it's the dominating mode of AV translating in most big European countries. And there's really nothing retarded in it, because broad decisions regarding TV translations were made in the early days of the medium. It's mostly by random chance that Finland became a sub-only society: supposedly three guys at the National Broadacsting Service voted for dubbing, and four for subtitling.


I've heard main reason subbing became the norm in Finland and other Scandinavian countries was its cheapness. :lol:

And I do know dubs are not "American thing" (Germans dub pretty much everything, ditto for Italy), I was talking about foreign (from american pov) media overall. It's a fact american audiences are incredibly reluctant to see anything from countries that doesn't belong to anglosaxon sphere. And big reason is this is the whole "I can't watch and read at the same time" argument.

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:I don't disagree with your assessment of the pros and cons of the two modes, but at least dubbers can cram in more of the original meaning by simply speaking faster. With subtitling the space constraints are unyielding. This is not really comparable to fansubbing, but in my work as an AV translator I operate with two 37-character lines and "average schmuck" reading speed settings. This means that practically every spoken sentence needs to be trimmed down. I almost never experience writer's flow in my job, because every line is an unholy Tetris puzzle.


this wasn't new information to me anymore but anyway, I remember when I started to understand spoken english well enough to not need subs while watching tv and I started to realize how much stuff was as a rule left out. I started to get rather pissed at the whole deal: why would they leave that word out. "Sure it's not essential but I see no reason to not translate it" etc.

I can't help but wonder just how slow reader the supposed "average schmuck" is.

ps. where do you keep finding these horrific fansubs? I rarely see anything that bad O_o
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Postby Dr. Nick » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:54 am

View Original PostXard wrote:ps. where do you keep finding these horrific fansubs? I rarely see anything that bad O_o


From 4chan's fansub threads and by taking screencaps whenever stupid shit appears in an anime I'm currently watching. Some of these examples are from obscure groups and some are from less-obscure groups. The above culture shield examples are from Live-Evil and Ayako, respectively. Eclipse and Mendoi are also represented in my collection.

Tokusatsu fans have it far worse, though.


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