Forum - View topic
Answerman - Who Are Subtitles Written For?


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
7jaws7



Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 543
Location: New York State
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I've even seen parents see unfamiliarity in media as a threat, and try to protect their kids from it.


Those were the days...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1173
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:26 pm Reply with quote
One of my all-time-favorite songs is 1973's China Grove by the Doobie Brothers. But it does make me wince because Tom Johnston didn't know the differences between cultures, which to be honest no one could have expected him to. Still good memories associated with that song.

I've learned a lot, for being one of those "old fogeys from the 70's" that could have flinched at anything new. Now if I see something I don't understand it's off to Google we go. Right to Left manga, no problem. Top to Bottom text flow, got it. Gee, this is fun.

I appreciate the pro subtitles and the fan subtitles, it's all good.

Mark Gosdin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15053
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:33 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For at least a couple of generations, if an average American read a word or saw something happen that they didn't understand, and there weren't enough contextual clues to figure things out, they got frustrated. It would take them out of the story, and depending on how insecure they were, they would get defensive. "This is dumb. Why am I watching this?" I've seen this happen SO MANY TIMES over the years, especially with anime. Once a certain level of non-comprehension has been exceeded, they withdraw.

Yeah, this has been a well-known phenomenon in education circles for ages. (And it still is, sadly.) Justin's comments about how this is changing for media viewers makes me wonder if that change might gradually be starting to creep into education, too, or if perhaps that's something we need to encourage/force along.

Definitely worth researching, from a professional perspective.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
ultimatehaki



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 561
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:36 pm Reply with quote
"Don't eat a riceball eat a donut!"

Those were funny times I'm sure. Thanks for the interesting article.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1405
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:

Yeah, this has been a well-known phenomenon in education circles for ages. (And it still is, sadly.) Justin's comments about how this is changing for media viewers makes me wonder if that change might gradually be starting to creep into education, too, or if perhaps that's something we need to encourage/force along.


Honestly, with stuff like TV Tropes and Cliff Notes, I'm honestly a little more surprised this issue hasn't been more significantly reduced

Anyways, this Answerman went in a totally different direction than I was expecting, but it was enlightening. It was nice to see my theory for "why no honorifics" actually pan out for once.

Personally though, I'm not really huge on translator notes unless it's something like a language trick (explaining a pun) or if it's giving information on a locale, like many of the Detective Conan fansubs did, considering how many episodes took place in touristy areas.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 592
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Considering how neck deep in its inner circle references and culture anime tends to be (the ones that most Westerners would have an interest in), it's a fool's errand to try to even "normalize" it. The fandom doesn't need more casuals that would just come by forums and wonder why the rest of anime is weird and depraved and so unlike that one show they watched on Adult Swim.

To go along with this train of thought, the masses generally prefer what they're familiar with, no matter where in the globe they're at. While they might touch a bit on subcultures to feel inclusive and cool like what happened with geek chic, they see anything below the thin surface as prohibitively complicated. Should the industry even attempt to cater to such a people? I don't think so. It's goal is to try to convert as many into the hardcore market and going for a faithful translation and advertise Japan as a really interesting country are the methods to go.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andyscout



Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:27 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

For at least a couple of generations, if an average American read a word or saw something happen that they didn't understand, and there weren't enough contextual clues to figure things out, they got frustrated. It would take them out of the story, and depending on how insecure they were, they would get defensive. "This is dumb. Why am I watching this?" I've seen this happen SO MANY TIMES over the years, especially with anime. Once a certain level of non-comprehension has been exceeded, they withdraw.


This rings so true. I remember the first time I took my father to see an anime movie. My parents are generally pretty accepting and curious. They knew I was interested in this anime stuff and when I said I was going to a theater to see one, my dad asked to come along. The movie was Howl's Moving Castle.

Now I don't recall the movie being particularly confusing but for some reason my dad was very confused when we came out. Talking with him about it, the hang up seemed odd to me. He seemed like he had been unwilling or unable to relate to or explore the motivations of the characters. This is not something he normally had a problem with when we watch other movies.

Reading this article, and that paragraph in particular got me wondering if that was the case. The stuff was *just* enough foreign that he wasn't able to see past things he would normally in a film. We actually saw the film dubbed so it wasn't a subtitle thing but maybe the idea was the same.

Anywho, nice look at the subs argument and nice article.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hikaru Suzuhara



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:29 pm Reply with quote
As far as the script goes there is little difference between Pro and Fan subtitles as whole. Both range from great to terrible and both are sometimes literal while other times liberal. For any given digital approach the official release is almost never the superior one.

Hinoe wrote:
Sometimes I think they use computers to do the official subs sometimes instead of humans. There are also the editors who don't edit, or whose idea of editing is little more than running the text through MS Word to see whether it can catch any typos. For some official translators, this is just a job to them & they don't care much as long as they get paid.

Many people do it with a "no quality standard beyond whatever gets the job done" mindset, there is no demand for quality from above because the average customer doesn't care and/or can't tell the difference, and some people they hire simply don't have the technical competence to be doing it. That the pay isn't precisely the best doesn't help attract/keep the best people or motivate them to put effort into the job, either. It varies fairly wildly, though, just as fansubbers would, in the olden days, range all the way from mass naked child events to essentially flawless releases.

I guess this is ultimately the main problem with pro subs: the people in charge of that job do it like drones. Some do it that way because they can't be arsed to do it any other way; others do so because they have no other choice. This is the difference with fansubs: you can actually do it the way you like, rather than trying to make as much money with as little investment as (in)humanly possible. This leads to the pursuit of perfection and to competition in product quality, two very important things that aren't easily found in a landscape filled with monopolies over things.


Last edited by Hikaru Suzuhara on Fri May 12, 2017 1:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tylerr



Joined: 13 Nov 2010
Posts: 437
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:35 pm Reply with quote
There are some things that should never be translated

attack names are one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vonPeterhof



Joined: 10 Nov 2014
Posts: 541
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:48 pm Reply with quote
I've been assuming that the reason professional translations have become more tolerant of honorifics, untranslated terms and translators' notes (and it's not just the subs - even the official dub for Watamote contained TNs) was that former fansubbers had started entering the industry as professional translators and retaining bits of "fansub culture" even as actual fansubs started declining. Because of this I've always been torn on the issue. On the one hand all those TNs and cultural tidbits piqued my appetite for learning Japanese and eventually led me to my current career as a translator. On the other hand, the spillover of fansub geekdom into official releases could raise the barriers to entry into the fandom even higher and make it even more weird and inaccessible for mainstream audiences. Thinking about it from the angle Justin took seems to imply that the situation could be the opposite and that nowadays it's actually easier for the general public to get into anime and other niche interests. Not sure if I'm fully convinced, but it is an interesting and encouraging thought.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 547
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Huh, this is actually a fascinating look at the subject that I hadn't really considered. It makes perfect sense, though. I'll be sure to bookmark this article in case I ever need to discuss this with someone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1588
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:52 pm Reply with quote
let's not get started with pro translators pushing thier political agendas, instead I will say that this reminded me of a manga that ahd the following translator note "if you don't undertand those honorifics why are you even reading this manga", which is fun because you can learn a lot of japanese by absortion by watching anime, since you are still listening to the japanese audio , so even if the subtitles don't keep the san/chan, change names to him/her, or even translate stuff like "this humanity" to "the humanity" (thanks for ruining the clue for peopel ho don't listen) you can still make do.

Manga on the other hand, has that complex writing method and I have yet to meet someone who has learned kanji by absorption and not by getting deep and studying kanji, because the way manga is edited the kanji get obsiouly deleted to add the english text, unlike anime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
KH91



Joined: 17 May 2013
Posts: 5134
Location: Za Warudo
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For at least a couple of generations, if an average American read a word or saw something happen that they didn't understand, and there weren't enough contextual clues to figure things out, they got frustrated. It would take them out of the story, and depending on how insecure they were, they would get defensive. "This is dumb. Why am I watching this?" I've seen this happen SO MANY TIMES over the years, especially with anime. Once a certain level of non-comprehension has been exceeded, they withdraw. I've even seen parents see unfamiliarity in media as a threat, and try to protect their kids from it.


When I read a persons reason for liking Railgun more than Index majority of the time. Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 2683
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:49 pm Reply with quote
Tylerr wrote:
There are some things that should never be translated

attack names are one.


I'm sorry but if the attacks are in a format that's not familiar to whatever language is your primary language leaving it as is literally serves no purpose.

maximilianjenus wrote:
let's not get started with pro translators pushing thier political agendas, instead I will say that this reminded me of a manga that ahd the following translator note "if you don't undertand those honorifics why are you even reading this manga", which is fun because you can learn a lot of japanese by absortion by watching anime, since you are still listening to the japanese audio , so even if the subtitles don't keep the san/chan, change names to him/her, or even translate stuff like "this humanity" to "the humanity" (thanks for ruining the clue for peopel ho don't listen) you can still make do.
.


Yeah I'm not a language teacher or the like but even I know one can't learn another language simply by watching a TV show with characters speaking in that language and with all their spoken dialog being translated. Watching anime is good for learning words in Japanese not for learning how to actually speak Japanese.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 959
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:17 pm Reply with quote
I remember seeing Summer Wars in the theater and the guy behind us and brought this girl with him for what I think was a first date. I don't think she was into anime though, she was super freaked out by the bathtub scene (which of course by anime standards is really mild) and he had to spend like 15 minutes explaining to her Japanese bathing practices.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 1 of 6

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Loading next article...