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Answerman - Is There Anything To Miss About Old School Subtitles?


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KabaKabaFruit



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
Posts: 1457
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:27 pm Reply with quote
"You have no chance to survive! Make your time!"
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Lemonchest
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Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1737
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The internet is largely responsible for that. No animator can really get away with writing "RED ALART" (as appeared in the Appleseed OVA) when their smartphone is sitting right there and they could just google the correct spelling


Sometimes a smartphone can't save you:



It's not wrong. But it ain't right.
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luffypirate



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 3082
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:58 pm Reply with quote
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
"You have no chance to survive! Make your time!"


The first time I saw that clip was the hardest I’ve laughed in my entire life. I was hysterical, my abdomen hurt, and I was probably drooling. I couldn’t stop laughing for a good hour. It was late at night, I remember turning the computer off laying in bed and still laughing like a gremlin. HEHEH! HEHEH! HEHEH!
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1827
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:02 pm Reply with quote
As someone fluent in Japanese, I prefer without subs simply because mistranslations (and sometimes just intentional translation changes) distract me. I come across dumb mistakes on Crunchyroll and I still feel like translation services have a long way to go (and don't think fansubs are all that much better--I come across some pretty confident groups who claim high quality subs, who quality check through a community, and they still have problems). Even when I translate, though, I go back and think, "Why did I use this?"

I can't imagine going back to a time where hilariously bad subtitles were treated as funny. It'd be my pet peeve to the max!
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2339
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:16 pm Reply with quote
I still have an old screen-printed t-shirt in the back of my closet with the entire All Your Base spiel on it. (I leave you to decide whether I was a very cool kid or a very uncool kid.)
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hickey92



Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
I still have an old screen-printed t-shirt in the back of my closet with the entire All Your Base spiel on it. (I leave you to decide whether I was a very cool kid or a very uncool kid.)


The coolest kid. Cool
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1564
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:35 pm Reply with quote
I think the last real "old school" translation effort we really got was Castle Shikigami 2 for PS2. Even then, though, the translation there was more "literal translation" than outright flub, especially when Aksys later did Shikigami III & admitted that XS Games' translation wasn't actually inaccurate. The characters in that series really do spout more or less nonsensical lines, and XS' overtly literal translation has since become much more memorable than Aksys' more professional one.
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yurihellsing



Joined: 04 Jun 2011
Posts: 461
Location: -=Sunderland UK=-
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:36 pm Reply with quote
If Gegege no Kitarou (2018) is anything to go by we still have questionable subs really who thought it was a good idea to "translate" Neko-musume to "catchick"?????
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writerpatrick



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:52 pm Reply with quote
Some of the badly dubbed material is Korean animation, not Japanese.

The funniest bad dub I recall was in one movie after the heroes had just defeated a devastating alien invasion, one of them says to the other "Thank you for helping us with our foreign immigration problem."
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 522
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:57 pm Reply with quote
yurihellsing wrote:
If Gegege no Kitarou (2018) is anything to go by we still have questionable subs really who thought it was a good idea to "translate" Neko-musume to "catchick"?????

Apparently she's called Cat Chick in a 2002 Kodansha bilingual edition, so perhaps it's possible Toei or whoever thinks that's correct and is making them use it. Maybe?
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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 2112
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:06 pm Reply with quote
To this day, I still can’t help but laugh at the US Renditions sub of Dangaio where they translated the “psychic wave” attack as “side kick wave”!
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yurihellsing



Joined: 04 Jun 2011
Posts: 461
Location: -=Sunderland UK=-
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:26 pm Reply with quote
Kicksville wrote:
yurihellsing wrote:
If Gegege no Kitarou (2018) is anything to go by we still have questionable subs really who thought it was a good idea to "translate" Neko-musume to "catchick"?????

Apparently she's called Cat Chick in a 2002 Kodansha bilingual edition, so perhaps it's possible Toei or whoever thinks that's correct and is making them use it. Maybe?


Really???
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4420
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:54 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:
Sometimes a smartphone can't save you:



It's not wrong. But it ain't right.


Pffft, now that's one perfect double entendre. XD

writerpatrick wrote:
The funniest bad dub I recall was in one movie after the heroes had just defeated a devastating alien invasion, one of them says to the other "Thank you for helping us with our foreign immigration problem."


This has to be the most hilarious thing I've read today. : D
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 522
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:58 pm Reply with quote
Beltane70 wrote:
To this day, I still can’t help but laugh at the US Renditions sub of Dangaio where they translated the “psychic wave” attack as “side kick wave”!

Amazing to me that particular miss is still remembered so well. Also reminds me of how a VHS fan sub I saw of Betterman interpreted "Synapse Attack" as "Snaps Attack", which is sort of extra funny since the robot performing it does not have the kind of hands that can "snap" (of course that show is full of science and pseudo-science exposition, and I can only imagine how accurate that really was).

But, of course, that's fan subs...oh boy, I don't miss the raging arguments over what translation was more accurate from people who wouldn't know any way, which I seem to recall being covered here before. And I definitely don't miss the giant stylized exploding special effect subtitles that would distract far more than necessary, from the same people who thought English translated credits ruined the integrity of the art...but perhaps that's another subject.
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 125
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:02 pm Reply with quote
I’ve done some work as a translator (Japanese to English, German to English, English to German) and as an editor of translated material (Korean to English, Korean to German, Japanese to English) and while I can concede that things may be much improved for anime and manga, in general—even with the ubiquity of the Internet—bad translations and barely-functional translators are as prevalent as ever. I’d say that at least 70% of the translators I edited had no access to spellcheck, or dictionaries in many cases. Misspellings and random punctuation errors abound; often I’d find myself staring at indecipherable word salad for hours trying to glean some crude idea of the syntactical meaning.

And no, saying “your translator sucks, find someone else” isn’t the best of ideas..

And I should note that the vast majority of that work was done for academic institutions—which should theoretically have better-educated people working for them than entertainment media. But I guess not.

Like... go back to some of the worst fan subs of the 80s... or, he’ll, the machine translated Japanese-to-Chinese-to-English abominations so common w/ bootleg Hong Kong DVDs in the 2000s... that’s the level of the material I’m seeing in 2018.

EDIT: also, folks, don’t go too hard on katakana missteps. It can be really, surprisingly difficult to recognize words in even your native language when they’re in kana. Especially considering that a kana word could theoretically belong to *any* language, npincluding Japanese. So far as translation problems go, that’s one of the smallest and easiest to deal with.
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