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What are the worst subtitles you have ever witnessed?


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supersaiyan4elby



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
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Location: Mississippi
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:46 pm Reply with quote
Just curious, what's the worst you have seen? I've only seen a few but my favorite is I believe from Fate/Stay night "People die when they are killed" I laughed for a long time on that.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:13 am Reply with quote
supersaiyan4elby wrote:
Just curious whats the worst you have seen. I've only seen a few but my favorite is i believe from Fate/Stay night "People die when they are killed" I laughed for a long time on that.
What's so bad about that line? Do you know it to be inaccurate? Let me quote myself:
In another post, I wrote:
]It is a perfectly valid translation though; the line is "hito wa korosarereba shinu", so you have

hito = person/people
wa = [topic marker, no exact translation]
korosarereba = korosu [to kill] -> korosareru [to be killed (passive voice)] -> korosarereba [to be killed + "if" conditional]
shinu -> die

Incidentally, the Geneon DVD release for the same scene (Ep23, ~6:45) has:
Subtitles: "If people are badly injured, they die."
English dub: "If you're hurt badly enough, you die."

All three versions follow this line with some variant of "That's the way it should be." (I don't want to turn this into a fansub vs. professional sub debate, but to be honest I don't see a basis for the "badly injured" translation.)
I should've done this in the old post, but let's try rendering the original Japanese line into intelligible English:
People [the topic at hand] / if they are killed / die -->
"People die when they're killed."
Seems perfectly reasonable to me. Let me present another possibility: the show itself and Shiro Emiya in particular are what's laughable; Eclipse just transmitted the intrinsic yet unintentional comedy of that line to the audience.
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chingaling



Joined: 23 Nov 2008
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Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:12 am Reply with quote
Since anime isn't specified in the title I guess I can post this. Definately worst subtitling I've seen:

I got this pirated version of the film Fearless from China. The subs started out looking like a babelfish joke and just descended into being completely rediculous. There was one part where he beckons his friends to come eat with him and I fell over laughing because the four letter word in the subtitles did not mean 'eat'. Whoever the subber was, he eventually seemed to just not bother and half the movie ended up being raw (and cinema recorded).

Quote:
"People die when they're killed."
Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

I'm gonna go with the topic starter on that one. It's more like, dying and being killed both involve dying. So it'd be rediculous to say, "when people get killed, they die," since the first half of the sentence already reveals that. Same applies with "people die when they're killed." If the guy was trying to explain what getting killed means to someone then it would make sense, but otherwise if it was supposed to be profound I'd probably laugh as well.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7271
Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:10 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
What's so bad about that line? Do you know it to be inaccurate? Let me quote myself:
In another post, I wrote:
]It is a perfectly valid translation though; the line is "hito wa korosarereba shinu", so you have

hito = person/people
wa = [topic marker, no exact translation]
korosarereba = korosu [to kill] -> korosareru [to be killed (passive voice)] -> korosarereba [to be killed + "if" conditional]
shinu -> die

Incidentally, the Geneon DVD release for the same scene (Ep23, ~6:45) has:
Subtitles: "If people are badly injured, they die."
English dub: "If you're hurt badly enough, you die."

All three versions follow this line with some variant of "That's the way it should be." (I don't want to turn this into a fansub vs. professional sub debate, but to be honest I don't see a basis for the "badly injured" translation.)
I should've done this in the old post, but let's try rendering the original Japanese line into intelligible English:
People [the topic at hand] / if they are killed / die -->
"People die when they're killed."
Seems perfectly reasonable to me. Let me present another possibility: the show itself and Shiro Emiya in particular are what's laughable; Eclipse just transmitted the intrinsic yet unintentional comedy of that line to the audience.


Hang on now. Before you start taking shots at Fate/Stay Night, How do you know that line sounds equally ridiculous in Japanese? Yes, the literal translation comes out to something stupid but that's the thing about translation. Languages just don't work like that. An English word may be the equivalent of a Japanese word but that doesn't mean it functions and combines with other words in the exact same way as in the original language. "People die when they're killed" may sound stupid and redundant but "hito wa korosarereba shinu" may not.

p.s. This is exactly why I prefer Dubs. A correct translation is not the same as a good one.
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zawa113
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:38 am Reply with quote
I hope people aren't forgetting the "Just according to Keikau (Translator's Note: Keikaku means plan)" line from a fansub of Death Note.

Although "Just according to plan" sounds perfectly fine to me, you just have to question why they didn't write "Just according to plan" and not "keikaku" with a translators note attached to it. This is a bad fan subtitle because they didn't finish their work and put an extra 4 words on the screen at the same time. Its even worse when "keikaku" had a term close enough in English to actually put there and its redundancy is just hilarious.
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Steventheeunuch



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 2973
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:50 am Reply with quote
Sounds as bad as the Zeta Gundam films, where the subtitlers decided to not translate 'Yatsu' or 'Kisama' or whatever for no good reason.

Also pointless rants in credits.
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darcerin



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 330
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:51 am Reply with quote
I can't remember the exact phrasing, but one of my old fansubs of Inuyasha, they would literally translate the names of each character for the subs. Like Sesshomaru would be translated to "Poisoned one" or something like that on the subtitles, so you'd have this ridiculous sentence with "Poisoned One" thrown in for good measure. Same for Inuyasha, which they'd literally translate to "Dog Demon".

And before anyone jumps me, I've been buying the legit boxsets from Viz - I still don't know what to do with those fansubs though. Just toss 'em?
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asimpson2006



Joined: 13 May 2008
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Location: USA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:11 am Reply with quote
darcerin wrote:
I can't remember the exact phrasing, but one of my old fansubs of Inuyasha, they would literally translate the names of each character for the subs. Like Sesshomaru would be translated to "Poisoned one" or something like that on the subtitles, so you'd have this ridiculous sentence with "Poisoned One" thrown in for good measure. Same for Inuyasha, which they'd literally translate to "Dog Demon".

And before anyone jumps me, I've been buying the legit boxsets from Viz - I still don't know what to do with those fansubs though. Just toss 'em?


Toss em, or if they are data on your HD then delete them. No need to have them around if you have the legit items now. I think most of the fnasub I've seen have been pretty bad at times, but I can't think of a sub that comes from legit company that has been bad.
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DuelLadyS



Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 1705
Location: WA state
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am Reply with quote
A friend once had some old Yugioh bootlegs where the characters names changed every couple of episodes- Jounouchi to Joey to whatever-his-name-means (I don't remember), back to Jounouchi, to Shizuka for awhile (Shizuka was Joey during that time Laughing )

I briefly owned a Hikaru no Go bootleg with fairly understandable subtitles, except every time there was a gap in the conversation, an email address popped up on screen to contact the company/one of the translators. Different email very time. (That disc's long since gone, replaced by the legit DVD I never expected to acutally release.)
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zawa113
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:48 am Reply with quote
I had a Phoenix bootleg (back before I could recognize them, and I only have like 2 bootleg DVDs), which has since been replaced with the recently released R1 ones, but it was so chock full of engrish that you could barely understand it. There were such classic lines as "You lied me!" or "He was died!" (easy to remember because its such a short quote), and it became an incomprehensible mess that taught me that just because the section at the store said "import DVDs" did not necessarily mean that they were. Which is a shame because they did have some legit import stuff there too (games and CDs)

Still, can't think of any legit translations that are terrible or pointlessly inconcise.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:09 pm Reply with quote
I know this isn't quite what you were talking about, but it is good for a chuckle:



That's Menclave humour for you. And yes, it is an actual screenshot that I took myself.
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TheTheory



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 1029
Location: Central PA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:26 pm Reply with quote
From real R1 companies, the worst that I have experienced is Spring and Chaos, which seemed slightly off in the timing, making them hard to follow.

Though perhaps the most enraging subtitle issue is on the Naruto Uncut boxsets, where once in a while they translate "dattebayo" as "believe it!", even though "dattebayo" doesn't really mean anything. Viz, I realize you guys are patting yourselves on the back for such an annoying catchphrase, but that doesn't mean that it should appear in the subtitles.
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zhir



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 350
Location: Nampa, ID, USA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:27 pm Reply with quote
SAC: 2nd Gig: Pilot, your heart has stopped, are you alright?
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dngrx



Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 21
Location: NZ
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:31 pm Reply with quote
There are two anime that had weird translations, so I wouldn't call it terrible, just very weird.

Firstly, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Seen the fansubs a while back but managed to pop in and see it on the big screen at a Con that was showing it. I'm under the assumption what I watched was the legit version, so I was irked during the scene Makoto glares while snarling "jeeee" at Chiaki then Kousuke - to find out who was in the room with her when she collapsed, was translated as "Was it you?". Also towards the end of the movie there is a scene with Makoto where she clearly says Kousuke but the subs show up with Chiaki's name.

The next anime is School Rumble but I am not really qualified to call this weird or not. I know very little Japanese, and I mean barely the basics so I'd like someone to confirm this for me. Was the Funi's translation of that gaijin joke on S1, episode 1, correct? I can't remember what was actually written but it differentiated from what was on the fansubs I saw(the group starts with a W). So, anyone care to clear this up for me?

Those are just a few moments of "wtf" I've had with official subs. And fansubs? Man, where to begin.....
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Murasakisuishou



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 1469
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:43 pm Reply with quote
zhir wrote:
SAC: 2nd Gig: Pilot, your heart has stopped, are you alright?


That one is a bit excusable because it's an operator robot asking the question, and 'heart stopped' wouldn't connect to 'dead'. Also, in the scenario in question, the pilot's cyberbrain was still functioning, so, taking that information into account, her programming probably instructed her to ask if he was all right in case of an equipment malfunction. It's still funny to say, though Razz

Anyway, there's one episode of Shaman King where the main group encounters a shaman who pretends to be a vampire, and the priest they're staying with starts talking about vampire lore and vampire hunters. The priest is an American, so when he says 'vampire hunter' he actually says it 'banpaiya hantaa". The main characters (being mostly from Japan) have been using the Japanese term for vampire hunter (or whatever its approximate equal is), and so Ryu asks the priest if they mean the same thing. This led to a rather unfortunate subtitle:

"Vampire hunters? Aren't they people who hunt vampires?"

Well spotted. Rolling Eyes

I'd also like to mention the lamentable change, in the official subs of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, of 'time travelers' to 'future men'. Seriously, what the hell?
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