AnimeSuki Forums

Register Forum Rules FAQ Members List Social Groups Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   AnimeSuki Forum > Anime Related Topics > Fansub Groups

Notices

View Poll Results: What makes a good translation, in your opinion?
Keeping every line as close as possible to a literal translation 38 28.36%
Trying to understand the essence of the original line and finding the best English to capture that 105 78.36%
Thinking of the audience and giving them what they expect or what they feel comfortable with 11 8.21%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 134. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2004-12-02, 21:50   Link #61
runpsicat
Engrishator
*Fansubber
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
I think people are confusing simplified translations for paraphrased/non-literal ones. Just because the translation is not literal/verbatim does not necessarily mean it has been simplified. In general (aside from the cases Sylf has mentioned, such as idioms and cultural phrases), it is indeed possible to have translations that retain the original line's connotations/subtleties without them being Engrish, though they may not be the simple S-V-O sentences some viewers prefer. It seems most people want de-Engrishfied translations but not simplified ones, which seems reasonable to me.
__________________
runpsicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-02, 22:27   Link #62
Quarkboy
Anime Translator
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Age: 34
Send a message via AIM to Quarkboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_R
By the way, "All right" is two words.
Check dictionary.com.... (I did, actually, cause in this very case I realized this might be wrong). alright is actually a non-standard variant. I use it in exclamatory cases only, like "Alright!", but not in cases like "Are you all right?". Or at least I should anyway.
__________________
Yomiuri Television Enterprise
International Media Strategy Chief
Sam Pinansky
Quarkboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-02, 22:31   Link #63
AnimeOni
Raid-the-mods
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Sol System
Quote:
Originally Posted by runpsicat
I think people are confusing simplified translations for paraphrased/non-literal ones. Just because the translation is not literal/verbatim does not necessarily mean it has been simplified. In general (aside from the cases Sylf has mentioned, such as idioms and cultural phrases), it is indeed possible to have translations that retain the original line's connotations/subtleties without them being Engrish, though they may not be the simple S-V-O sentences some viewers prefer. It seems most people want de-Engrishfied translations but not simplified ones, which seems reasonable to me.
The best example I can think of translation-wise and culteral-wise where it is very difficult is like anime such as Azumanga. Some of the jokes can only occur when it's spoken in Japanese like Exploding bus - Bus Bakuhatsu. Japanese Tonguetwister. I can't remember what the AD Vision translation was exactly but they totally substituted the meaning since the joke cannot carry forward.

Another joke would be in School Rumble Ep4 (or 5)? Kappa.

As you can tell, translators have to be careful on when to substitute and when not to. This is especially true in jokes and cultural issues.
AnimeOni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-02, 22:34   Link #64
Dorfl
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The dog gossips too much.
To give an example of a compromise between 1 and 2, that I like, I'll cite this example of a text translation where the translator changed the original slightly, but provided the original as a note below. It's from Chris Rijk's excellent Inuyasha translations, chapter 255 and I'll just cite the appropriate part and save you some time:
Spoiler for not much of an IY spoiler, but fair's fair:

Here, he translates "bouzu no himono" as a raisin priest, but then includes the original as a note below. "Dried food priest" would probably not have made quite as much sense, but the notes helpfully let us know what really went on. So if a translator really feels like he has to change the meaning for some reason, maybe to retain the original humour because it's not quite funny literally or something, go ahead then, but let us know what we're missing.

I'll give other examples, also from manga because I don't watch that much anime. In Hawks' Please Save My Earth translations, I remember a part where Arisu's brother switches between "ore" and "boku" when he's trying to sound tough and when he forgets. When this happens, the translator makes a note of it. Naturally it wouldn't be exactly fair to ask the translator to always translate "ore" as "I (tough, masculine)" and leave it like that, but when it's part of a the joke or the character's development, making a little note like that helps.

Another example with a translation note: Snoopycool's Yakitate! Japan and Kuroyanagi's forbidden reaction, volume 4 page 138.
Spoiler for huge spoiler for anime watchers, please don't look if you haven't read Yakitate:

As the translator said, he couldn't quite make a good English joke out of chinmi, so "up to it" was added. We still got the original joke as a note, so no complaints from this quarter. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

To the people who say "Who cares, if you don't understand Japanese it's all the same so don't complain," I'd like to point out that the topic is "What makes a good translation?" In other words, even if the majority of your viewers don't notice the changes that you've made, a crappy translation is still a crappy translation.
__________________
Dorfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-02, 22:36   Link #65
SirCanealot
What? I am washed up!
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: London, England
Age: 29
Send a message via MSN to SirCanealot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy
Check dictionary.com.... (I did, actually, cause in this very case I realized this might be wrong). alright is actually a non-standard variant. I use it in exclamatory cases only, like "Alright!", but not in cases like "Are you all right?". Or at least I should anyway.
"Alright" is 100% wrong all of the time.
However, I'm a big fan of the phrase "if the rules don't work, you break 'em".
And "All right" certainly doesn't work for me, although in the way in which it doesn't work means I really don't give that much of a crap, hah.
It's just not very nice of K_R to correct someone on an aspect of English like that, even if all right/alright isn't hugely common knowledge; I'll use "alright" 99.9% of the time on a forum like this, but I wouldn't say that makes me in need of correction, either.
__________________
SirCanealot
And they shall know no fear....
SirCanealot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-02, 22:47   Link #66
runpsicat
Engrishator
*Fansubber
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeOni
The best example I can think of translation-wise and culteral-wise where it is very difficult is like anime such as Azumanga. Some of the jokes can only occur when it's spoken in Japanese like Exploding bus - Bus Bakuhatsu. Japanese Tonguetwister. I can't remember what the AD Vision translation was exactly but they totally substituted the meaning since the joke cannot carry forward.

Another joke would be in School Rumble Ep4 (or 5)? Kappa.

As you can tell, translators have to be careful on when to substitute and when not to. This is especially true in jokes and cultural issues.
Right, I agree (I think I mentioned the exceptions in my original post). That's why we try to use translation notes when we don't want to simplify those culturally charged puns/idoms/etc. that do not have appropriate English equivalents. Some editors hate translation notes and leaving terms as romaji, and we may disagree as to whether terms are cultural "enough" to leave as romaji and/or justify having translation notes (especially when they're long), so that's frequently a point for contention. Finding a middle ground is always migraine-inducing. However, most viewers seem well aware of this fact, which in a way is comforting to me.
__________________
runpsicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 03:34   Link #67
K_R
also known as K!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
That would lead to unnecessary notes that most viewers wouldn't even care about. Could you imagine devoting 2 or 3 lines to 1. translate the original phrase literally, then 2. proceed to explain to the audience the cultural relevance of said phrase? You just end up cluttering the frame with useless info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy
Check dictionary.com... (I did, actually, cause in this very case I realized this might be wrong). alright is actually a non-standard variant.
Only because the proper form is becoming increasingly rare. Too many uneducated people misspelling and misusing words! It's how words like artificial and awful go from being a compliment to an insult. But I am a traditionalist when it comes to usage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirCanealot
It's just not very nice of K_R to correct someone on an aspect of English like that
I think you've mistaken me for a nice person. Whatever gave you that idea?
(Actually, I was merely offering helpful advice. If I wasn't being nice I would have insulted him as well)
__________________
Seichi's long lost Translator/Typesetter/Editor/Encoder


Looking for a new crew...
K_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 03:48   Link #68
ChoBaka
Semi-retired Translator
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oregon
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_R
That would lead to unnecessary notes that most viewers wouldn't even care about. Could you imagine devoting 2 or 3 lines to 1. translate the original phrase literally, then 2. proceed to explain to the audience the cultural relevance of said phrase? You just end up cluttering the frame with useless info.
I'm not a big fan of translation notes either. The trouble is, I can never read them myself. They go by way too fast to be of any use, but if you adjust the timing so that they stay on-screen long enough, they end up cluttering the image. Especially when the note becomes longer than 1 line...which I've seen happen multiple times. That's the cool thing about DVD liner notes...since you have them in your hand, you can read the liner notes before watching the episode and after, instead of having to pause the video. In that respect, I'd appreciate translation notes being made on a separate text file distributed with the video, or perhaps a website posting.
ChoBaka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 04:20   Link #69
babbito2k
annoying white bat
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorfl
I'll give other examples, also from manga because I don't watch that much anime.
Manga is a lot different because rereading a panel is not a big deal, being concise is not as vital and so on. It's not really fair to expect as much of anime, where loads of notes just clutter everything up. And I don't see where you get off accusing people of doing crappy translations either.
__________________
babbito2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 04:29   Link #70
runpsicat
Engrishator
*Fansubber
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Yeah, translation notes should not cover the screen, so we relegate longer ones to the group website, although the drawback to that is some people have trouble finding them. As a group, we don't have any problems placing shorter ones on-screen (and we try to select fonts accordingly to minimize clutter), though not everyone is happy with that approach, either. Other groups choose to present a panel of notes before the episode in the encoded release, but some people feel those are spoilers. The separate text file is another option, but some people prefer to focus on the video and not refer to a separate file for info, and so on. Basically, pros/cons abound in any approach. Regardless of the specific approach taken by a group, I personally feel that giving viewers the option of reading the notes (since people can skip pre-episode notes, not pause to read in-episode notes, and not go to the website to read notes--they can practically ignore them if they so choose) is important, rather than simplifying/Westernizing the particular concepts involved just to avoid having notes. If people prefer the no-notes-in-the-video method, all licensed vendors go this route as far as I know, so they always have the option of obtaining a pristine copy should they wish it. Since I can't presume to know what viewers care or not care about with regard to how much cultural detail they want, options are good .
__________________

Last edited by runpsicat; 2004-12-03 at 04:46.
runpsicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 04:55   Link #71
Dorfl
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The dog gossips too much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by babbito2k
Manga is a lot different because rereading a panel is not a big deal, being concise is not as vital and so on. It's not really fair to expect as much of anime, where loads of notes just clutter everything up. And I don't see where you get off accusing people of doing crappy translations either.
Eh? Are you talking about my previous comment? That was directed at the person earlier who said it doesn't matter so long as the audience didn't spot the errors. And I said a bad translation is still bad. Or were you referring to something else?
Anyway, I've talked enough as it is. :x

Wait, one last thing about translation notes, I've seen them used in anime as well. For example, AnimeMPEG had the translation notes at the beginning and Dash-fansubs had them at the beginning as well as on a website. Other shows like Yakitate! Japan have them pop up briefly at them top. So it's not like it can't be done at all.
__________________
Dorfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 11:31   Link #72
Quarkboy
Anime Translator
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Age: 34
Send a message via AIM to Quarkboy
As far as translation notes go, my current policy is to keep them at a bare minimum. Specifically, unless it relates directly to the plot, or would actually leave the viewer confused unless explained, I think flashing an explanation that "takoyaki" is fried octopus balls is unwarrented. It is not the place for fansubs to educate the viewer, unless that information is really required to understand the show's meaning. For some shows, however, like Genshiken, with loads of references that might be obscure to many people, I think abundant popup translation notes are great.
In the end, I think it's totally a stylistic choice, but one that should be made with the overall style of the anime itself in mind.
__________________
Yomiuri Television Enterprise
International Media Strategy Chief
Sam Pinansky
Quarkboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 13:30   Link #73
Crowley
A-Kraze QCer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy
I think flashing an explanation that "takoyaki" is fried octopus balls is unwarrented. It is not the place for fansubs to educate the viewer, unless that information is really required to understand the show's meaning.
Seeing "takoyaki" left untranslated would leave me confused. Something as simple as "fried octopus balls" should have been translated. Bad example.
__________________
Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 13:55   Link #74
Quarkboy
Anime Translator
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Age: 34
Send a message via AIM to Quarkboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley
Seeing "takoyaki" left untranslated would leave me confused. Something as simple as "fried octopus balls" should have been translated. Bad example.
I would only agree with that if it wasn't clear from the context that "takoyaki" was a kind of food. Otherwise, I say the information of what TYPE of food it is is extra unnecesary information.
__________________
Yomiuri Television Enterprise
International Media Strategy Chief
Sam Pinansky
Quarkboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 14:19   Link #75
Enragin_Angel
ナマケモノ
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
By that rule, you should also believe that groups should not do kanji karaoke. Because the only defense for leaving that in is educational purposes.
Enragin_Angel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 17:58   Link #76
ChoBaka
Semi-retired Translator
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oregon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enragin_Angel
By that rule, you should also believe that groups should not do kanji karaoke. Because the only defense for leaving that in is educational purposes.
Actually, there's another pretty big reason people do it. Cause it looks cool
ChoBaka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 18:07   Link #77
Quarkboy
Anime Translator
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Age: 34
Send a message via AIM to Quarkboy
karoake has nothing to do with a good/bad translation. It's a stylistic decision, but it is really for this discussion.
__________________
Yomiuri Television Enterprise
International Media Strategy Chief
Sam Pinansky
Quarkboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-03, 22:31   Link #78
K_R
also known as K!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enragin_Angel
By that rule, you should also believe that groups should not do kanji karaoke. Because the only defense for leaving that in is educational purposes.
We all know that's purely for wank factor.
__________________
Seichi's long lost Translator/Typesetter/Editor/Encoder


Looking for a new crew...
K_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-04, 17:07   Link #79
Baby-D
Baby timer
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
I voted for the second because for the first literal translations aren't really TRANSLATING. You cant literally translate a language perfectly and with different meanings of words and what not, literal doesn't always seem to catch the full meaning of something. The third is not translating at all, or at least how you worded it. You said making it what people expect or feel comfortable with, but do you mean adding on to the second choice (which makes more sense).
__________________
Baby-D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2004-12-04, 20:24   Link #80
Ayu-ayu
a.k.a. Akari_House
 
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Somewhere near Seattle
Age: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy
Check dictionary.com.... (I did, actually, cause in this very case I realized this might be wrong). alright is actually a non-standard variant. I use it in exclamatory cases only, like "Alright!", but not in cases like "Are you all right?". Or at least I should anyway.
I agree, check dictionary.com--for its own definition of "non-standard":

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=non-standard

Essentially it means that it's a word that may have some acceptance in colloquial use but is nonetheless grammatically incorrect. It's a politically correct form of calling the usage illiterate and frowning upon it.

I say that this issue is quite on topic as bad grammar and spelling are often reasons I'll drop watching a sub translation, and switch to a raw if I have to. I highly respect fansubbers with good editors. I'll be more inclined to stop watching a sub if it frequently uses "alright", fan or pro. I know at least one fansub editor that agrees on this point, and I'm sure there's others out there who do, too, given that there's a lot of fansubs I follow that I've not run into this issue on...

Other thoughts on the topic....

A good translation, IMHO, also should translate as much of the credits as is reasonably possible (and never make the subber credits overlay the original credits, which is highly disrepectful of the original creators--modesty is a great virtue in subbing). I realize that translating credits isn't easy though, so it' s more an added bit of pleasure when finding subs that make that extra effort.

A good translation should not use Japanese words to be "cute" (except honoriifics when appropriate), let alone then put an explanation in of the word's usage that they couldn't be bothered to translate. And explanations of commonly known Japanese words that have been inserted in this fashion (like baka and kawaii and so forth) is just annoying, especially when done in more than one episode. People do have ears, and it's pretty damn obvious already when these expressions are used--the translation already makes it plenty clear what the term means, too.

Trying to translate dialects is a huge no-no. For example an Osaka-ben should never be rendered as a southern drawl or such (and in fact at least one anime director has complained about the practice). It's best to just note once either contextually (if another character points out the character's accent) or to make a brief observation the character is speaking in the dialect of that region than to try to assign an arbitrary non-matching dialect to it. Before it was licensed, Triad actually handled this flawlessly with Osaka in Azumanga Daioh. Rather than impose some distracting non-Japanese accent on her to muddy up the viewer's mental image of her character, they allow the viewer to listen and hear her unique speech and draw their own conclusions.

Those are some quirks of good and bad translation off the top of my head.
Ayu-ayu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:32.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
We use Silk.