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Old 2010-10-24, 18:59   Link #201
TheFluff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakbunnie27 View Post
words
this is A Good Post and you should listen to this man

furthermore, seeing the honorifics debate pop up in every single anime forum twice a week or so is starting to get REALLY REALLY OLD, so if all the weeaboo apologists could just shut up, realize it's not 1995 anymore and go back to their parents' basements it would really do the internet as a whole a service. thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

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Originally Posted by Plorkyeran View Post
Then you're probably subbing a boring school drama that's exactly the same as 50 other shows so you might as well just drop it.
doing this (subbing bad shows) is also a common mistake
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2010-10-25, 09:09   Link #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakbunnie27 View Post
words
Sure is rage around here.

I'm neither here nor there, as I'm fine with either no honorifics (preferably through some kind of adaptation if the situation requires it rather than just ignoring them completely) or all honorifics, though my preference is, generally, honorifics only after proper names, because stuff like "butler-kun" and "rabbit-san" is pretty retarded. Reason is, I think honorifics always carry a certain meaning, even if small, and I prefer to keep meaning as intact as possible, just not going into retarded territory like leaving certain words untranslated because the English equivalent doesn't perfectly, completely convey the whole meaning of the original word (lol nakama). But even there I'd make exceptions with stuff like food names and who knows what else that might come up. But yeah, that's all my personal preference and which I don't even care much about since I can still hear what the characters say anyway.

Inconsistent? Yeah, sure is. But compared to actual relevant matters like translation accuracy, it's so meaningless that it purely comes down to personal preference. Just like you saying we're not automatic translators, I say we're also not machines with perfectly logical and consistent preferences - I personally think moderation is the way to go for everything, and it can be applied here too. The only problem is those who make such a huge deal out of the stuff... from both sides.

tl;dr: just be happy with what you get and stop bawwwing so much about nohonorofics/yeshonorifics/whatever the hell have you

Last edited by PositronCannon; 2010-10-25 at 09:30.
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Old 2010-10-25, 09:58   Link #203
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakbunnie27 View Post
So everyone, here's a wake-up call: if you are for honorifics being kept in English, YOU ARE AN IDIOT.
Well, bb, then please let me try to make a case for partial idiocy. Because in my opinion and experience, trying to localize everything is as problematic as trying to keep all honorifics, it only leads to different kinds of problems. I suggest a shameless non-dogmatic mix.

A strict "localize everything" approach already fails for one simple reason: You're trying to let characters from one cultural circle speak as if they were part of another one. In JP, calling each other with the last name is perfectly fine and normal, while it would usually be either strangely distanced (with "Mr.") or unusual or even slightly derogatory in English (without extra). No good option.

You could try to handle this by switching to the first name, too, but then we'd run into the second problem, and that is - in my opinion - the most important reason against rigid localization:

What you hear is what you should read.

So, switching first and last names for proper localization is a no-go. Sometimes it would even lead to followup problems: In Kiminozo, for example, there is one scene where Mitsuki blows a gasket when Shinji changes from "Hayase" (last name) to "Mitsuki" (first name) - if you had switched the names before, you couldn't even explain this development without TLnote.

Likewise, I find it annoying to consistently hear "oniichan" and reading the first name instead. "Brother" might work for someone like Akiha addressing Tohno as "oniisama" in Tsukihime, but please not for "oniisan" or any cutesy form of it. When people are addressed as "senpai", it would get even worse. Or how would you call a Yakuza boss, if not "-kumicho"? Here, it's usually much less irritating to simply stick with the original.

In the end, the context decides. In "distant-type" relationships especially with western or military background, dropping the honorifics is usually the way to go. For "close-type" relationships with a clear Japanese background, keeping them is usually better, especially in "ancient" japanese shows where the various honorifics are important to correctly judge differences in status between characters.

So, instead of taking the purist "KEEP ALL HONORIFICS" or "GOD, DROP THEM ALL" extreme positions, why not simply take a middle-of-the-road approach and decide on a case-by-case basis? And drop what can easily be replaced, yet keep what can't?
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Old 2010-10-25, 11:00   Link #204
TheFluff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
What you hear is what you should read.
why don't you go sub all in romaji then
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2010-10-25, 11:06   Link #205
Vegard Aune
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Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
doing this (subbing bad shows) is also a common mistake
Yes, because as we all know, "bad" is totally objective, and if you don't like a show, there's not even the slightest chance of anyone else liking it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Well, bb, then please let me try to make a case for partial idiocy. Because in my opinion and experience, trying to localize everything is as problematic as trying to keep all honorifics, it only leads to different kinds of problems. I suggest a shameless non-dogmatic mix.

A strict "localize everything" approach already fails for one simple reason: You're trying to let characters from one cultural circle speak as if they were part of another one. In JP, calling each other with the last name is perfectly fine and normal, while it would usually be either strangely distanced (with "Mr.") or unusual or even slightly derogatory in English (without extra). No good option.

You could try to handle this by switching to the first name, too, but then we'd run into the second problem, and that is - in my opinion - the most important reason against rigid localization:

What you hear is what you should read.

So, switching first and last names for proper localization is a no-go. Sometimes it would even lead to followup problems: In Kiminozo, for example, there is one scene where Mitsuki blows a gasket when Shinji changes from "Hayase" (last name) to "Mitsuki" (first name) - if you had switched the names before, you couldn't even explain this development without TLnote.

Likewise, I find it annoying to consistently hear "oniichan" and reading the first name instead. "Brother" might work for someone like Akiha addressing Tohno as "oniisama" in Tsukihime, but please not for "oniisan" or any cutesy form of it. When people are addressed as "senpai", it would get even worse. Or how would you call a Yakuza boss, if not "-kumicho"? Here, it's usually much less irritating to simply stick with the original.

In the end, the context decides. In "distant-type" relationships especially with western or military background, dropping the honorifics is usually the way to go. For "close-type" relationships with a clear Japanese background, keeping them is usually better, especially in "ancient" japanese shows where the various honorifics are important to correctly judge differences in status between characters.

So, instead of taking the purist "KEEP ALL HONORIFICS" or "GOD, DROP THEM ALL" extreme positions, why not simply take a middle-of-the-road approach and decide on a case-by-case basis? And drop what can easily be replaced, yet keep what can't?
I agree completely. In fact, there are few things that annoy me more in fansubs than hearing a character's last name being said while the subtitles show their first name instead.
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Old 2010-10-25, 11:10   Link #206
PositronCannon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
why don't you go sub all in romaji then
You already know it's strictly about names or things that can't be easily translated. :V

Oh wait this is gonna turn into a circular argument isn't it.
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Old 2010-10-25, 11:30   Link #207
OceanBlue
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Originally Posted by whiterabbit72 View Post
words
This is a slippery slope approach. I could just as well argue that, since you don't care if the subtitles match the spoken dialogue, the subtitles don't have to have any relevancy to the show, and you might as well pull a Robotech. There's a reason people don't like it when you change names of characters [Shinichi = Jimmy] or when you change rice balls to doughnuts, though, because they expect subtitles to be understandable yet accurate to what they're watching. Then again, it's entirely up to you how you want to translate something, since this is all about opinions. Most translations pick and choose how they localize. If you don't like honorifics, that's up to you.
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Old 2010-10-25, 12:09   Link #208
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Why do people interpret "remove honorifics" and "make subs English" to mean "4kids" and "Robotech"? Those are not remotely comparable.

The "what you hear" argument is pathetic because it's a placebo. People use honorifics as a safety net. If what they hear is in the sub, then the sub must be good because they don't know Japanese and are completely clueless otherwise. There could be genuine errors littered throughout the script and they wouldn't care because ignorance is bliss.

Take wasei-eigo, in example. Leaving what you hear is more than likely going to be inaccurate.
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Old 2010-10-25, 12:34   Link #209
Plorkyeran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegard Aune View Post
I agree completely. In fact, there are few things that annoy me more in fansubs than hearing a character's last name being said while the subtitles show their first name instead.
Are you also annoyed when you hear "mansion" but read "apartment"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
unusual or even slightly derogatory in English (without extra). No good option.
Not really. In a business context, last name with no honorific is mildly derogatory (it evokes the image of a boss talking to an underling), but in other contexts it can be neutral (you know eight people named Matt and it's too confusing to not call them by their last names), or even used as an endearing nickname.
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Old 2010-10-25, 12:40   Link #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
What you hear is what you should read.
I completely agree since subtitles were originally meant for deaf people and deaf people can't tell what's being said at all.
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Old 2010-10-25, 12:54   Link #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakbunnie27 View Post
keigo stuff
There is one important difference between other parts of keigo and names/address terms though. English, like most if not all languages, has its own way of expressing things in various degrees of politeness...e.g. "Sit down!" vs. "Have a seat" vs. "Please take a seat." On the other hand, the use (or lack there-of) of honourifics really may not have an appropriate translation in certain situations, as others have already noted.

But I don't think there's an easy solution to that, because there are occasions that call for complete localisation (Victorian Romance Emma is a good example) and others where too much would be lost if you localise. A lot of Japanese names actually sound very strange to me when the order is reversed.

Hence, I completely agree with Mentar here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
So, instead of taking the purist "KEEP ALL HONORIFICS" or "GOD, DROP THEM ALL" extreme positions, why not simply take a middle-of-the-road approach and decide on a case-by-case basis? And drop what can easily be replaced, yet keep what can't?
---------
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneizel View Post
The "what you hear" argument is pathetic because it's a placebo. People use honorifics as a safety net. If what they hear is in the sub, then the sub must be good because they don't know Japanese and are completely clueless otherwise. There could be genuine errors littered throughout the script and they wouldn't care because ignorance is bliss.

Take wasei-eigo, in example. Leaving what you hear is more than likely going to be inaccurate.
Fundamentally, I agree. I once learned a good lesson WRT a certain group of terms involving the word "doutei"...

But I'd say that wasei-eigo is similar to levels of politeness in that there's usually a way to express it in other languages. Can't always say the same for names/address terms.
---------

But there's one other thing that most people seem to ignore when arguing/discussing translation. Here's a piece of advice I got from a professional translator in Japan: the language and terms you use in your translation should also depend on who your audience is. For instance, if you're speaking at a teacher's conference in Japan, you could probably use MEXT/"Monkashou"...but if you're speaking to the general populace, you might want to use the full terms at least once.

And of course, it also depends on the form of the finished product. If you're translating a novel for a Western audience that knows very little about the original culture, then it would probably be easiest to localise. And dubs might as well completely localise everything, including names: I personally can't stand Japanese names spoken in a foreign accent. *shrugs*
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Last edited by karice67; 2010-10-25 at 13:16.
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Old 2010-10-25, 13:00   Link #212
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneizel View Post
Why do people interpret "remove honorifics" and "make subs English" to mean "4kids" and "Robotech"? Those are not remotely comparable.
Comparable: Absolutely. They're just extreme examples for what you get when you try to adhere to the "Localize everything! Kill all Honorifics!" dogma to the very end.

Quote:
The "what you hear" argument is pathetic because it's a placebo. People use honorifics as a safety net. If what they hear is in the sub, then the sub must be good because they don't know Japanese and are completely clueless otherwise. There could be genuine errors littered throughout the script and they wouldn't care because ignorance is bliss.
Thanks for skillfully ignoring all arguments and examples I gave to rather set a straw man on fire. Great job!

Look, I don't care at all about the silly translation ego trip. But to my ears, Miyauchi-kumichou is not "Mr. Miyauchi", oniisama isn't "bro", and Yamamoto-senpai isn't "Upperclassman Yamamoto". Thank you, as someone who is interested in the Japanese culture, I feel able to learn the special meanings of concepts like senpai/kouhai, or the implications of calling someone Hayase, Hayase-san or Mitsuki. Unless know-it-all-better translators protect me from all this and try to force localizations for things which can NOT be localized without at least loss of nuance.

And no, before a second straw man is set ablaze, I'm not for keeping all honorifics. Localize what's possible without problems, but keep what can't be. And yes, when people yell a name in Japanese, it's definitely good for immersion not to read something entirely different in the subs.
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Old 2010-10-25, 13:05   Link #213
Schneizel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Comparable: Absolutely. They're just extreme examples for what you get when you try to adhere to the "Localize everything! Kill all Honorifics!" dogma to the very end.
One is talking about a fansub, one is talking about a commercial dub aimed at little kids. Think about that for a minute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Thanks for skillfully ignoring all arguments and examples I gave to rather set a straw man on fire. Great job!
Thanks for thinking I was talking directly to you. Great job!
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Old 2010-10-25, 13:23   Link #214
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Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
But to my ears, Miyauchi-kumichou is not "Mr. Miyauchi"
If we're talking about Yakuza bosses here, why wouldn't just "Boss Miyauchi" work? Seems like a simple enough case for me.

Also, in the end it shouldn't really matter how the translator decides to translate a particular honorific, because if you know what the honorifics mean, you can always pick them up from the audio and bypass the translation for that particular thing entirely if you wish to do so.
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Old 2010-10-25, 13:35   Link #215
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If we're talking about Yakuza bosses here, why wouldn't just "Boss Miyauchi" work? Seems like a simple enough case for me.
I don't know of any translators who would really put "Mr." for that.
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Old 2010-10-25, 15:39   Link #216
TheFluff
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Originally Posted by Vegard Aune View Post
Yes, because as we all know, "bad" is totally objective, and if you don't like a show, there's not even the slightest chance of anyone else liking it.
It's sort of cute watching people coming to terms with the fact that "opinions can’t be wrong" is the worst and most common lie their parents told them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegard Aune View Post
I agree completely. In fact, there are few things that annoy me more in fansubs than hearing a character's last name being said while the subtitles show their first name instead.
plork already answered this but yeah, go grab some subs in romaji then. Because there are literally hundreds of commonly used Japanese loan words and general expressions that sound sorta like English but mean something radically different. Stop being such a weeaboo and deal with the fact that Japanese and English are different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PositronCannon View Post
You already know it's strictly about names or things that can't be easily translated. :V

Oh wait this is gonna turn into a circular argument isn't it.
The fact that you have a shitty translator that can't translate honorifics in a way that makes sense in English is not an argument in favor of keeping honorifics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
This is a slippery slope approach. I could just as well argue that, since you don't care if the subtitles match the spoken dialogue, the subtitles don't have to have any relevancy to the show, and you might as well pull a Robotech.
If you're seriously going to claim that argument is valid I will also seriously claim that my argument that you clearly should watch subs in romaji is equally valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Look, I don't care at all about the silly translation ego trip. But to my ears, Miyauchi-kumichou is not "Mr. Miyauchi", oniisama isn't "bro", and Yamamoto-senpai isn't "Upperclassman Yamamoto". Thank you, as someone who is interested in the Japanese culture, I feel able to learn the special meanings of concepts like senpai/kouhai, or the implications of calling someone Hayase, Hayase-san or Mitsuki. Unless know-it-all-better translators protect me from all this and try to force localizations for things which can NOT be localized without at least loss of nuance.
You know, when I was young, confident and naive, I agreed with this standpoint completely. That was before I realized how abysmally bad I really am at other languages. I used to think I was pretty good at English; then one day someone pointed out that if I walk out in a reasonably well-equipped kitchen and open some closets I will be completely unable to name at least half of the commonly used kitchen equipment in English. Please note that this is in a language I actually can speak and communicate decently in, and that this is a completely normal everyday situation. To try proposing that you or I actually have, just by watching anime, learned enough Japanese (much less gained sufficient understanding of Japanese culture) to understand even half of the "nuances" you seem to think that leaving honorifics untranslated would convey is not only arrogant, the very thought is preposterous. A vast majority of people never learn another language really well; learning your own native language really well is hard enough. As koda says, honorifics are pure placebo and only serves the purpose of making people feel better because they think they "understand" a foreign culture.

Then again, seeing as how a lot of fansub translators have taken Japanese in college for a few years before sort of kind of hacking something up with help from the closed captions, subs in other languages and wild-ass guessing, they probably don't really get any of the nuances either. So maybe we should just keep honorifics and leave everyone more or less equally in the dark. Ignorance is, after all, bliss.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

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Last edited by TheFluff; 2010-10-25 at 16:38.
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Old 2010-10-25, 16:47   Link #217
murikibishii
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I think some of you need to read this article on why honorifics always need to be left in. The guy has given this a lot of thought and he has done a thorough job going through the various strawman arguments.
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Old 2010-10-25, 19:22   Link #218
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
You know, when I was young, confident and naive, I agreed with this standpoint completely.
...

*reminding myself that I'm still twice Fluffy's age and reading on*

Quote:
That was before I realized how abysmally bad I really am at other languages.

[many words amounting to "Ohmigosh, languages are soooo difficult"]

To try proposing that you or I actually have, just by watching anime, learned enough Japanese (much less gained sufficient understanding of Japanese culture) to understand even half of the "nuances" you seem to think that leaving honorifics untranslated would convey is not only arrogant, the very thought is preposterous.
Unconvincing. Naturally, on our "hardly above layman" level, we'll still miss alot of connotations. But it's a simple fact that by localizing honorifics, details are lost especially in those trouble cases I listed above. You don't need to be able to understand EVERYTHING for that, you only need to be able to understand SOMETHING. And yes, by now I do consider myself capable of identifying and parsing most honorifics, spoken by which persons in which tone of voice. Again: Certainly not everything, but enough to make it worthwhile. Let's not make it harder than it is. It sure is no rocket science.

Quote:
As koda says, honorifics are pure placebo and only serves the purpose of making people feel better because they think they "understand" a foreign culture.
And this is a simple straw man pseudo argument which it its absoluteness is flat-out wrong. I don't watch anime for a silly ego trip, but because I enjoy it, simple as that. And while I can watch all versions from "localize everything" to "keep all honorifics", I can say for sure that I prefer the middle-of-the-road versions for the reasons outlined above.

Now each group can define on their own which path to take, more power to you. But this "We know better and we are right, while you are not" kind of talk reminds me very much of religious extremist babble. It's an opinion, no more than that. There are other opinions which I consider perfectly valid, too.
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Old 2010-10-25, 23:26   Link #219
OceanBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneizel View Post
Why do people interpret "remove honorifics" and "make subs English" to mean "4kids" and "Robotech"? Those are not remotely comparable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneizel View Post
One is talking about a fansub, one is talking about a commercial dub aimed at little kids. Think about that for a minute.
a.k.a. It depends on your target audience, which depends on the purpose of your group, which depends on the preferences of your group i.e. opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
If you're seriously going to claim that argument is valid I will also seriously claim that my argument that you clearly should watch subs in romaji is equally valid.
I'm not claiming that the argument is valid. That's what a slipperly slope argument is.
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Old 2010-10-25, 23:34   Link #220
Vegard Aune
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Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
It's sort of cute watching people coming to terms with the fact that "opinions canít be wrong" is the worst and most common lie their parents told them.
Yes, because I totally wasn't being sarcastic about the fact that your statement earlier treated "bad" as if it was an objective truth or something. Just like this statement isn't even remotely sarcastic either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
plork already answered this but yeah, go grab some subs in romaji then. Because there are literally hundreds of commonly used Japanese loan words and general expressions that sound sorta like English but mean something radically different. Stop being such a weeaboo and deal with the fact that Japanese and English are different.
There's a pretty huge difference between translating "Nooto" as "Notebook" and translating "Okazaki-san" as "Tomoya". Whereas the first phrase is basically an English word that's been integrated into the Japanese language and actually has a different meaning over there, thus making translating it literally actually wrong, the latter is just flat-out writing something completely different from what the characters are actually saying. And like Mentar said, there are shows where the way people refer to each other is actually relevant to the plot. I fail to see how wanting the plot to make sense makes me a weeaboo.
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