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Old 2013-04-13, 19:40   Link #341
trinitem
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Originally Posted by DmonHiro View Post
Translating everything as literal as possible to the original Japanese produces some of the, if not the worst subtitles possible. Japanese sentence structure differs too much. Also, they word their dialogue differently. For example, when someone is talking about someone who just died, they might leave the sentence incomplete (excluding the word "died"). If you take that and do a literal translation, you will get "My father...". The natural response would be "You're father what?". So, you should write it as "My father just died", even though the Japanese script does not have the word for "died" in it.

TLDR: 100% literal translations suck. Quick way to tell: read it out loud. If you feel stupid saying it, CHANGE IT!
100% literal usually doesn't work, but liberal takes don't always do justice either.

If you translate "My father..." into "My father just died", you're already drastically altering the meaning of the sentence. You've solidified the sentence to explicitly state the father's condition. The omitting business does have some meaningful nuances.

For ease of discussion, let's limit this to an almost established fact case. Person in question talking about his/her father's condition omits the actual condition. Adding in "just died" removes the hesitancy to talk about the matter. Spoken person has now explicitly stated the condition. Inevitably, this is going to have to touch on culture.

English you won't see many lines left blank, yes? Japanese inversely so likes to leave things vague. While vague, the context clues typically narrow down the likely answers to a few probable answers. For a personal take, I think leaving blanks is fine in subs.

English: I don't like that very much.
Japanese: That's a little.... (それはあまり。。)

Leaving original word order intact is asking for disaster, but letting people guess what a character is thinking is fine. Unless the situation is completely unintelligible otherwise, I prefer not forcing my interpretation of these "blanks" on readers. Watch a few anime, and the implied answers become for the most part easily deductible.

This is a small after note picking, but even if the need to add "die" arises, English too often strays away from blatant "died" in respectful conversation. Euphemisms like "has already passed on/has already gone" take its place.

TLDR: 100% literal is generally a bad idea, but being liberal has its limits too.
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Old 2013-04-14, 02:07   Link #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinitem View Post
Japanese inversely so likes to leave things vague. While vague, the context clues typically narrow down the likely answers to a few probable answers.
So true. I find that the Japanese often don't complete their sentences and leave it up to context. We do it in English too sometimes, but not to the extent that the Japanese do.

A better example than the "my father died" example would be when a character tells another character "saki ni!" and runs off. Literally, that would be "Before you!", but a better English equivalent would be something like "I'm off now!".

I just watched episode 2 of Gargantia, noticed in the subs that what was literally said as "there are small fleets and big fleets", was subtitled as "there are fleets of various sizes". I find that this is just as acceptable as the literal translation because the spirit and meaning of the dialogue is not lost or changed.
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Old 2013-04-14, 15:24   Link #343
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My example was only for when the father actually DID die, and we know that, and the one talking knows that, and the one being talked to knows it too.
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Old 2013-04-22, 12:37   Link #344
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Originally Posted by DmonHiro View Post
My example was only for when the father actually DID die, and we know that, and the one talking knows that, and the one being talked to knows it too.

Surely this would come out as "My father..." and then leaving it hanging for dramatic effect? That's done quite often in English too, especially dramas (repetition happens a lot too - adds to the tension).

Obviously it's hard to tell without the translation. Am I correct in thinking the audio was probably just "Shinda" or equivalent (apologies for awful romanisation)? If so, yeah, the extra context is needed, but if he just goes "Oto-san..." *burst into tears* - that's when you'd leave off the qualifying part of the statement.
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Old 2013-04-23, 00:19   Link #345
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It's not a mistake if it is correctly translated. It's a mistake to change something to what it might mean if the sentence were actually completed - but not. If the sentence trails off and doesn't finish you don't complete it just because you think you know what it probably should be.

When the girl/boy is wailing "Oto-san wa..." "Oto-san wa...", after he/she knows their father died, you don't add the died part.(especially when it isn't spoken) It's called drama. It's a common and poor editing mistake to add the "died" part.

It's like changing the title of a Japanese anime that is already in English because you don't like it.
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Old 2013-04-23, 02:12   Link #346
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Originally Posted by Heibi View Post
It's like changing the title of a Japanese anime that is already in English because you don't like it.
I take it you don't like Eotens?

Anyway, no, keeping it literal is stupid, if it means you have to use broken English, so yeah, sometimes you have to add words to not have the line read retarded. And I'm not talking just about my (rather poor) example. And I don't know what English you learned, but I didn't think I've ever heard anyone leave a sentence like that hanging, unless they burst into tears/laughter while talking. Maybe you are one of those who likes things as literal as possible. You know, the ones who write "I was seeing a dream" or "Even at a time like this". And why not? After all, it's "correctly translated" right?
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Old 2013-04-23, 04:46   Link #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DmonHiro View Post
I take it you don't like Eotens?

Anyway, no, keeping it literal is stupid, if it means you have to use broken English, so yeah, sometimes you have to add words to not have the line read retarded. And I'm not talking just about my (rather poor) example. And I don't know what English you learned, but I didn't think I've ever heard anyone leave a sentence like that hanging, unless they burst into tears/laughter while talking. Maybe you are one of those who likes things as literal as possible. You know, the ones who write "I was seeing a dream" or "Even at a time like this". And why not? After all, it's "correctly translated" right?
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Old 2013-04-23, 06:03   Link #348
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Originally Posted by DmonHiro View Post
I take it you don't like Eotens?

Anyway, no, keeping it literal is stupid, if it means you have to use broken English, so yeah, sometimes you have to add words to not have the line read retarded. And I'm not talking just about my (rather poor) example. And I don't know what English you learned, but I didn't think I've ever heard anyone leave a sentence like that hanging, unless they burst into tears/laughter while talking. Maybe you are one of those who likes things as literal as possible. You know, the ones who write "I was seeing a dream" or "Even at a time like this". And why not? After all, it's "correctly translated" right?
I don't know about you but plenty of people leave their sentences hanging in spoken English depending on the situation.
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Old 2013-04-23, 09:27   Link #349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DmonHiro View Post
I take it you don't like Eotens?

Anyway, no, keeping it literal is stupid, if it means you have to use broken English, so yeah, sometimes you have to add words to not have the line read retarded. And I'm not talking just about my (rather poor) example. And I don't know what English you learned, but I didn't think I've ever heard anyone leave a sentence like that hanging, unless they burst into tears/laughter while talking. Maybe you are one of those who likes things as literal as possible. You know, the ones who write "I was seeing a dream" or "Even at a time like this". And why not? After all, it's "correctly translated" right?
Okay, Eotens is the stupidest thing I've seen in a while. The title of the show is in English on the screen. The manga has been released in the US under the title Attack on Titan. So to change it like that was moronic. And the diatribe they went through to justify their actions was ludicrous. The author chose the title. Honor the author's work by at least keeping his/her title intact. In this case the common mistake was that the fansubbers thought they knew better the creator of the series.

Literal sometimes works. But obviously, if you can make the sentence flow better with slight rewording, you do it. Like when a person says "Haven't you found them?"(asked in a negative way in Japanese) and the answer in Japanese is "Hai" the word for "yes" - but we know as viewers that the person answering has not actually found who they are looking for so you translate the answer as "No." because they are affirming the questioner's query.

But you don't have to add to what is suppose to be a dramatic pause or trail-off line.
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Old 2013-05-29, 05:22   Link #350
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Originally Posted by Heibi View Post
Okay, Eotens is the stupidest thing I've seen in a while. The title of the show is in English on the screen. The manga has been released in the US under the title Attack on Titan. So to change it like that was moronic. And the diatribe they went through to justify their actions was ludicrous. The author chose the title. Honor the author's work by at least keeping his/her title intact. In this case the common mistake was that the fansubbers thought they knew better the creator of the series.

Literal sometimes works. But obviously, if you can make the sentence flow better with slight rewording, you do it. Like when a person says "Haven't you found them?"(asked in a negative way in Japanese) and the answer in Japanese is "Hai" the word for "yes" - but we know as viewers that the person answering has not actually found who they are looking for so you translate the answer as "No." because they are affirming the questioner's query.

But you don't have to add to what is suppose to be a dramatic pause or trail-off line.
Literal T/L works if you give explanations for things that cannot be literally translated. i.e. proverbs, sayings, metaphors, etc...

The issue with literal vs. non-literal you run into is if I use a saying to describe what is said in Japanese and that saying is from my area only you will not understand it. However if I give you a link to the original of the Japanese saying and the explanation of it you will understand what they are talking about. Not everything is possible to be translated as to cultural differences. Trust me, I live in Japan and am American and the differences are massive. They will react to some of our common language as being extremely offensive when it is not to us.

Literal give a light into Japanese culture that help understanding of who they are as a people. If you convolute it with idioms and metaphors you lose the meaning in the process of what is actually being said. There is a middle group I believe between the two. You can use English slang in place of Japanese slang to give the feeling of a certain era, place, or group of people, however changing the meanings of things to suit one culture over the original ruins the message intended.
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Old 2013-05-29, 22:14   Link #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getfresh View Post
Literal T/L works if you give explanations for things that cannot be literally translated. i.e. proverbs, sayings, metaphors, etc...

The issue with literal vs. non-literal you run into is if I use a saying to describe what is said in Japanese and that saying is from my area only you will not understand it. However if I give you a link to the original of the Japanese saying and the explanation of it you will understand what they are talking about. Not everything is possible to be translated as to cultural differences. Trust me, I live in Japan and am American and the differences are massive. They will react to some of our common language as being extremely offensive when it is not to us.

Literal give a light into Japanese culture that help understanding of who they are as a people. If you convolute it with idioms and metaphors you lose the meaning in the process of what is actually being said. There is a middle group I believe between the two. You can use English slang in place of Japanese slang to give the feeling of a certain era, place, or group of people, however changing the meanings of things to suit one culture over the original ruins the message intended.
Honestly, you don't have to live in Japan to know about the huge cultural differences that prevail. While I lived there only prior to adulthood, I work with a Japanese team at my workplace here in America and have chosen to communicate solely via English for the possibility of running into these cultural issues even with my background. Sometimes it's like magic really, you say something in Japanese, the same thing said in English in a much more direct/possibly rude way will not be looked at as offensively as saying (what one would consider as equivalent) in Japanese would be... as a TL, I've found that proficiency in both American culture/colloquialism and Japanese at the same time is crucial to produce good quality translation work. Thus the best translators are those who have been subjected to immersion environments in both and/or happen to be Japanese-American themselves.
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