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View Poll Results: Which type of subs do you like the most
Freely translated and good english 27 35.53%
most accurate and near to the original 40 52.63%
minimalistic ones 2 2.63%
I don't care all i understand is fine 6 7.89%
is there a way to tell oO 1 1.32%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2010-03-09, 03:33   Link #81
Quarkboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Aye... "commercial" has almost no correspondence to "professional" in a great many fields, much less subtitling foreign works. Considering the fast turn-around, what many fansubbers do is astounding compared to "six month long professional" projects on the same material.

Fansubs also have a small inherent advantage in that DVD standard-compliant subtitling is incredibly primitive compared to what can be done in fansubs these days.
I wish I had some of those jobs with sixth-month deadlines, that's for sure.
Tell me where they are, please.

Last time I checked I got 2 weeks to sub 2 feature films
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Old 2010-03-09, 13:40   Link #82
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
"Make it sound not awkward" as Synaesthetic put it is probably a good rule of thumb You want to make sure that the line means the same thing, but you shouldn't be trying to copy the exact syntax.

Of course, some translation issues aren't that simple to solve. For example, a.f.k. translating moe as "turn ons" in their Haruhi 2006 fansubs. I've heard at least one blogger theorize that this is one of the main reasons why so many western anime fans think moe is sexual. On the flip side, I'm not sure how I'd suggest translating it. Even if you were willing to include a translator's note - which a.f.k. always tries to avoid - you can't really explain moe in one line.
I don't think you can explain moe in one line. It's pretty much become a loanword in English thanks to Haruhi and Lucky Star, so I wouldn't bother translating it if I were a fansubber, honestly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Aye... "commercial" has almost no correspondence to "professional" in a great many fields, much less subtitling foreign works. Considering the fast turn-around, what many fansubbers do is astounding compared to "six month long professional" projects on the same material.

Fansubs also have a small inherent advantage in that DVD standard-compliant subtitling is incredibly primitive compared to what can be done in fansubs these days.
When I pulled apart the Solty Rei DVDs to MKV-alyze them, when poking through the bad commercial subtitles, they were very basic (besides being riddled with errors). No karaoke effects, no animation, not even using different colors when multiple characters speak at once. The minor and very low-level enhancements I made to the subs themselves were nothing compared to what Advanced Substation Alpha can handle.

I didn't bother with karaoke effects for the OP/ED theme, but I may try it later for fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
I wish I had some of those jobs with sixth-month deadlines, that's for sure.
Tell me where they are, please.

Last time I checked I got 2 weeks to sub 2 feature films
I feel so bad for you. I have watched some of what you've done on CR (when the fucking site actually functions for me) and I wonder just how the hell you can do that in such a limited amount of time.

Do you just translate scripts, or do you actually do the typesetting and timing, too?
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Old 2010-03-09, 20:56   Link #83
Raiga
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Localizations trump translations. Now I don't agree with over-localizing (which happened in some early dubs, where the names of people, places and things were Americanized) but if a literal translation of a line sounds awkward in English, then make it sound not-awkward.

What really burns me up is when I see commercial subs that are riddled with spelling errors, code errors and other issues. Seriously, do commercial subbers have no QA department?

Last week I ripped my DVD copy of Solty Rei to H264 so I could watch it on my netbook, but before I could stick them in MKVs I had to pull every script into Aegisub and fix tons of errors. (Plus the original subbers used a font I didn't like and the placement was too high on the video frame, so I had to deal with that, too)...
I noticed that when watching my friend's Haruhi DVDs. I had to practically bite my tongue to stop myself from complaining about bad translation, not to mention the fact that there were almost two lines of text worth of margin. What the hell? That area is now completely dead space. Made even worse by the double lines of romaji and translation in the OP and ED sequences. I swear a third of the video area was put to waste as a result.

It's just pointlessly obstructing the video. Viewers aren't going to process what's going on in the margin of the subtitles, so make the margin small, simple as that.
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Old 2010-03-09, 21:16   Link #84
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
I wish I had some of those jobs with sixth-month deadlines, that's for sure.
Tell me where they are, please.

Last time I checked I got 2 weeks to sub 2 feature films
Ouch.... my bad. I'd call that a pretty unrealistic time budget for a commercial professional effort. Worse than some fantasies planned by software marketeers.
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Old 2010-03-09, 21:42   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Most accurate and near to the original.

Dubs will inevitably have to alter things a bit, and be creative, simply to have the lines of characters match those characters' lip-flaps.

So, with the subs, I really want to see accuracy, since it's the only place where I'm likely to really get it.
Yes, definitely accuracy for subs - there's no reason for not staying close to the original.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
I'll just put this out here now:

I despise name changes, names in American format, honorifics left out (like -chan, kun, san, being completely omitted), a sub reading first name when the character is being called by their LAST name...and pretty much any other thing in subbing that treats its viewers like idiots who are deaf and don't know a thing about Japanese culture.

I will not download from any fansubbing group that does that stuff. It gets so annoying and distracting that I can't even focus on the show.
Yes, it really degrades the quality of the sub. I don't like that either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
Most accurate.

It's senpai dammit! SeNpai!!

[edit]- Ok, I get it already. Sempai is acceptable romanization.
Proper romanisation is "senpai" only, but since it's pronounced like "sempai", some write it like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And if the initial writer of the character chose to not have the character use vulgarity in his or her speech, then I think it's wrong for the subbers to add that into the sub to make that character sound "cooler".

It sends a message about the character that is quite possibly very different from what was intended by the original Japanese.
Changing thing around just because the subber thinks they fit better is really nasty. You're supposed to translate it, not to rewrite it!
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Old 2010-03-09, 22:38   Link #86
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
I feel so bad for you. I have watched some of what you've done on CR (when the fucking site actually functions for me) and I wonder just how the hell you can do that in such a limited amount of time.

Do you just translate scripts, or do you actually do the typesetting and timing, too?
One of the reasons I can handle the workload is that I also time and typeset (although usually typesetting is extremely limited considering the limitations of CR's subtitle renderer).

Lately I've been combining the editing pass with the timing one, then do a final watch through for qc unless I have an outside editor in which case it goes to him/her for the second pass.

I just added it all up and in the last 15 months I've done about 400 episodes professionally... But that's the pace that's required if you want to actually make a living doing it.
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Old 2010-03-10, 00:35   Link #87
bayoab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
No karaoke effects
Not possible on DVD without using hard subs.
Quote:
no animation
Not possible on DVD without using hard subs.
Quote:
not even using different colors when multiple characters speak at once.
Not possible on DVD without writing a separate sub track iirc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
I noticed that when watching my friend's Haruhi DVDs. I had to practically bite my tongue to stop myself from complaining about bad translation, not to mention the fact that there were almost two lines of text worth of margin.
It wasn't a bad translation. You can see that in the dub script which is based off the same script. It was butchered in editing because of the typesetting problems you noticed. So the order is actually: Typesetting screwed up -> Adjusted editing for that typeset results in poor subtitle quality.
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Old 2010-03-10, 12:03   Link #88
Raiga
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Originally Posted by bayoab View Post
It wasn't a bad translation. You can see that in the dub script which is based off the same script. It was butchered in editing because of the typesetting problems you noticed. So the order is actually: Typesetting screwed up -> Adjusted editing for that typeset results in poor subtitle quality.
Er, sorry, didn't really get that. Are you saying they edited the translation after the typesetting hence why it was not a good translation? And I'm not sure what it has to do with the dub...

I mean, I suppose calling it a bad translation is a little harsh, but localizations aside, a.f.k.'s was honestly ten times better, which is kinda sad considering my friend paid for these DVDs. Some things were not technically incorrect, but really should have been translated differently in context. Like when Mikuru (adult) says she's made a "kanchigai." "Misunderstanding" is technically correct, but she was talking about how she'd gone to the wrong time frame-- in other words, "mistake" would have been more accurate in context. "This is a huge misunderstanding" is actually misleading, when she means, "I've made a huge mistake."

Also instead of "anthropic principle" (which a.f.k. got right) they used, what was it? "Human principle" or something. One of the friends I was watching with even pointed out that that was the wrong term. That's simply a matter of doing the five minutes of Google research to find the right English phrase. I mean, these are so-called professional subs, man.

I understand DVDs can't do all the pretty stuff substation alpha can do, but this is basic stuff here. Not just translation and formatting, stuff like really lazy timing. If the line is really long and the character pauses for a breath, split the darn line in two! And if there's more than a two second pause between dialogue, turn off the subs!

I mean, granted, not all DVD subs I've seen are bad. But I dunno. It's annoying.
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Old 2010-03-10, 15:57   Link #89
Vexx
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Raiga, your examples are typical problems and similar to mine... a repeatd "ya know, a few seconds with Google or some basic knowledge and that line could have been much more on point."

I'm not sure what to push for with DVD subtitling mechanics though since it would require redefining the format. Anyone know if Blu-ray subtitling functionality is better?
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Old 2010-03-10, 16:48   Link #90
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I'd prefer honorifics left out than trying to translate them. Nobody in America calls a person Mr./Mrs. <first name>. It sounds horribly awkward.

If I'm typesetting something, if a character says "Orihara-san" that would unawkwardly translate to Mr. Orihara. But if a character says, "Izaya-san" that doesn't work the same way. Mr. Bob or Mrs. Mary sounds... childish.

So if I'm doing subbing work, I'll omit suffixes unless it's necessary. I'll straight across transfer in the case of nicknames (i.e. Ritsu's nickname "Ricchan" in K-ON!) but otherwise, deleted unless the context deems an English honorific wouldn't be awkward.
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Old 2010-03-10, 21:55   Link #91
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Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
Er, sorry, didn't really get that. Are you saying they edited the translation after the typesetting hence why it was not a good translation? And I'm not sure what it has to do with the dub...
A raw translation was produced, "script(raw)".
Script(raw) was then edited by the ADR director for the dub to produce script(dub), the script that was used to make the dub. This script is fine beside some minor nitpicks you can make.

Script(raw) is timed and typeset (and edited?) and whatever to produce script(sub).
Up to here, all was normal, it is at this point things went wrong:
Script(sub) went through editing (again?) due to issues that resulted from the typesetting. The resulting final subtitle script here is the one that so many people have issues with such as "futuremen".
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Old 2010-03-11, 01:07   Link #92
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Odd... having to change the translation due to typesetting issues? Don't really see how that works but I'll take your word for it.
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Old 2010-03-11, 06:14   Link #93
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The subs must not convey the wrong meaning!

I once watched an episode of Akikan subbed where the subbers made the subs too erotic and I was like - wot the hell is going on ..

lol
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Old 2010-03-11, 11:39   Link #94
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That was Akikan. The subs were probably translated accurately enough. It was the show that was the source of the erotica.
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Old 2010-03-11, 12:22   Link #95
Vexx
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Yeah... Akikan was steeped in double meanings and erotic undertones.
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Old 2010-03-11, 12:58   Link #96
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Yeah... Akikan was steeped in double meanings and erotic undertones.
Oh come on. Since when does paizuri have a double meaning?
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Old 2010-03-12, 01:33   Link #97
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I went with "freely translated and good English," which is not completely exclusive with "accurate and close to the original." It's quite possible to honorifics, Eastern name order, Japanese-specific food and cultural terms, and many other distinctive "flavorings" within a subtitle script that presents a natural and enjoyable English reading experience. As others have said, the key is to avoid sounding awkward or stupid in English. Most of the time, this can be accomplished without losing any meaning. Take the line, "Yomitakatta... Toujou no shosetsu."

Some literal translations would render this as "I wanted to read it... Toujou's novel", even though "I wanted to read Toujou's novel" doesn't lose any meaning. Or "That character, why haven't you discarded it yet?" (from some .hack//SIGN fansub) could just as easily be "Why haven't you discarded that character yet?"

I don't care if honorifics are included or not, since I can discern them from the audio if they're not in the subs. Same with name order. I will say that doing [Family name in audio] -> [Given name in subs] is an unnecessary degree of localization, though. Most R1DVDs haven't done it for years, aside from some outliers like Viz's Honey & Clover. But Viz has always been incompetent, so no surprise there. Millions of English speakers, young and old, have managed to comprehend and enjoy seven rather popular books full of kids calling each other Potter, Malfoy, Granger, Weasely, Goyle, Longbottom, etc. So it's not like "addressing by surname = more distant/formal relationship" is that foreign of a concept.

Aside from obsessive syntax adherence, my main tip-off of annoyingly literal subs is a refusal to substitute or add "you" instead of <Name> where it would be natural and appropriate in English. Yes, I get that Japanese speakers don't use 2nd-person pronouns as much as English speakers. But strict adherence to [name in audio] -> [name in subs] makes conversations needlessly confusing and awkward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoab
Quote:
not even using different colors when multiple characters speak at once.
Not possible on DVD without writing a separate sub track iirc.
Plenty of DVDs do use different colors when they have multiple speakers. Funimation, who released Solty Rei, just chooses to format like this:

--Line1
--Line2

But others like ADV and Nozomi use yellow for main subs and white for overlapping subs. Green shows up here and there on some Bang Zoom, New Generation Pictures, and Ocean Group-produced DVDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
Odd... having to change the translation due to typesetting issues? Don't really see how that works but I'll take your word for it.
My theory is that the issues stemmed from the arbitrarily large text size that Bang Zoom was using at the time. If the Haruhi subs had used the same size and style that was used in earlier releases like Scrapped Princess, Wolf's Rain, Scryed, Planetes, and others, they might've been able to accommodate Haruhi's wordy dialogue without destructive rewrites. Along with that, the R1 Haruhi subs were translated by a native Japanese speaker, Rika Takahashi. No doubt she's a capable translator, but it takes a talented subtitle writer to transform native-JPN raw translations to good English. And imo Clark Cheng is lacking in that talent. Look at Kannazuki no Miko -- watching it with the R1 subs makes it feel like a cheesier and worse-written show, compared to the English dub or even the Static-Subs TV-fansubs.

What it comes down to is that nobody at Kadokawa/Bandai/BZ ever said, "Gee, this is a really talky show that uses a lot of big words. Maybe we'd better use slightly smaller yet still DVD-acceptable subtitles for this one." The problem isn't DVD format limitations, it's inflexibility and uncreativity even within the bounds of those standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga
It's just pointlessly obstructing the video. Viewers aren't going to process what's going on in the margin of the subtitles, so make the margin small, simple as that.
To me, a line of text at a 10-pixel margin takes up the exact same amount of space as a line at 40 pixels. Making the margins too small (like most fansubs do) introduces two problems:

1) Subtitles set too low will get cut off by overscan on old CRT TVs. Yeah, not so many people have CRTs anymore. But screwing over the less fortunate for one's own convenience is just plain selfish.
2) Subtitles set too low force the viewer to constantly bounce their eyes down and up between the subtitles and the main action areas of the image, thus increasing the chance that they'll miss out on something. Same goes for horizontal margins -- long single lines of text that span the entire width of the screen should be broken up into two shorter lines in the center of the screen. This allows viewers to read them faster with minimal side-to-side eye scanning movement. Most DVDs follow this principle, most fansubs do not.

Yes, some DVDs take margins too far, but there needs to be a middle ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0
Of course, some translation issues aren't that simple to solve. For example, a.f.k. translating moe as "turn ons" in their Haruhi 2006 fansubs. I've heard at least one blogger theorize that this is one of the main reasons why so many western anime fans think moe is sexual. On the flip side, I'm not sure how I'd suggest translating it. Even if you were willing to include a translator's note - which a.f.k. always tries to avoid - you can't really explain moe in one line.
Speaking of moe, does anyone recall how it was handled in the fansubs of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi back in 2002? That's the earliest instance I know of where the term was explicitly used and/or parodied. It was rendered as "charm" in the ADV subs (+more explanation in the optional notes) and "charisma" in the English dub. Or vice versa. I've seen worse, though. Like "sprouty" from Happy Lesson Advance by Anime-Keep back in 2003. Which is literally correct, but shows a complete non-understanding of the term.
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Old 2010-03-12, 06:35   Link #98
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The ones that make sense. Oh, and that remain faithful to the original.
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Old 2010-03-12, 12:40   Link #99
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"Most accurate and near to the original" is such an oxymoron to a professional translator it's not even funny.

But then again, given the audience of the average fansub it might not be that bad.

Footnotes should die in a fire though, there are so many ways to avoid them and yet so many fansubbers abuse them...
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Old 2010-03-12, 19:29   Link #100
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Speaking of moe, does anyone recall how it was handled in the fansubs of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi back in 2002? That's the earliest instance I know of where the term was explicitly used and/or parodied. It was rendered as "charm" in the ADV subs (+more explanation in the optional notes) and "charisma" in the English dub. Or vice versa. I've seen worse, though. Like "sprouty" from Happy Lesson Advance by Anime-Keep back in 2003. Which is literally correct, but shows a complete non-understanding of the term.
Sprouty? Tee-hee, that makes me smile. I'll have to find a way to use that one sometime
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