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View Full Version : Horrible fan subs and scanlations



thorgrim29
2009-07-27, 01:48 PM
I have a question about them, a lot of the time, when you read of watch manga/anime online, it is through fansubs or scanlations. Presumably, this is done by people who speak both english and japanese (or Korean sometimes I guess). So why is it that a lot of the time, the translation doesn't make sense? Some of it reads like it was fed to babelfish and was never proofread. I mean, I know it's free and I shouldn't be complaining, but is it a stylistic choice or something?

Eldan
2009-07-27, 01:58 PM
I had at least one case: I was watching Ghost in the Shell. The sub I had a really good quality and judging by the credits, an entire staff of people working on it.
Until the last two episodes of season one. For some reason, the entire last two episodes were made by one guy, apparently russian, judging from his name. And it seemed he didn't speak any english. Damn was I angry.

So, I can only recommend looking for a large group of subbers. If you find a good sub, write down their name somewhere, see if they have their own page. It helps a lot.

Yiuel
2009-07-27, 02:01 PM
I have a question about them, a lot of the time, when you read of watch manga/anime online, it is through fansubs or scanlations. Presumably, this is done by people who speak both english and japanese (or Korean sometimes I guess). So why is it that a lot of the time, the translation doesn't make sense? Some of it reads like it was fed to babelfish and was never proofread. I mean, I know it's free and I shouldn't be complaining, but is it a stylistic choice or something?

Some good translators (but not getting the point of scanlation/subbing) sometimes translate it culturally. While this can be useful when mudanely translating, this can be a big failure with people already used to the culture being tentatively translated. But this doesn't happen often.

Most of the time, it might just be awful because it just is awful. Nothing can be perfect, and mistakes are easy. Also, you not likely to know about every field, and technobabble is (can be) a pain to translate.

Official translations can also be as bad. The common French translation of LotR is ugly (I read both the original English and French versions, just to compare).

Prime32
2009-07-27, 04:48 PM
I watched a sub of Gundam 00 where the names of the non-Gundam mobile suits were removed from dialogue (so that they were referred to as "that suit"), the Kyrios and Ptolemaios each had two names which they switched between erratically, and Allelujah talked to Allelujah.

Decoy Lockbox
2009-07-27, 06:42 PM
The scanlation for the early parts of the Berserk manga is pretty bad. I think my favorite part is where, during a war, one of the characters is being "sent back to the frong".

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-27, 10:08 PM
Otherwise good subs that only translate half the damn dialog get on my nerves. I'm looking at you, nyoro~n subs.

I can handle honorifics and Japanese cultural concepts being left in, but for God's sake, have the balls to translate insults, you little kisamas.

This is more of a pet peeve than bad translation, though, as I'm pretty picky about what I watch, so I miss the truly bad ones.

Oh, and the SRW Alpha Gaiden translation translated two different spells as the same word, which was confusing, but I don't care because I have a translated SRW on PlayStation.

Oh, and Lean Horse Jr. instead of Reinforce Jr., but that's an official transliteration. What the hell, Sunrise? "Qubeley" wasn't stupid-sounding enough?

nothingclever
2009-07-27, 10:19 PM
Some people just get lazy and decide not to do their part. It could be the translator accidentally doing a bad job and the quality checker slacking off or it could be both of them being lazy. Sometimes you get translators that decide to be Nazis and cause all sorts of drama by saying a super literal translation is better than a looser more casual and realistic translation. Sometimes people take time off and leave stuff in the hands of less able people. Sometimes people decide to distribute presubs early that haven't been properly checked and even if they are only supposed to be sent to a few people privately those few spread it to everyone else. Then stupid people write tons of angry responses to the subbers when they should realize that what they got was an unfinished product and that's the price they sometimes have to pay when they get things early. Sometimes as Nerd-o-rama said you get people that feel all special by leaving tons of terms untranslated because they expect you to be die hard otaku "purists" like them and yet they can't be bothered to provide a blurb somewhere on the screen explaining the text or they have short redundant explanations that they shouldn't even add because they aren't needed or it's easier to just translate the words since no one needs an explanation of what the Japanese word for yes means. Some people purposely sabotage their translation groups because there are people in them that don't get along very well and know each other in real life. Other times you've got Chinese people as an example that know Japanese and pass their Chinese subs off to other people to make English subs so you get Japanese to Chinese to English instead of Japanese directly to English. A fourth language might be added in. Sometimes people just don't speak English well and decide to post their own subs because the series they are doing isn't popular and they figure their subs are better than nothing at all. Sometimes translators are amateurs and decide to share their translations with people despite the fact that they need a lot of work. Some groups compete with other groups and decide to rush their translations to get their subs out first. Some people are looking to make a quick buck off by posting their cruddy translations first on some random site that'll pay for them. Sometimes people just provide poor subs for other groups to polish up. Sometimes members leave a group and subs suck for a while the remaining people look for replacement members or they try to do without any new ones because they've got ego issues.

Mando Knight
2009-07-27, 10:24 PM
Otherwise good subs that only translate half the damn dialog get on my nerves. I'm looking at you, nyoro~n subs.

I can handle honorifics and Japanese cultural concepts being left in, but for God's sake, have the balls to translate insults, you little kisamas.

Scanlations: written by otaku for otaku. :smalltongue:

Lord Seth
2009-07-27, 10:34 PM
Given that scanlations are free (excluding whatever you pay for Internet access, which hardly counts) and almost always released before official translations, complaining about their quality seems a bit odd to me. As they say, "you get what you pay for."

nothingclever
2009-07-27, 10:36 PM
"Official" translations often suck far more. Just the fact that they might edit out some guy's head exploding and the ensuing blood fountain makes me never watch them. Plus official translations are sometimes just so terribly unofficial despite technically being so because X company buys the rights to produce/distribute an English version and casually destroys it because they don't really care how faithful it is to the original or if it even makes sense. You might see the same company put a lot more work into the translation of another series they care more about so the less valued ones aren't very official by their regular standards.

latwPIAT
2009-07-28, 02:27 AM
"Official" translations often suck far more. Just the fact that they might edit out some guy's head exploding and the ensuing blood fountain makes me never watch them.
That's not an aspect of the translation, but rather an aspect of the localization.

13_CBS
2009-07-28, 07:55 AM
I can handle honorifics and Japanese cultural concepts being left in, but for God's sake, have the balls to translate insults, you little kisamas.



http://justaskeikaku.net23.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/lolwutsubbers-34.jpg


(The pic is actually somewhat relevant to Nerd's post.)

Comet
2009-07-28, 08:23 AM
Damn! I was just about to past that it's all according to the translator's keikaku.
Beat me to it.

I haven't had the mispleasure of encountering that many horrible fansubs (excluding those times I go looking for free streaming of episodes on the interwebs, but in those cases I seriously had it coming).
But I really do prefer the translator to make some changes to the script and not just translate everything literally, word-to-word. I enjoy reading subtitles that are in good english and show that the translator really thought about the message of the script, not just the words.

nothingclever
2009-07-28, 08:46 AM
That's not an aspect of the translation, but rather an aspect of the localization.
Obviously, but many times officially translated works include visual edits.

thorgrim29
2009-07-28, 09:41 AM
So... some people think that a literal translation is better then one who makes actual sense. That's a bit odd.

13_CBS
2009-07-28, 10:12 AM
Perhaps it's because said people think that it's more respectful to the original author that way?

It's not the best example, but in the various translations of Nasuverse works by Mirror Moon, it seems that the translators tried to preserve Nasu's prose style as much as possible, out of respect for the writer. Either that, or they're some of the strangest prose writers I've ever seen :smallconfused:

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-28, 10:51 AM
Obviously, but many times officially translated works include visual edits.This has gotten rarer in the last decade, and usually only in broadcast versions and not DVD releases, thankfully.

Bandai USA's recent releases on the Sci Fi Channel do spring to mind, but they were only edited for time rather than content, and I assume that their DVD releases have the cut material.

nothingclever
2009-07-28, 01:04 PM
Well that's nice to know but I'll still be steering clear of them unless I want to laugh at the dub voices.

Seraph
2009-07-28, 04:37 PM
Perhaps it's because said people think that it's more respectful to the original author that way?


bull****. any translater with their head not up their ass will realize its more respectful to the original author to actually convey the meaning than make sure everything is exactly perfect translation at the cost of the meaning.

TengYt
2009-07-28, 04:46 PM
Well that's nice to know but I'll still be steering clear of them unless I want to laugh at the dub voices.

The only anime these days with bad English dub voices are obscure, no-budget hentai shows and the like. In the last decade or so, the quality of dubbing has increased slowly and surely.

Justyn
2009-07-28, 04:56 PM
The only anime these days with bad English dub voices are obscure, no-budget hentai shows and the like. In the last decade or so, the quality of dubbing has increased slowly and surely.

And anything by 4Kids Entertainment.

TengYt
2009-07-28, 05:31 PM
And anything by 4Kids Entertainment.

4Kids has bad localisation, not dubbing. There's a difference.

Mando Knight
2009-07-28, 05:40 PM
Obviously, but many times officially translated works include visual edits.

Occasionally, it's because of blatant advertising in the original anime that the localization group either can't secure the license with the company or doesn't want to increase their workload more. Example: all that pizza C.C. eats in Code Geass? Pizza Hut, at least in Japan. (it's also where Cheese-kun comes from...) In the American version, the blatant posting of the Pizza Hut logos and such (except for the actual pizza and Cheese-kun, since Cheese-kun isn't used in America) are edited out... actually quite well, I'd say...

I have to agree with TengYt on 4K!ds Entertainment's dubbing. The voice actors are actually decent, but the scripts (and sometimes the casting choices) are off.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-07-28, 07:13 PM
4Kids has bad localisation, not dubbing. There's a difference.No, it's bad dubbing. BELIEVE IT!

Lord Seth
2009-07-28, 07:19 PM
No, it's bad dubbing. BELIEVE IT!1) 4Kids had nothing to do with Naruto.
2) Viz, the guys who dubbed Naruto, did something incredible: They actually noticed that people hated Naruto's "believe it!" and cut way, way down on it. I'm tired of people mocking Naruto's dub for "believe it" when the company actually listened to complaints and stopped doing it. (and from what I understand, even when they were doing it, they cut it down from how often he screamed "dattebayo"--the original version of "believe it"--in the original Japanese version)

nothingclever
2009-07-28, 07:21 PM
The only anime these days with bad English dub voices are obscure, no-budget hentai shows and the like. In the last decade or so, the quality of dubbing has increased slowly and surely.
Wow I almost feel like I'm old or something then if bad dubs have become a small minority. Back in my day good dubs were unheard of. You whippersnappers have it all too easy.

Mando Knight
2009-07-28, 07:29 PM
Back in my day good dubs were unheard of.

So, 80s, then, when you could watch *shudder* Warriors of the Wind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_of_the_Valley_of_the_Wind_(film)#War riors_of_the_Wind)?

nothingclever
2009-07-28, 08:09 PM
You don't love Warriors of the Wind?

Milskidasith
2009-07-28, 08:19 PM
Honestly, Naruto's dub is more enjoyable to listen too than the sub, once you get past the first few episodes of "believe it!"

Honestly, I never found dub voices that bad. I mean, some are terrible; no budget hentai and the older stuff. But all the stuff I've dealt with, from DBZ to Ruroni Kenshin to Naruto have all had dubs that were bearable (with DBZ, some of the voices are pretty bad, but in Japanese, Goku sounds like my 8 year old cousin, so it balances out.)

13_CBS
2009-07-28, 08:19 PM
So, 80s, then, when you could watch *shudder* Warriors of the Wind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_of_the_Valley_of_the_Wind_(film)#War riors_of_the_Wind)?


You don't love Warriors of the Wind?


And thus began the greatest conflict the Playground had ever seen...

Zeful
2009-07-28, 08:27 PM
Perhaps it's because said people think that it's more respectful to the original author that way?

You realize that you're advocating the idiomatic translation over the literal translation, as the idiomatic translation preserves the meaning, over what was said.

13_CBS
2009-07-28, 08:32 PM
You realize that you're advocating the idiomatic translation over the literal translation, as the idiomatic translation preserves the meaning, over what was said.

I advocate nothing :smallconfused: I'm simply trying to hypothesize on why some people think literal translations are better, and I was guessing that they wanted to respect the author's writing or something. I never said that I thought they were right.

Zeful
2009-07-28, 08:56 PM
I advocate nothing :smallconfused: I'm simply trying to hypothesize on why some people think literal translations are better, and I was guessing that they wanted to respect the author's writing or something. I never said that I thought they were right.

Literal translations don't work to well as sometimes single words have several different meanings in Japanese. Here (http://www.onemanga.com/Soul_Eater/36/04/) are a couple (http://www.onemanga.com/Soul_Eater/36/36/) of examples from Soul Eater. You can't pull a literal translation with either of those examples because in English, there are no single words that share all the associated meanings. The best you can do is pick a meaning that makes sense and then point out the puns.

13_CBS
2009-07-28, 08:58 PM
Yes, and I agree with you. :smallconfused: