Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Do you have a translation question?

Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby Infidel » Thu 03.29.2012 4:56 am

As usual, I'm watching anime or something or other in Japanese to keep my listening skills improving but I still use the subtitles to check my progress and cover when I'm not quite following. Well, today I saw a pretty bad translation, although the cause is semi obvious, and it made me think that it might make for an interesting discussion.

anta tachi mokuteki wa nan nano.
What is your objection.

So anyone else have a good example? I'm not talking about iffy translations but ones that are totally off.

Another one I see a LOT, so can't blame the spell checker is
Yurushite!
Forgive me!
in the context of a woman being forcibly captured. Pretty sure a better translation would be, "Let go!"
or some such.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

Re: Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 03.29.2012 7:41 am

In the case of the 'objection' one, the mistake seems to be more on the English side of things (i.e. confusing 'objection' with 'objective.' In comparison the 'yurushite' translation demonstrates less understanding of the Japanese.

Well, I don't see many translations that are totally off (perhaps because I punish myself for looking at subtitles) but I have seen some where I think the translator was pretty free (lazy.) However, sometimes that kind of translation is alot more succesful for its western audience, than the perfectionist translator who feels the need to translate every Kanji in the background and explain Japanese humour in one huge subtitle that only lasts for half a second.
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
User avatar
Ongakuka
 
Posts: 979
Joined: Mon 09.26.2005 1:07 pm

Re: Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 03.29.2012 9:10 am

Yeah... I don't turn on subtitles very much any more, but fan subs will have the odd clumsy mistake or grammar misunderstanding with silly results, while professional subs can veer so far away from what's literally being said that you're no longer sure you're watching the same show that you're listening to.

I did check my understanding of the Skyrim translation of the story of 隻眼オラフとドラゴン (one-eyed olaf and the dragon) against the English and found that,
「この頃は要塞間で次々と起こる戦争のため、スカイリムの歴史の中でも混乱に満ちた」
had been translated from something like '.... entangled in a war of succession ...'  Someone apparently didn't know the difference between 'successive wars' and 'a war of succession'. The story made more sense in English, certainly, in the Japanese I was trying to figure out why a period of continuous wars would suddenly end when somebody is named High King in one particular city. Replace 'period of continuous wars' with 'period of the war of succession' and it all fits.
SomeCallMeChris
 
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue 08.09.2011 12:54 pm
Native language: English

Re: Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 03.29.2012 10:43 am

I imagine the Japanese translation of Skyrim was rushed.. like the game itself appears to have been ^_^
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
User avatar
Ongakuka
 
Posts: 979
Joined: Mon 09.26.2005 1:07 pm

Re: Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby furrykef » Thu 03.29.2012 11:35 am

I wonder how many translation errors like this I've made so far at lltvg.com... :|

Sometimes the mistakes I make will seem pretty strange to people who didn't see my mental process. Like I translated "おにいちゃーん! おうちが こわれちゃうよう!" as "Brother! Our house is shaking!", because that's what's happening in the scene and I guess I read the sentence by what I expected to see and not what was actually there. I didn't catch it until I pasted the sentence in ##japanese on freenode (I'd wanted clarification on something that followed) and I saw somebody translate it as "fall apart" or something, and I was like, "oh, damn, that's right..."

Thankfully I don't think that happens very much...
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby furrykef » Fri 03.30.2012 1:02 am

This also reminds me of the worst translation I've ever seen (aside from pirate stuff like "Backstroke of the West" -- that doesn't count). It's The Ignition Factor, a game where you're a firefighter. (The Japanese name was Fire Fighting.) It's sad because it's a pretty decent game (if rather low replay value -- the missions can be longish yet play exactly the same way each time). The translation was done by people who obviously knew English well but didn't know so much Japanese. Time pressure or something meant that the game went out with a pretty decent translation much of the time with some utter horrors sprinkled in (including obvious developer in-jokes like "I can't believe I'm saying this. Is this really in the script?" that were presumably meant to be removed before release).

This one is one of the worst: "Put the castle together and push the button. And then you'll be able to reach it. I wish I could tell you more, but I have no clue what I'm talking about."

There's no castle in the game or anything like that, so it's quite puzzling. So where the heck did it come from? Well, this is what it said in Japanese:

気になるばしょにカーソルをあわせてボタンをおせば、そこを、しらべることができるぞ。
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Bad Subtitles. Bad, sit. stay. good dog.

Postby Shiroisan » Fri 03.30.2012 3:51 am

I'm only finally just beginning to catch the differences between what I'm reading and phrases that I'm able to hear. Most of the time though, I figure that they're just using their artistic license.
User avatar
Shiroisan
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun 03.06.2011 2:52 am
Native language: Eigo


Return to Translation Questions or Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests