Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Subtitles that don't match

Subtitles that don't match

Japanese, general discussion on the language

Subtitles that don't match

Postby ess_jay_arr » Fri 01.18.2008 8:10 am

I was just playing Tekken 5, and at one of the cutscenes (I think it was the one before Jin fights Jinpachi) Jinpachi shouts,

行くぞぉ〜!!

and the subtitle reads,

"Prepare to be assimilated!"

and I found it pretty hilarious 'cos they'd just completely ignored what he was actually saying and made up their own line. It reminded me of when I saw The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and one of the characters says,

おめえ、カウボーイのつもりか?

and the subtitle reads (something along the lines of),

"Do you drive like a cowboy or just talk like one?"

which was a bit of an embellishment, I think!

So, just for fun, can anyone else think of any good examples where you've seen English subtitles that don't match the Japanese audio at all? :P
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby keatonatron » Fri 01.18.2008 9:48 am

ess_jay_arr wrote:
I was just playing Tekken 5, and at one of the cutscenes (I think it was the one before Jin fights Jinpachi) Jinpachi shouts,

行くぞぉ〜!!

and the subtitle reads,

"Prepare to be assimilated!"


That fits the mood a lot better than "I'm going already!"

おめえ、カウボーイのつもりか?

and the subtitle reads (something along the lines of),

"Do you drive like a cowboy or just talk like one?"

which was a bit of an embellishment, I think!


That one actually sounds pretty good given the context. I think a closer translation would be "Are you trying to be a cowboy?" which really doesn't sound like a challenge/insult.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby Shirasagi » Fri 01.18.2008 1:50 pm

I'm with Master Keatonatron. Those are pretty good translations, even though they sacrifice literal accuracy for idiomatic impact.

Now, the subtitles for Christopher Lambert's The Hunted? Man, some of those are just flat out wrong.

ちょっと待ってください。
He's the guest instructor.

...the hell?
Josh Reyer
------------
頓ニ纜ヲ斬テ大荒ニ入レ。
長岡桃嶺房成
Shirasagi
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed 02.14.2007 10:50 am

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby ess_jay_arr » Fri 01.18.2008 2:53 pm

Erm, I didn't mean to say they were bad translations... I just thought it was funny how much they had to add to make a workable English equivalent.

Shirasagi, I think I've seen that film, but if it's the one I'm thinking of, it was years ago, before I even started studying Japanese. Is that the one where he gets taught to use a sword holding it upside down? :|
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby BetterSense » Fri 01.18.2008 7:11 pm

try translating 'that's that' into japanese, without 'adding a bunch to make a workable japanese equivalent'.

I'm constantly irritated by the refusal of translators to translate japanese language to english profanity. I mean it's just not plausible to have a story portraying (even english-speaking) soldiers or, well, normal people in certain situations and have zero swearing.
Last edited by BetterSense on Fri 01.18.2008 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I know you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
User avatar
BetterSense
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed 10.11.2006 9:23 pm

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 01.18.2008 7:27 pm

Translators in general have difficult with profanity -- translating くそ into "shit" is often wrong. When I did manga scanlations, I always went by what audience the manga was targeted at. When I did something from a seinen manga, particularly one with a really rough feel to it, I would use f-bombs and such, but if it was something from a kids' manga, I didn't.
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby AJBryant » Fri 01.18.2008 8:50 pm

Chris, you already know this, but to contribute, I'd like to add that idiom is also very problematic. Try to put a compact subtitle on "If the shoe fits." ;)

Sometimes, the idiom just doesn't come across -- as in the titles of the films "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". Both of those are 4-character sayings in Chinese that actually have a lot more cultural context and meaning than simply four words ("sour grapes" means far more than "suppai budou").


Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Subtitles that don't match

Postby ess_jay_arr » Fri 01.18.2008 9:04 pm

And on the other hand, there's some idioms that translate perfectly...

The grass is greener on the other side. ~ 隣の芝は青い。

... or am I misunderstanding the meaning of 'idiom'? :P

Edit:

Oh, and on a related note to those four character sayings... I love how long-winded 風林火山 becomes in English! :D

And with that, I do believe I've completely derailed my own topic. Ah well, it was off in the wrong direction from the first reply. :P
Last edited by ess_jay_arr on Fri 01.18.2008 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm


Return to Japanese General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests