Don't you think it's better for the subtitles to be more literal?

this stupid American basketball comedy movie came on and the subtitles are way off. they don't translate any of the jokes, they just make it normal and boring.

yeah i know they have a character limit per line and sure some of the jokes are out of the ordinary and no one's ever heard them but still. you can't really feel the... mood

”cock sandwich that hurts” → ”that really hurts”

”we want to get our dicks sucked after the game” → ”we want to be popular”

  • yeah, it needs to be translated as close as possible
    86% (18)81% (29)82% (47)Vote
  • no, it's better without the jokes
    14% (3)19% (7)18% (10)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Even American movie subtitles are often paraphrased. I run subtitles even though i hear fine because it is helping my best girl learn English. But they sanitize a lot and you are right that humor and nuance are lost.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • yeah, it needs to be translated as close as possible. I usually don't watch American movie because it get boring quickly. I feel it's different from dramas / anime where they try to make the best translation possible.

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What Guys Said 14

  • I have often felt that watching subtitles - I was watching a Spanish TV series about a women's prison, okay a prison the language is not going to be for the faint hearted but all the subtitles would say was they were calling each other "bitch" all the time which I doubt.

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  • I agree with you on this... subtitle people really tend to be very negligent when it comes to proper translation.

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  • I like when the subtitles have parentheses that explain the jokes that may not translate well into other languages.

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  • there's no way "we want to get our dicks sucked after the game" would pass through the censorship board in Japan lol
    Or will it? 🤔

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    • 2mo

      japanese movies have that line and worser

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    • 2mo

      @redeyemindtricks that much? i really really want to get into it but he wouldn't connect me

    • 2mo

      5M yen would be a bit high -- but it still COULD be reasonable, depending on the number of hours, and on the degree of intricacy / cultural nuance wanted in the translations.
      (If there's wordplay, do they want the translator to make Japanese wordplay? if there are cultural references, do they want the translator to try to find approximate equivalents from Japanese culture? etc... If all these things are "yes", then a GOOD translator could probably negotiate a fee like that.)

      All that aside, though -- THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN •ANY• NEGOTIATION is THE STARTING POINT.
      EVERYONE should ALWAYS start EVERY negotiation with THE HIGHEST possible value that doesn't seem completely ridiculous.

      This page has some good links to books:
      hn.algolia.com/.../it-s-very-easy-to-underprice-your-product

  • The worst subtitles are those given by youtube.

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  • I would say A since the humour is part of the game... though I can imagine that some of the texts are slightly too delicate and that's why many TV stations would prefer not to broadcast them :o

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    • 2mo

      yes that is true but it was on at 3am and japanese tv stations start airing programming with all kinds of dirty jokes about genitalia from 11pm

    • 2mo

      Oh goodness... I'd probably stop watching at 11 PM than, or look at a recording...
      I'm not shy of a good joke even if it's dirty... but one after the other is a little exaggerated :o

  • can't they just switch it out after max chars?
    Or do THEYTALKSUPERFUCKINGFASTSOIT'SNOTPOSSIBLETOSUBTITLETHATFAST?

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  • Speak English then.
    Also, was it Baseketball?

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  • keep it as close to what gets said as possible. Only change if there is a good reason to it, e. g. the word doesn't exist in the language, laws, etc

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  • Is it an American movie being translated into Japanese? Why did you turn on subtitles.

    And that movie sounds like it's about a bunch of douchebag jocks. I already don't like that movie. But I guess it should have a good translation?

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  • Hahha thats kinda of funny. What movie was it?

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  • Want to enjoy the movie? Learn the language. Don't blame the subtitle people.

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    • 2mo

      it's not possible for everyone to learn the language enough to enjoy the dialogue. my mother has been living in america for more than 50 years and she still can't understand everything especially this kind of humour.

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    • 2mo

      Then why don't you do the translating? Or yell at your friend to do a better job in translating movies?

    • 2mo

      you need connections.

  • Is this the correct japanese for cock sandwich?

    ペニスサンドイッチ

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  • at least some of the sub-groups even give you background infos in boxes in the series for people who are not familiar with the japanese culture like some tales or stars

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What Girls Said 2

  • Lazy bastards never want to put much work into it.

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  • Sometimes it's difficult to be literal with translations... there's lots of examples of having words/phrases in languages that may not exist in other languages...

    Personally, I think it's very hard to be literal with jokes. Jokes rely heavily on common background knowledge in order for the humor to make sense. So if 2 cultures are very different, many times it's difficult to have the same effect. Though personal opinion, it might be different to others...

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    • 2mo

      yes that is true but i know both languages and backgrounds and the phrases do exist. it's supposed to be out there, it's not common to say ”cock sandwich” in English or japanese.

    • 2mo

      The only thing that I can think of is the production team didn't find the right person to do the subs, or their budget was too low to get one...

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