Adamant wrote: TheBlackPaladin wrote:
penguintruth wrote:It's not a difficult skill, reading subtitles.
Not at all.
The problem, however, isn't the difficulty. The problem is--in my opinion and in the opinion of people who use this argument, anyway--enjoyability
, not difficulty
. It's slightly less enjoyable
in that it's one more task to do, rather than just sitting back and experiencing a show. Which is how the Japanese watch anime in Japan, after all...they watch it, they don't read it. The idea behind a dub is to replicate that mode of viewing for non-Japanese speakers.
Subtitles aren't purely related to "anime" and "Japanese", those are just examples. Focusing your argument solely on those just creates strawmen.
Oh certainly, I merely focused on animes since, this being Kanzenshuu, we're talking about animes...and four animes in particular (DB, DBZ, DBGT, and Kai).
As for your other comments...lots 'o great questions there (and since tone is sometimes lost in translation on an internet forum, allow me to clarify that I'm being serious here, not sarcastic...those are
great questions). I'll try to answer all of 'em as best I can. My super-short answer to all of those questions is, "it's subjective and varies on a case-by-case basis." For the sake of giving longer answers, though...
Adamant wrote:Do Japanese people watch Japanese cartoons in Japanese, without subtitles? Of course they do - it's their language, it's how these works were made... why would they do anything else? Why would it make sense for them to watch it in a different way? Why would that mean that "watching and understanding the dialogue without subtitles" is the important part, and that the original dialogue, the original voices and the original acting are just minor details?
I never meant to imply that the original dialogue, the original voices, and the original acting are just minor details. I simply meant to imply that if one is not a native speaker, then even with subtitles, one's ability to fully absorb and experience the original dialogue, original voices, and original acting...is impeded. Subtitles bridge a gap, but they don't bring the same identical experience of watching something without the need for subtitles to understand it. If you need subtitles, that's a (perfectly acceptable) admission that you can't absorb everything on your own. It varies on a case-by-case basis how much that bothers people, which is why this issue will always be an issue of preference. For me, not being able to fully absorb the acting is a minor inconvenience that prevents me from truly loving and adoring a subtitled version of anything. Like I said, whenever I listen to something in Japanese, I have no clue how good the acting is. Maybe it's wonderful, maybe it's terrible...I have no idea without being able to speak the language. With dubs at least, whether the acting is bad or good, I can definitively form my own opinion because I do speak English.
For that matter, when it comes to the dubs of the four "Dragon Ball" animes, there are definitely performances that I felt were underwhelming, or that I'm not a huge fan of. I remain silent on which ones in particular because, since I do VO for a living, I feel it would be kinda rude of me to publicly say bad stuff about other voice actors. Especially nowadays when everything we say becomes permanently Google-able. This has the unintended side-effect of perhaps making me appear more pro-dub than I actually am, but suffice to say, there are performances in those dubs and in other dubs that I'm not a huge fan of.
Adamant wrote:People all over the world, Japan included, watch the same English-language TV shows as you do, the same way you do... but with translations of the dialogue on the bottom of the screen to help them understand it. Are they not watching the same thing as you? Would they be getting a similar experience as you if the dialogue was replaced by some cheap local actors talking over the original dialogue instead? Would you be experiencing the show just the same way if you muted it and had a friend read the script to you while you were watching?
Mmmm...they'd be watching the same thing, but they wouldn't be getting the same experience. As for whether or not they'd be getting a similar experience as me if the dialogue was replaced by "some cheap local actors talking over the original dialogue instead"...no, they'd be getting a different experience. I think there's something to be said about "some cheap local actors," as that's generally not the case with dubs any more, and most of them are handled in very professional environments with very skilled actors. Even if something is professionally and effectively dubbed, though, no, they would not be getting the same experience.
Getting the "same experience," though, may not necessarily be the highest item on everyone's priority list. That isn't the case with me, anyway. I want as similar an experience as possible to the original Japanese version whenever I watch a dub, but that's not at the top of my priority list. What's at the top of my priority list is hearing acting that I can feel
. I'd rather feel
the emotions of a character than just understand it. That's not to say that the issue of an accurate dub is irrelevant to me. It isn't. In the interest of honesty, though, my priority with dubs will always be hearing acting that I understand and feel, rather than just understand. Followed very closely by my personal no. 2 priority of experiencing a dub that's as close to the original Japanese version as possible.
Adamant wrote:A movie or an episode of a television show is the sum of its parts. Of course the intended way to enjoy the work was to just understand the dialogue as it was being spoken, but if you can't do so, surely the second-best thing would be to be presented with an explanation of what's being said, rather than have the dialogue replaced with entirely different dialogue you DO inherently understand.
I disagree. Again, it comes back to the issue of preferences. I'm not interested in hearing dialogue, I'm interested in hearing characters
. I want to hear the acting
, not the script. Since I'm not a native speaker of Japanese, that disconnect is a tad bothersome for me. I'm sure the acting's (probably) not terrible, as I've watched a lot of the original Japanese version and enjoy it, but I can't tell for sure. Furthermore, the idea of dialogue being "repaced with entirely different dialogue" is an assumption. Again, most dubs are professionally and accurately done nowadays. There are some exceptions, sure, but it's a tad all-encompassing to say that dialogue is "replaced with entirely different dialogue."
Adamant wrote:Subtitles help you understand the original work as it stands, while dubbing over the work just... makes it a different work. One you do understand without help, yes, but still a different work. You're no longer experiencing what you were meant to experience.
This is easily the bit that I'm most interested to discuss further...who's to say what I was "meant to experience"?
That is an actual question, by the way. From what I can tell, what I was "meant to experience" is rather subjective. As is the whole issue of preferring a sub or a dub. After all, it's not at all uncommon that a dubbing company has to get approval from the original company for everything from casting to writing. Granted, it varies on a case-by-case basis how much involvement the original company has with the various international dubs of their properties, but it's rare that a dubbing company is given free reign to dub whatever they want and however they want. Even if the dubbing company is given free reign, they need to be given the right to free reign from the original company. So in many cases, when I watch a dub, I'm watching what the original company gave their
approval to produce. So technically, since they OK'd it, isn't that
what I was meant to experience?
Or hey, maybe it isn't. I don't know. I don't know that there's a definitive answer to that question. Like I said, it's very subjective. I don't really know who's to say what we were meant
to experience. From my point of view, I think we were simply meant to experience things...however it is that we happened to experience them.