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Anime honorifics in dubs?


Twilight_Kioku
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Should the publishers keep honorifics in dubs?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the publishers keep honorifics in dubs?

    • Yes!
      11
    • No!
      3


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something that has been increasingly bothering me recently is the use of proper english, say Mr., Ms., and that such, in situations that dont even apply in real life. take DNAngel, for example. the 'Ms. Harada' said over and over is really overkill. So, i have a question for everyone: should the companies that copyright the shows start dubbing shows and keeping the honorifics (san, chan, kun, bozu, ect...) and put explinations for them somewhere on the packaging or in the DvD (extras, subtitles, other place?), or leave it how it has been since we started the whole dubbing business? Feedback appriciated :)
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[COLOR=SeaGreen][quote name='Twilight_Kioku']something that has been increasingly bothering me recently is the use of proper english, say Mr., Ms., and that such, in situations that dont even apply in real life. take DNAngel, for example. the 'Ms. Harada' said over and over is really overkill. So, i have a question for everyone: should the companies that copyright the shows start dubbing shows and keeping the honorifics (san, chan, kun, bozu, ect...) and put explinations for them somewhere on the packaging or in the DvD (extras, subtitles, other place?), or leave it how it has been since we started the whole dubbing business? Feedback appriciated :)[/quote]I?d be interested to know if it?s really overkill, or if society has slipped into a less formal form of speaking. It may not be the thing to call others Ms if they are your same age, but it?s certainly how you talk when someone is an adult, especially if you don?t know them. It?s considered polite to do so.

Which brings me to my next question. Why is the honorific less annoying than say the English version? Even if the language is different it?s essentially the same thing. I can?t speak for all anime shows but I watched El Hazard: The Wanderers recently and honorifics like chan were used in the show.

Although I understood what it meant it was on some level annoying since chan is not what people use when speaking to one another, at least in English. Now before you think I?m against using honorifics I don?t mind if they do, but since most disks come with the series in Japanese with subtitles where they do include the honorifics I just don?t think we need them in both. It seems to flow more naturally to see the honorifics when I watch it with subtitles anyway so adding them on in English seems like overkill to me.

On the other hand, if they wanted to have three soundtracks where one is the English with the honorifics intact, well DVD technology is certainly progressing well enough to where that would be possible. [/COLOR]
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[color=purple]I for one get annoying if they use chan or Ms, Mr, and other such things. I know that they are being polite but if they say it once most of the time they say it again. I feel that once is enough for most people and me. Plus it is a day in age where people are getting really upset that others are not using proper english. [/color]
[color=purple][/color]
[color=purple]As for it being on a DVD as a extra or something might be a good idea because it shows that we respect the orignal. I doubt they will be changing it any time soon if they do. It might be to much of a shock to some people.[/color]
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[font="Gill Sans MT Condensed"][color="#993366"][size="2"]Every time I watch Gravitation I get a nauseated feeling every time they call Kumagoro "Mr. Bear..." but that's another matter entirely, I suppose.

I think the Japanese honorifics should be put in. These days they don't even really need an explanation... lately, all the manga series I pick up don't even have the reference guides. I think it's easy enough to figure out. Even cutting the honorifics altogether might be fine. I just hate using an English title with a Japanese name. It sounds so awkward.[/size][/color][/font]
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[COLOR=RoyalBlue]Whether or not honorifics are used doesn?t really concern me. They don?t really fit the English language since for the most part we really don?t use them. Most disks already have it in the Japanese subtitled version and while it fits there, it just seems out of place when they use it in the English version. Some of them do use them and it?s a big turn off to my friends who don?t watch a lot of anime.

If they were to add them, I would choose the option where it?s a choice. Like Aaryanna mentioned. DVD technology keeps improving so it?s not like space is an issue. Most disks out there don?t even take advantage of the space available so it?s not like it would be all that hard to have it as a seperate option. [/COLOR]
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[COLOR=Blue]I agree when everyone says the original Japanese honorifics should be left in. But I don't think that it should be left in all the time.
If it's Pokemon, lets say, the kids may not understand the Japanese honorifics. You could have a note on the DVD, but what do you do when your just watching it on TV?
I think that the Japanese honorifics should be left when the anime is about Japan, like Samurai Champloo. Then it doesn't seem unnatural, and the people who watch it would know why the honorifics are left in, and what they mean.
My favorite dub would have to be when Al calls Ed (Full Metal Alchemist) as "big brother". Even if no one would call their older brother "big brother" in English, it doesn't seem unnatural. Unlike other animes that tried, but failed (I forget which animes...).[/COLOR]
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[color=#007520][quote name='Raina][COLOR=Blue']Even if no one would call their older brother "big brother" in English, it doesn't seem unnatural.[/COLOR][/quote]Actually, I'm one of those that don't like the use of honorifics in dubbed anime.

I also have to disagree with Aaryanna and SunfallE about the triple-audio DVD idea. Even if technology can include the extra data, can the producers/actors handle the extra work? The main reason the quality of Anime dubs is distorted is time/money issue. I think that rather than adding that extra soundtrack to the DVD, the work and effort put into reading and re-reading that second script (which would pretty much be exactly the same as the first script sans honorifics) could go into improving the quality of the acting.

As for (translated) honorifics themselves, I just don't think it matches with the level of formality found in English speech and is therefore unnatural. Maybe Aaryanna is right and North American society has slipped into a less formal pattern of speaking. In that case, when adapted, these formalities (or lack thereof) should be taken into account. "Mr. Piccolo" was always painful to hear because it felt unnatural. Even Alphonse's "big brother", though eventually felt acceptable, grated me at first too.

The untranslated counterparts grate me even more than the translated versions. Otaku aside, it's difficult to believe in a character when they're constantly switching languages when referring to people. Although the "-[i]san[/i]" counterpart is already recognized in North American culture as a Japanese honorific (especially businessmen and martial artists in 1980s movies) these stand out even more than the English versions, and break the pattern and flow found in English speech.

I think the lesser of two evils is translating honorifics when applicable, and leaving them out when not needed. The average American student doesn't call their classmate by their lastname with "-[i]san[/i]" attatched.

-r2[/color]
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[COLOR=Sienna]I don?t care for honorifics in dubbed anime. For the most part the English language, at least where I live, doesn?t use it. So it just seems out of place. Although the idea of having triple audio on DVD?s is a good idea, I would imagine that if you had to record the tracks separately it would be too much of a hassle. If it was a matter of just recording it with the honorifics and then editing out the honorifics for the next track something that would not require the voice actors to do it twice, well then it might be feasible. Otherwise I think it?s better to just stick to one format. And since most people don?t use honorifics I think that for the most part it?s best to leave them out.

Another reason I don?t care for them is that most disks have them in the subtitled Japanese version. Since they really apply to the original version why have them in English when they don?t really fit? They sound far more natural in the original language anyway. [/COLOR]
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[quote name='indifference][COLOR=Sienna']They sound far more natural in the original language anyway. [/COLOR][/quote]

[COLOR=Blue]I totally agree. It sounds more natural in Japanese. Especially because the movements of the mouths fit to what they are saying.

I'm not sure if anyone remembers this, but in one of the really early Pokemon episodes (when Misty was hypnotised and all the kids gathered in the park and acted like Pokemon), there is this one scene where Ash's mouth is moving, but there is no sound. Did someone forget to say something? Or was it intentional??[/COLOR]
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I certainly don't mind translated honorifics, but with most of the anime I watch (mostly modern-day type shows), I could do without. The only example I could think of that would necessitate the use of English honorifics would be in historically based shows.

Take [URL=http://animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=4506][U]Victiorian Romance Emma[/U][/URL]. I'd expect them to use Miss, Master, and other terms since it'd be more commonplace in 19th century England. If it were something like old Japan, I could go either way with either trans/untranslated honorifics. Other than that, I don't think they need to use Miss, or chan or anything else really (unless it's a superior or what-have-you).
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Guest XeunjX
[quote name='Raina][COLOR=Blue']My favorite dub would have to be when Al calls Ed (Full Metal Alchemist) as "big brother". Even if no one would call their older brother "big brother" in English, it doesn't seem unnatural. Unlike other animes that tried, but failed (I forget which animes...).[/COLOR][/quote]


[COLOR=Magenta][SIZE=2][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I just wanted to say something about your post. In Full Metal Alchemist you said it is weird how Al calls Ed big brother. The reason for this is because in English, siblings call each other by their names, but in Japan and many other asian countries it is rude to call each other that unless it is a younger sibling so they have a seperate word for calling older brothers and sisters. So what I'm trying to say is that asians have different cultures from english cultures even down to the littlest thing as if what to call your own brother.
[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[color=#ff9920][quote name='indifference][COLOR=Sienna']If it was a matter of just recording it with the honorifics and then editing out the honorifics for the next track something that would not require the voice actors to do it twice, well then it might be feasible.[/COLOR][/quote][/color][color=#007520]The only problem is that most voice actors (the recent ones anyway) match what they say to the "mouth flaps" that are in the Animation. Removing even a syllable or two would screw up the timing and would require a totally new pacing of the voice actor's speech.

-r2[/color]
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[COLOR=SeaGreen][QUOTE=r2vq][color=#ff9920][/color][color=#007520]The only problem is that most voice actors (the recent ones anyway) match what they say to the "mouth flaps" that are in the Animation. Removing even a syllable or two would screw up the timing and would require a totally new pacing of the voice actor's speech.

-r2[/color][/QUOTE]True, if faced with a choice, one or the other, I'd go for leaving the honorifics out. Sure they are how things are done in Japan, but when you translate to another language you often have to take into account how that language works, and for the most part, titles aren't used in English like they are in Japanese.

If I really want to see and hear it as true to the original as possible, well I suppose I would need to learn Japanese so I could watch it without the subtitles. ^_^[/COLOR]
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[color=#503f86]I don't mind particularly... except it does seem weird in Samurai 7 when they're always referring to each other as So and So-[i]dono[/i]. Sometimes it works, like referring to someone as Blahblah-[i]sensei[/i]. But having it too often does annoy me.

But Al's referring to Ed as 'Big Brother' I thought was quite cool. He could have called him 'Ed' pretty much any time, though, with his useful lack of lip-flap.

I have noticed they've been include more and more now; from my point of view it seems almost like a pre-emptive move by the dub companies to quell elitist sub fans' arguments that it should be as faithful to the original language recording as possible. Or it could just be for authenticity's sake. Either way, if the dub script isn't written particularly well, they'll sound more out of place even if used correctly.[/color]
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[COLOR=#656446]Good topic, Twilight_Kioku![quote name='Lindus]Take [URL=http://animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=4506][U]Victiorian Romance Emma[/U][/URL']. I'd expect them to use Miss, Master, and other terms since it'd be more commonplace in 19th century England. If it were something like old Japan, I could go either way with either trans/untranslated honorifics. Other than that, I don't think they need to use Miss, or chan or anything else really (unless it's a superior or what-have-you).[/quote]The above quote will form the bulk of my reply. It is important and must be iterated.

If the anime is trying to cast an illusion along the lines of "Hey, this can happen!" on its audience, an often unfamiliar system of honorifics won't really help with the trick, yeah?

As for Al using "big brother" in Full Metal Alchemist, it adds a bit of charm of his relationship with Ed 'cause Ed's not exactly a tall guy. I think the pun was also intended (and possibly done to death) in the original Japanese script.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=#af992f][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]....You people confuse me.

Before even stepping into this thread I didn't know what a Honorific was, yet after researching some more...I think I got even more confused, I feel ever so lost.

Yet from what I could gather, in the dubbed anime that I watch atleast, I really don't mind the characters. I just try to implement the thought in my mind that. "Its a different country, its like this there, just live with it yeah?" So then my mind just shakes it off and its not that much for me. The only one I can even recall, (and I say this still not really knowing much of what a Honorific is), Is full metal alchemist..where I though it was kind of ...cute in a way?

So yeah... Ignoring the fact that I really don't 100% get what everyone is talking about, what I can grasp..I think I don't mind them? This...thinking is making my head hurt.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[QUOTE=Ikillion][COLOR=#af992f][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]....You people confuse me.

Before even stepping into this thread I didn't know what a Honorific was, yet after researching some more...I think I got even more confused, I feel ever so lost.

Yet from what I could gather, in the dubbed anime that I watch atleast, I really don't mind the characters. I just try to implement the thought in my mind that. "Its a different country, its like this there, just live with it yeah?" So then my mind just shakes it off and its not that much for me. The only one I can even recall, (and I say this still not really knowing much of what a Honorific is), Is full metal alchemist..where I though it was kind of ...cute in a way?

So yeah... Ignoring the fact that I really don't 100% get what everyone is talking about, what I can grasp..I think I don't mind them? This...thinking is making my head hurt.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/QUOTE]
What I believe they mean by honorific would be the ending suffixes such as "-san", "-sama", "-chan", etc. As I'm sure you've noticed, some animes, when dubbed, translate the ending suffixes to "mr." "mrs." etc. and then others leave the original suffixes in.

Personally I don't mind either way, though there would be some cases that one would have to adjust to. Example would be Hououji Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth. She addresses Hikaru and Umi using the "-san" suffixin the original version, so if one were to translate that it would be "Ms. Hikaru" and "Ms. Umi". Though that would sound slightly annoying at first, it's how her character is, so one might as well deal.
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[color=#007520][color=#ff9920][quote name='Ayi']As I'm sure you've noticed, some animes, when dubbed, translate the ending suffixes to "mr." "mrs." etc.[/quote][/color]
"Mr." "Mrs." etc. are still honorifics. They're just English honorifics, and English honorifics are usually prefixes.

[color=#ff9920]@Ikillion,[/color] an honorific is a title placed onto a person that denotes respect. I think a good example of this in English is when you call somebody "Doctor So-and-so" even if they're not a medical doctor by profession.

-r2[/color]
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[COLOR=RoyalBlue]Just something else to add that I was thinking about, which goes along with the idea of leaving honorifics out. Even though there is a fairly specific set of honorifics for English, at least where I live, there are other honorifics that are used depending on location or religion.

The most obvious one I am aware of is in the LDS/Mormon religion where other members always attach the word Sister or Brother before the person?s first or last name if you don?t know them personally. And even then, especially if you are a kid, you are suppose to use it all the time as it?s considered rude if you don?t. I haven?t been a member for years and years, but it took me forever to quit calling people sister so and so or brother so and so.

And then since many of my relatives are from the south there is yet another way of speaking that differs from the standard English honorifics. It?s not at all usual for an adult to refer to children as Hun or honey or sweetheart and never call you by name. And I know that when I was living there I was expected to always use yes sir or yes ma?am when answering an adult.

Even if using them is more true to the original format, it doesn?t change the fact that it?s going to be out of place in a different culture. And though I don?t mind it too much as I?ve been around anime long enough to understand it. On some levels I can see how including them could be a turn off to potential/future fans.

Which is why I suggested the triple audio feature, though like r2vq already pointed out, that would be a waste of money and I think they would be better off on focusing on improving the voice acting and taking into consideration matching the lip movements. And by doing so, using honorifics when without them, matching the lip movements would be way off. A compromise if you will instead of an outright they have to be included because that?s how it was done. [/COLOR]
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I like the triple audio idea, but if it took away from the overall quality of the dub, then i would rather not have it. i try to watch all of my shows dubbed and subbed, and going from Japanese to English on some of them is rather painful. My next goal: learn some Japanese! Ive been meaning to for a while now.

A random though that came to me - fandubs? I dont think it would take flight, but it could be amusing.
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