Saturday, April 10, 2004

Argh!2 (dub vs sub revisited)

Following up from earlier I encountered something that defeats the very purpose of subtitling - which is that it should at least pretend to correlate with the soundtrack dialogue. Having some years back watched and enjoyed the Miyazaki/Studio Ghilbli Laputa, Castle in the Sky, I picked up the US distributed DVD. Fair enough, the name on the cover was truncated - presumably in a PC nod to Hispanic sensibilities that didn't concern Jonathan Swift. But it had Japanese with English sub-titles, so was somewhat horrified to find that the sub-titling was just the simplified - coarsened (in the sense of losing all subtlety) - USAn script aimed at brain-dead kiddies, injecting extra supposed humourous banter. Even without being able to follow the spoken Japanese, just following up on simple things like names appearing in the dialogue shows that even where speech and sub-title are simultaneous, the translation is - and this is a very charitable description - loose.

I can also understand that they might have wanted to provide a non-default transcription for something like シイタ - but surely they could still have kept the obvious form "Lucita" for the girl's full name as in the earlier sub-titling.

Sub-titles are not supposed to be that way. I dread to think what they might have done to Spirited Away, which I have also only seen in the Japanese print.

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