Jappanese or English?

  1. Aki
    I'm wondering what everyone thinks about this. I like to watch anime in jappanese but ik some who like it better in english. Witch do you guys like best?
  2. theredmarker
    This is a great topic. I've heard a lot of different opinions from people; it's always interesting to hear what they have to say.

    Personally, I prefer watching in Japanese, with English subtitles. There are a few different reasons for this:

    - I understand quite a bit of Japanese, and I hear meaning that is lost in translation, meaning that isn't in the subtitles. For example, if a young boy vocally addresses an older girl as "Haruka-onee-chan" that will often simply be "Haruka" in English. So we lose the meaning (for anyone who doesn't know, "onee-chan" is a way to address an older sister, or someone who could be your older sister/mentor).

    - American dubs of anime have this irrational hatred for boy's voices that aren't deep. There are so many examples of this. Ed from FullMetal Alchemist, Claus from Last Exile, and Kai from Beyblade, all had high-pitched, childlike voices in Japanese, because they are children. But in English, their voices are deep and more mature. On the surface, this could be seen as an aesthetic choice, but I think it also says something about how the West views children. How, I'm not sure...I'd have to do sociological research to figure that out.

    - In Japanese, you can hear how the characters perceive themselves and others with the use of pronouns. For example, if a guy refers to himself as "ore", you can assume he thinks he is "above" the person he is addressing. Since English only has one personal pronoun, "I", that is also lost in translation.

    - I just like learning languages. XD The more I read manga and watch subtitled anime, the more I catch onto Japanese. It's a lot of fun.

    - Sometimes producers ad the most random things in the English versions, especially if the shows are targeted towards children. In the English dub of Shaman King, they added so many jokes that weren't there in Japanese. And I mean, it's harmless, really, and who doesn't love a good joke now and again, but I still feel like I'm missing out on the original Japanese meaning and theme of the show. (If you've read the Shaman King manga, you know it's actually quite dark a lot of the time.)

    That said, sometimes I prefer the dub. This is usually when I want to re-watch a show from my childhood. I could watch FMA in Japanese, but the voices would totally throw me for a loop. So I choose to watch it in English. Another thing to mention is that with shows that are directed at an older audience, more of the meaning is preserved in translation. Using FMA as an example again, in the English dub, Al still calls Ed "Brother", even though that's a rather uncommon thing to do in our language. But in a show such as Beyblade, which is directed towards children, they will sometimes remove these things. In Japanese, Mariah refers to Lee as "Onii-san" ("Brother"). They completely removed that in the English version, so we'd have no idea, otherwise, of their family ties. Beyblade has also been known to take out clips of the show that just show Japanese words. Most English-speaking children of the West can't read it, so they just go ahead and remove them. Doesn't make a huge difference, ultimately, but still loses more to translation.

    Another time I'll watch a show in English is if the Japanese version uses too much "Engrish". For some reason, Japan loves English. I'm not entirely sure why. But if you listen to a Japanese song, you can bet you'll hear a poorly-pronounced English verse somewhere in there, often with poor grammar usage. In the show Shugo Chara, they use so much English. The characters say "Unlock" to activate their powers, and all their forms have special names, such as "Amulet Heart" and "Sky Jack". Unfortunately, there isn't an English dub, to my knowledge, so I had to sit through all that English when watching the show. I really hate it. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but...sigh. I dunno.

    I am rambling so much. In case it isn't obvious, I LOVE languages. So much. I speak English and French, and I'm having so much fun picking up Japanese. Also, a culture's language is a huge symbol for who they are. Some languages don't have words for things we have words for, and vise-versa. There is so much meaning in an individual language, that you almost have to learn the language before you can understand the culture. And I just love learning this stuff. <3 <3 <3

    I'll shut up now.
  3. skwidkid
    I prefer my anime in english. BUT I also find it entertaining to watch it in engllish with english subtitles. The meanings of the show change ever so slightly if you do it that way but gives a neat little twist to the shows. Yeah, I don't prefer reading my tv shows. If I did I'd probably just read the manga ;)
  4. 10moonraven
    Being an "auditory comprehender" it is taxing to read the subtitles I usually watch the movies full length in english but I also have the english subtitles on because I can see the differences in what they have left out. Redmarker I'm like you. I love languages and learn a lot of japanese watching in japanese with english subtitles & also reading a lot I pick up a lot with manga in the explanations in the back of some of them & other means & your right we can learn a lot. I visited japan as an exchange student when I was 16 & feel in love with the people & everything else there & have been since.
  5. Determined
    I love watching it in Japanese. I think when it gets translated into English it loses some of its meaning. Also sometimes the dubbing isn't done well. The best dub I've ever seen was in Spirited Away. This is the only Japanimation movie I prefer in English.
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