• If you're here for vtubers, I highly recommend you go to The Virtual Asylum instead.
    They'll love you there

Discussion Japanese Perspective on Subbed Versus Dubbed

Taruby

varishangout.com
Regular
Toshio Okada on Accessibility, Subs, and Japanese Films:

0:00: Highlights
0:26 Speech Guised as a Question
1:50 How to Add More Subtitles to Japanese Films
2:02 Good Crimes
3:25 Sub or Dub, Which is Better?

While I believe many western fans of anime have had debates on subs versus dubs, I don't believe I've seen much in the way of discussion on subs or dubs pertaining to Japan. As someone who is partially deaf and suffering from Tinnitus, I soon learned after importing my first anime disc from Japan many, many years ago that there was little in the way of accessibility options for someone like me, and going online, there were only fanmade Japanese subtitles available for a small handful of series. Being unable to fully understand and enjoy media you pay an arm and a leg for a mere 2-episode disc is the primary reason I still don't care much for the Japanese anime industry, and mainly stuck to comics and novels.

In any case, I saw this video recently, and was pleased to read its comments by people who actually felt the same way I do about having Japanese subtitles included in their film media; generally the response is they prefer dubs cause they can pay attention to the action and scenery. Like if there's something people who fancy themselves as social justice warriors should be complaining to Japanese anime companies about, it should be their rampant discrimination against the hearing impaired. I fully agree with with the sentiment Japanese subtitles should be obligatory.

字幕があれば外国人が日本語勉強するのにも使えて便利。 私は英語と中国語を勉強するために両方の言語の吹き替えと字幕のあるDVD を何十枚も輸入しました。
"It would be convenient if there were subtitles for foreigners to use to study Japanese. As for myself, I have imported dozens of DVDs with subs and dubs for both languages to study English and Chinese."
アメリカだとキャプションほぼ付いてるしね。
"In America, captions are almost always included."
2:18 なるほど。ならば次は合法的な手段です。訴訟を起こしましょう。作品に日本語字幕が付かないのは聴覚障害者差別だと大袈裟に騒いで訴訟を起こしましょう(作品の原作者/著作権者ではなく作品を商品化して世に出す販売会社が相手)。聴覚障害者以外に日本語を勉強中の外国人、とにかく日本語字幕が欲しい観客は多いはず。裁判になれば必ず勝てます(だって敵がいませんから)。理想は法改正で日本語字幕の義務化ですね。
"2:18 Indeed. Then the next step will be by legal means. Let's file a lawsuit. Let's file a lawsuit that this is discrimination against the hearing impaired when a work doesn't include Japanese subtitles (not against the original creator or copyright holder of the work, but rather the sales company that commercialises the work and releases it to the public). In addition to the hearing-impaired, there's surely foreigners, studying Japanese, who want Japanese subtitles. If we go to court, we will definitely win (because we'll have no opposition). The ideal would be to make Japanese subtitles obligatory through reform."


I expect there's few individuals here who import Japanese media, so I doubt this would spark much of a conversation. But it's still something I care about.

As for the topic of the video under 'good crimes'. Okada comments on those who make pirated versions of film not for commercial gain, but to make the work accessible for those who are hearing impaired. He considers this a 'good crime', and that those who do it should do more of it. If they actually wind up being arrested, Okada will give a defence speech on their behalf.

On a semi-related topic to 'good crimes', I saw some dumb westerners getting upset over Akamatsu Ken spending his time discussing means to oppose 'piracy', rather than tackling matters like foreign meddling. Akamatsu Ken is not against file-sharing; he created a website called J-comi to act as a way for file-sharers to submit their files to be hosted on it. However, the original creators need to give their blessing so it can be digitally and legally preserved with all of the advertising fees going to each creator (otherwise it'll be subject to floating in the ethers of Winny and Share until it disappears for good like many things digital). Akamatsu Ken actually received the help of a file sharer who sent him high-quality scans of his 'Itsudatte My Santa!' manga for J-comi because he lost his original manuscript for it. So when he speaks about piracy, he's talking about stuff like Chinese websites illegally distributing works commercially. Like with Comiket fanzine creators, foreign fan translators can exist in a grey area where they're not detrimental to the system, but an important part of the absolutely vital task that is digital preservation and accessibility. When I did scanlations when I was younger, I always included links to amazon.co.jp and bk1 for the original Japanese manga of all my projects so fans could legally support the creators (instead of sending me donations).
 
Last edited:

Narmy

varishangout.com
Regular
I didn't know Japanese media doesn't come with subtitles by default, that seems strange.
However, the original creators need to give their blessing
Okay but most of the time they don't. I think what the Japanese don't understand is that piracy is not a lost sale, and can often be free advertisement. If you go so far to stamp out piracy that nobody outside of a small circle even knows your product exists then you are only hurting yourself.

We see the same thing with vtubers as well. Japanese companies are so stingy with their streaming rights that they end up playing and giving advertisement to more western games.
 

Hexasheep93

varishangout.com
Regular
Interesting. Is there a reason why japanese media does not come with subtitles by default? Is it just because its cheaper? Or is there another reasoning behind it?
I didn't know Japanese media doesn't come with subtitles by default, that seems strange.

Okay but most of the time they don't. I think what the Japanese don't understand is that piracy is not a lost sale, and can often be free advertisement. If you go so far to stamp out piracy that nobody outside of a small circle even knows your product exists then you are only hurting yourself.

We see the same thing with vtubers as well. Japanese companies are so stingy with their streaming rights that they end up playing and giving advertisement to more western games.
I believe he was mostly referring to groups that pirate the anime/manga/whatever and then have you pay for it as if it was their creation.

That said I have to agree with you on the overly draconian measures japanese companies take to protect their copyright and distribution. In many cases pirating is the only way for others to get access to that work

Also I do think scanlators and fan subbers and the like should encourage people to buy the official release.
 

localizersagainstthewall

varishangout.com
Regular
It would be convenient if there were subtitles for foreigners to use to study Japanese.
100%. It sucks having to hunt down Japanese subs for anime, they are just so scarce. Helps immensely with my studying when they are easily available as there are often times when I'm not 100% sure on what exactly is being said or have trouble understanding it because they are yelling/talking fast/mumbling. With subs it's so much easier and faster to look stuff up and you can be absolutely certain that it is exactly what is being said if they are official subs.
 

Narmy

varishangout.com
Regular
100%. It sucks having to hunt down Japanese subs for anime, they are just so scarce. Helps immensely with my studying when they are easily available as there are often times when I'm not 100% sure on what exactly is being said or have trouble understanding it because they are yelling/talking fast/mumbling. With subs it's so much easier and faster to look stuff up and you can be absolutely certain that it is exactly what is being said if they are official subs.
I dunno how much subs would actually help you learn listening. Reading and listening are two different skills, the best way to practice reading is text with no voice and the best way to practice listening is voice with no text imo.
 

localizersagainstthewall

varishangout.com
Regular
I dunno how much subs would actually help you learn listening. Reading and listening are two different skills, the best way to practice reading is text with no voice and the best way to practice listening is voice with no text imo.
I'm aware, I guess I didn't express myself clearly. I do watch it completely raw with no subs for listening practice. But when I'm done with the episode and go back through it again to look up unknown words and create Anki cards, that's when subs come in handy.

As you can see, the subs on the video itself are hidden and get automatically copied to the texthooker website. Then if there's an unknown word I can just pause and look things up a lot faster, plus I don't have to type out the whole sentence every time when I want to create an Anki card for a word. And again, I only do this after I've watched it completely raw with no pausing.
 

Narmy

varishangout.com
Regular
I'm aware, I guess I didn't express myself clearly. I do watch it completely raw with no subs for listening practice. But when I'm done with the episode and go back through it again to look up unknown words and create Anki cards, that's when subs come in handy.
View attachment 14491
As you can see, the subs on the video itself are hidden and get automatically copied to the texthooker website. Then if there's an unknown word I can just pause and look things up a lot faster, plus I don't have to type out the whole sentence every time when I want to create an Anki card for a word. And again, I only do this after I've watched it completely raw with no pausing.
I see, I only use premade Anki decks so I never ran into that problem.
 

localizersagainstthewall

varishangout.com
Regular
I see, I only use premade Anki decks so I never ran into that problem.
I've gone through a few premade ones as well, but now I'm just creating my own. Words stick a lot better for me when it's from something I have an interest in and on cards I created myself.
Anyway, I think we're getting a bit off topic here, sorry for derailing the thread.
 

PhantomXero1x

varishangout.com
Regular
Well 1 year later after this thread has been posted, Japan now is basically anti dub after them seeing how its being mishandled so much by arrogant fucks at cuntchylolcowroll lol good hopefully this means punishment for those fuckers can happen quick now.
 
Top