No Right Answer: Subbing Vs. Dubbing

tzimize

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Hahahahaha, your 3 starter point texts were hilarious ^^

Subbing. Its not even a discussion. At all.

Take Anime. To date I have NEVER seen a good dub. Japanese speech is different from western speech. And if you hear it out loud it sounds awful.

Take language jokes. A lot of them you cant translate and it ends up either not making sense or not being funny at all.

Take dubs of RL movies. NO NO NO NO! How the fuck people can live in germany and italy (they dub everything I think) I will never understand. It does not work. EVER.

Subbing. Yes.
 

babinro

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Sep 24, 2010
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100% dubbed.

I'm a slow reader. It's exceedingly rare that I'll have time to read everything when subbed. I also can't take the time to appreciate the visual aspects of the movie. If you told me that I could either watch Avengers 2 subbed or not at all...I'd probably watch it subbed. But most other movies I'd skip out on altogether :p
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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Subs forever!

A good sub is easier to do than a good dub. As a result dubs are frequently bad in Anime.
Look at what Sentai Filmworks just did with Log Horizon. No really, LOOK AT IT It's actually laughable; as in I watched it busting my sides laughing at how hilariously horrible it is.

What's the best the anime industry really has? Steve Blum? He's honestly not the golden boy of voice acting everyone points to. He's better than most, but I still feel there's lots of voice actors that are better but are simply too costly for the anime industry.

Though it's not like Japan doesn't make shitty VOs either.
 

the7ofswords

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Apr 9, 2009
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Just learn the damned language, already you fat, lazy, American slob! XD

No, but seriously, I prefer the dub, if it has a good voice cast and direction. This is especially true when watching something like a Miyazaki film. I want to look at the beautiful art, not read the dialogue.

Now, I have nothing against a sub, if it's all that's available. Bear in mind, of course, that subs can be every bit as badly done as dubs can be. (Although sometimes reading a bad sub can be comedy gold!)
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Another sub in the mix.

Again, if we're just talking about Anime, Asians as a whole seem to voice sounds more than Westerners do. We might go 'Oh' really quickly or something, but there are a lot of live-action Japanese shows where I hear long drawn out sounds or words.

Like here, in the beginning The Ahhh sound, their ooohs. Things that we as native english speakers don't drag out as much as them. Or incorporate in our native speech.

It makes it really weird when I her a Dubbed voice try to replicate the sheer amount of unintelligible noises in english, but might have a mores meaning to a native Japanese speaker.

Also, the pauses between to Matrix up the Japanese mouth movement with English, but it usually throws off natural English Cadence... that messes me up big time.
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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Apr 25, 2013
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Fappy said:
I prefer subs assuming the dub is nothing to write home about. However, if the dub was really well done (usually because those in charge were passionate about the localization) I'll always give it a shot. Most anime I watch will be subbed, but there are a few gems out there I would NEVER watch in anything but English (Cowboy Bebop and FLCL to name two).
I second this notion.

I'm a sub person because there are subtle prefixes, suffixes, statements and sentence structure in Japanese that is harder to transfer to American dubbing. An example is something like how a character would say "nya" at the end of a sentence; typically it's for comedic characters. There is also the classic kanji homophone puns (which i'm still trying to learn) and there is also precedent of misinterpreting what a voice actually means for a character (see Other M).

Dubs to me requires someone to know a significant amount of Japanese culture, learn how to translate those intricacies into normal american speech, and then pick actors that can convey it.

Also, I am much more familiar with Japanese Seiyuus than American VAs so that puts a bias on my preferences

Edit: I want to address the "subs distract from the action" comment. While that is a valid concern in the very beginning, once you watch subs enough, you tend to have your eyes focus more whole screen instead of more pinpoint locations. In other words, you begin to watch both the show and the subtitles.
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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CaptainMidlands said:
Dubbed if I can get it and it's not bad, I can keep up with subtitles no problem but depending on the language I find listening to the original to be painful a lot of the time (mainly Japanese, I can't do squeaky voice and I dislike a lot of there VA's in terms of how they sound compared to the character on the screen doubly so when they do "foreign" characters (looking at you Black Lagoon))

The only exception I can think of is Ayako Kawasumi as Saber, I much prefer her in Fate/Zero over Kari Wahlgren

All so inb4 "watch it native" purists join the conversation
Yeah, Saber does sound quite good in Japanese but Luvia and the times that the Einzbern use German can be a bit off
 

ritchards

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Nov 20, 2009
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I often prefer subs because there can be some really annoying Western voice actors that get on my wick (no doubt being able to understand what they say is a part of it, whereas for foreign voices I can tune them out a bit). That said, there are some perfectly good dubs out there (Slayers, for example).
 

Yossarian1507

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Jan 20, 2010
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Speaking as someone, to whom the Engligh language is the foreign one: I prefer subtitles. If it's in different language than English, I choose English subtitles rather than Polish if possible. Heck, even if it's in English, I still prefer original subtitles. Why? Because it's the product of the culture other than mine, and for me, seeing words in my own language just throws me off the experience. I can't really explain this feeling, but probably "uncanny" is the closest word to describe it.

With dubbing, it's even worse. I'm fine with it, if it's a western cartoon I've never seen before in original language (seeing Spongebob in Engligh first totally ruined it for me when later aired in Polish TV), but anything other just goes full "Uncanny Valley". I already have a mindset "anime character - Japanese". Even if story-wise he is from a different country, anime-drawing style makes me thinking that guy/gal is Japanese, and anything else is weird. And in live action? Oh boy... Seeing an obviously British/American/Russian/Spanish/Japanese/Whatever guy speaking in my language with perfect accent just makes me cringe. Those people are not real. They must be some reptilians or robots, get me out of here!

There are only 2 things, that I want to hear in Polish in a non-Polish audience based fiction:

1) Pixar cartoons, because those are REALLY popular in here, therefore they always hire the best translator and an all-star cast for them.

2) The Witcher games. The game is obviously made to appeal to every audience, but still - it's a game made by Poles (until now at least, Witcher 3 team is 10x times more multi-cultural), based on a series of Polish fantasy books, set in a world that by itself has a lot of Polish culture accents, so in this particular case, Polish is the only way to go for me.
 

Hochmeister

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I usually prefer subs. As a native English speaker I can easily tell when the English voice acting is bad, but can't with the Japanese voice acting. If the dub is good enough I'll watch it instead, but very very few are. Off the top of my head Dragonball, Hellsing, and Baccano are the only examples of shows I prefer dubbed.
 

Zontar

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Feb 18, 2013
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Dubbed for 2 reasons.

First is so that I can pay attention to what's happening on the screen instead of what's happening at the bottom of it.

Second is because I can tell the difference between a good Japanese VA job and a bad one (and the ratio of good to bad is about on par for both).
 

Dollabillyall

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Jul 18, 2012
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Good dubs are great! But they are also incredibly scarce. I come from Holland, and we don't tend to dub anything. Subtitles come naturally to us and actually teach us different languages. Most kids here are bilingual just from watching movies with subs. Once you are used to them, you won't see them... and you won't be "reading" the show. It will not feel any different from watching a dub, except that you listen to the sound as intended.
It's funny that Kung Pow got brought up in DEFENSE of dubs, while the whole movie is basically an assault on dubs. The movie is funny as hell, especially when stoned or drunk... but remember that it is a caricature of something that is SUPPOSED to be taken seriously but due to horrible dubbing cannot be taken seriously and thus loses a lot of artistic value.
tl;dr: Subs are awesome. Stop watching poorly fitting dubs and join the original audio master race.
 

LarsInCharge

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Sep 9, 2014
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Dubbed if I can, subbed if I must.

I have several friends in the voice acting industry, so I give them respect when I get the chance.
 

K.ur

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Jul 31, 2013
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Subs (if i don't know the language), because it's first available. There are not many shows i watch a second time, but then i do try the Dub (hellsing ultimate was better for it). But i don't really have a need for authenticity about the language, because my memory works better with picture then sound. And language itself is a rather minor issue with the "message" of it for me, my household speaks Russian, i live (since age 5) in Germany and most of my free-time is spent with English.
Maybe it is a bit of a mono-lingo issue. I saw some what of a culture-shock when English started in school, with how different grammar is and proverbs.

A tip for slow readers: don't read, just look at it and understand.
It is proven that people slow themself down by pronouncing the text with the inner voice, sometimes even with tongue moving.
 

the_retro_gamer

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Apr 8, 2013
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I can't watch subs. I have a hard time paying too much attention on the words on the screen than the actual animation and some of the Japanese voices rub me the wrong way. At least with dub I can pay attention to whats happening on screen.
 

Casual Shinji

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Dollabillyall said:
Good dubs are great! But they are also incredibly scarce. I come from Holland, and we don't tend to dub anything.
And thank Christ for that! In my younger days whenever I got to like a German channel and saw an American movie dubbed, all I could think was 'those poor, poor Germans.' Live-action dubs are cancer for the ears.

Obviously there's some cartoons from my childhood that I'm fine with dubbed. Even some Disney cartoons, like Robin Hood which I actually prefer dubbed -- certain dubs can have a unique charm to them.

But yeah, here in Holland dubbing is generally seen as something that's for children. If you're an adult it's expected you can read swiftly enough to keep up with the subtitles.
 

Zetatrain

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Assuming that the dub isn't below average I'll usually go with dub if I have a choice. Eventhough i watch alot of subbed anime its still easier and more relaxing to listen to the dialogue than it is to read it. Subbed can also be a problem with some shows that are philosophical and have a lot of dialogue (ghost in the shell innocence was a nightmare for me) and it can be hard to follow some shows when I'm eating because if I turn me head away for one second I might miss an important bit of dialogue.

Now this is pretty much just for animated works. With live action sub is usually better if only because no matter how good a dub might be it doesn't quite match up with the onscreen actor's lips or other facial expressions.

Darrosect said:
subbed. International media loses a bit of its character when dubbed.
Do you mean something gets lost in translation? If so then what does it matter if its subbed or dubbed? Its translated either way.
 

Amazing Mavis

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As for that Star Wars crawl, well, it already moves slow enough that native English speakers can read it. Therefore, you just get one or two lines of changing subtitles at the bottom of the screen. It is not a biggie.

And I prefer subtitles because good subtitles can cover up awkward dialogue that exists in the native language. Case point Japanese animation.
 

Casual Shinji

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BigTuk said:
In short, when dubbing is done well.. you can't really tell it was dubbed.
Really? Because I think every live-action movie ever dubbed begs to differ.