No Right Answer: Subbing Vs. Dubbing

Darth_Payn

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Depends on where I am. If I'm watching it on a big-ass screen in a convention's video room, I'm OK with subtitles, since the screen is big enough for me to read the dialogue and watch the action. If I'm at home and I'm watching a DVD, Blu-Ray, or it's on adult swim, dubbing's the way to go, so I can concentrate on the story unfolding before me. Plus, English VO's are better than they used to be.
Strife2GFAQs said:
This won't get contentious at all...NOPE!

Dubbed. I don't really get the "anime/JRPG dubs suck 100%" argument. Actors and directors might be sketchy, but on a whole, there's a reason LA/Texas actors tend to dub nearly hundreds of shows or games. They are good at it. I dare anyone to listen to Steve Blum and go, "BAD! NOT GONNA WATCH" Crispin Freeman, "BAD! NOT GONNA WATCH!" They are extreme examples, but you have people who are just as good out there. You miss a ton of good acting performances closing yourself off to the 80s/90s mindset of "**** DUB RAAHH!." Pioneer and Funimation have had a good 10-15 year stretch of solid dubbing. 9 out of 10, the concept of the show is preserved, and the ambience (as Kyle mentioned) wasn't skewed by the process.
Amen, brother-or-sister. I've heard many solid performances from Michelle Ruff and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. It's kind of a treat to hear them appear in something, like "Oh hey, it's THAT voice!"
 

Weaver

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Casual Shinji said:
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.
I'm inclined to agree. If this is the mark of a good dub, then I've legitimately never seen one once in my entire life.
 

orangeapples

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Ummm, isn't Chris's job localization for Nintendo? Dubbing is part of that, right? He's a little bit biased here.
 

Ikajo

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I must actually say I think that English-speakers who prefer dub is kind of lazy. My native language is Swedish. Yet I watch anime in Japanese while reading the English subtitles. Every movie coming out of the US and UK are subbed so I've gotten used to reading subtitles. This is the norm in my country. Disney gets dubbed and even then, you will be able to see the original, most adults do. The dub always do strange things to the original series. They tend to change the tone and sometimes even the content have changed completely.
I've never missed any part of the video because I was reading the sub. If it's hard in the beginning, learn how to see the text as a whole.

I'm kind of a purist (I actually know Japanese to some extent) but if someone don't want to learn Japanese, I won't mind. That's their choice.
 

coolenaab

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I think it also depends a lot on where you live. If english is the native language in your country then its likely nothing is going to be subbed and you are probably used to hearing enlgish voices so you are more likley to wan't to listen to a dubbed version instead of a subbed version. But if you live in a country where english is not the native language then they usually sub things like movies and tv shows so then you are kinda used to have subtitles on foreign languages and that could explain why people chouse for sub over dub.

Those purist that say that dub ruins an anime probably never heard a good dub, and the people who say sub ruins an anime should try watching a moe dubbed, the voice acters just can't get the same feeling as the japanese voices for that genre.

But the biggest thing will always be presonal preference.
 

captain_dalan

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Trust me guys, as a guy that leaved in Europe all of his life and as a guy that has seen both (with the dub being the special fad in the last few years in my country specifically), there is no such thing as a good dub. No such thing at all. There is no substitute for the actor's expression of emotion through his/her voice. The sub will still allow you to hear the original talent while you are reading it, the dub won't. And the higher the talent involved the more difficult it will be to dub it. If you ever doubt me, just try watching an episode of Start Trek the Next Generation dubbed to ANY language. Just see and hear what dubbing does to Patrick Steward....... no imagine that same thing done to every single unique performance in the history of cinema....... It's like dubbing a Led Zeppelin album for crying out loud!
 

Ikajo

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Hochmeister said:
Off the top of my head Dragonball, Hellsing, and Baccano are the only examples of shows I prefer dubbed.
You should try watching Dragonball in both English and Japanese. The changes they made to the characters and the story is ridiculous. They've changed dialogue and added dialogue where non was. It's ridiculous! I'm mean, you should really watch the same episode in both languages. It's just...bad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja1vAU1axGg

(Added the link)
 

Scarim Coral

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Honestly, why not both since both have their advantages and disadvantage (dub let you watched the whole thing on the screen and subs let you read/ understand what is supposed to be said despite dubbing the best accurate to the dialouge while keeping in lip sync but it's always possible)? I mean I always watched anime in sub but once I bought it on DVD I watched it in dub. Granted when it come to lived action I always watched it in subtitle.

In saying so in the arguements made in the video itself, I would side with Kyle. No offence Chris, you weren't making good case when you keep bring up "when the dubbing is done right". Ok that is a valid point but still subtitle can be still made amatuerish or the non officical subtitle stuff.
 

Little Gray

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Amazing Mavis said:
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.
Except that subtitles do not help with that. Instead of awkward dialog you have even awkwarder text. You also can not get proper nuances from subtitles and jokes do not work very well with them either.


For anime as long as their is a dub I dont see any real reason not to watch that version. It does not matter if its a Japanese or English voice actor its still a voice actor for a cartoon and I would prefer to watch the one that I can actually understand. Both are voice actors trying to capture the feeling of the scene and both have an equal chance of doing it well. The only difference is with the Japanese most cant tell how bad it is because they dont understand the language.


For live action dubs do not normally work. They always feel wrong since its nearly impossible to match up perfectly with how the actors were delivering the lines and the expressions. The only time live action dubs ever work is in kung-fu movies when its so bad its actually good or when they are doing it to make fun of said movies.
 

UNHchabo

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One of the most annoying dubs I've come across is in the Polish movie "With Fire and Sword" -- the DVD available in the U.S. has English subtitles, but all of the non-Polish dialogue (Ukrainian, for instance) has been dubbed into Polish by a single guy who speaks monotonously:

Skip forward to 5:52 to hear what I'm talking about:
 

Kenjitsuka

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Dubbing takes a lot longer and is much more expensive...
So it ups the price of the product and delays it.

And Chris, thanks for going for the spittake!
Sadly it did not net you a victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was close... ;)
 

Limie

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Strife2GFAQs said:
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
That being said, I will take an attempt at a foreign accent in some shows. It struck me dumb trying to watch Emma (Victorian Era England) in full Japanese. I guess Emma wasn't near as popular as Hellsing, RoD, or Black Butler. It was still weird having to go through subtitled only.
I prefer subtitles all the way and will not buy an anime if there is no sub available, I find the tone and ambiance is really ruined and it does not matter if you get the best voice actors, the majority of the time it just doesn't sound right e.g. the length of the animated speech does not match up with the english, it sounds stilted, the sound effects don't match. Overall if I watch a japonese anime it seams weird to hear it in English. I also play Japanese games subbed if available too.
Having said that some work really well. I enjoy the Cowboy Bebop dub better than the sub and I both FMAs I cannot watch in Japanese because the English is well done and matches the personality of the characters.

I really dislike the Black Butler Dub. The English accents ruin it for me and are borderline offensive stereotypes. They do not make sense from the area of England they are supposed to come from and don't really match the character's personality either. For example they make Sebastian sound like a a stuffy professor. If you listen to the Japanese Sebastian sounds suave, the voice acting is subtle. It made me feel that under the velvet and knowing voice he has a darker side and both the Japanese language used and Daisuke Ono's performance hints at his daemonic side.
Plus I love Yuri Lowenthal he is a fantastic voice actor, but he is in everything and now I can't hear his voice without thinking Lucca or Yosuke.
 

Fdzzaigl

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Dubs can fuck off and burn in hell.

Your 3 questions depend entirely on the audience that you're releasing the material to. Unfortunately the US is about as stupid about dubs as Germany, France and Spain, amongst others.

Countries that are traditionally more open to learning other languages are, in my experience, much more open to subbed content. Though anime fansubbing thankfully brought some change in that regard.

It appals me how many folks don't manage to have some basic respect for another language and put in a little bit of effort to appreciate the vocal tones of the original as well as the cultural references being made. Instead everything and anything needs to be pre-cut and served on a nice platter to them, raping the source material and smashing it into the cultural mold that they are familiar with. Disgusting.

Finally, there hasn't been a single live action dub in another language that I haven't been able to spot, ever. I've even mistakenly watched Korean films dubbed in Vietnamese and realised they were dubs in the first 5 seconds.
 

kuolonen

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Ikajo said:
I must actually say I think that English-speakers who prefer dub is kind of lazy. My native language is Swedish. Yet I watch anime in Japanese while reading the English subtitles. Every movie coming out of the US and UK are subbed so I've gotten used to reading subtitles. This is the norm in my country. Disney gets dubbed and even then, you will be able to see the original, most adults do. The dub always do strange things to the original series. They tend to change the tone and sometimes even the content have changed completely.
I've never missed any part of the video because I was reading the sub. If it's hard in the beginning, learn how to see the text as a whole.

I'm kind of a purist (I actually know Japanese to some extent) but if someone don't want to learn Japanese, I won't mind. That's their choice.
Nordic High Fives! Pretty much this is how it goes in my country as well.

OT: My native language is Finnish yet I watch my anime in with English subs. And I have tried, out of curiosity, to see what's all the fuzz about dubs. Dear lord that was a tortuous experience.

I have learned Japanese and spent a year in there with exchange. For me watching an anime, that is taking place in Japan or Japanese cultural setting, would be just banal with dubbing. Lot of stuff is not translatable and the jokes and feels are in the language.

But to each their own, I realize if you spent all your life watching dubs, learning to speed read the subs can be difficult. Still I pity thy fool, for a lot of good stuff never gets dubbed, or gets dubbed 40 years after the anime came out.
 

crazygameguy4ever

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dubbing is best for anime, but very rarely would anything but subtitles work for live action movies.. I hate trying to watch anime subtitled.. you miss so much of the action on screen since your watching the bottom of the screen.. dubbing means you can watch the anime while understanding the characters as well.. for live action.. I guess subtitles work most of the time.. if they dubbed it it only works once in a while.. like if they made a live action Bleach film in Japan with Japanese actors I'd prefer if they had the US actors dubbed they're voices in, but most of the time with films not based on a anime or any pre-established series subtitles work better
 

Kennetic

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It really does matter whether the dub is good or not. DBZ dub? Awesome. Naruto dub? Meh. I usually prefer dubs and without them, many anime wouldn't make their way over to America. Also, dubbing gave us the glorious Ghost Stories so there's an automatic point in favor.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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I prefer to experience it in my own language thank you. Besides if I don't watch the subbed version I don't have anything to compare it to so I don't feel I'm losing anything. Also I challenge the subbed people, how do you know the dubbing is bad when you don't ever watch it? There are some incredibly talented english voice actors out there.
 

Ikajo

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kuolonen said:
Nordic High Fives! Pretty much this is how it goes in my country as well.

OT: My native language is Finnish yet I watch my anime in with English subs. And I have tried, out of curiosity, to see what's all the fuzz about dubs. Dear lord that was a tortuous experience.

I have learned Japanese and spent a year in there with exchange. For me watching an anime, that is taking place in Japan or Japanese cultural setting, would be just banal with dubbing. Lot of stuff is not translatable and the jokes and feels are in the language.

But to each their own, I realize if you spent all your life watching dubs, learning to speed read the subs can be difficult. Still I pity thy fool, for a lot of good stuff never gets dubbed, or gets dubbed 40 years after the anime came out.
Ever seen Hetalia? A little treat ;P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWoUrDp78dk and http://www.animehail.com/watch/hetalia-world-series-episode-17/ It's quite awesome. And the episodes are super short!

Yeah...in my early days I watched some dub. Now I cringe every time I see a dub. It's just... wrong. They really don't fit. In some cases, the changes the dub did is just beyond words...

Well, I learnt all my Japanese in Sweden and only been there once. Just...travelling around. We had some contacts to stay with.
I really just think that many Japanese voice actors are better than the dubbing voice actors. The Japanese voice actors are more... daring. They shout and raise their voices. Aaand I kind of think that shouting sounds more awesome in Japanese, it's like it's made for it...
Maybe the fact that voice acting is a very respected job in Japan have something to do with it.

They can never watch a series as it comes out every week either ^_^ I have a few series I'm following, watching them as they come out. The only time subs bother me, that's when an explanation overlaps with the actual sub. It gets hard to read... Well, we in the Nordics are aware that our language is only usable in our own country so we learn English. Learning a new language makes it easier to learn more languages and you learn to look at a language systematic. Most English speaking countries doesn't do that.