The amount of films that are not in a language I can speak have increased at least 90% this year… thanks to the internet of course, otherwise I will be waiting for them to either arrive at the cinema, hit the small screen on satellite or cable, or just by finding some Region 1 distributor… but none of that!
Anyway, because of this reason, I have been focusing a lot on subtitles, and I finally have 3 films that I saw with fansubs and now I watched with the subtitles on the dvd. And the results are in… 3-0 in favor of fansubbing.
It’s not because the subtitles on the dvd are bad… they just lack on something. A little UMPH… a little personality… a little common sense?
Example 1 – Hula Girls. There’s a scene where Hirayama-sensei is at the local restaurant with the head of the yet-unopened-Hawaiian-Center, Yoshimoto-san. She rambles on and on about using coal miners’ daughters as dancers instead of bringing professional dancers from Tokyo… when finally Yoshimoto-san explodes as it was his last straw. He begins rambling on his own, complaining about the people that accuse him and complain about him, when all of a sudden Hirayama-sensei is puzzled replying “Were you just speaking Japanese?” – LOL
On the fansub, they begin translating when all of a sudden all subtitles begin showing up as symbols… @#$%@#$#$$# $#@#$&$#@@$##$, followed by “Were you just speaking Japanese?”
LOL, compared that to actually translating what Yoshimoto-san was talking about throughout his rant, followed by “Were you just speaking Japanese?” – Not as funny, me thinks. We already know what he was saying!!
Example 2- Chungking Express. Now, in this film there isn’t an actual moment I can point out. However, I did noticed that sometimes in the “English for the Impared” track said [Chinese] – WTF Makes no sense to me! Of course, the film is in Chinese! So there are parts on the normal “English Subtitles” track where things are NOT subtitle.
Example 3 – Hana & Alice. Now, this is a favorite of mine… and there are 3 or so particular instances where I kept my eye even more alert. The subtitles on the dvd are not particularly bad, but sometimes it felt they were translating words people like the protagonists (kids just entering high school) wouldn’t use or wouldn’t even normally know their meaning… such as “Doppelganger” – get my point? So many-a-times I felt everything was out of place.
Another instance was when Alice’s father is teaching her how to say “I Love You” in Chinese (Mandarin), and the subtitles show “Wo ai nee,” instead of the more common “Wo ai ni,” which is used in the fansub. But maybe that’s just a pet-peeve of mine~~~ There was also the scene where Alice’s father talks in Chinese, though it might be trivial, not knowing what he’s saying takes you a little bit out of the film.
So once again, I thank fansubbers and hope they begin getting calls from distribution companies asking for their work. xD