Jump to content
Banner by ~ Ice Princess Silky

Your thoughts about internationalization?


FirePuppy

Recommended Posts

(edited)

Judging by what movie production studios do with their films for worldwide audiences as seen in the shots below, what do you like about it, and what do you don't?

Ratatouille_-_Anyone_Can_Cook!_(English).thumb.jpg.13afdbf91a8dd031e43496d63cb68cbb.jpg Ratatouille_-_Anyone_Can_Cook!_(Equestria).thumb.jpg.ec164ef70815b7f9ed50422ee17ea13f.jpg

Ponyo - Bug Off! (English).jpg Ponyo - Lisa calling her husband an idiot.jpg

Twilights_Winter_Wrap_Up_checklist_S1E11_(English).thumb.png.0a17d9798b096efb738e295ebf60693b.png Twilights_Winter_Wrap_Up_checklist_S1E11.thumb.png.ce3345b49baf06c35cb8b1fb656f4a6a.png

Onward_-_Student_Driver_(English).thumb.jpg.8722f66e86a006b1881ca1abf36802bf.jpg Onward_-_Student_Driver_(Equestria).thumb.jpg.630378f96117e3fcfe061855f509890a.jpg

P.S. With this post, I just ranked myself to Zebra!

 

 

Edited by FirePuppy
  • Brohoof 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the ones where they use graphics instead of text are cute and a clever way to make it understandable regardless of language. :squee:

As for changing texts for different language versions, it depends on how well it's done. The Ratatouille example looks good, but I've seen some cases where the translated text was added very clumsily (having to be placed over a giant square to block the original, or the original showing up for half a second before changing to the different language one). But I'd say I prefer seeing the original language, maybe because changing on-screen texts is rarely done here, even in dubs (it sometimes happens in movies but is rare in TV series).

  • Brohoof 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any real opinion on it, myself. It's not something I really pay attention to or notice, so it doesn't really impact my experience when viewing media. 

  • Brohoof 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the Ratatouille example the best of all those. Keeps everything the same but just in a different language which is how it should be imo. The images, such as with Spike, work but you kind of miss out on the little humor that’s in the English version.

My main experience with this is with anime dubs and subtitles, as well as manga translations. I know a lot of the time, especially with Japanese, jokes or sayings don’t really directly translate to English so the translators kind of have to do their best to make it work and make sense in English. As long as the general intent and meaning and such is the same I’m fine with it. Official translations are pretty good about that generally while fan ones are… very hit or miss lol.

  • Brohoof 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This looks like localization. This makes sense as every country's cultures are different and some customs/words do not translate well to other countries. One example I always recall is the Pokemon series when Brock would take out "Jelly donuts" that were in fact rice balls(which is very common in Japan, but not the US). Sometimes the local dubbing made sense for the time period it aired in, other times they were silly as the example I mentioned. Other times localization can become controversial as they can change the meaning of original content completely due to country restrictions/censorship.

Also congrats on ranking up to Zebra!

  • Brohoof 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(edited)

In dub territory, this is probably one of the details that catches my attention the most, for me it's very interesting to see on-screen regional differences, and as I said by Tacodidra, some of them can be really well made, while others can look very bad, plus some of this is done as a form of censorship in a few territories (the classic swaps the wine or beer for water), I remember one or two american films I watched at the cinema having the on-screen texts changed from English to my country's language, I believe the coolest localization I've ever seen was in Zootopia, I never watched the movie but I saw multiple times that a few countries feature a different animal on the news anchors, as a Tanuki in the Japanese dub or a Panda in the Chinese.

I believe the audiovisual media that underwent the strongest localization changes were video games, mainly the 80's/90's ones, if you look for the english versions of many japanese games you'll see some drastic changes, from story to visuals, some remove all references to the Japanese culture and replace them by American ones, others will literally change the appearance of all characters in the game (I believe the most famous example is Super Mario USA a.k.a American Super Mario Bros 2), and a few will even completely change the entire visual aesthetic, with the only thing from the original that is maintained being the gameplay.

4 hours ago, Iforgotmybrain said:

My main experience with this is with anime dubs and subtitles, as well as manga translations. I know a lot of the time, especially with Japanese, jokes or sayings don’t really directly translate to English so the translators kind of have to do their best to make it work and make sense in English. As long as the general intent and meaning and such is the same I’m fine with it. Official translations are pretty good about that generally while fan ones are… very hit or miss lol.

That actually is just a translation thing, it has nothing to do with Localization as the latter must include any changes that goes beyond script and voice differences, and I particularly disagree with that last part as it's thanks to some fansubs of Dragon Ball that I could understand some of the Japanese culture and how some of their jokes work, it depends on the fansub you're watching but some of them are really worth checking out if you are interested to understand the meaning behind some expressions and words.

I wonder if there is any more Localization changes in MLP?

Edited by Rafa Stary
Add question
  • Brohoof 2
  • Hugs 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think changing things from the original is a good thing. Then there are going to be a hundred versions floating around and people will forget which is the original. Captions are good enough if you can't understand something in another language.

The second one is fine. Just captions and the second picture is probably from a fan caption. Anime fans know what baka means.

Is that one for MLP real? I thought it was always the pictures.

  • Brohoof 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Fluttershutter said:

I don't think changing things from the original is a good thing. Then there are going to be a hundred versions floating around and people will forget which is the original. Captions are good enough if you can't understand something in another language.

The second one is fine. Just captions and the second picture is probably from a fan caption. Anime fans know what baka means.

Is that one for MLP real? I thought it was always the pictures.

Actually, I made that one look real. Trust me, it's really not.

  • Brohoof 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now this is my realm of expertise. B)

I'm not sure if I would call this localization? From what I understand, localization refers to language, spoken and written.
The examples listed also include visual edits. I only find it weird when words and sentences are changed into graphics. Not only are you assuming your audience is too dumb to read, but you are in danger of losing the original intended message.

The thing you need to understand is this:
Translation is NEVER one-to-one. Language is nuanced. Language has personality. Language has intent. Things like this cannot be automatically translated, either through machine or AI. Translating requires a human touch. This can lead to bits of localization, but as long as these three elements are kept in tact as much as possible, then all is good.

14 hours ago, Iforgotmybrain said:

My main experience with this is with anime dubs and subtitles, as well as manga translations. I know a lot of the time, especially with Japanese, jokes or sayings don’t really directly translate to English so the translators kind of have to do their best to make it work and make sense in English. As long as the general intent and meaning and such is the same I’m fine with it. Official translations are pretty good about that generally while fan ones are… very hit or miss lol.

Thank you. :proud: This is where localization comes into play.
It may be a nice novelty to see things like jokes and sayings kept to their original translation, but they won't have the same effect on the audience. If you have an English equivalent that achieves the exact same effect, why not use it? The only time you should avoid that kind of localization is when the joke/saying/etc. because a plot point that gets continuously referenced. If that happens, keeping the original dialogue in-tact as much as possible is the correct thing to do. Otherwise, the dialogue sticks out like sore thumb. The audience would be left a little confused.

11 hours ago, StarlightNyars said:

This looks like localization. This makes sense as every country's cultures are different and some customs/words do not translate well to other countries. One example I always recall is the Pokemon series when Brock would take out "Jelly donuts" that were in fact rice balls(which is very common in Japan, but not the US). Sometimes the local dubbing made sense for the time period it aired in, other times they were silly as the example I mentioned. Other times localization can become controversial as they can change the meaning of original content completely due to country restrictions/censorship.

The irony is that over the years, that particular change in Pokemon has been seen as a terrible example of localization. :adorkable: I get that they were trying to make Pokemon more appealable to international audiences, and onigiri is not exactly a common-place dish in America or other western countries, but a later episode calls them Rice Balls anyways, so that change was kind of pointless in the long run. And from what I understand, there actually is a western version of Rice Balls, which is somewhat different than the Japanese onigiri. Still, I'd rather take the risk. Talking about foreign food does not ruin the experience of the show, it just gives audiences something to investigate on their own time.

9 hours ago, Rafa Stary said:

That actually is just a translation thing, it has nothing to do with Localization as the latter must include any changes that goes beyond script and voice differences, and I particularly disagree with that last part as it's thanks to some fansubs of Dragon Ball that I could understand some of the Japanese culture and how some of their jokes work, it depends on the fansub you're watching but some of them are really worth checking out if you are interested to understand the meaning behind some expressions and words.

I wonder if there is any more Localization changes in MLP?

Localization is a tricky thing. If done right, it keeps the original intent of the material and preserves as much of the original experience as possible. However, it's a tightrope. It's easy to go too far and end up making gross mistranslations, including injecting dialogue and material that was never originally there. Still, I don't want people to confuse localization and censorship as the same thing. The former is actually a professionally-accepted practice of translating, the latter should be avoided whenever possible. :) 

Another thing to consider is what a parent company/studio wants. Pokemon was mentioned earlier, and this is actually a good example. The Pokemon have mostly different names in Japan, but Nintendo and Game Freak wanted names that appeal on an international level, thus many of these names were changed. Even if the naming conventions are similar, it's still different, but that's what the companies in charge want. Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle might be known as Fushigidane, Hitokage, and Zenigame in Japanese, but these name changes are consistent. The names they have in the anime match the names they have in the games (minus some careless dubbing mistakes).

It really can be a case-by-case scenario. Some translations absolutely nail it, some stumble or go too far. It's a process, but thankfully most people in the industry have years of experience to draw from.

7 hours ago, Fluttershutter said:

I don't think changing things from the original is a good thing. Then there are going to be a hundred versions floating around and people will forget which is the original. Captions are good enough if you can't understand something in another language.

You know, I never fully understood this mindset. :confused: If signs and text are meant to be understood by the audience, why is changing them so bad? I'd understand if the words are very artistic and the editors are having a hard time matching the art style. At that point, you are messing with the art. But if it's otherwise plain text, it seems kind of redundant to give these things subtitles since you're translating the text regardless. I'm not saying one school of thought is always correct; I would just like to be a fly on the wall when these translation choices are made to see if there is a pattern or not. Have you ever seen subtitles when there's a book or a bunch of text messages on-screen? It's madness! The subs have a hard time keeping up. Can't say editing the visuals is a perfect solution, but in some cases, it might provide for a smoother experience for the audience at least.

Also, I wouldn't be too worried about hundreds of versions floating around. We live in the age of the internet. People are bound to catalogue even the smallest of differences. As long as the changes don't go into censorship territory or anything just as bad, sticking to your local version should be fine enough. The only time you'd ever want to get a variation is if it matters to you. I want to get the Japanese version of Zootopia just because of that tanuki reporter. :derp:

  • Brohoof 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Samurai Equine said:

You know, I never fully understood this mindset. :confused: If signs and text are meant to be understood by the audience, why is changing them so bad? I'd understand if the words are very artistic and the editors are having a hard time matching the art style. At that point, you are messing with the art. But if it's otherwise plain text, it seems kind of redundant to give these things subtitles since you're translating the text regardless. I'm not saying one school of thought is always correct; I would just like to be a fly on the wall when these translation choices are made to see if there is a pattern or not. Have you ever seen subtitles when there's a book or a bunch of text messages on-screen? It's madness! The subs have a hard time keeping up. Can't say editing the visuals is a perfect solution, but in some cases, it might provide for a smoother experience for the audience at least.

Also, I wouldn't be too worried about hundreds of versions floating around. We live in the age of the internet. People are bound to catalogue even the smallest of differences. As long as the changes don't go into censorship territory or anything just as bad, sticking to your local version should be fine enough. The only time you'd ever want to get a variation is if it matters to you. I want to get the Japanese version of Zootopia just because of that tanuki reporter. :derp:

I just say if they start making changes they're gonna take it farther and farther. I say keep the translation as separate from the actual movie as possible so you know it's not part of the original.

Movies are visual and they really shouldn't include text messages or pages and pages of text. If it's absolutely necessary they just have to throw up a wall of captions.

And I think the age of the internet muddies things like that more than anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My opinion changes on the order of the image, and these don't appear to be in order, so I'll make my best guess.

I think the French is better given that it's supposed to be a French cookbook.

Baka sounds better, and Bug Off doesn't sound right. Maybe an incredibly sheltered child would repeatedly shout that, but there were better translations or alternative phrases available.

Spike refusing to get up seems janky? Again, seems like a translation issue. Rephrase the line and try again. His image of being upset, or maybe one of him sleeping with some Z's would be recognizable enough.

Also, his face doesnt jump out at us because he's a cartoon in a cartoon world, but wouldn't that be a hyper realistic image to everyone else?

The student driver driver image doesn't work at all for me. It needs to emphasize that they're a student more than just nervous or cautious?

Change is fine to make things work for a different audience, but it should only be done to maintain flow, remain subtle, and actually work? Otherwise what was the point.

  • Brohoof 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, I don't have much to say other than the fact that it creates pretty funny occurrences. For example, in the Serbian version of Cars 3, when Faregame swears it is uncensored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Fluttershutter said:

I just say if they start making changes they're gonna take it farther and farther. I say keep the translation as separate from the actual movie as possible so you know it's not part of the original.

Movies are visual and they really shouldn't include text messages or pages and pages of text. If it's absolutely necessary they just have to throw up a wall of captions.

And I think the age of the internet muddies things like that more than anything.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Could you clarify? :ooh: One set of changes does not automatically more changes down the road. Assuming one visual change is going to lead to more is just a bad faith argument. Not saying it's impossible, but point remains. Unless you are saying that translating in any possible way ruins the art. In which case, some might agree with you, but not everyone has the luxury to learn another language just to watch something fictional.

Also, are you saying that anime and foreign media should never have scenes where people read books or send text messages or do anything with readable, on-screen text? Because they do. There are plenty of titles that do that, and there's gonna continue to be more. It's too late to stop it.

Lastly, I'm gonna have to hard disagree with you on the internet muddying things. The internet has done nothing but help spread awareness of international changes, educate those on the complexities of translating, made it easier to buy things from other countries, and so on. So if you have a stronger example of how the internet muddies things, please elaborate. I'd love to hear it. :twi:

  • Brohoof 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is good and bad points to internationalisation of cultural material. Ultimately, any alteration of the media from its original form is going to be a change, however slight, from the creator's intent for that work.

Of course one of the biggest topics currently is people using localisation to insert their own political views into other people's work. I'm sure we all understand that sometimes changes have to be made to dialogue in order to try and keep the synchronisation between speech and animation as close as possible, but when doing so great care should be taken to avoid the use of divisive or contentious language, at least where the original dialogue is not already inclined towards those traits.

The use of pictures to replace text as seen in examples above can be a very good way to get the same idea across in a way that can be understood not only by the foreign audience but is still recognisable by the original audience as well. A downside to this might be that in instances where a sign on a building for example is a play on words, that will be lost when replacing those words with a picture, but then again, the audience that the translation is for is unlikely to pick up on the joke anyway, and even if translated that joke may not carry over into the new language.

Additionally, I'm sure most people that live in the US or Europe have got used to the idea of manga being 'backwards' relative to books from our own countries. Not too many years ago this wasn't the case, and when manga was being made for western consumption the artwork was flipped to a mirror image of the original so that the book could be printed with the spine on the left hand side relative to the front cover. This eventually caused manga artists to complain that their work was being tampered with and this led eventually to manga being released in the west in its original Japanese format, albeit with translated text. It may seem like a fairly trivial thing on the surface, and you may think that format and content are separate issues but the mirror imaging would cause right handed characters to become left handed (and vice versa) and result in text or logos on clothing or signs (for example) being back-to-front and reduced to gibberish among other issues.

We could also discuss some of the infamous acts carried out by the likes of Disney in order to make their films palatable to international markets. A prime example of this was the controversy surrounding a poster for The Last Jedi, in which John Boyega was in a very prominent position for the western version of the poster, but was shrunk and moved into the background for the Chinese version. There was also a scene in the film in which two female characters kissed, put there so that Disney could virtue-signal about how inclusive they are, but also strategically placed so that the scene could be easily edited out for China and the Middle East.

The bottom line is that if we want to consume material from foreign countries without having to learn every language they are made in then we just have to accept the imperfections that are an inevitable result of translating that media into a language that we can understand.

  • Brohoof 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In many cases I think it’s simply convenient to replace text with graphics (as in the second two sets of examples) and save a lot of translation. A picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case one graphic is worth dozens of different translations. The translation of ‘Baka’ to ‘Bug off’ is simply a subtitle for English-speaking audiences. Subs are a part of life and for international audiences they’re necessary. I may be wrong, but ‘Bug off’ may not be the best translation for ‘Baka’ in that scene from Ponyo. But languages can’t always be translated precisely so a degree of creative license must be used. In most cases, as long as the general idea comes across, it’s fine, and I have no problem with it.

  • Brohoof 1
  • Hugs 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2024-03-08 at 5:22 PM, Concerned Bystander said:

There is good and bad points to internationalisation of cultural material. Ultimately, any alteration of the media from its original form is going to be a change, however slight, from the creator's intent for that work.

That reminds me. Change for the sake of localization or translation is one thing, and there will always be debates about it. However, people always forget that in most instances, these changes and translation choices are approved by the original authors and creators.

You might not like a sign being changed since it messes with the art, but if that's a change the creator WANTED to make for international audiences, then what's the problem? In the case of anime, many dub voice actors and many important translation choices have to be approved by either the original creators or the licensors working on their behalf. Is it required? Not always, but it really does make things so much more authentic towards preserving someone's creative vision as much as possible. The only time to be afraid is when a translator stops caring about that. There are some instances where I can almost understand why a translator went too hard on localizing and ended up injecting too much original dialogue; hopefully accidentally. It's another thing when an entire country's government is so strict that there was never a guarantee of honoring the original script and experience.

3 hours ago, Dreambiscuit said:

The translation of ‘Baka’ to ‘Bug off’ is simply a subtitle for English-speaking audiences. Subs are a part of life and for international audiences they’re necessary. I may be wrong, but ‘Bug off’ may not be the best translation for ‘Baka’ in that scene from Ponyo. But languages can’t always be translated precisely so a degree of creative license must be used. In most cases, as long as the general idea comes across, it’s fine, and I have no problem with it.

Honestly, that confused me. :confused:Is that "Bug off" subtitle really official, or is it fake?
"Baka" is a very basic word meaning Idiot or Fool. So unless there is some cultural context I'm missing, I don't know why "Bug off" was used as the translation.
Not saying that word could never be used to make someone back off or go away, I'm sure it could, I've just never seen Baka used that way before. :derp: But if it has, then it's a perfectly reasonable example of localization done right.

Besides the fact that other languages have different language norms; there are three important things to remember about language. It has nuance, it has personality, and it has purpose/intent. If you don't understand these things, you'll never become a good translator. In the instance of Purpose or Intent, there are moments where people say things, but the meaning doesn't always match the words. A classic example is Sarcasm; saying the opposite of what you mean in a condescending tone. Sarcasm doesn't always register in text form, and there are cultures/countries where sarcasm isn't a thing. If you just translated the words used, you'd completely miss the intended meaning, thus the translation would be completely incorrect. It's a challenge of translating, definitely, but the reality is there are times when an intended message is just understood without having to spell it out.

  • Brohoof 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Weebs of the world unite! We must seize the means of translation! Of the weebs, by the weebs, and for the weebs!

  • Brohoof 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2024-03-13 at 8:18 AM, Samurai Equine said:

However, people always forget that in most instances, these changes and translation choices are approved by the original authors and creators.

You might not like a sign being changed since it messes with the art, but if that's a change the creator WANTED to make for international audiences, then what's the problem?

I'm not trying to say that translation will always result in an inferior product, but whether or not the creator approves of the changes there will always be a compromise in translation. If the Japanese author's original intent was for the sign to say "abandon hope all ye who enter here" then he (or she) would have written it in English in the first instance.

  • Brohoof 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Concerned Bystander said:

I'm not trying to say that translation will always result in an inferior product, but whether or not the creator approves of the changes there will always be a compromise in translation. If the Japanese author's original intent was for the sign to say "abandon hope all ye who enter here" then he (or she) would have written it in English in the first instance.

But how can they write that if English is not their first language? :wacko: I've seen authors try this, but despite their best efforts to either learn or rely on a worthwhile translator, translation and grammar mistakes happen. Ever heard of a hilarious little thing called Engrish? Of course, that leaps right back around to those who argue that the visuals should never be changed because the visuals are the art. It should all be kept intact as-is, broken English and all. Which might be fine for a Japanese audience, since they can't read the English sign in the first place, but it doesn't quite have the same effect internationally. While one audience is left in awe over a language they can't read (thus forcing them to maybe do their research and come back to it later), the audience that can read it are laughing their butts off. Again, the author never meant for it to be funny, therefore the original or intended experience has not been preserved.

Now I'm all for getting a good laugh at translation pitfalls that can accidentally happen. Lord knows I always enjoy hearing some heavily-accented English when I watch the Japanese dub of anime~ :twi: However, the one argument I refuse to make is that the artist doesn't get to decide what parts of their art get to be altered or unaltered; that only other people get to decide that, be it fans or those hired to do so. So if the original creator says "please translate these signs" or "please fix my grammatical/spelling errors", do it. Honor their wishes. No amount of love someone has for the original art should ever entitle anyone into thinking they know better than the actual creator. You might be able to dish out that mindset, but you wouldn't like it if it was used against you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Samurai Equine said:

But how can they write that if English is not their first language?

Being able to write things that aren't your first language is literally how translation works (yes, I know that not all authors will be able to translate their own work).

 

7 hours ago, Samurai Equine said:

 I've seen authors try this, but despite their best efforts to either learn or rely on a worthwhile translator, translation and grammar mistakes happen.

This is kind of the point I was trying to make originally. I don't know Mandarin, so if I write a paragraph in English and ask someone to translate it into Mandarin I am still relying on the translator to tell me in English, what they have translated that paragraph into in Mandarin, so what I am approving at that point is a translation of a translation, and there is going to be some variation because English to Mandarin is never going to be a perfect word-for-word translation. At some point I may say "that's good enough", but because I'm not fluent in Mandarin I am never going to understand exactly what my paragraph has been translated into without someone else translating it back into English for me, and even then it is only going to be that person's interpretation, translated in the way that they think most fits. If I ask three different people I will probably get three subtly different versions of my own paragraph back. Any (or indeed, every) one of those three versions may adequately convey my original intent, but none of them will be exactly what I wrote in English in the first instance. 

Furthermore, the above example is based on the subject being a relatively simple paragraph of text. However, If the text in question was a poem, for example, then it might be necessary to make even greater changes to the language if preserving the cadence and tempo of the poem is the desired result. The same would apply to a song, maybe even more so, where the translated lyrics have to be made to fit the music. 

The bottom line is that even if I give a translation my approval it absolutely does not mean that the translation is one hundred percent perfect, it means that I consider what I have been told it says to be close enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Join the herd!

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...