mirai y (eacmd@hotmail.com)
Fri, 26 Nov 1999 00:39:04 EST

>There's a dozen politeness levels and a few regional accents (with their
>associated social connotations) and varying degrees of formality, too. But
>all that can be covered by finding the corresponding demographic in the
>target language. Or creating a characterization of similar eccentricity if
>the role is that of an outsider and thus has no corresponding demographic.

I'm quite aware of different accents and different ways of talking at least
within the US. I've lived down South, Midwest, and Northeast and worked in
inner city areas as well as suburbs. I agree that you can get the same type
of effect by using these variations.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you read one short line spoken by one
of the Wing boys in a Japanese fanfic, you can immediately tell who said it
just by the postposition (particle that come after a word which has no
English equivalent) while keeping the stem word the same; not through
accent, delivery, or alternate wording which would be the case in English.
(Example: I'm going shopping. Heero &Trowa: Kaimononi ittekuru. Duo:
Kaimononi ittekura. Quatre: Kaimononi ittekimasu. Relena: Okaimononi
ittekimasu. Very subtle differences, but if you give this quiz to a
Japanese fan of GW, I'm sure they can identify who said which line)

This is different from accents and dialects in Japanese. A few anime
characters have prominent accents (e.g. Suzuhara Toji in Evangelion - Osaka
dialect - if you listen carefully, his postpositions as well as inflections
are very different from standard "Tokyo" Japanese.) Almost everyone uses
standard Tokyo accent and dialect in anime, though. I think the reason is
because most Japanese dialects are so regional and different from standard
Japanese that it's practically unintelligible even for a native Japanese
speaker. Osaka and Kyoto accents are sometimes used because they're close
enough to standard Japanese that everyone can understand it. Oh yeah, and
the government have been trying really hard to wipe out all dialects and
standardize Japanese into one. What is taught as proper Japanese both in
Japan and in foreign countries is what used to be the Tokyo dialect.

>That's a combination of good translation, good writing and good acting.
>The problem is that the voice overs are done by a closed shop, none of whom
>I would deem to be very good actors.

I have to agree. The reason I always complain about translations is because
it's often not done very well. It's a combination of being accurate to the
original but also choice of words in English to give it a certain feeling.
Many people may disagree but I thought the dub to Akira was done quite well.
  It actually captured the "feel" of the original very well, and I think
that's the way dubs should be. I think anyone who is fluent in Japanese and
English can do an "accurate" translation. I think what should separate the
"pros" from amateurs is the actual quality, the added something that gives
the lines a certain character and feel. I really don't see this very often,
at least in most anime dubs. Coming up with appropriate lines by different
characters takes creativity and screenwriting skills which I think is
lacking in many translators. I'm not saying that I can do this,

>Any actor worthy of the name can learn a new form or style of
>delivery. It's part of the job of being an actor. Voice over work is more
>than just reading lines, which is the impression I get when I hear a lot of
>what passes for voice acting here in America.

Yep! Orisaka Ai who did Quatre's voice also did Fara Grifon, a crazed power
hungry woman in V Gundam. She sounded totally different and fit each part
very well. (Although crazed Quatre did sound a lot like Fara...)

Speaking of accents, few of my friends are betting that they will give Duo
an inappropriate accent, maybe a Southern drawl... we shall see!


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Fri Nov 26 1999 - 14:45:15 JST