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How do you decide what release group to watch for a series?


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#41
Zalis

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Can't tell if sarcastic or serious. >_>

Well, I was trying to see if that statement meant "will only DL releases that only have Japanese audio" or something along those lines. Because apparently there are some out there that will skip a show entirely if the only releases out there are dual-audio, as if someone's going to hold a gun through their screen and force them to listen to the English tracks. And for those who are concerned about space on their archival CD-Rs or Zip disks, a few minutes with mkvmerge can remove unwanted audio tracks.

#42
Koby

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I stay clear of terrible groups like Doki (bad editors, bad typesetters), Commie (too literal), Hadena (bad everything), GG (often trollsubs), and SubDESU (Hadena and SubDESU = worst groups ever) whenever possible. CoalGirls isn't too bad unless it's Tenshi doing the show, then it's automatically bad with 4x + bloat.

I always compare releases myself for shows I want to watch to decide which group I'd want to go with, but typically Static-Subs, Sayonara-Group, Whine, Hiryuu, EveTaku, Taka, Underwater, and UTW do fairly good jobs. There are always new groups popping up that surprises me each season as well.

This season I picked up these shows from the following groups:
Arcana Famiglia: NyanTaku, since Whine-Subs dropped it.
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica: CTSS, never heard of them, but their release was better than the alternatives imo.
Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse: Commie, since no one else seems to be doing it decently.
Sword Art Online: UTWoots

No group is without faults. Sadly some people seem to stick to x-group based on name recognition alone, when just because they were good once, doesn't mean they'll be the best every time. UTW is hailed as the great group ever it seems, but they often do sub-par typesetting. I like them, and often go with their releases myself, but it's not because of loyalty to their name. Which is something Dark_Sage has been having a fit about in his reviews.


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#43
pinny

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Well, I was trying to see if that statement meant "will only DL releases that only have Japanese audio" or something along those lines. Because apparently there are some out there that will skip a show entirely if the only releases out there are dual-audio, as if someone's going to hold a gun through their screen and force them to listen to the English tracks. And for those who are concerned about space on their archival CD-Rs or Zip disks, a few minutes with mkvmerge can remove unwanted audio tracks.

English dubs are a waste of space indeed. I like to collect as many anime as I possibly can. So if, for example, a 52 ep anime release requires 100MB per ep extra for something I do not need, then obviously I would feel it's a waste of space. I could use the 5.2GB I just saved for another complete series.
Using mkvmerge would mean I would need to go through extra effort and add them to aniDB again afterwards, which is a waste of time, and forgive me if I'm wrong but I doubt the aniDB staff would like me adding my personal flavoured remuxes to their DB.
Not using mkvmerge would usually result in having to manually select the correct english subtitle track, since they aren't ordered or named consistently with every single dual audio release out there there is no way of having the splitter do it both automatically and perfectly for each release. Again, wasting time and sanity.

So, by downloading releases with a japanese dub only I conserve my space, time and sanity. Seems pretty obvious to me.

I must say, you truly seem to be hating on the english dub haters. You should understand though, that not everyone speaks english natively. And to me english sounds just as foreign as japanese. So, I see no reason at all to have a release with 2 foreign languages in it. If there actually were fansubs in my native language I would even prefer getting that and not have anything to do with english at all. <_<

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#44
Will

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As I said before, I disagree commie and gg are bad. Agreed that Doki, Hadena and SubDESU are terrible though. Personally, I thought that commie was more up the liberal end than the literal end. How can you call them terrible though when they consistently get b+ scores from dark sage? Mediocre, maybe, but terrible? GG does troll sometimes, but usually only when the show is fucking terrible. Sometimes they encorporate memes, but it'd be a pretty big stretch to call that troll subbing. After all, memes are incredibly apt to get across certain sentiments at times (Shouma's "cool story, bro", anyone?).

Obviously it depends on which staff is actually working on a project though. I do; however, think that the mass hatred commie and GG get is totally irrational. They do a damn fine job the majority of the time (gg's binbougami ga, at the moment, for instance).

Agreed UTW isn't as great as everyone thinks they are, though. They're pretty good most of the time though.
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#45
Chaossaturn

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It has to be sarcasm.... doesn't it?

How do people tell if the subs are decent if they cannot understand Japanese?!??!?!??! Seriously, I have wondered this for some time.

Edit: Of course, there is fonts, size, colour, suffix (ie, chan, sama, etc), but I am talking about the actual sentences. AND disregarding really bad direct ones like direct translations... Though I add this edit before people make the obvious comments back.


I don't know if this sub are decent thing is related to my post but I care if there are softsub, not if there are decent subs or not but obviously good subs are a bonus. I would prefer to download a series with bad subs over a series with good hard-coded subs but also like stab, I can tell if subs are good or not probably because I have pick up enough Japanese from watching anime to tell just like him. Also like pinny I prefer more literal translations.

Well, I was trying to see if that statement meant "will only DL releases that only have Japanese audio" or something along those lines. Because apparently there are some out there that will skip a show entirely if the only releases out there are dual-audio, as if someone's going to hold a gun through their screen and force them to listen to the English tracks. And for those who are concerned about space on their archival CD-Rs or Zip disks, a few minutes with mkvmerge can remove unwanted audio tracks.


I will download any anime as long as it has a Japanese dub and it is softsub, if its not softsub+japanese dub I will not download it. So dual audio is fine as that has japanese dub + softsubs. Note: This is for preference, I do download hardsub Japanese anime if there's not any other options available. English dub only is a never going to happen thing.


I must say, you truly seem to be hating on the english dub haters. You should understand though, that not everyone speaks english natively. And to me english sounds just as foreign as japanese. So, I see no reason at all to have a release with 2 foreign languages in it. If there actually were fansubs in my native language I would even prefer getting that and not have anything to do with english at all. <_<


Out of interested what is your native language?

As I said before, I disagree commie and gg are bad. Agreed that Doki, Hadena and SubDESU are terrible though. Personally, I thought that commie was more up the liberal end than the literal end. How can you call them terrible though when they consistently get b+ scores from dark sage? Mediocre, maybe, but terrible? GG does troll sometimes, but usually only when the show is fucking terrible. Sometimes they encorporate memes, but it'd be a pretty big stretch to call that troll subbing. After all, memes are incredibly apt to get across certain sentiments at times (Shouma's "cool story, bro", anyone?).

Obviously it depends on which staff is actually working on a project though. I do; however, think that the mass hatred commie and GG get is totally irrational. They do a damn fine job the majority of the time (gg's binbougami ga, at the moment, for instance).

Agreed UTW isn't as great as everyone thinks they are, though. They're pretty good most of the time though.


I did not even know that people rated fansubs or that certain groups were know to be amazing or not, wow lol.
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#46
pinny

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As I said before, I disagree commie and gg are bad. Agreed that Doki, Hadena and SubDESU are terrible though. Personally, I thought that commie was more up the liberal end than the literal end. How can you call them terrible though when they consistently get b+ scores from dark sage? Mediocre, maybe, but terrible? GG does troll sometimes, but usually only when the show is fucking terrible. Sometimes they encorporate memes, but it'd be a pretty big stretch to call that troll subbing. After all, memes are incredibly apt to get across certain sentiments at times (Shouma's "cool story, bro", anyone?).

Obviously it depends on which staff is actually working on a project though. I do; however, think that the mass hatred commie and GG get is totally irrational. They do a damn fine job the majority of the time (gg's binbougami ga, at the moment, for instance).

Agreed UTW isn't as great as everyone thinks they are, though. They're pretty good most of the time though.

Do you actually speak japanese yourself? Or are you just basing your opinion on the 'flow' of the english subs?
For me Commie and gg are the worst when it comes to translations, they aren't even on par with Hadena. They make stuff up, which completely changes what the characters are actually saying.
Using meme's isn't a good thing, it's a bad thing. It's not even proper english most of the time. So how can you possibly give out an english translation with these things. For people who happened have missed the meme, or a few years after it may have been completely forgotten, the translation would make no sense for them anymore.
Also they like to use stupid accents in their english subs when a character starts talking with a different accent. However, the accent they use has absolutely nothing to do with japanese. Like in Binbougami, she's supposed to be speaking like Lupin, but the subs are more like english with a german accent, while Lupin is french? I guess their accents are similar but they could've easily just left the accent out in the subs, since it's being said that she spoke like Lupin afterwards anyway. It's only frustrating having to read something which isn't regular english.
Looks like they even forgot (probably on purpose) to translate a rather obvious "LOL" in the next scene. I can see why people would hate them, since they ruin most of the japanese culture in anime with their 'translations'.
And all Commie does is rip CruncyRoll and westernize everything they can find. So you can't even call theirs a translation anymore. Unless you care more about typesetting and signs than the actual translation? I prefer the latter to be most accurate.

UTW actually is great, they keep their subs to what it should be: a translation.

You seem to prefer reading subs that don't actually 'translate' anything of what is being spoken. But well, I guess you should consider yourself lucky that you can put up with their translations, since for binbougami there's no choice but to watch gg's. :(

Out of interested what is your native language?

Dutch.

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#47
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No, I don't speak any Japanese. I am basing this on the various fansub reviews as mentioned above, which all point to their accuracy and nuance being pretty darn good.

I disagree about the meme thing, but that's just a matter of taste, so I don't think there's much point arguing it. Most of the rest of what you say there are just petit nitpicks totally tangential to translation accuracy, which is by far the biggest factor, so I will only respond to the points that matter:

"Ruining Japanese Culture in Anime" is a pretty dumb thing to say. If it comes down to flow/conveyance vs strict adherence to original meaning I'd take the former every time. I don't dislike TL notes all that much, but they certainly are flow breaking. If you want to learn about another culture, you should go read a book, not watch cartoons. I agree there's a line that can be crossed where localisation bastardises original context and meaning, like what companies like 4kids do, but Commie and GG don't even come close to crossing that line, it's just silly to pretend they do. I'd go into why being too literal is bad translation practice, but plenty of translators like 8thsin have made the argument better than I could. I can't remember where 8th makes the point, so I'll just give this not-as-good but still valid post by dark sage.

I'm aware that Commie's releases are Crunchyroll rips, and no I don't particularly care about typesetting. People hack on crunchyroll a lot, but everything I've read by actual translators says that they're really not that bad. Not that good, but probably b or c tier on average these days. Commie doesn't just westernise things, they also fix errors and tweak quite a few things, unlike Hadena, who make crunchyroll scripts worse. As far as I am concerned this is just fine. It almost always results in a b or above tier translation. They're just reliably good, which is more than can be said for most groups.

I'm not really arguing about UTW, I said I think they're good, I've just read that their translations are not as great as people give them credit for. They're still a c to b tier translation group, which is miles ahead of most.

I'd agree GG is patchy, but I've never seen them do a bad job with any show I've actually cared about. Their Ano Hana release was good (UTW's was a little more accurate but also stilted and unnatural), their Binbougami release is not great, but at least it has a lot of flair and does a great job of capturing the spirit of the two leads, and their Penguindrum release was A-tier.

In general most literal translation =/= most accurate translation and most certainly =/= best translation. If you care more about honorifics and TL notes than conveying meaning then that's fine, but don't hack on groups for localising. Most people watching anime in the West do not speak Japanese and will not know enough about Japanese culture and language to best appreciate a fully literal translation. Again, if you do, great, but it's silly to call groups bad for taking their audience into account.
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#48
pinny

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I disagree about the meme thing, but that's just a matter of taste, so I don't think there's much point arguing it. Most of the rest of what you say there are just petit nitpicks totally tangential to translation accuracy, which is by far the biggest factor, so I will only respond to the points that matter:

Note that the few examples I gave you are from something I remembered watching recently. Please don't tell me I'm nitpicking. I obviously don't keep the releases that I did not like, so there's no way I can show you each and every single sentence that had annoyed me for its inaccuracy.

"Ruining Japanese Culture in Anime" is a pretty dumb thing to say. If it comes down to flow/conveyance vs strict adherence to original meaning I'd take the former every time. I don't dislike TL notes all that much, but they certainly are flow breaking. If you want to learn about another culture, you should go read a book, not watch cartoons. I agree there's a line that can be crossed where localisation bastardises original context and meaning, like what companies like 4kids do, but Commie and GG don't even come close to crossing that line, it's just silly to pretend they do. I'd go into why being too literal is bad translation practice, but plenty of translators like 8thsin have made the argument better than I could. I can't remember where 8th makes the point, so I'll just give this not-as-good but still valid post by dark sage.

And I'd take the latter every time. I hate it when I'm listening to the japanese that's being said and the subs give me a completely different translation. Now THAT is a flow breaker to me. After you've watched 10x as much as you've currently watched with japanese dub and english sub you'll be no different, since you'd understand the basics of japanese just as well. I don't have to pretend that they change context and meaning, because that's already a fact and one of the reasons these groups are being hated for by many others.
Both in Binbougami and Jormungand (two recent anime of which I had no choice but to watch gg) it's happened to the point where it annoyed me, so I'm not making this up.

I'm aware that Commie's releases are Crunchyroll rips, and no I don't particularly care about typesetting. People hack on crunchyroll a lot, but everything I've read by actual translators says that they're really not that bad. Not that good, but probably b or c tier on average these days. Commie doesn't just westernise things, they also fix errors and tweak quite a few things, unlike Hadena, who make crunchyroll scripts worse. As far as I am concerned this is just fine. It almost always results in a b or above tier translation. They're just reliably good, which is more than can be said for most groups.

I'm not really arguing about UTW, I said I think they're good, I've just read that their translations are not as great as people give them credit for. They're still a c to b tier translation group, which is miles ahead of most.

I'd agree GG is patchy, but I've never seen them do a bad job with any show I've actually cared about. Their Ano Hana release was good (UTW's was a little more accurate but also stilted and unnatural), their Binbougami release is not great, but at least it has a lot of flair and does a great job of capturing the spirit of the two leads, and their Penguindrum release was A-tier.

In general most literal translation =/= most accurate translation and most certainly =/= best translation. If you care more about honorifics and TL notes than conveying meaning then that's fine, but don't hack on groups for localising. Most people watching anime in the West do not speak Japanese and will not know enough about Japanese culture and language to best appreciate a fully literal translation. Again, if you do, great, but it's silly to call groups bad for taking their audience into account.

You seem to just be repeating what is being said on these review sites you are talking about, which seems kind of pointless to me. Opinions about translations will always be subjective. There is no "best" translation. Everyone has their own preferences. The way I see it the only score you can give to a fansub is about the english spelling and grammar. You can't rate anything else, since as you even say, there are different fansub groups targetting different audiences.

In your post you asked why someone would call GG or Commie terrible, I just gave you some reasons as to why someone might think they are terrible. I never once thought they were terrible in the sense that they are unwatchable (read HKDVD subs) myself, on the contrary I think they do a great job! But terrible in the sense that I would prefer any other group over these two due to my own preferences? Yes.

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#49
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Really it comes down to if the show is enjoyable to watch while reading the subs. I could watch mistranslated series and not care that it is telling a different story as long as I liked it. Of course, I prefer to watch the show in its orginal form, thus subs that reflect the Japanese audio, while being properly formed English.

However, if you wish to be very pandentic in this, all subs are inadequet no matter who does them. There are certain subtle meaning in the Japanese audio which cannot be translated without explanation. The best example would be with words with multiple meanins or a meaning with multiple words, when they are said to intentionally imply the different things or a multitude of things... very had to put that into subs. This is made even more complex when deconstructing complex words with multiple kanji and then using the meanings of the individual kanji words to refer to the complex word and or other things. Then you could also have the sound of the kanji change, i.e kekkon (marriage) is the kanji ketsu and kon.... As you can see, there is a lot that can be left out of the subtitles.

Then there are the cultural refernces...

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#50
Will

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Looking back over your post, you're correct, you don't use the word terrible anywhere. I clearly got your posts and Koby's mixed up a bit there and I apologise for that. You specified in your last post that you don't think they actually do a bad job, you just don't watch them due to viewer preferences. That is fine, and I respect that. I, too, may prefer more literal fansubs when I've watched a lot more anime. It just pisses me off when people equate liberal translations to inaccurate translations, and you do call them inaccurate in your earlier post, and I'm sure you have picked up a fair bit of Japanese, but I'mma trust what I've read actual translators have to say on the subject.

Obviously I disagree about spelling and grammar being the only thing to rate a translation on. Obviously it depends on the audience to a certain degree, but within the context of the audience, at very least, there are certainly better and worse translations. Accuracy, nuance, flow, these are all real factors, and much less subjective than use of memes or silly spelling to represent accents, though I doubt I'll convince you, you seem too enamoured with subjectivity for that. I'd suggest you check out 8th Sin's blog and take a look at his translation rating system, if only for interest. It's the most rigorous I've seen by far, and it's a little empirical even for my tastes, but it's very well thought through and works extremely well for the most part.

There's probably not much else to say here. You've said that you think they do a good job, they just don't meet your preferences, and that is really the only point I was trying to get to. It just pisses me off when people hate on these groups who do a good job within the framework of their own translation philosophy, because they do subs more suited to entry-level watchers. It's like the hard-core gamer soft-core gamer divide. It's as silly as hating on Naruto for not being as sophisticated or mature as Cowboy Bebop. Sure, it's not as good a show, but it's an entry-level show that brings a massive amount on people into anime and prompts them to explore the medium, and it's basically inoffensive and harmless, so why hate on it? These groups do a better job than most at providing accurate subs understandable and enjoyable by people less acquainted with Japanese culture and language, so let's not cast aspersion because they're not hardcore enough.

If we can agree on Commie and GG being perfectly good groups if you like/don't mind liberal translations, but not if otherwise, then I'd consider that a satisfying conclusion. Sorry if I've come across offensive or rude throughout this, my high levels of frustration with this subject are mostly not aimed at you, but are probably coming across that way.
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#51
pinny

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Looking back over your post, you're correct, you don't use the word terrible anywhere. I clearly got your posts and Koby's mixed up a bit there and I apologise for that. You specified in your last post that you don't think they actually do a bad job, you just don't watch them due to viewer preferences. That is fine, and I respect that. I, too, may prefer more literal fansubs when I've watched a lot more anime. It just pisses me off when people equate liberal translations to inaccurate translations, and you do call them inaccurate in your earlier post, and I'm sure you have picked up a fair bit of Japanese, but I'mma trust what I've read actual translators have to say on the subject.

It seems we have a different understanding of the words accurate and liberal. To me it's like this: when a translation is accurate, it means it should contain the exact same meaning as the original (as far as is possible in the language it is translated to).
And a translation in which the translator has been liberal, and thus using an open mind while translating, may contain sentences which can be interpreted in a way that is different from the original meaning. A literal translation however should not contain any of these.
So, to me, a translation which has been done by a liberal translator might be quite inaccurate, depending on how it is interpreted. Like for example the meme's you mentioned are a great example of a liberal translation and can be quite easily be misinterpreted.

Obviously I disagree about spelling and grammar being the only thing to rate a translation on. Obviously it depends on the audience to a certain degree, but within the context of the audience, at very least, there are certainly better and worse translations. Accuracy, nuance, flow, these are all real factors, and much less subjective than use of memes or silly spelling to represent accents, though I doubt I'll convince you, you seem too enamoured with subjectivity for that. I'd suggest you check out 8th Sin's blog and take a look at his translation rating system, if only for interest. It's the most rigorous I've seen by far, and it's a little empirical even for my tastes, but it's very well thought through and works extremely well for the most part.

Flow is definitely something subjective. Like we've established in the previous posts, for you the flow breaker would be a TL note, yet for me it would be an inaccurate translation.
Nuance is something I probably wouldn't care about, since I listen to the japanese rather than reading the subs. The subs are just there as an extra reference which I use incase the japanese is too complicated or too fast for me to follow. In which case I would prefer the subs to be easily readable. It seems 8th Sin does show some good remarks in that area and I agree that there is more to them than just grammar and spelling. I should've added that the subs were supposed to be easily readable and well sentences well-formed as well. I guess I figured this was common sense.

There's probably not much else to say here. You've said that you think they do a good job, they just don't meet your preferences, and that is really the only point I was trying to get to. It just pisses me off when people hate on these groups who do a good job within the framework of their own translation philosophy, because they do subs more suited to entry-level watchers. It's like the hard-core gamer soft-core gamer divide. It's as silly as hating on Naruto for not being as sophisticated or mature as Cowboy Bebop. Sure, it's not as good a show, but it's an entry-level show that brings a massive amount on people into anime and prompts them to explore the medium, and it's basically inoffensive and harmless, so why hate on it? These groups do a better job than most at providing accurate subs understandable and enjoyable by people less acquainted with Japanese culture and language, so let's not cast aspersion because they're not hardcore enough.

I completely agree, people shouldn't hate on them. But sadly, humans are humans. They just love hating stuff, so if they can just find any pathetic excuse to do it, they will. This is the internet, the only place they can feel superior and act like 12 year olds. (myself included) :P

If we can agree on Commie and GG being perfectly good groups if you like/don't mind liberal translations, but not if otherwise, then I'd consider that a satisfying conclusion. Sorry if I've come across offensive or rude throughout this, my high levels of frustration with this subject are mostly not aimed at you, but are probably coming across that way.

You took the words right out of my mind. That's exactly how I think about Commie and gg.

I never once thought that stating one's opinion should be considered rude or offensive. If you feel frustration you should definitely just vent it out on the person that brought it upon you. Forums are meant for discussion, so I'd say it's only fun for everyone to see some opinions clashing. If I'd feel offended by such things I wouldn't be here.

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#52
Will

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In response to the majority of that post: :thumbup:

Not much else to say. We disagree about translations, but we're probably at an impasse there, so I'll just qualify a few things and leave it at that.

Yes, liberalism can often mean sacrificing accuracy, 8th Sin also says this, though I don't think it's not a one to one relationship. It can convey meaning just as well or better though, sometimes, by taking into account tone and other factors that may not come across so well to those not familiar with Japanese. I would also note that I said flow and nuance are less subjective, I didn't say they're not subjective. I would also say there would be less variability in interpretation of those factors for those who actually rely on the subs near 100% to understand the show. Obviously it's fairly different for your case.

For interest, what would be some of your favourite groups?
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#53
pinny

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In response to the majority of that post: :thumbup:

Not much else to say. We disagree about translations, but we're probably at an impasse there, so I'll just qualify a few things and leave it at that.

Yes, liberalism can often mean sacrificing accuracy, 8th Sin also says this, though I don't think it's not a one to one relationship. It can convey meaning just as well or better though, sometimes, by taking into account tone and other factors that may not come across so well to those not familiar with Japanese. I would also note that I said flow and nuance are less subjective, I didn't say they're not subjective. I would also say there would be less variability in interpretation of those factors for those who actually rely on the subs near 100% to understand the show. Obviously it's fairly different for your case.

Fair enough :P

For interest, what would be some of your favourite groups?

I would say my current favourite is UTW. I usually get them over any other group without thinking twice. On all the anime they don't sub I tend to give every group an equal chance at and just try out Ep1's for all of them so I will always have the release most suited to my preferences. I don't really keep track of the reasons why I picked a group over the other, but the groups I seem to have downloaded the most (from last few seasons) would be: UTW, Evetaku(+ colaborations), SS(-Eclipse), SFW, sage and FFF. Depending on the series I may pick a speedsub or CR rip as well when the others are taking too long (like for Fairy Tail which doesn't contain very complicated japanese).

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#54
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It would seem many of us have UTW as our favourite.

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