Chinese fans left 'close to tears' by clumsy Avengers: Age of Ultron subtitles

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:34
Chinese to English
Unusual May 15, 2015

I've seen some really fantastic subtitles on big Hollywood films. The Pixar movies, for example, always seem to be very well rendered in Chinese, both in subtitles and in dubbing. I've always wondered how they did it, because it's much better work than I usually see on the commercial market! I guess with this one they tried to go a cheaper way and it's backfired.

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Dariush Robertson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:34
Member (2012)
Chinese to English
It's a shame, but I know their pain. May 15, 2015

I've seen a fair few Chinese movies in Taiwan, and the English subtitles are often pretty bad. The last big Chinese movie I saw was Monkey King in 2014 with Donnie Yen as Sun Wukong. They made a right Pigsy's ear of the subtitles. There were dozens of bad translations. I remember some of the stranger ones included something like crystalline monkey (instead of stone monkey) and instead water buffalo or bison (instead of bull - for the demon bull king). I took my mam to see it, she was equally as confused by the English subtitles.

Talking about bad Chinese subtitles - the subbing of A Song of Ice and Fire has been really poor. I was watching the DVD with my brother-in-law (native speaker of Chinese), and there were loads of parts where I was laughing and he wasn't. I took a peak at the subtitles, and realised that a lot of swearing and dark humour had been taken out. It really spoiled the dialogues between Tyrion and Bronn. I know that this can happen when localising any product, but it just seemed a bit like overkill.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:34
Chinese to English
fansubbing vs. pro subbing May 15, 2015

I imagine the Game of Thrones subs were fansubs, weren't they? The mainland distributors would have a hard time with it, with all the sex, so no-one can have paid to have them subbed yet. Fan subs are always going to be dodgy, but sometimes the subbing on the big films is really quite inspired. I saw that Monkey King movie - don't remember the English subs at all. I remember they were there, but I must have tuned them out after a while.

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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 04:34
Japanese to English
You get what you pay for... May 19, 2015

They should have gone with a Proz.com translator!

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Dariush Robertson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:34
Member (2012)
Chinese to English
fansubbing vs. pro subbing May 25, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:

I imagine the Game of Thrones subs were fansubs, weren't they? The mainland distributors would have a hard time with it, with all the sex, so no-one can have paid to have them subbed yet. Fan subs are always going to be dodgy, but sometimes the subbing on the big films is really quite inspired. I saw that Monkey King movie - don't remember the English subs at all. I remember they were there, but I must have tuned them out after a while.


I should have tuned them out, but I used to be interested in subtitling so I wanted to see how good or bad they were. The Game of Thrones subs in Taiwan weren't fan subs - I think it was HBO Asia that did the DVD set. The problem wasn't the overall quality - like you might see with fan-subs - it was more to do with intentionally watering down or even omitting some of the swear words, which also spoiled a lot of the jokes.


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Chinese fans left 'close to tears' by clumsy Avengers: Age of Ultron subtitles

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