Translation Face-Off: [Underwater-Commie vs. Doki] Nichijou (Episode 01)

Fansub Review, Subtitle Comparison — By on April 4, 2011 8:41 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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So I got quite a bit of heat in some channels for not pointing out how different Doki’s translations of Nichijou were from Commie’s translations. Where there are differences this large, they deserve to be seen. As an editor, I can only competently speak about English quality, but I decided to post a side-by-side of the translations for Nichijou.

Enjoy seeing how completely different the translations are. Whichever group is better, I’m pretty sure that they both fucked up multiple times. (>_O)b

Doki on the left, Underwater-Commie on the right.

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Krow says:

Is it just me, or does Doki look like they complicated every single sentence needlessly?

Luke says:

It’s just you.

Nitemare says:

Well, I didn’t watch the show, but I would guess that it is because Doki’s translation is probably more literal.

Jojo says:

For one, Commie simply used Crunchy Roll’s subs and edited them a bit. Any inherent errors or “overtranslations” would be carried over to their release as well. Doki has that squid leg error, but CR’s scripts seemed to make very little sense towards the end, especially that Akutagawa Prize bit.

Koka says:

Naturally, we seek to filter out these errors and “overtranslations” by – as you said – editing the script, but also TLCing.

If you could say what exactly you found objectionable concerning the Akutagawa Prize part, that would be great.

Nakito says:

I’ll be sticking with crunchy for this show.

A Dutch Fag says:

This show is still boring no matter who subs it.

kyonyUU says:

you just admitted your everyday life is boring.
Rule 3.

blargh says:

amazing how people can think dokis tl is more literal when its simply outright wrong.

Kurosaki says:

Now this always perplexes me…how exactly do YOU, or anyone else who clams to, know who’s right or wrong? (Aside from the デン = string, etc. mistake from Doki)

From what I can tell, you’re able to tell what is being said in the episode and compare them to the subtitles. If that’s the case…why watch the subbed version in the first place? I find it very strange. On that note, if you can’t understand what is being said, how do you know which group is right exactly?

Kintrex says:

I may not know Japanese well enough to watch a raw episode, but I do know enough to tell if a translation is completely wrong.

Anonymous says:

While Doki really made some huge mistakes, I can see some things that actually made more sense in Doki’s subs, so I’m guessing all the other CR subs are somewhat wrong as well since CR probably also had some lines wrong.

I’d trust CR subs more right now though, will be interesting to see what doki changes in their v2 (which I would gladly delay an episode to see).

yeller says:

I just had someone check Commie’s vs Doki’s and he said Commie’s CR edits had it right… and only Doki had translation errors…

Also… in the original CR/Horriblesubs script… they use “K.Y.” like doki does, commie just changed it to “clueless” to make it sound more clear… but if you know what the term “KY” was referring to it might have been better to leave it alone… hard to say…

Otherwise every major difference you see is just Doki making an error. The CR subs had no translation errors. Doki didn’t have access to the closed captioning and CR gets the script 4 days in advance… so it is obvious why CR had the accurate translations while Doki did not… it is totally stupid for them to try to compete against CR with this show… if they manage to get it out before CR it will just be very shitty quality… and EP1 is proof of this…

DT921 says:

Crunchyroll was “Clueless” not “KY”…

Derp says:

There are errors in both TLs. Doki’s getting the hate because some of their errors are really obvious, whereas with the CR scripts it’s simply a case of them ruining the joke.

Examples… Doki was wrong with the squid tentacle, and also the ‘in the afternoon’ nonsense. Crunchy ruined the principle’s speech, whereas Doki kept the joke alive (Read the CR/Commie speech… Where’s the joke? The whole pun was based around the word ‘Principal’ becoming ‘Principle’). For the Becky speech at the end where she’s blubbing, can you imagine how hard that is to TL by ear? Everyone’s hung up on the fact Doki did a completely different line, but honestly, do YOU know what the Akutagawa Prize for literature is? (Yes, yes, I’m sure there are some here that do, the point being, the majority probably don’t).

Nichi is very much about dialogue based humour and playing on words. You can understand wanting to keep literal translations in, because otherwise the humour of the show is lost. The issue is, when you get it wrong with literal translations, you REALLY get it wrong. Doki know they fucked up, but CR aren’t perfect either. I think the hate is unjustified, people seem to forget the extra effort that goes into an original translation. At least Doki’s version is a full fansub, not just taking an already flawed script and editing it. Then again, I’m wasting my time, irrational Doki hate has been around for a while now.

yeller says:

It is funny you point out one thing that may or may not be wrong with CR’s script… and then call it “flawed”. But then won’t look at Doki’s 6+ fuckups that episode (some of which it seemed like the translator was just making up lines he didn’t get according to the guy I had check) and call it a “flawed script”…. but rather “a true fansub”… if a “true fansub” has that many errors it must mean fansubbers really fucking suck… LOL…

I’ve never been one of those irrational “Doki Haters”. I like many of their BD releases… but when they try to speedsub and beat CR, the results are truly horrendous.

So again, at LEAST 6 wrong lines in Doki’s release… maybe one in CR.
If that’s a “true fansub” vs a “flawed script”… I think I’ll take the “flawed script” (with one error) vs the “true fansub” (with at least half a dozen errors).

Doki would be better off just using CR’s less “flawed script”, and giving it TLC & QC. Then they might be able to release a product better than Commie-Underwater’s. But so far I don’t think I’ll be watching any of Doki’s releases which were speedsubbed… that’s for sure. Even gg makes less TL errors/trolls per episode than that…

yeller says:

Also… it was probably closer to over a DOZEN errors that Doki’s TL made that episode… and CR might have screwed up ONE joke.

So it seems clear who the winner is in the TL department here… just sayin.

yeller says:

Also s/”true fansub”/”full fansub”/ …

Anyways, with that many errors… seems like you should v2 it… then I might watch Doki’s… cause this show isn’t something you’d want to bother waiting for the BDs for because of the type of show it is…

Derp says:

My point was, both scripts have mistakes. Unless you’re claiming CR had a perfect script? Everyone likes to fixate on the fact CR translators get the official script weeks in advance, etc. But they’re still capable of errors. All translations are, especially when it comes to two languages like Japanese and English.

I wasn’t trying to ‘count’ the errors, nor was I implying Doki only made one. I was going off the screenshots Sage has posted, which blatantly show more Doki errors. But the Principal joke IS an error. I said very specifically Doki knew they’d fucked up. I wasn’t trying to play down the fuckup.

I was trying to draw attention to the fact that, like it or not (let’s be honest, there’s a lot here who don’t like it) Doki translated from scratch. Credit where credit is due. Back in the days before everyone had ‘professional’ translations as a base to work from, translations from scratch were the lifeblood of a fansub group. Bigger errors have been made in the past, and not had as much attention drawn to them. Maybe that era’s over, maybe with CR being more and more intrusive groups should alter the way they go about things. That’s probably a whole new debate to be having.

Holo is obviously an ambitious guy. Doki have never taken on this many shows in one season before. You could probably argue that they’ve taken too much on, and the subs are suffering as a result. That’s fine, time will tell on that account. Is it wrong to be ambitious though? There are always alternative groups, and no-one is forcing Doki down anyone’s throats. People just seem to love queueing up to bash Doki, and it makes me sad panda. Have you checked their other releases this season? This was ONE episode from ONE anime in a season where they’re doing nine, as far as I can see.

Eh, I’m tired and incoherent.

Derp says:

Ha, they’re v2ing episode two, rendering the majority of my arguments redundant.

I concede, good sir.

wow says:

It would appear all of you are just looking at screen cpas and not watching the shows with subtitles, as i can say clearly commie makes perfect sense, in the whole first episode.

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