Many people have expressed an opinion that we should show more Fairy Princess Ren. Audience input is important, but there are some problems with this. Last week, Greg touched upon the subject of translating problems, so let me elaborate.
Fansubbing is basically finding a series that seems good and wanting to spread it to the non-Japanese-speaking people. So we get an episode, translate it, and give it to Jerry to sub, right? Sounds easy? Translating comic books is easy, except when you want to find a sound effect for someone silently moving a sword across the panel. Anyway, the problem with fansubbing anime is, we generally don't have a script. So we have to watch the show a couple times to get the feel of it, then watch and repeatedly rewind short segments until a sentence forms. It doesn't help much that Japanese sentence structure is totally opposite to that of English, so it's not like we can go word for word - no, we have to go to the end of the sentence where the subject is, then rewind back to the beginning to remind ourselves what it was about in the first place. And too often, the actors talk with slurred speech, or mumble, or talk too fast: all of which applies to Ohta from Patlabor, by the way. Of course, everyone in Fairy Princess Ren talks incredibly fast and at the same time. Sometimes we're lucky to have a film comic, which has most of the dialogue printed. For example, having a film comic made it a lot easier for me to do P2. This usually doesn't apply, though.
The other thing about Fairy Princess Ren, and about
Japanese language, is dialects. What you hear on almost all anime is
standard Japanese, or what they speak in Tokyo. When you go to Osaka or
Kyoto, the sentence endings and inflections are different. If you thought
there was something different about Makoto's speech in El-Hazard,
that's because he was talking in Kansai (a western Japanese dialect). Once
you venture into the boonies, though, entire words and phrases are
different, and you practically get a whole new language. That's why the
translators made that hair-guy talk in code, because