Uh ok confession time. I got myself utterly, completely hooked on Person of Interest in the past 2 weeks. I haven't been this obsessed with a North American TV series since 2011 when I tumbled down the path that was Criminal Minds (well, I recently had a Call the Midwife marathon, but that was a British show...).
So after I fangirl-screeched through S1 (currently fangirl-gurgling through S2), I decided to read what Japanese fans had to say.
(PoI had been released on cable channels previously. But S1 aired on regular ground-wave digital channels (long story) this summer and fans were pretty excited about that.)
I was immensely intrigued by some people pointing out the difference in the word choice of the subs and dubs (in Japanese) and the original language (in English).
For example, when Mr. Finch is referred to as 'the little guy',
apparently the word choice in the Japanese dubs has a much cuter, even
more colloquial tone than that. I think it's adorable and funny. Sure,
it's not the same meaning or connotation, and it doesn't exactly capture
the connection between the characters, but it's another interpretation,
another perspective. And that's so much fun to think about.
You can say implications and meanings are lost in translation because of the difficulty in getting from one language to another. I felt that a lot when doing my own translation work or writing.
But on the flip side, it means it had to be culturally filtered to make that word/phrase fit the language - therefore 'gaining' a new meaning, in a way.
You can say things are lost, a bad thing - or you can say gained, to have another angle to look from. It's just how you wish to see it.
And I realized I don't have to be too negative about how translations work out.
But I do understand I have the advantage of knowing both languages and therefore possible to weigh all the angles and decide for myself (which makes things fun, but other times so much more infuriating and frustrating).
What's lost in translation is interesting - but what's (inevitably, subconsciously) added in
translation is just as intriguing.
The heart of the matter is that I really really want to get the Japanese version box set, for the subs and dubs.