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Should you watch anime dubbed or subbed? Show more Show less

Anime (Japanese animation) is a cultural phenomenon that has swept the globe since the 90’s. More and more non-Japanese speakers are becoming interested in the world of Japanese animation. Instead of learning Japanese from scratch, viewers deliberate between the controversial choices of watching dubbed (with English voiceovers replacing Japanese audio) or subbed (retaining the Japanese audio and adding subtitles) versions of anime.

Subbed anime is better Show more Show less

Watching subtitled anime is the subtlest way to experience anime without changing too much.
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The nuances of Japanese speech are retained

Subtitling minimises the translation gap by keeping the Japanese audio.
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The Argument

It is impossible to provide perfect translations since English and Japanese are fundamentally very different languages. Subtitles can provide close translations of the dialogue, and the viewer, who will hear the Japanese and read the English, can determine for him/herself whether the translation makes sense or not. It would especially be helpful to learners of Japanese as well. The authenticity and originality of the director’s work is also maintained; for example, the emotions that are expressed by the voice actors in the Japanese audio might be different to that in the dubbed versions.

Counter arguments



Rejecting the premises


Further Reading


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    This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Apr 2020 at 11:38 UTC