└◇914:【完成稿】NL社宛手紙文 [ハーブ] 12/13 11:42
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Dear Messrs. Shaye and Lynne,
We are writing to you to discuss the problematic Japanese subtitles for your film trilogy "The Lord of the Rings".
We belong to 'the movement for proper subtitles on LotR'. Our wish is shared by many. The movement produced a petition and sent it to you in August, and another petition is now ongoing. We hope they were successful in winning your attention, and we sincerely ask for your assistance on this matter.
You may already realize that only in Japan did "The Fellowship of the Ring (FotR") fare so much worse than "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" at the box office as CNN reported: "The whole worldwide difference last time was accounted for by Japan."
We agree to this conclusion, but not to the analysis of its cause.
Many of Japanese audience were unsatisfied with FotR because "The story and the way the characters were portrayed didn't make sense, and worst of all, I was frustrated by the way it ended."
Nowhere else in the world could you find such reactions to the great epic film of yours. Your distributor in Japan did not even provide such basic information as FotR being first of the three installments: they completly eliminated "trilogy" and "The Fellowship of the Ring" from the FotR trailer. You can surely imagine how misleading it was to a number of audience who had not read Tolkien.
But we are convinced that the failure was mainly due to the terrible translations in Japanese subtitles which totally destroyed the original script. All of the Japanese subtitles on FotR were transcribed by some fans in theaters, then compiled as a single list on the Web and re-checked. We are enclosing it to substantiate our argument, to point out exactly what was wrong by comparing every line with that of the original script.
Our strong protest bore fruit, and Nippon Herald Films Inc.,the Japanese distributor, announced in June that they requested a translator of Tolkien's books and their publisher to become the advisors for the future subtitle-making, although this by no means guaranteed the advisors' authority over the subtitler.
As a result, some of the errors were corrected in DVD(2-disk)/VHS released in Japan on September 21st. The evaluation on this revision vary among the fans, but at least "The Most Serious Errors" which list we sent you in August, were all repaired except for two lines.
In our opinion, there still remain a considerable number of bad translations, so this time we made "A List of Mistranslations in DVD/VHS", though inadequate it may be. The list is attached at the end of this letter.
All the statements made by the subtitler and the Japanese distributor and the way they have been handling this issue so far do nothing but make us very anxious about the quality of subtitles in the coming film "The Two Towers(TTT)". The subtitles in the trailer for TTT released on October 18th in the official Japanese movie website have confirmed our fear. For your information, we enclose an article from TheOneRing.net.
We request that you take some action in this matter. Could you please consider appointing an agent whose knowledge in Japanese language and whose judgement you can trust, to be involved in the subtitle-making and supervise the whole process? It is also advisable that he/she examines the subtitles on FotR theatrical release (the papers enclosed), and also check up and evaluate the Japanese trailer for TTT available on the Japanese official movie website.
Contemplating the affair in its entirety, we have enough reasons to believe that it is against your interest to leave the issue of subtitle-making to the Japanese distributor and expect them to do their job. They failed you as your business partner last time. And they have not come up with any concrete solutions to the problem, let alone showing any signs to recognize its magnitude.
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We all dearly hope for a success of the next two installments of the trilogy in Japan, a success they naturally deserve. The quality of subtitles will play a decisive role in bringing this about, as well as your interest in this matter.
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(1)Japanese Subtitles in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
As seen in theaters, released on February 23nd, 2002 [Japanese]
(2)Examples of Mistranslations that Distorted "The Fellowship of the Ring"
Corrected and Uncorrected in DVD(2-disk)/VHS [English]
(3)"The Two Towers" trailer on the Japanese official movie website
released on October 18th, 2002 [Japanese]
(4)The One Ring. net −News for Oct. 25, 2002 [English]
*Japanese official movie website
**Japanese trailer for TTT
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P.S. We have just seen this news on TheOneRing.net.
The Japanese distributor has not made any comment on it so far, but if it is true, we will be certainly relieved, and naturally imagine that you endorse the plan PJ has introduced. We have so far been unable to find the source, so we will be very greatful if you could confirm the validity of this news.
The One Ring. net −12-11-02 Latest News
Good News For Japanese Ringers!
Xoanon @ 12:58 pm EST
Ataahua writes: Peter Jackson has confirmed that the Japanese translations of TTT will be a lot better than they were for FOTR. PJ was interviewed by TVNZ before the TT premier in Paris, during which he commented that there had been a lot of complaints from Japanese fans about the quality of the dialogue translations for FOTR.
"They said that whoever did the translation obviously didn't know the subject and was making big mistakes, and they asked that this person not do the translations for The Two Towers - and that's what we've done. We've got someone else to do the Japanese translations this time around."