I'm working on Dutch subtitles for the anime movie The Dog Of Flanders (1997) (you know, the beautiful but sad tale of Nello and his dog Patrasche). I do not speak Japanese, so I base myself mostly on the English subtitles of the English dub. Because dubs are sometimes more concerned with lip sync than accurate translations, I try to isolate as many Japanese words as I can and look these up in the various online translation tools. This helps me understand the context of what is being said in Japanese and that way I can verify the accuracy of the English dub subtitles and correct where necessary. Of course, not knowing the language apart from a few often used words and expressions, it is hard for me to identify individual words and put them in correct rōmaji or hiragana for online translation. I do realize that with my lack of understanding Japanese, my translations will never be perfect, but that may not even be possible due to the massive differences between Japanese and Western languages and the time & length limitations of subtitles. I am however sure that my Dutch subtitles are in some dialogues more faithful to the original Japanese dialogues than the English dub subtitles.
By now I've managed to provide Dutch subtitles for almost the entire movie, but a few short dialogues remain open. I could take the easy way out and simply translate the English dub subtitles, regardless of whether they are wrong or right, but in these cases the English dub does not seem to match the story.
I was hoping someone here could help me understand these dialogues. For this I've uploaded a few short fragments from the anime. The fragments have Japanese audio and the original English dub subtitles embedded as soft subs. The fragments are MP4 video with AC3 audio in an MKV container.
Fragment 1 (4.21 MB - 23 seconds)
- Sitting: Cogez (Koje)
- Standing: Hans (Hansu)
- Referenced in dialogue: Alois (Aroa), little daughter of Cogez
The English dub subtitles are talking about how Hans got new winter clothing, and Cogez asks him to make a jacket for his daughter Alois. I can't relate this to the story, and there are no previous signs that Hans is a tailor or has anything to do with selling clothes (As far as I know he just rents houses and is a friend of Cogez for whom he occasionally works. Grandfather, Nello and Patrasche live in a house rented from him. Hans doesn't like Nello at all and warns Cogez frequently to keep his daughter, Alois, away from Nello). Anyway, can anyone explain what Cogez and Hans exactly say?
Fragment 2 (3.43 MB - 14 seconds)
- Old man: Grandfather (Ojiisan)
- Boy: Nello (Nero)
Grandfather had been ill for a while and had to stay in bed while Nello carried the milk to the city. Although not fully recovered, this is the first day grandfather accompanies Nello again on his trip to the city. Grandfather just said that it's been a while and that he's a bit overwhelmed by the fresh/cold air, to which Nello replies "Ojiisan, daijoubu?" ("Grandfather, are you all right?"). When walking upon the bridge Nello says something I can't make sense of. The English dub subtitles say "Grandpa, you should go back now", but I don't think that's what Nello says.
Fragment 3 (3.29 MB - 14 seconds)
- Sister: Alois (Aroa / Oneesan)
- Talking guy: Paul (Pōru), works for Cogez
- Other guy: George (Joruju), Paul's brother
- Referenced in dialogue: Cogez (Koje), father of Alois
This is like 10-15 years after the main story. Alois has grown up and became a sister educating children. She's in the Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp), the place her best friend, Nello, liked to visit and where he eventually died many years ago. She's meeting her childhood friends George and Paul. Paul got a day off from Cogez and brings Alois some news about her parents. The English dub subtitles say her father, Cogez, is worried his daughter is working too hard with all those painful memories (of Nello's dead), but to me Paul and Alois seem to be too cheerful to be talking about painful memories. Her father may indeed be worrying (after Paul laughs, he continues with "shinpai") but it's probably not about painful memories. In her second line I can clearly hear her say "kodomo", so the part that she's very busy with the children is probably right. It's just those painful memories I can't place in that cheerful conversation.
Thanks for any help you can provide!