What does writing a script of a dub involve?



  • With all the controversy over recent localization for dubs, I think it would be interesting to know the process of creating a script for a dub. I think the trend toward simuldubbing is probably also putting a lot more pressure on script writers to produce a quick turnaround. I am sure there is less oversight on scripts because of this as well.

    I would guess script writers get the raw in as well as translation. Then they have to figure out how to localize the content to make sense for their intended audience. In my mind, most people who watch enough anime probably have enough sense of Japanese culture and anime tropes to know for instance what a tsundere is, and what a senpai is, and that only very close acquaintances refer to each other by their given name. However, I imagine Funimation seeks to make their content available to a wider audience. For instance I started watching anime on Adult Swim, and it took me a while to learn enough to understand the Japanese cultural aspects of the shows.

    With the localization, it seems they also have to match the mouth flaps from the raw show. So I am sure direct translation is not always possible. Sometimes a Japanese word may take multiple English words to convey the same meaning. So do the script writers have the raw footage in front of them, or has someone counted the flaps for specific scenes so that the script writer can match up the number of words to the flaps?

    Then there is the aspect of tone. A comedic show like Haganai or High School DxD may require some change of tone for a Western audience to find it funny. Sometimes jokes bomb, and people even end up finding them offensive. I imagine with a quick turnaround on a script there may not even be enough time for a writer to try and insert any sort of commentary into a script, and there may not be enough time for peer review to make sure nothing in a script can be found offensive. Although, in a commentary to an episode of High School DxD, Jamie Marchi said "If something I wrote offended you, then I did my job". Although, I think she meant in a crass or lewd way, instead of a political commentary way.



  • I haven't watched it yet but Funimation showed what goes into making a simuldub using MHA episode 38. I'd imagine it answers your questions (although probably contains spoilers too for this particular episode)



  • Check out the last behind the anime video for the last ep of season 2 of My Hero Academia. Its a step by step prorcess detailing how a simuldub is produced and the script writer for the show explains his role



  • https://www.funimation.com/shows/my-hero-academia/inside-the-episode-38-simuldubs-from-beginning-to-end/

    This video goes over the process of simuldubbing (for My Hero Academia, but it would be more or less the same for other shows too). There is a bit about the script adaptation too. It's a great video all around for anyone wanting to know more about the process from start to end.

    @HOOfan1 said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    So do the script writers have the raw footage in front of them, or has someone counted the flaps for specific scenes so that the script writer can match up the number of words to the flaps?

    Both actually. They do have the episode in Japanese that they can refer to. But, someone has also counted the flaps and timing for lines.

    It does seem to be a process that varies from show to show. Some shows are better left closer to the Japanese honorifics, while others can benefit from more western ones. The trend these days seems to be more toward keeping it as close as possible, while still having it make sense to a wester audience.



  • @Doublethree100 said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    I haven't watched it yet but Funimation showed what goes into making a simuldub using MHA episode 38. I'd imagine it answers your questions (although probably contains spoilers too for this particular episode)

    It's pretty spoiler free! But yes @Doublethree100 is spot on, this gives you an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes of the dub making process here at Funimation HQ.

    ... You also get to see me do some sweet pull-ups.



  • @JayHairston said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    @Doublethree100 said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    I haven't watched it yet but Funimation showed what goes into making a simuldub using MHA episode 38. I'd imagine it answers your questions (although probably contains spoilers too for this particular episode)

    It's pretty spoiler free! But yes @Doublethree100 is spot on, this gives you an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes of the dub making process here at Funimation HQ.

    ... You also get to see me do some sweet pull-ups.

    I guess a little physical labor is needed to dub a scene involving something strenuous ;0)



  • Gonna watch once I get home from work in the morning, but have a question. I've seen mention of several of these "Behind the Anime", but haven't been able to track down a set location specific to that title. This one is listed with "My Hero Academia" for example. Unless I happen to see a link posted, as in this thread, haven't been able to watch. Is there a searchable location where they can be found as a group, or have to just happen upon them? I'm always a fan of the creative process behind the scenes of the industry, so think I'd actually enjoy the series if I could actually find them.

    @JayHairston said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    ... You also get to see me do some sweet pull-ups.

    @JayHairston Haven't seen the episode yet, but pretty sure All Might can still do it better.



  • @pleco_breeder said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    Unless I happen to see a link posted, as in this thread, haven't been able to watch. Is there a searchable location where they can be found as a group, or have to just happen upon them?

    They're in the "Special Features" section on the show page assuming they exist. It would be nice to have them all on one page but I'm not sure how possible that is with the current design.



  • @Doublethree100 said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    @pleco_breeder said in What does writing a script of a dub involve?:

    Unless I happen to see a link posted, as in this thread, haven't been able to watch. Is there a searchable location where they can be found as a group, or have to just happen upon them?

    They're in the "Special Features" section on the show page assuming they exist. It would be nice to have them all on one page but I'm not sure how possible that is with the current design.

    @Sophie @JayHairston Any chance of getting a section made to pull the "Behind the Anime" together under a single header, so they could be watched as a group? I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in this sort of programming, and industry details always appear to be well accepted within the fan base. Even a listing somewhere with which series have this type of special feature would likely be well received, but an episodes page would seem to be an improvement upon that. Even if someone doesn't like a particular series, or hasn't found out that they'd be interested in that series, there is still information to be gleaned from this type of special features series which can be of interest.

    OK, end of sales pitch.



  • Then there is the aspect of tone. A comedic show like Haganai or High School DxD may require some change of tone for a Western audience to find it funny. Sometimes jokes bomb, and people even end up finding them offensive. I imagine with a quick turnaround on a script there may not even be enough time for a writer to try and insert any sort of commentary into a script, and there may not be enough time for peer review to make sure nothing in a script can be found offensive. Although, in a commentary to an episode of High School DxD, Jamie Marchi said "If something I wrote offended you, then I did my job". Although, I think she meant in a crass or lewd way, instead of a political commentary way.

    From what I heard about comedy is that you are going to offend someone no matter what.

    Also (as someone who has read most of DxD) its worth noting that the dub for DxD has a little substory slightly changed, I honestly am curious about how they're going to go about it. Especially since I hated it A LOT and I mean A LOT. That book was so terrible I hated that I read it, so I honestly hope Funi makes it better.



  • @darthrutsula40

    Also (as someone who has read most of DxD) its worth noting that the dub for DxD has a little substory slightly changed, I honestly am curious about how they're going to go about it. Especially since I hated it A LOT and I mean A LOT. That book was so terrible I hated that I read it, so I honestly hope Funi makes it better.

    I've skimmed through the first few light novels. I know one thing the Funimation dub altered is the fact that Issei won't call Rias by her name, he usually calls her Buchou (Manager). That is supposed to signify he doesn't trust his relationship with her.

    The biggest change I remember from skimming the LNs is the fact that the Rating Game between Rias and Sona was left out of Season 3. That was where Saji supposedly "beat" Issei (although I contend that he didn't) and Issei first used his boob talk power, and was subsequently banned from using it in future rating games. But that was something changed in the anime itself, not the dub.


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