anime subtitles

why do the subtitles in anime almost never match the english dub

I think that the people that do the subtitles aren’t the same people who translate the script, so there’s a little difference between the two.

Japanese is a difficult language to translate.

Probably because the time required to speak a line and the space required to write it isn’t always the same, hence the disparity.

Right, you have to remember that English dubs need to somewhat take the same amount of time as the original Japanese dialog. Subs are can be exact because you can throw as much text on the screen as you want.

Probably because they messed up on it…Thats what I think so dont mind…

Because it’s translating (theoretically) what is actually being said in japanese. When they dub it, they either take their own liberties- maybe to make parts more familiar to the US audience, or just change it entirely, or add some words or rephrase to match the “mouth flaps”

Now I Get It…

Sometimes the original dialogues just get altered, either to censor some parts or just out of plain silliness.

Case in point: Cowboy bebop (episode 5 I think- Ballad of Fallen Angels. I know 'cause it’s my favorite): In english, Jet says, “dammit” but the subtitle displays the slightly more vulgar “Goddammit” (original japanese was “kisama” I think). Changed to censor it.

On Zatch Bell, they changed the lyrics of the song “Groping Breasts” (Parco Fulgore’s theme) into the more innocuous “Hey Hey Let’s Dance All Day!” However, as the characters dance, you can still see them making groping gestures with their hands!