How Pokémon Is Dubbed From Japanese To English | Vanity Fair

published on July 2, 2020

– I'm Ash Ketchum, I came from

Pallet Town in the Kanto Region

And this is my good buddy, Pikachu

[giggles]

Nice to meet ya

[upbeat music]

Hi, I'm Sarah Natochenny,
I'm a voice actor

You probably know me best
as Ash Ketchum on Pokemon

I'm also Delia Ketchum, and
Staraptor, and Misdreavus

Today I'm gonna be showing you my process

for dubbing Pokemon into English

Pokemon is a show that's originally

voiced and animated in Japan

So when the show comes to me,

my job is to reinterpret it
for an American audience

We start every session with my director

telling me all about the episode

The turnaround time for
these shows is extreme,

so sometimes we are working with scripts

that were finished the night before

I never get to see the
script ahead of time,

it's always a cold read

– Hi, I'm Lisa, the voice director

And Ash, today you're gonna
be running down the beach

– Yes!
– Gonna have some beach time

– My favorite

I record in a booth by myself

So I very rarely get to hear
the other actors' performances

My director is the dungeon master,

she knows how everything is gonna sound,

she can predict all of their performances,

and she knows exactly how to direct me

to get exactly what she wants

Next we watch the scene in
Japanese, let's take a look

[speaking in foreign language]

– [Pikachu] Pikachu

[yelling]

[speaking in foreign language]

– So a lot of stuff is
happening in this scene

He's running, he's out of breath,
he's tripping over Litten

And then he runs to his mom
all excited and huffing

And he's always huffing, he's
always excited and huffing

So I wanna do justice to
that just with my voice

So what I'm looking for
when I see this in Japanese

is the mouth flap, where
he moves his mouth

Where he opens his mouth really wide,

where he has a [groan] like
a clenched kinda teeth thing

And that'll indicate to me where

to put all the words on the page

So first we're gonna do
a whole run of the scene

and then we're gonna go back

and pickup all the
parts where I messed up

– We are on line 45
– 'Kay

– 023504

It's gonna be on there, you won't beat me

You are about to meet
Litten for the first time

So this is where you're
gonna keep running through

over there as you saw in the scene

As soon as you get there
you're gonna step on his tail

and then you'll go into sorta like

the comic tumbles after that

So let's give it a whirl

– There are three beeps that cue me in

I come in on the fourth beep

– So Sarah, I'm gonna give you three beeps

for the first cue, and then
one beep for the following

[beeping]

– You won't beat me

[panting]

[yelling]

Whoa

Oh sorry

So basically my eyes, if you notice,

are darting back and forth
from the page to the screen

to make sure that I have the line right

and that I have the flap
right at the same time

So while I'm matching the flap

and getting all the words out,

I have to match the emotion
that's happening onscreen

More so than the original performance

So I'm looking at the animation

and figuring out how
to emote based on that

So I look at his eyes,
I look at his eyebrows,

I look at his mouth, I look
at the way the animation is

If it's like in a really crazy scene

and the background changes,

then I know I have to get much bigger

So now that we've done
one take of this long pass

my director's gonna give me some notes

And she'll have a lot of 'em

– Let's give that another pass

The line that you're,
I know it's a long set

for you to sorta take on there,

is gonna be, sorry, as soon as you

turn around and go on that

So when you ramp yourself up after Pikachu

get up a little bit, you can even get in

a little bit more with that

So that you're sort of like pretty intense

by the time you actually
step on Litten's tail

– So the sorry is onscreen?

– The sorry is onscreen

The turnaround–
– it's that

The turnaround, that's sorry?

– Yeah
Okay

– That turnaround right there that

you're seeing, that's you having

the reaction into the sorry

– Okay

So while this happens our engineer

moves the three beeps over to the spot

where I need to punch in the uh, sorry

– Cool, so we're looking at line 50

You got an open shock
react and then a sorry

So you're gonna do the turn
and then the double flap

[beeping]

[grunting]

– Sorry

Oh man

[groaning]

[laughing]

Sometimes I have to
deliver a line in a way

that doesn't feel natural to me

Sometimes I have to go really really slow

or really really fast

Sometimes a line will be really urgent,

but there's not enough mouth movement

for me to say something
really really fast

And that can be a problem

[beeping]

Blue water, fluffy white clouds,

and delicious Pinap juice

I messed it up

– Yeah, you got that, you
can hit that second line

– I was too early so I messed it up

I was too early and I messed up the line,

it's not fluffy white clouds
it's white fluffy clouds

I'm bad at this

Let's do it again

So long before the script
ever even gets to me

an adapter has to take
the Japanese translation

and make it make sense in English

And make it also fit into the mouth flaps

That's how we get this

The timing of my performance
is really important

because first of all, you don't wanna hear

somebody talking when
their mouth isn't moving

Secondly, and this is the adapter's job,

he has to make sure that everything

he gets out of the translation
makes sense in English

and fits into the mouth flap

So if a character has
a big wide open mouth

halfway through the sentence,
he has to justify that,

he has to write a script
that justifies that

– Coming to ya

[beeping]

– Blue water, white fluffy clouds,

and delicious Pinap juice

[slurping]

Mm

It's so refreshing

– Yeah, it's great
– Great

– It's great?

I play many characters on the show

Usually I do them one at a time,

but for the purposes of this demonstration

I'm gonna do them together

– Ready for it?

– I guess

[beeping]

Hey Mom, I'm back!

Hope you had fun, Ash

Sure did, we went diving with a Sharpedo,

saw lots of Pokemon I've
never seen before, yeah!

– That was great, we're
just gonna stretch out

one of the ones in the middle over there

You gave us enough time so
that we can do it perfectly

So that's perfect

– So sometimes my performance
might be a little bit short

and they can digitally lengthen it

so that it fits the mouth flap perfectly

Sure did, we went diving with a Sharpedo,

saw lots of Pokemon I've
never seen before, yeah!

Sure did, we went diving with a Sharpedo,

saw lots of Pokemon I've
never seen before, yeah!

– All right, that looked great

– Coming to ya

[beeping]

– That sounds like fun!

We have Mimey to thank for winning

the tickets for our vacation

Thanks very much, Mimey

Ooh, that's short

So sometimes the line in the script

comes up a little bit short and we have to

add a few syllables to
make it fit the flap

So Lisa, what do you think?

– Well let's take a
look at what we've got

Why don't we add in have Mimey to thank

for winning the tickets
for our Alola vacation

– Okay

And how about, that does sound like fun?

Rather than that sounds like fun

– Great
– Awesome

– Coming to you

[beeping]

– That does sound like fun

We have Mimey to thank
for winning the tickets

for our Alola vacation

Thanks very much, Mimey

– Great
– That works

All right, let's see the completed scene

[upbeat music]

– You won't beat me!

[panting]

[grunting]

Whoa!

Sorry

Oh man!

[groaning]

– Blue water, white fluffy clouds,

and delicious Pinap juice

[slurping]

Mm

It's so refreshing

– Hey Mom, I'm back

– Hope you had fun, Ash

– Sure did, we went
diving with a Sharpedo,

saw lots of Pokemon I've
never seen before, yeah!

– That does sound like fun!

We have Mimey to thank
for winning the tickets

for our Alola vacation

Thanks very much, Mimey

– And that's how I dub Pokemon

So because the English
dub is so widespread

I'm getting emails from people in India,

and Bangladesh, and Russia,
and Japan, and Brazil,

thanking me for helping
them learn English

It's amazing

It's really an important thing
that helps bridge cultures

In 1931 a French actor's union

told its membership, you cannot dub

because it is beneath you

and it is offensive to the original actor

I disagree

Related Videos

Markets speculation and risk this is the chaplet traders podcast hosted by Erin Fifield hi folks what's good welcome to episode 187 of chat with traders so ...
Markets speculation and risk this is the chaplet traders podcast hosted by Erin Fifield traders earn five field here welcome to one ninety this is an episode to...
Markets speculation and risk this is the chaplet traders podcast hosted by Erin Fifield traders welcome to the show this is episode 192 similar to the last epis...
Markets speculation and risk this is the chaplet traders podcast hosted by Erin Fifield what's up and welcome ladies and gents this is episode 195 and I&#39...
Markets speculation and risk this is the chat with traders podcast hosted by Erin Fifield hi team welcome to episode 196 this is the third in the series of my f...
Markets speculation and risk this is the chaplet traders podcast hosted by Erin Fifield boys and girls what is up welcome to episode 198 on this episode is a sp...
Markets speculation and risk this is the chat with traders podcast hosted by aaron field hi traders and welcome to episode 190 this here is another compilation ...
down below the wards the comings and goings are constant there are meals meds and masks the quantities swelling as the NHS is mobilized the phone's been ri...
So your first choice James is the sort of collection of surgeons in the hospital it's a Barbara Hepworth piece owned actually by the Royal College of Surgeo...
Usually a recession closes in slowly confidence ebbs away investment dries up jobs are lost this is different economic activity has simply stopped vanished unli...
when we heard the schools were closing that is the first time in my life that I went home and I actually was sick some families are really struggling to manage...
Sadly of those in hospital 12100 and seven people have now died another day another politician standing at this lectern with bad news to tell but today away fro...
Entering this phase in your life is difficult enough isn't it contemplating your death and saying goodbyes and making preparations but doing that in a plann...
the questions the barbs the beads of sweat are worried ministerial Brad all gone cease to be all silence in darkest hours past the familiar sounds of the green...
day 24 of lockdown giving away today 25 will live done at least 45 days of total lockdown before this is over the government confirmed today it was inevitable ...
It's about the houses nobody's listening to me nobody's taking my voice nobody's literally caring yeah that's how I feel Alice was a carer w...
what's always remarkable about America is its scale this is a place used to being the biggest the strongest the richest right now though what startling is ...
how covert nineteen impacts on the NHS is a key determinant of how we respond next to the outbreak there are various figures from different parts of the NHS th...
dr. Unwin is guessing his bi-weekly covert test we're testing today you can either be tested on a Monday or a Tuesday morning the lab arranged to collect t...
When health workers started dying from covert 19 they seem to be disproportionately from black Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds now politicians have starte...
Be the first to comment “How Pokémon Is Dubbed From Japanese To English | Vanity Fair”

Your email address will not be published.

There are no comments yet.