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Culture Gap in VNs


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I just finished Cross + Channel in Japanese,and I couldn't agree more with its high rating in Japan. 

Though including SF elements in the story, the main focus of this VN, in my opinion, is to  depict and reflect a style of  interpersonal relationship that is more easily resonated by Asian readers.

I believe readers from societies of collectivism will sense more than the westerners.

What do you think of the culture gap in VNs? 

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4 minutes ago, Satsuki said:

I'm Asian so no gap for me.

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  • Location: New Zealand

You wot

 

Anyway, I'm completely fine with VNs heavily reliant on the Japanese culture existing, and that dissonance is actually one of the biggest reasons to read Japanese VNs- to see a different culture. However, I think that so much more can be done with the format that it's a shame there's not that many non-Japanese VNs out there.

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The cultural differences are quite deep and noticeable but it doesn't bother me..there's a lot of things i like about the way they do things and their culture and others not so much...I'm pro learning and sharing between cultures...one can learn and adapt from others and viceversa though that's actually hard to accomplish aswell

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Honestly seaking, I never looked at the differentialities in different cultures in VNs, but of course it always shows

Things like different foods, suffixes, honor system, all of this is different

When I started VNs, it stuck to me like a sore thumb, but as I played more, I adapted to it, and now it doesn't bother me in the slightest any more

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There's obviously a culture gap (real life), but I don't feel like I encounter it very much in most VN's.

I feel like the typical VN and LN as 'medium genres' both have their own set of tropes/patterns you have to get used to, nether which bears that much resemblance to Japanese culture. What we're used to is this genre, not Japanese culture exactly. There are things which make reference to normal Japanese school/work life, but I don't and can't really identify them all because I'm not intimately familiar with those places. You do pick things up gradually though.

Haven't played any VN's where I really noticed collectivism...but one, I might not know what to be looking for, and two, it hasn't really occurred to me to compare social interactions/relations presented in VN's to ones in the western world.

I'm pretty individualistic. My idea of culture is...mostly centered around the values/culturally based interpersonal relations it leads to individuals holding, and how one might go about living the life they seek within and around that setting. Ofc, western cultures are probably a fair bit more conducive to this approach, which is a big example why I don't ness. like Japanese culture.

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3 hours ago, DarkZedge said:

The cultural differences are quite deep and noticeable but it doesn't bother me..there's a lot of things i like about the way they do things and their culture and others not so much...I'm pro learning and sharing between cultures...one can learn and adapt from others and viceversa though that's actually hard to accomplish aswell

^ Totally agree to this.

 

Wise words kouhai. I'm proud.

(Love the new avatar :pyaa: )

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I don't see a problem in the culture gap. If it is a problem, then "fix" it with translation notes. If you read it in Japanese, you asked for issues if you don't get the culture.

 

I once read a thread at VNDB regarding this topic. It ended in a flamewar between "keep it Japanese" and "rewrite into match American culture or people will not understand it". The pro Americans claimed ownership of English and any English reading person who wasn't from America was declared as being wrong and insignificant. Unsurprisingly one of those pro-Americans has also made the statement that "(some translator group, I forgot which one) should be banned from translating because they use British English". That guy managed to get himself banned from VNDB though, but not for those statements.

 

Personally I would prefer the culture in a VN to be the culture it was written to match. Rewriting your own concepts into a translation is a big no-no*. This mean a Japanese VN should have Japanese culture and an English VN could easily have English/American culture. It's not the culture itself, which is the issue, but rather the rewrite, which ruins everything it touches. I have yet to see a strait to English VN, which I like as much as those, which were originally Japanese, but I think that's more a writer quality issue than the culture. To be fair, I'm not too happy about the majority of the Japanese ones either. I do really love some though. Otherwise I wouldn't be here ;)

 

* jokes like play on words are hard to translate. This mean the "correctness" of a translation could be accepted as less accurate if it doesn't alter the overall meaning. Translators could even add jokes if it matches the VN, but care would have to be taken when doing something like that as it should never alter the mood/culture/story or anything like that.

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I started otaku media when I was young enough to only vaguely notice the cultural difference... it was only later that I realized my personality alters subtly when I'm thinking in Japanese.  I'm less aggressive and more willing to consider cooperation, and I care more about what others think of me... language shapes culture and culture shapes language.

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