Some people may think it’s weird to write about what to translate. Idiotic, even. You translate everything that’s been said! You translate anything that’s in a language other than English!
The problem here isn’t that the groups lack translations, but that they translate things that shouldn’t be translated.
The way fansubbers approach their scripts is mixed. Sometimes it feels like you are reading a book, sometimes it feels like two people are actually having a conversation, and most of the time it’s both at the same time. And that does not work.
Let me contradict myself here. The proper way is to feel that the characters are having a conversation, yet it still manages to be ”book-ish.”
It’s not even that hard. Do it as if you are writing a book, but always remember people can watch and hear what’s happening, too.
1) Avoid stutters: E-everybo-body kno-knows the character is stuttering, why do you have to ‘translate’ it? Pointless and looks horrible. Not to mention most people get it wrong.
2) Avoid sounds: Huh? Ah? Aha! We know what they mean. No need to put them in the subtitles. Looks horrible. Things like nyaa and eto could be an exception to the rule, but I still would say it’s wrong.
3) AVOID YELLING: The same principle applies. We know they are yelling so don’t do it.
4) Don’t elongate words: Whaaaaaaaaat? No waaaaaaaaaay! If you are doing that, well… troll subs. That’s how it looks.
Hoshikuzu: Through reading this I may think that a main reason that fansub groups do those things is for the hearing impaired. People without the gift of hearing it may be hard to tell how the characters say certain things. It gives the hearing impaired a chance to see everything that the characters say.
To be fair… it’s a cat
And, since they are having a conversation, the dialogue should flow. If two little girls are talking, the subtitles should use simple and, why not, cute words. If two brothers from the hood are talking, the dialogue should be grotesque yet simple.
Summing up: Refrain from adding unnecessary things to the subtitles and make them flow. Always remember to be consistent.