Ghent Universityゲント大学
期 間
JVTA 担当講師


Prof. Dr. Andreas Niehaus


The Global Universities Subtitling Project will give our students the opportunity to build up expertise and experience in a potential future work field. My hope is that they will also learn more about Japanese culture and exchange their thoughts with students in Japanese studies around the world.


English-Subtitled Film Screening at the World’s Largest Film Festival Dedicated to Japanese Film, Nippon Connection!

長編、短編、インディーズ作品など幅広いジャンルの作品が上映される世界最大級の日本映画祭、第19回「ニッポン・コネクション」が6月2日に閉幕しました。映画祭の後半・5月31日に開催されたのは、“JVTA Meets PIA Film Festival: Shorts”。





The 19th installment of Nippon Connection, the world's largest film festival dedicated to Japanese film which screens a wide variety of genres such as feature-length films, short films, and indie films, came to a close on June 2nd. As part of the festival, a special program called “JVTA Meets PIA Film Festival: Shorts” was held on May 31st.

This program consisted of a two short film screenings for “A Japanese Boy Who Draws”, and “The Cheering Squad: Breaking Through The Limits”, both of which were subtitled by students who participated in GUSP specifically for this event. Three of the students who worked on the subtitles and PFF director Keiko Araki were present at the screening. After the screenings ended, the students went on stage for a short Q&A session.

Q: What was the most difficult part of creating subtitles for this project?
A: The character limit for subtitles. Even long pieces of dialogue have to be shortened to keep within a certain number of characters, which was a fun but challenging process.

Q: What was the most fun thing about this project?
A: It was really fun learning practical Japanese through this project. We usually learn Japanese from textbooks, but this time we were working with a movie. We have to understand the context of the film and correctly communicate the characters’ emotions to a European audience through our translation, which was a great learning experience for us.

Q: How was it seeing the audience watch the film with your subtitles?
A: At first, I watched this film several times without subtitles in order to create an accurate translation, so it was a strange feeling to see the same movie with subtitles in a large theater like this. I’m very happy that everyone in the audience enjoyed it.

After the Q&A session that included Ms. Araki's comments on the film, the audience gave a big round of applause to the students, and the event came to an end.

【12/10】“壁”を突破した学生たち! ベルギーの観客にこの映画を届けよう

Ghent University’s students break through the language barrier to deliver the film to a Belgian audience


学生たちが発表する字幕案は、第1講の頃と比べてより洗練されたものに。例えば、主人公・シドウがイギリス留学に旅立つ先輩・アキコに“Before you go, I want to tell you something.”と英語字幕で語るシーン。「シドウは“イギリスに行っても頑張ってほしい”という思いを伝えたいのだから、“tell”ではなく“say”の方が良いのでは?」と、登場人物のセリフに込められたニュアンスを伝える言葉選びを提案しました。

また、シドウが“超えたい”と願う男・ジンクについて語る“Jinku always faced the people he wanted to support.”という字幕については、「“People”を“those”に替えた方がいい。それと、字幕が長いので改行した方が読みやすいですね」と、細やかな修正を加えていきました。

In the last class, students discussed how to further improve their subtitles.

The translation that the students worked on during the class was by far more polished than the one they made in the beginning of the course. For example, in one scene Shido (the main character) is talking to Akiko, a senior member of the cheering squad who is about to leave to study abroad, and wants to wish her luck during her stay in England. In the original subtitles he started off by saying “Before you go, I need to tell you something.” However, the word “tell” implies sharing or revealing some new information, whereas what Shido actually says amounts to “do your best in England.” So, after some discussion, students decided to go with “Before you go, I need to say something.”

Another small but important change was made to a line describing Jinku, the legendary cheerleader that Shido strives to beat. In one scene Shido points out to his fellow squad members that “Jinku always faced people he wanted to support” in the original subtitles, but the students came to the conclusion that “Jinku always faced those he wanted to support” is a better phrase. They also noticed that subtitle was too long for one line and so they needed to put in a line break.

Over the course of six subtitling classes, the students have greatly developed their skills to convey meaning transcending languages and cultures. They have learned how to choose the right words depending on the story, characters, and context of the scene. Next year Genkai Toppa Oendan will be screened with English subtitles in Belgium at an event held by the students.

【12/3】言葉の壁を突破するために! 学生たちは作品の背景にあるカルチャーも汲み取る

Breaking Through the Language Barrier: Understanding the Culture Behind the Film





For the fifth class, the students translated the second half of the film.

After learning the basics of translating through exercises, the students discussed and exchanged opinions about the use of ellipses and changing words to get closer to the nuance of the original. Their subtitles have become more accurate compared to when they first started.

Still, one thing they had trouble with was the “Nerai Uchi!” line said by Daigo, the group’s leader. These words were taken from Linda Yamamoto’s song, “Nerai Uchi” (1973), a very popular song back in the 70’s, and were used at the beginning of their performance. However, it was clear that the students translated this line without knowing it was originally a song title. They then looked it up and listened to the original song, learning that in visual media translation, understanding the culture behind the film is invaluable knowledge for better subtitles.

Another difficult line to translate was the “Toppa suru zo!” line when Daigo raises his voice to cheer. This line is particularly important because it contains the word “toppa”, which is also found in the title of the movie. How this word is translated will also influence the translation of the title of the film.

The students are now approaching the end of their subtitling assignment for this film. In order to break through the language barrier, they’ll continue to improve the quality of their subtitles.

【11/26】登場人物の感情を訳にのせるには? 少しずつ変わる学生たちの英語字幕

How to express characters’ emotions through translation? The student’s subtitles slowly evolve


より視聴者を意識して訳を考えるようになった学生たち。だからこそ、日本語独特の言い回しや文化の違いに頭を悩ませます。例えば、「2年生」「3年生」と数字で表す日本の高校の学年も、英語ではJunior、Seniorと表記を変える必要性があると意見が。しかし一方で、「ヨーロッパ圏ではJunior、Seniorと表す文化が ないから、やはりSecond、Thirdの方が良いのでは?」という声も挙がります。


前回“Do you understand.”と訳されていた「分かったか!」も“Got it?!”に変わるなど、少しずつ、観客に刺さる言葉に変化する学生たちの英語字幕。引き続き、物語後半の訳に取り組んでいきます。
The assignment for the fourth class was to brush up the subtitles for the first half of the film they created earlier in the course. During the class, they discussed their assignment with the teachers, focusing on the fine nuances of the original Japanese lines.

By the fourth class students have learned to keep the viewers in mind when working on the subtitles. They spent much of the class trying to figure out how to translate phrases that imply, rather than directly express, their meaning and how to tackle small cultural differences. For instance, while in Japanese you would usually refer to a student’s year using a numeral - “first year student,” “second year student,” etc., in American English, words like “junior” or “sophomore” are just as common. At the same time, European viewers might not be familiar with these terms, so the group agreed on using numerals instead.

Students discussed each other’s translations in the class, exploring ways to fully convey characters’ emotions in their translations.

For example, one line “Wakatta ka?” that students originally translated, rather flatly, as ”Do you understand?”, was revised to “Got it?!” which better expresses speaker’s emotions and leaves a stronger impression on the viewer.

For the next class, students will work on the second half of the film.

【11/19】“伝わる”とはどういうことか? 学生たちは細やかなセリフも丁寧に訳し始める

Conveying the Message: The Students Carefully Start Subtitling Each Line


「日本語のニュアンスを英語に訳すのに苦労した」と語る学生たち。まずは訳文を、字幕のように該当シーンにつけて見ていきます。すぐに分かったのが、ただ言葉をなぞって英訳しても、そのキャラクターが話しているようには映らないということです。例えば、先輩の応援団員が主人公・シドウらに「分かったか!」と激を飛ばすシーンも“Do you understand?”では十分に伝わりません。また、日常会話では登場しないような言葉も、学生たちの訳には多く使われています。


In the third class, the students, divided into 5 groups, presented their subtitles for the first half of the Genkai Toppa Ouendan film and exchanged opinions about their translations.

They had a hard time translating the nuances of the Japanese language into English. First, they looked at the scenes of the film that they subtitled. What they soon found out was: simply replicating and translating the words are not enough to reflect the characters’ voices on screen. For example, there is a scene where one of the senior members in the group asks main character Shido and the others if they understand what he is saying, using the phrase “Wakkatta ka!”. This is closer to “Got it?!”, but the original translation was “Do you understand?”, which is simply not enough to convey the rough nuance of the original. In addition, there were many words in the students’ translations that are not usually found in daily conversation.

From there, the students focused on capturing the tone, nuance and characters’ emotions in their subtitles after receiving feedback from the instructors. From brief to dramatic lines, they carefully translated them into English subtitles that would convey the message of the film and characters.

Now having started thinking about this important aspect of subtitling, they will continue this challenge for the second half of the film.

【11/12】世界でも類を見ない日本の「応援団」 ストーリーを理解するために学生たちは…

November 12th: Cheering squad – a phenomenon unique to Japanese culture. Students dig into the analysis of the story

第2講では『限界突破応援団』の文化的背景やストーリーを理解した上で、 作品の流れと深く関わるセリフの翻訳を行います。



During the second class of the course, students discussed the cultural context and the story of Genkai Toppa Oendan. Having better understood the film, they translated several lines from the film that play a crucial role in how the story develops.

The phenomenon of “cheering squads” is unique to Japan. Even students who are avid fans of Japanese media are not all familiar with this idea. Instructors showed the students a few manga titles that revolve around cheering squads to introduce them to the concept. These manga titles feature some interesting vocabulary unique to this setting, such as Koshien (“National High School Baseball Championship”), saikyō (“the ultimate”, “the greatest”), and Shitennō (a word referring to one of the most legendary individuals in a given field).

Next, the students presented the loglines – one-sentence descriptions of a film – that they worked on as part of their homework. They approached this task in different ways. Some came up with loglines like “A cheering squad strives to support the baseball team on their way to victory,” putting the stress on the championship. Others were closer to “Shidō, the protagonist, works to surpass Jinku, the legendary God of Cheering.” Varied opinions led to a fruitful discussion. The students learned that to understand a story they need to focus on who is the main character and what is their drive.

The students, who by then had a deeper understanding of the film, presented their translations of the essential lines which were chosen by the instructors as the next part of their homework. Through the instructors’ feedback, they learned that visual media translation is a challenging field, where direct translation rarely conveys the original meaning. With that knowledge, they will continue to work on their next assignment.

【11/5】まずはCM映像作品の一言から 学生たちの初めての映像翻訳

November 5th: Starting with Commercials, Students Try Visual Media Translation for the First Time





Students from Ghent University in Belgium will be translating a Japanese short film, Genkai Toppa Ouendan, for the Global Universities Subtitling Project over the course of five classes.

In this class of nearly 30 students, everyone said that they enjoy Japanese content such as films, anime and television shows. Students mentioned various titles, from famous ones such as Samurai 7, Howl’s Moving Castle andYour Name, to relatively lesser-known works such as Cowboy Bepop, Gintama, Terrace House and Downtown no Gaki no Tsukaiya Arahende!, showcasing their love for Japanese media of all types

To understand the basics of visual media translation, the students were first challenged to translate a Japanese commercial that had a story. They were divided into four groups, where they exchanged opinions about appropriate word choices for the translation of the last phrase in the commercial. Once the subtitles were put in, the original message in the visuals was clearly expressed as words on the screen. The students quickly learned what the main goals of visual media translation were through this exercise.

After that, they practiced translating a conversation from a Japanese television drama. In the same groups, they discussed the appropriate phrasing for the characters and translated the lines accordingly, winning praise from the instructors.

In visual media translation, selecting the right words allows one to fully express the message of the original work. After getting a taste of how fun media translation is, the students will be starting on their main subtitling project from the next class.