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[Anime] [Meta] Raws and Otaku - Elf M. Sternberg
[Anime] [Meta] Raws and Otaku
I have recently begun to notice an interesting phenomenon on the anime boards. You can see an example of the most popular ones at Download Anime. Notice all the ones that say raw? They don't have the download numbers of the most popular fansubs but if you look at them, there are still a large number of Americans downloading and watching anime shows with no fansubbing at all on them.

I have, several times, mentioned my own technique for getting up to speed on spoken Japanese, which involves owning an IPod or a clone (I use an old Archos Jukebox, about $120 off Ebay) and buying or borrowing from the library the Pimsleur Speak & Learn Japanese classes, all 93 lessons, and sticking with them. To supplement those, I watch a lot of anime and listen to a lot of jpop, and slowly I'm using the subtitles less and less.

I don't think I'm the only one. The availability of a massive amount of Japanese-language material, the ease with which some very high-quality language learning packages can be bought, and the portability of a high-resolution learning environment have led to an entire generation of Americans who can and probably will teach themselves a foreign language in two years or less.

There's plenty of precedence for this. After all, there are millions of people around the world who learned to speak English watching subtitled Hollywood movies; it is a tradition as old as Hollywood itself. I just find it interesting that it should come on so suddenly, and with such demand. The raws used to be an obscure corner of the fansubbing community; now they're just as available and as displayed as the fansubs.

For me, there's a bit of a disappointment in seeing this. Even if I was an early adopter of the whole anime language learning technique, it means that there'll be others capable of competing with me if I ever try and sell my skills to an employer. I was kinda hoping to have the field as a translator and quality assurance manager of web-based appliance interfaces to myself, but I probably won't be.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: The Art of Noise, Dreaming, Colour Green

2 comments or Leave a comment
atheorist From: atheorist Date: January 17th, 2005 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)

doomsday principle

There's a (less-problematic) rule of thumb, analogous to the doomsday argument: Never assume that you are an early adopter.

(A reversal of this rule of thumb might be: Humans have a tendency to believe they are early adopters.)

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 21st, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is not a new phenomenon. Back in the old days of VHS fansub trading, many people would just watch the raw VHS copies they could get before the subs came out. Subs used to take a much much longer time than the typical 1-7 day turnaround these days. You can search the Megatokyo news archives to read about Fred Gallagher's fond memories of doing this.
2 comments or Leave a comment