The Union enema

Crash Course is an excellent series of educational videos on Youtube. The originators and hosts of the first videos are the author John Green (who did the humanities-based series) and his brother Hank (who did the sciency ones). Later series have different hosts and cover a wide range of topics.

I recently discovered the series on mythology, hosted by Mike Rugnetta. I watched what was available, then have watched the last few as they have been posted. The latest video has a problem with the sound quality (one of the rare glitches in an otherwise well-produced series, and which about a quarter of the commenters haven’t commented on), so I turned the subtitles on. They are obviously auto-generated and not checked by a human (at least for this video – the next one I watched, in another series, was perfect). Among other things, there are no capital letters or punctuation. There’s a lot else, but I’ll focus on three.

The topic is Freud, Jung, Luke Skywalker, and the Psychology of Myth. Mike does not help by pronouncing Jung /jʌŋ/ most of the time and /jʊŋ/ only occasionally. The subtitles render this as Jung eight times (approximately), and young seven times, the only twice, and you’ll, Yona and Guillemette once each. It also renders Jungian archetypes as Union archetypes, but on the other hand renders young boys correctly.

One Jungian archetype is the senex, the older, wiser male figure, represented by Obi-Wan and Yoda in the original trilogy. (Senator and senile are related. Hmmm …) The subtitles give it correctly once, but as sin X , sentiments, sentences and Cenex (a low-emission vehicle research organisation or a chain of convenience stores and a fuel brand) once each.

Most seriously, it renders the Jungian anima archetype correctly once, but otherwise as enema, leading to statements like:

women have an animus which represents their male side while men have an enema representing their female side … for men their enema personifies their feminine characteristics like moodiness intuition and irrationality

and (with reference to Star Wars)

soon Luke finds his enema in the form of a powerful princess with rad hair

I must stress that the people who program these subtitles do a much better job than I could – I wouldn’t even know where to start. But an otherwise excellent, professionally produced video series should pay someone for half an hour’s work to check the subtitles. Maybe this was an uncharacteristic production glitch. I hope so. I otherwise totally recommend the series. Just don’t turn the subtitles on.

[When I was adding to tags to this post, I found that I’ve got one called ‘lost in autosubtitling’, so I’ve obviously written about this before. Ah yes, here.]


One thought on “The Union enema

  1. Pingback: What part don’t you understand? | Never Pure and Rarely Simple

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