All phonetic characters are also descended from ideogram characters. They evolved into limited number of characters mainly to simplify writing and to reduce the burden of memorizing the available characters. To cater this phonetic characters have evolved in such a way that two or more of them can be combined, usually with at least one vowel to form a syllable as a simple word, or multiple syllables then can be combined to form more complex words. Because phonetic characters have evolved in this way, it is highly flexible and adaptable by wide selection of languages that it becomes the most used characters in the world, and also because it is highly ‘compatible’ with “phonetic-compliant” languages such as English and other Romanced languages. Actually Japanese language is also phonetic-compliant but due to its close historical ties with Chinese culture and characters, they remain using their own characters (kana and kanji) even after centuries of contacts with the western powers.
I’ve come across all kind of anime fans from all around the world but so far mostly only the Americans significantly prefer dubs over subs. I honestly don’t understand what they’re thinking because most of the time, even non-native English speakers (like myself) prefer subs over dubs despite English is not their/our first language. It’s not that we can’t read and all, although perhaps those people just don’t like the subtitle getting in their way of the motion picture display but at the expense of the original voice-over works. As for me I don’t mind at all as I can turn off the subtitle (for soft-subbed anime) and in comparison to soft-dubbed anime, soft-subbed anime uses less additional space because additional space for subtitle is way smaller than additional audio dub. Even when being compared to hard-dubbed anime, the difference of space between soft-subbed anime and hard-subbed anime is very insignificant that it doesn’t really makes sense to prefer subbed-anime (or rather it’s impractical to make it our default choice). Not to mention soft-subbed anime have no loss of value because no replacement is involved, as with the replacement of audio in dub works. Yeah some of those people may be bitching about “the Japanese-dub sounds horrible” or “the English-dub sounds better” but how can they can say those statements are fair comparison when English is their mother tongue and they don’t really understand Japanese either? Man, it’s not about which one is ‘better’ but rather it’s about which one the anime intended for. I always prefer original works by default no matter how sucks they are. For example, if the original work is manga/game then I prefer it more even if there’s an anime adaptation of it, no matter how well-received the anime adaptation is. The same goes to the dub/sub thing too, even if those people can really tell the original Japanese audio-dub is bad, I seriously don’t mind at all as long as it’s how it was originally made. Besides, what if I say the original English-audio of Hollywood movies are crap and need a local language dub? Of course some might say “it’s your personal preferences” but comparison will never take place if nobody ever come up with a comparable thing later. My point is people will not make any comparison if there’s nothing to compare. In other words if we stop doing non-Japanese dub for anime people will stop comparing too and I’ll live a happier life for no longer seeing people bitching about “English-dub anime is not available”. I don’t care whether you think that I’m not appreciating different way of enjoying anime but bear in your mind that there are also intolerable things to some other people as well. Don’t be a hypocrite who only know to talk about ‘appreciation’ when you can’t tolerate my way of reasoning. Now please excuse me.