Dubbing vs. Subtitles in foreign language movies

Merits, pros, cons and opinions.

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  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited April 2015 Posts: 23,883
    I personally prefer subtitles to dubbing - and it's purely subjective.

    I've not watched too many movies that are not in English, but below are a few I can think off of the top of my head, and I watched them in the original language with subtitles and enjoyed them immensely:

    -Purple Noon (Plein soleil)
    -Girl with Dragon Tattoo series
    -Black Book

    The reason being, I like to hear the speech the way it was originally intended. I prefer the natural flow to the words, no matter what the language. I am able to decipher the key points of the scene by reading the subtitles and that's all I really need to enjoy the scene. Nothing beats seeing an English movie of course, but when watching foreign films, subtitles it is.

    I find dubbing sort of takes me out of the experience, because the words do not matching the mouth movements and also sometimes the accents are off (i.e. the person doing the translating has a foreign accent). It's just enough to remove me from the immersion of the movie watching experience. Furthermore, I find that during the translation, sometimes the translator either speaks too fast or too slow to get the foreign words into English in the time they have before the scene changes, and so it comes across disjointed - like staccato.

    Anyway, that's just my preference. I can imagine that people with bad eyesight may prefer to hear dubbing rather than strain to see subtitles - so I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here.
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 7,854
    I have no problem with subtitles. No problem at all. Even on things in my native language, I have either subtitles or closed captioning on, but I don't understand the hate for dubs. 95.373% of my "Dub V. Sub" experience comes from anime, and from what people tell me, supposedly the original language is the best way to watch because "the acting is better", "the voices are more fitting" and other such arguments, which I find to be complete bull.

    Yes, some acting is better in the native language of a production, but sometimes, it isn't. I recently watched a Korean horror movie anthology (well, a third of it, anyway), which was subtitles only. The acting was the least of that movie's problems (most of them stemming from the odd attempt to tell an Adam and Eve-like story involving zombies, I'm not kidding; another one of the stories in the film apparently involves ordering a billiard ball on the internet and apparently the ball is an asteroid), but not once did I want English voices. I own the Mobile Suit Gundam Trilogy (the 43 episode anime compiled together into three movies) as well, also only subtitled. I saw the English dub on Toonami many years ago, and it was significantly better.

    Now, I know these are two completely different examples from two completely different sides of the film spectrum from two completely different parts of Asia, but my point is that simply that sometimes dubs work, sometimes subs work. Another anime example I can give you is Dragonball Z, where I've seen both the dub and the original Japanese with subtitles. Main character Goku (Son Goku to some people) is voiced with a very fitting, suitably badass voice in the English dub. He's voice very effeminately by a woman in Japanese. The Japanese just doesn't seem to fit for everything he does in that show, but the English does.

    Granted, this is all just my opinion, and somebody's gonna tell me to shove my head up my ass later because I'm obviously wrong, but I'm going to stand by my point: Sometimes the dub works, sometimes the sub works. Neither one is better than the other.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,284
    Original language ONLY! *Except* in cases where exceptionally great dubs are done for anime (as in Mizayaki films or like Full Metal Alchemist).
  • In this French interview

    http://ataa.fr/revue/archives/2750

    Professionals doing the subtitles explain they can get only about 2/3rd of the content in the printed text on screen.

    Obviously, in Hollywood action blockbusters, it may be closer to 100%. But I watched recently All The President's Men with French subtitles on, and French dubbing on, I really felt a lot was lost in the subtitles. It just goes too fast to keep with it. And in a previous debate elsewhere, I used as an example The Sting (I don't know if Robert Redford likes movies with lots of fast dialog...) and it was even worse at some times.

    And yet, in both cases, I'm sure an English native speaker will consider that the French voices of Redford, Hoffman, and so on, are awful, because they are so different from the original voices. Because the best dubbers have a lot of characterization in their voices, they are not bland. Bruce Willis' French voice is incredibly distinctive for instance, and has nothing to do with his true voice.

    The professional in the interview above gives several examples of other problems with subtitles. There's also the fact that the printed text come at once (like the kite line in the Spectre trailer) while the actor delivers it slowly. She gives an example from a Wajda movie where the audience laughed to the subtitle because it was given a tiny econd too early, while it was not intended for laughs at all.

    Also, it's only a feeling, but I think it seems nowadays subtitles have stopped to use italics, bold, underlined, etc.. to convey how the words match the delivery. Now it's only plain text, and italics when the voice is offscreen. So when the actors insist on one word on screen, then you're left to wonder which translated word has just been emphasized

    So, even with only considering the meaning, deciding that subtitles are "always better, no question", is more ideology than reasoning IMO. I've been in these debates already several times, and I agree bad dubbing exists a lot, and that it spoils the experience when it is so. But I found out that very few persons actually care about the quality of the subtitles : too many people think subtitles are always near perfect...

    If you can't make the difference between bad subtitles and good subtitles, then it means you don't know what you're fed. I find it then very ironic a lot of persons saying "subtitles only because I respect the art" do not care much about the quality of the art they perceive... Bad dubbing, on the other hand, is immediatly perceived as such. Well, when you can tell bad from good, you're in a better place than when you cannot tell bad from good...

    Finally, there's also the topic of how the visual frame is destroyed by the white letters at the bottom of it. If you think cinema is a visual medium first and foremost, you may find good reasons not to like subtitles.

    So, indeed, sometimes "good dubbing" is better than "good subtitles", and sometimes that's the other way round.

    But, always, "good subtitles" is better then "bad dubbing" (and people talk about this a lot), and "good dubbing" is better than "bad subtitles", and people rarely talk about this...

    And finally, I *always* find that those who claim to "respect the art" and condemn dubbing, are often those who show the less respect for others in the discussions. Lots of snobbery in it, IMO ("Hey, I'm not an idiot like you, I understand foreign languages")

  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited April 2015 Posts: 4,183
    Some older child animated are very good in Dutch or Dutch/Flemish and only known in this version. There original mabey be in Polish, Czech (Buur en Buurman), Russian or Japanese. Transformers over all we accepted the American English dubbing, but original it are Japanese product. Some of them there original material is Dutch like The Smurfs.

    For none animated there is only one Swedish tv series, who as child i only have seen in Dutch and this tv show is mean to be for children of 3- 10 years old.
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 7,854
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Transformers over all we accepted the American English dubbing, but original it are Japanese product.

    That's still a US production, though, simply animated overseas. And a UK writer still did most of the work, from what I read online.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    I personally loath dubbing so give me subs any time.

    When I say dubbing I don't mean what Monica Van der Zyl was brought in for in the Bonds or what they asked James Earl Jones to do in Star Wars. I'm talking about an existing movie being exported to a foreign country and having the original voices replaced. I tried to sit through For Your Eyes Only with a French dub once and switched it off almost immediately after hearing what was supposed to be Roger Moore. And why would the French need a dub anyway? They can read, can't they? And English isn't to French what some Russian dialect would be to French, right? Besides, it helps tremendously if you're planning on teaching your people English to bring them English entertainment.

    But it works the other way around too. Say you like a Japanese or Chinese movie. Then watch it in Japanese or Chinese! Why was an English dub for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon made available? To make things worse, what's with all those remakes of Asian flicks? Dark Water was not remade almost instantly and virtually scene-for-scene because the original film had gotten old or anything, but because - apparently - we prefer recognisable faces and refuse to read subs. That's ridiculous! I always check whether my Asian films or Japanese anime come with the original soundtrack. If not, I don't want them.

    I admit that most of my refusal to watch dubbed films comes from the principle desire to experience the final product in the most genuine way possible. This is why I can go with the 'broken English' trick - even if I praise films that have the balls to have natives speak their own tongue (e.g. The Longest Day) - because that's a choice the filmmakers made. '47 Ronin' hired mostly American actors of Asian heritage (and Keanu) who would produce English with a thick accent. That's not a dub though. Same with the famous switch-to-English trick in The Hunt For Red October.

    All of the above does, however, count for movies only. I'm powerless to read, say, a Swedish book so if I'm asked to do so, I need an English (or Dutch) translation. Same with anything not English by the way. I read all my manga in English because my Japanese is insufficient and there's simply no equivalent to dubs for books except one text replacing the other. I realise that some material is lost on me because of the translation. Translations are always weaker after all.

    But films offer us a chance to keep the actors' voices intact while providing us with a translation. So no need to dub. Kiddie movies are different; though I think watching films in a foreign language has its educational value, our youngest couldn't possibly be expected to watch a film in a language they don't understand whilst also unable to read.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,284
    To me, all animated movies are 'dubbed' in a sense no matter what language. So a great English dub is entirely acceptable, but ONLY if it's good.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    I agree to some extent, @chrisisall, but some of the best anime out there offers an effective lip sync in the original dub and nothing close to it in a translated version.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,284
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    some of the best anime out there offers an effective lip sync in the original dub and nothing close to it in a translated version.
    Oh, you've never seen Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood I'll bet. They were driven to do it pure justice in the dub.
  • DarthDimi wrote: »
    I tried to sit through For Your Eyes Only with a French dub once and switched it off almost immediately after hearing what was supposed to be Roger Moore. And why would the French need a dub anyway? They can read, can't they?
    And English isn't to French what some Russian dialect would be to French, right? Besides, it helps tremendously if you're planning on teaching your people English to bring them English entertainment.

    But I'm sure Cubby Broccoli was happy to read Roger Moore was *very* popular amongst French kids, even before they could read !

    I think the Bond franchise is one where the dubbed versions account for the largest part of the money. And possibly soon they will account for more than the original versions ? Movies are mostly dubbed in China it seems. And this will happen a bit later for Hollywood blockbusters in general.

    Producers take that into account now. Gone are the days where the dubbers could be creative for a French version of a movie that was released 3 months before in the USA. Now everything is controled with the world in mind. Arnold Schwarzenneger famously chose himself his French dubber during a casting, and asked for him to be his only French dubber from then.

    I think that soon, for instance, a Hollywood whodunnit blockbuster whose story revolves around a pun that cannot be translated, simply won't be able to have a budget for an international release. All the Hollywood blockbusters will be more and more made with "Hollywood English", a very simple English, pronounced by actors with no accents - and more and more people will think they understand English, until they really go abroad :)

    Roger Moore's French voice was incredibly popular in France. You can even find impersonators of the French voice, isn't it incredible ? They even asked the dubber to come out of retirement for AVTAK. Yes, the French voice has a very strong personality, different from Roger's original voice. But I think that trying to mimic Roger's voice as if Roger could speak French witout accent would not be right either.
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I admit that most of my refusal to watch dubbed films comes from the principle desire to experience the final product in the most genuine way possible.

    And what about the image then ? In the trailer, one don't see the Thames below the white lines of text... Maybe I'm more sensitive to the image than to the sound (ie : I'm very worried by the use of CG for stunts for instance, recently the Lucy car chase was a big letdown for me for instance, French movies are taking the Fast & Furious road, ouch). But really, don't forget that chunks of text one has to read below the image has some effect on the experience.

    But anyway, unless you are indeed bilingual, and I mean really bilingual (ie : being able to understand the social context any accent brings to the scene, for instance), I'm afraid you have to consider the "genuine experience" is simply out of reach...
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    But films offer us a chance to keep the actors' voices intact while providing us with a translation.

    Do you prefer to have the whole text dubbed, or 2/3rd of it in the subtitles ? You are assuming the subtitles are a translation that doesn't miss a beat. This is far from the truth... Watch any talkative movie in NL dubbing + NL subtitles (All the President's Men for instance), and see how much disappear in the subtitles, you may be surprised.


  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    @Suivez_ce_parachute

    You are correct about the written translation being always weaker by default. For English movies, I haven't needed subs for about half my life, except in those rare cases where the sound quality of the movie is absolutely terrible and even then I select, if possible, the English subs. When I watch a French movie, I make it a combined effort, i.e. I try to understand what is said and if necessary read a few words. Sometimes it requires rewinding the movie a few seconds. ;-) I actually once bought a Mario Bava DVD box with films spoken in Italian and only French subs available. It was a challenge for sure, but I think I managed. ;-)

    Besides, I never assumed the translation doesn't miss a beat. I merely pointed out that having the actors' own voices means more to me. I wouldn't dream of missing out on Jennifer Tilly's very iconic voice for example and no-one can mimic that voice! Or Audrey Hepburn's vocal warmth in SABRINA. Or even Arnold's thickly accented English. Just for the sake of this argument, I just tried watching a few scenes of BOUND in different languages and it was abysmal, like opening a bottle of wine and finding vinegar inside it. It just didn't match.

    I'm not sure I agree with your statement about the genuine experience. But perhaps I should rephrase: the technically speaking original experience is what I want to keep. And by the way, I do feel that the social context matters. Take KINGSMAN for example. Accents matter even in that film. You learn a great deal about Eggsy just from the first lines he speaks. But let's turn things around. I'm a fan of Gérard Pirès' TAXI. I watch it in French, of course, because that's how the film is intended to be watched. I love Marion Cotillard in this film - TAXI introduced me to her back in '98 - and I wouldn't dream of not hearing her talk in her native language.

    Japanese, I think, is the best example of where the original language matters most. Intonation, volume, ... the Japanese language is much more than the mere sum of its words and grammar. I'm not an expert, of course, but I'm beginning to grasp some of the subtler elements of it. There are hundreds of ways in Japanese to express anger, sadness, happiness, ... and it's practically impossible for an English dub to mimic that. I know what I'm talking about: the first few times I watched Akira, Mononoke Hime and Ghost In The Shall was on VHS with only the English soundtrack available. Then came the DVD editions and suddenly, experiencing these films in Japanese was like an epiphany. As if I had uncovered a dimension to these movies previously hidden from me.

    What you wrote about the Chinese market makes perfect sense. English and Chinese are half a world apart. But the distance between French and English, or German and English, or Italian and English, or Dutch and English... is a lot smaller. Here in Western Europe, we're all far more exposed to English via pop culture, songs, computer language, ... you name it. Dubbed movies, in this day and age and with our current level of education in English, mostly - I'm not saying 'only', just 'mostly' - serve either the lazy, the naturally biased and the chauvinistic. So I'm rather proud to be living in Flanders where no films are dubbed except for cartoons for the youngest. I picked up most of my English from watching films and reading books in English. I'm not saying my English is flawless but I effortlessly worked my way through 5 years of English in school and I owe it all to watching movies, especially the Bonds, in English, repeatedly. Doing so I memorized the lines and how they were spoken, i.e. the accents and all. My teachers used to compliment me on how I was able to switch between British and American accents. But then I only had to imagine talking like Roger Moore or talking like Nic Cage. ;-)

  • Campbell2Campbell2 Epsilon Rho Rho house, Bending State University
    Posts: 299
    @Suivez_ce_parachute summed it up perfectly for me, dubbing is the easiest way to market a flick to a large audience, subtitles are fine when you want t gethow the actors use their voice and accent, course that's only really possible if you have a little grasp of the language. Mexican friends of mine prefer the subtitles nearly always but hey mostly speak good enough English to not need them in the first place.
    It really depends on the language, respect for learning enough Japanese to dip into Akira and Mononoke, @DarthDimi. But that shows the limits of the English and its dominance of the western hemisphere, most native speakers don't bother to learn a foreign language any more. It used to be different when English wasn't lingua franca.
  • edited April 2015 Posts: 2,015
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    And by the way, I do feel that the social context matters. Take KINGSMAN for example. Accents matter even in that film. You learn a great deal about Eggsy just from the first lines he speaks.

    Me too, I could understand the contrast between Eggsy and the others from Eton because it was so in-your-face in Kingsman. But well, for instance, with Dead Man's Shoes, hm, I'm not sure I'd have got it - for this one I switched to French dub after a few minutes, and well, I think it delivered better for me than if I tried to deciphered what was being said with the help of the subtitles.
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    There are hundreds of ways in Japanese to express anger, sadness, happiness, ... and it's practically impossible for an English dub to mimic that.

    Because IMO, mimicking is the wrong way to go. A dubbed movie is a different beast anyway. So don't try to mimick voices, just adapt it to the audience you target. And if it means a rather different voice, there you go.

    For instance, I'm not sure an "cinema alpha male voice" is really the same for the English audience and the French audience. Here let's say any high notes in the voice makes it quite hard to sound like "cinema alpha male voice". So we've got a bunch of dubbers for action heroes who have a very deep voice...

    Here is Claude Bertrand, french voice of Roger Moore, who died 30 years ago, and who is still impersonated from time to time by one of French biggest' impersonator (he does not do it often, and only to impersonate the Persuaders duo, but then, it's quite a sign)

    claude-bertrand01.jpg

    Yes, his voice sound very different from Moore, but I dare say he helped a lot to make him a star in France.

    For instance, here the dubbing by Bertrand in The Persuaders (you can go to 10:00 for the famous Sinclair/Wilde fight scene).



    I consider dubbing is not an attempt to mimic but rather a way to adapt : how would the French actors play the scene in a French version ? And then you keep "only the voices".
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I know what I'm talking about: the first few times I watched Akira, Mononoke Hime and Ghost In The Shall was on VHS with only the English soundtrack available. Then came the DVD editions and suddenly, experiencing these films in Japanese was like an epiphany. As if I had uncovered a dimension to these movies previously hidden from me.

    But for the first viewing, do you prefer to have the full story first or not ? Of course, once you know the gist of the story, this is a whole different matter. Repeat viewings is not the typical way most experience movies.

    Really, choose a talkative movie, put on the NL dubs and the NL subtitles, and compare. For me, it was with The Sting that I realized how much was lost in the subtitles. They only had the space for the critical info for the trick that was being played, all the fast dialog was shortened, there was far less life than in the French dub that had all the lines, obviously.

    And when you know the white lines that destroy the visual frame do not even have all the story, are they still so perfect ?
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Dubbed movies, in this day and age and with our current level of education in English, mostly - I'm not saying 'only', just 'mostly' - serve either the lazy, the naturally biased and the chauvinistic.

    Well sorry but for me this is quite a demeaning comment, and I indeed often find that those who condemn dubbing have a tendency to find themselves a bit superior to others.

    Do you go to the theater only to watch foreign plays in the foreign language, or do you go to see adapted plays in the language you understand ? For opera, they keep the original langage because of the music rythm, and you have a book to tell you the story in your language. For theater, they, to my knowledge, never do that : you only see the adapted version. Well, dubbing is a kind of adaption without having to re-do the film again : you still have the image as it was intended to be seen, without huge white letters.
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    But then I only had to imagine talking like Roger Moore or talking like Nic Cage. ;-)

    Go to 00:50.




    Anyhow, "dubbed movies" is a path for worldwide box office. Hollywood will try to expand more and more in countries where people go to the cinema, but can't read...
  • Subs over dubbing any time. Dubs take away from the acting and give off this unintentionally funny feel. I was watching L'Histoire d'Adèle H. some time ago and I couldn't find a version that wasn't dubbed in English... not something I want to expierence again. I'll also always prefer actors speaking in their native tongue. If you compare Herzog's English and German version of Nosferatu, I think you can tell the two male leads act more comfortably in German.

    I know this sounds weird but I'd rather even choose no subs over dubbing. That's how I used to watch German and English movies (Bond films included) as a kid and I accredit that to my learning both languages. :)
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,726
    The problem with subtitles is that your gaze is taken away from the subtleties of a performance (especially the face) - which is why here in the Benelux I find that many people just don't get many the subtleties of the non-native language films they watch because a good 30% of their gaze is spent reading off of the bottom of the screen...
    An actor like Brando or Daniel Day-Lewis can never be fully appreciated if you spend your time reading the subs.

    Having said that though, dubbed films are far wose… Dubs take all the soul out of a performance - an actors voice (tone, pitch, cadence etc) is, quite obviously, so important in any performing art, so much that if you remove the original spoken audio track you lose 50% of the performance, plain and simple.

    If you are not willing to watch a subtitled version of a film then you may as well just not bother at all. Unless it's a Michael Bay movie (in which case you probably shouldn't have the sound on to start with, really...)

  • Posts: 1,552
    Or just go back to the good ol' days of Silent movies with speech cards after each line - solve all the problems - you get to give each actor your full attention and you know what's going on ;)

    tumblr_nm8hf0ikh11rv0z1no1_1280.jpg
  • edited April 2015 Posts: 2,015
    AceHole wrote: »
    Dubs take all the soul out of a performance - an actors voice (tone, pitch, cadence etc) is, quite obviously, so important in any performing art, so much that if you remove the original spoken audio track you lose 50% of the performance, plain and simple.

    Well, let's say you don't lose all the soul, you replace it with someone else's ;) Good dubbers are not your average artist, some have got incredible voices that bring a lot of characterization to what's being said.

    As for "respect about art", don't forget that art is a lot about stealing someone else's performances or ideas. At least, dubbing allows you to hear the work of a voice artist while seeing the work of another artist. Ok, if the voice artist is bad, something is wrong.

    But I don't think you can call subtitles a form of art : you just have to put them at the bottom of the screen, that's a convention (or in 3D, you put them where you can).

    Here with subtitles, you see a work of the Director of Photography, spoiled by big chuncks of white letter that are put always at the bottom center of the image. It's as much "respectful" as these fake IMAX version they're releasing to make more money, while no one cared much about the frame you see.

    So in both cases, something is lost. To claim that one method is always better than the other is a bit too trivial, IMO. And you can compare them actually : put subtitles and dubbing at the same time, on a talkative movie, you may be very, very surprised (professionals say 1/3rd of the content can be lost in the subtitles).
    AceHole wrote: »
    If you are not willing to watch a subtitled version of a film then you may as well just not bother at all. Unless it's a Michael Bay movie (in which case you probably shouldn't have the sound on to start with, really...)

    I'm afraid you should be worried by the opposite effect : to produce a movie to do a big worldwide box office now you'll have to use super simple English, so people get it everywhere, without any strong cultural references etc.

    The "work of art" you respect so much are also the work of an industry, that take care it can be easily translated and understood by a lot of people in the world. Already Bond is doing only a little part of his box office in dollars. I think soon Bond will only do half of his box office with Craig's voice.
    JCRendle wrote: »
    Or just go back to the good ol' days of Silent movies with speech cards after each line - solve all the problems - you get to give each actor your full attention and you know what's going on ;)

    A French movie did that a few years ago, and got 10 nominations and 5 Academy Awards :) French movie that talked never had that !

    The same team from the Artist (actor, director, writer, music, etc) did the OSS177 movies :



    (They are not the actual official English subtitles it seems, though, but let's use them)

    First subtitle "You're back on a mission".
    Actual word by word translation of the line that's being said : "Hubert, you're back on a mission"

    All the meanings that come with the fact that the boss calls the hero by his first name is lost.

    Believe me, things like that happen with subtitles...

  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    I've seen only the recent Bond films in dubbed french version in the cinema, the others i watch in original in english with french subtitles (to make sure I understand everything). I noticed that the subtitles for MR is the only film where Bond, M and Q all 'tutoie' each other. The other 22 films they all use the more formal 'vous' when speaking.
  • Campbell2Campbell2 Epsilon Rho Rho house, Bending State University
    Posts: 299
    Bit like translating books, difficult task but you can't all readers expect to speak all languages, so you got to translate into the specific languages a book's marketed in. I heard Pratchett was quite fond of some of his translations, he claimed a couple were not just on par but better than his original. Can't see thatmysel but the basic task is the same, trying to capture not only story but tone and atmosphere and find a local equivalent for the stuff that would get lost in word by word translation.
  • Posts: 5,344
    Here's a strip done by the great René Goscinny and Marcel Gotlib about the problems inherent to dubbing. Note that it is in French. Hope you can read it :

    dingodoublage01.jpg

    dingodoublage02.jpg

    I'll give you my thoughts later about the issue.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,487
    I read that comic before, but it was in Norwegian. The points could be lost in translation..Anyway, it is really :))
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited April 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Could I get some subtitles please? I can't read that. ;)
  • In Goldeneye, at one point Bond almost said in France "Ventre saint gris" :)
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,284
    L'enfer vous dites.
  • I have to say that I really hate subtitles. Watching an English film with English subtitles is great - you can listen to the original voices and read the subtitles to understand what actors with a heavy accent or who are mumbling say. But when I watch an English film with German subtitles I only read the German subtitles although I'd understand the English texts.
    So I prefer dubbing (although many jokes and other things get lost) or watching the movie in the original language...
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited April 2015 Posts: 4,183
    Olga and Bardam you see in this movie http://dvdinfo.be/bespreking.php?id=7490
    ''To The Wonder'' is for big part silence movie and some of talking parts are not subtiteld. I haven't seen it yet, so i can't judge of those parts are mabey not in English. QOS has stil some not always understand symbol.
    Watching an English film with English subtitles is great - you can listen to the original voices and read the subtitles to understand what actors with a heavy accent or who are mumbling say.

    I use that with bonus material if there is no Dutch avaible. But sometimes there are extra's who don't have subtitels or no English subtitels. OHMSS was the only from the first 19 Bond movie SE DVD's who not include subtitels on the bonus material. Die Another Day is only one were everthing have English or Dutch subtitel.
  • Another case of a very talkative movie (which means lots of subtitles), and with a framing of the image that is IMO spoiled by them : Grand Budapest Hotel.

    Really, here I feel someone who's not bilingual has to choose between Ralph Fiennes' delivery, and Wes Anderson's paints, pictures, or movie.

    I'm not sure it is trivial the first choice is the better. With my friends last week we ended up watching it dubbed.

    192485Capturesubt.jpg

    Don't tell me it's not a pity in this movie someone would have to watch a lot the bottom of the images, paints, pictures, or movie.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited May 2015 Posts: 21,988
    Sorry, @Suivez_ce_parachute, but I'm afraid I have to disagree. Subs are a minor inconvenience at best; at least the film stays intact. Dubbing messes with the film: actors and actresses do not sound the way they're supposed to, lip sync is often terrible, it leads to crazy situations (like watching a Chinese film, taking place in China with nothing but Chinese people who then, conveniently, all speak English or French or German or whatever), and no matter how many examples you come up with, a lot of verbal power is lost in a dub.

    Take Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction talking about Marcellus Wallace and then citing Ezechiel 25-17. His voice is uniquely recognisable, as is the accent, the intonation, Jackson's signature mother-F bombs... When I see Sam Jackson and suddenly hear some Italian dude squeeze out a translated version of American street lingo, it's like drinking a vanilla milkshake that has the taste and texture of oatmeal. The difference with subs is that while served in a bottle instead of in a nice thick glass, at least the milkshake tastes like the milkshake I ordered.

    I recently watched two French movies: Delicatessen and Les Yeux Sans Visage. Obviously I watched them in the original version; why would I want to watch a crippled version? I like what I saw and heard; the French was part of both films' more subtle qualities. No doubt an English dub exists somewhere - I failed to check the language options because quite frankly I don't see when or why in my good sense I'd ever deviate from the original version. Pierre Brasseur delivers some wonderful lines in Yeux; why would I want to destroy that?

    One can read fast enough too. Our brain selects a few words and re-produces the entire sentence in our head. Meanwhile there's enough screen action we can still pick up. It's not as if reading subs totally blanks out the visual experience. It simply means you're putting an extra bit of effort into the whole thing. For example, I'm always intrigued by how the audiences I watch films with respond to funny lines. Even though we can theoretically get the joke from a sub before the actor has finished speaking the line, laughter isn't heard until the complete sentence is heard. I find this phenomenon very interesting. It demonstrates how little reading subs interferes with the actual experience of watching the movie. I vividly remember this from back in '06 with CR. Craig slowly says, "that's because you know what I can do with my little finger." The Dutch translation could actually be read before he started talking. After all, it's a very short sentence and mature reading skills allow for an incredible fast processing of said sentence. Yet everyone laughed after the word 'finger' was heard. I am of course aware of the fact that many folks here in Flanders have a more than sufficient understanding of English to not even require subs when watching an English movie, which also explains why so many folks here order DVDs online and couldn't care less whether they come with any subs at all, at least if the movies are English or French. Same with comics, books, ... But not everyone is in that privileged position. My mother, for example, whom I went to see CR with, definitely needs subs, yet even she didn't laugh until we heard the word 'finger'. Somehow, subconsciously, she waited for the written and spoken words to match. She too was still following the original movie. So reading subs does not suddenly divert your attention from the movie the way I feel you want to make us think.

    Lastly, the discussion could be expanded towards music even though songs have no visual experience to offer, unless one watches a music video of course. Six year old me already loved Roxette yet hardly spoke two words of English. So I simply pretended to know what "lissatoyohaart" meant. However, by my 9th birthday, I had learned what "listen to your heart" meant, either by having people tell me or by simply picking up more and more English from watching TV and such. When "Joyride" became a number 1 hit, I forced myself to make sense of the lyrics and with a little help got there soon enough. At age 13, listening to "Crash!Boom!Bang!", my English had become sophisticated enough to understand every word of the song's text right from the get go. After all, it'd be silly to 'dub' a song, right? But if so desired, one could feasibly have the equivalent of subs in the shape of a written translation of the lyrics, printed next to the original lyrics. That's how I do things with Japanese songs. I read the English or French translations while listening to the song. Having done that two or three times, I have more or less memorized the meaning of the lyrics and I can enjoy the song as is. I take it everybody agrees that a dubbed song would be absolutely silly. Well, same thing with movies if you ask me. I agree that movies also require us to look at things and that reading while looking takes away small bits from the visual experience. However, I do think you're overstating the magnitude of this loss of visual experience. Replacing original voices, language, film titles, ... is countless times worse IMO.

    Now of course we'll never see things the same way in these matters so I guess "IMO" is the most important part of my post. ;-)
  • Have you seen Grand Budapest Hotel in particular ? This is a very specific movie with regards to this : images are very detailed paintings, and there is a LOT of subtitles, and IMO it's unrealistic to claim they do not distract from the visual experience in this movie. This movie is a lot about visuals, the "plot" is on the back seat frankly (it's a bit like Skyfall done well :) ). You write a lot about the importance of people speaking. Well, this is part of cinema, but can you consider that others think that cinema is mostly a visual medium ?

    Don't forget that with dubbing you don't "loose" the experience, you replace it by another one. With subtitling, you loose the visual experience, and you replace it by nothing : there's no art in the subtitles, these are all the same letters for every movie, you're looking at a teletext, there's zero artistic work put in the creation of the subtitles.

    Do you go often to theater ? There one can here people acting, and well, there's not much else to hear and see frankly. I wonder if people who keep on saying that those who watch dubbed movies are idiots, are people who rarely sees actors speaking in their natives languages.. Ie : people in countries where the local cinema industry is dead, which often means the theater is in bad shape too, and which means also the dubbing is done poorly.

    Just the fact that people almost never talk of "bad subtitles" means I think that their merits are taken for granted without much thinking about it. Really, watch a talkative movie in English with the English voices + the English subtitles, you may be suprised. Bad subtitles exist. In a talkative movie, subtitles can have 20/30% less content than what's being really said. Something is lost then IMO.
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