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Off topic: Films in Hungarian
Thread poster: xxxMarc P
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:26
German to English
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Nov 9, 2006

Please excuse me for posting in English - the reason will be obvious - and for posting this here and not in the language-learning section.

I have been learning Hungarian for just over two years. In order to improve my listening comprehension, I would like to use a technique I have used for other languages: watching films in the language with subtitles also in the language (i.e. in this case, both the soundtrack and the subtitles in Hungarian).

There is a problem here which Hungarian-speakers will probably be aware of: the Hungarian version of the subtitles often differs completely from the dubbed Hungarian soundtrack, i.e. they are two completely different translations of the original, not just with minor differences as is often the case. This means that the subtitles provide little help in discerning what the actors are actually saying.

Now for my question: does anyone know how/where I can identify and obtain films in Hungarian with identical or near-identical texts for the soundtrack and subtitles? Does the same problem apply to originally Hungarian films, for example, and/or are such films available with subtitles for the hard of hearing?

TIA,
Marc


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:26
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English to Hungarian
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So far, not much Nov 10, 2006

I am not in Hungary, so I tried to find you some on the net. Unfortunately it is not very easy, because they don't seem bother much with subtitling for the hard of hearing, and the SINOSZ website (National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) is not very good in this respect.

There are a couple of short lists for DVD-s and videos the association lends to their members, but it is not much more than film titles (in Hungarian), occasionally indicating the original language.

From the DVD list at first glance I couldn't find anything.
The video list is slightly more promising, and here is a selection:

Bánk Bán, historical film

Gyöngyvirágtól lombhullásig, nature film, (this is from the 1950-es, and it was quite famous, and I think it is all narrated. Ideal for listening to.)

Cimborák. Again, nature film.

Szinbád

Utazás a koponyám körül (that is based on Frigyes Karinthy's book, translated into English, the book is very intersting, but I don't know how good the translation is.)

István, a király (and) Tanár úr, kérem

Valahol Európában

Oops, there are quite a few, so here you are:

http://www.sinosz.hu/download.php?type=download&file=wcs_zeus_1008.file&file_name=KOLCSONOZHETO%20FILMEK%20A%20SINOSZ%20VIDEOTARABAN.doc

I guess, once you picked out the Hungarian made and subtitled films from the list, you can try to find some of them on other websites to see which ones are available to buy.

Obviously, some of them would be a bit difficult for you at this stage, but if you tell us what type of film interests you, it would be possible to make a recommended short list. I could also put dates on these films, and sometimes a brief description to give you some idea what to expect.

Regards

Judith


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
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Films in Hungarian Nov 10, 2006

This is great Judith, thanks! Is it safe to assume that the subtitles for the hard of hearing are faithful to the text that is being spoken? I am still baffled by the fact that foreign films have two quite different translations.

Marc


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Films in Hungarian Nov 10, 2006

I must say, I never watched a Hungarian film with Hungarian subtitles, but from my subtitling translation experiences I can say, that the same language subtitles should be close to what is being said. It is easier to transcribe and create the subtitles out of that than recompose the dialogues.

In fact, it would be quite difficult to paraphrase the dialogue, and I think lip-reading comes into it as well. It would be quite confusing for the hard of hearing to read one thing and lip-read something else, so I don't think they would do that.

The English subtitles we get for translation are created this way, and they are also suitable for the hard of hearing.

On the other hand, by the nature of subtitles, some of them would be shorter, more concised than the dialogue. Nevertheless, most of the the key words would be the same, and it is the surplus, repeats, unimportant adjectives, etc. they leave out.

Hungarian being a slowly spoken language - as opposed to Portuguese for example - there is more time to follow the dialogue with the subtitles, except for the awfully long words, which are often difficult to squeeze into two lines.

I think I can tell you why the foreign films have different translation for the synchronization and for the subtitles.

They like to have cinema releases dubbed, it is a tradition and also relatively cheap to do there. A lot of people are doing it, and they tend to be so awful that on the whole I cannot stand English films dubbed into Hungarian, with the exception of some great successes, where real, good actors did the dubbing.

A couple of years later the studio (nothing to do with the Hungarians) decides to release the film on video or nowadays DVD, and have the English subtitles produced, which are then translated into a dozen or more languages. The translator never saw the dubbed film.

I came accross once or twice of some new film, where the time lapse between these two translations were in fact minimal, and there were song lyrics as well, and I had to proofread the subtitle translation, then a month or so later the translation of the lyrics for the cinema release, because these were subtitled even in the synchronised film. Well, they were not the same, and the translation of the whole film was different.

There is another reason for it; for successful dubbing the sound will have to be more or less the same length as the original, and sometimes the dialogue is tweaked to resemble the actor's lip movement. Subtitles can afford to be more faithful to the meaning of the original text.

I will come back with some definite film suggestions when I have some time to look into what's available. If you have any other questions, you can also email me.

Judith


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
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Films in Hungarian Nov 11, 2006

Firstly Judith, my profuse thanks for replying in such detail.

juvera wrote:

I must say, I never watched a Hungarian film with Hungarian subtitles, but from my subtitling translation experiences I can say, that the same language subtitles should be close to what is being said. It is easier to transcribe and create the subtitles out of that than recompose the dialogues.

In fact, it would be quite difficult to paraphrase the dialogue, and I think lip-reading comes into it as well. It would be quite confusing for the hard of hearing to read one thing and lip-read something else, so I don't think they would do that.


This makes me feel more confident of buying original Hungarian-language films "blind". (Rather than "deaf", as I have been so far. )

On the other hand, by the nature of subtitles, some of them would be shorter, more concised than the dialogue. Nevertheless, most of the the key words would be the same, and it is the surplus, repeats, unimportant adjectives, etc. they leave out.


I would have expected some deviation, particularly some condensing, but in the foreign-language films I have seen they are quite clearly two completely different translations. My Hungarian teacher confirms this.

Hungarian being a slowly spoken language - as opposed to Portuguese for example - there is more time to follow the dialogue with the subtitles


I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies. (I don't speak Portuguese, but the same seems to be true of Italian.) One major reason for wanting the subtitles is to acquire the ability to break up the sentence into words as I hear it. The stress patterns of Hungarian (and to a lesser extent the agglutination) make this difficult for learners, for example when Robert De Niro opens his mouth and says something like "Ánganápőtyőindagrángyudutíszanavöszkank" (or at least, that what it sounds like to me)...

A couple of years later the studio (nothing to do with the Hungarians) decides to release the film on video or nowadays DVD, and have the English subtitles produced, which are then translated into a dozen or more languages. The translator never saw the dubbed film.


I'm sure you're right (since you work in the industry), but it baffles me that the producers prefer to translate the English subtitles rather than simply reproduce the dubbing script. Purely for reasons of cost, regardless of how poor the first version is. It means more work for translators though.

There is another reason for it; for successful dubbing the sound will have to be more or less the same length as the original, and sometimes the dialogue is tweaked to resemble the actor's lip movement. Subtitles can afford to be more faithful to the meaning of the original text.


You're right, I hadn't thought of that. And original Hungarian films shouldn't have that problem.

Marc


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Dubbing and subtitles Nov 11, 2006

One more simple fact:

Dubbing is up to the distributor in the foreign countries, while video and DVD release is always in the hand of the studio who produced the film.
The subtitling industry works for Universal, Paramount, or Metro Goldwin or whoever, and the translator working for the subtitling company can be anywhere. It makes sense in acy case, because the translation into several languages is done from one master file, (the English subtitles in these cases) and can be controlled and managed in one fell swoop, making it cheaper, and the release simultaneous.

Judith


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:26
English to Portuguese
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Three different types of work Nov 27, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

Is it safe to assume that the subtitles for the hard of hearing are faithful to the text that is being spoken? I am still baffled by the fact that foreign films have two quite different translations.

Marc


Marc & All,

Films often have THREE different translations, though one of them is actually a transcription.

Let's start with the translation, of which there are two kinds:

For DUBBING - The goal is to preserve content, but to write it in a way that dubbers (specialized vocal artists) can lip-sync their speech with the original actor, so that the spectator will have the illusion, at least during most of the time, the actor is speaking the "dubbed" language. Such fitting is called "metrics". Sometimes it calls for dismantling and reassembling whole phrases, when expressions like "cus-tom-er needs" (EN,4) MUST be translated into "ne-ces-si-da-des do cli-en-te" (PT,9). Regional jokes, word plays, and double-entendre have to be re-created, as the original sound won't be there.

For SUBTITLING - The goal is to translate the main ideas as shortly as possible, to avoid reassigning the "spectator" into a "reader", i.e. to give them as much time as possible to WATCH the action as well. So "I tend to accept your opinion as a valid alternative" would likely be translated to something equivalent to "I agree". Care must be taken when translating word plays, as the original sound WILL still be there, and bilingual spectators might get angry at the loss in amusement monoglots will suffer.


The third kind is CLOSED CAPTION (aka CC), not always available. This is aimed at the hearing impaired. It is the complete script, transcribed on the screen, including noises in brackets, such as [engine starts], [doorbell rings], [coughs] etc. I haven't seen any CC translated yet, all of them were in the original film language.


Regarding the present case, learning Hungarian, I think that subtitles in any other language will help (if properly translated), as the spectator will hear it said in the original language, and get only the meaning, but not the actual translation from the subtitles. It's a good way to find out how such short message in XXX (whatever language the subtitles use) could be said at length in Hungarian. A good second step would be to watch the film again without subtitles (possible with DVD, impossible with VHS) and see if you can understand everything that is said.


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