Off topic: Dubbing The Wire
Thread poster: James Calder

James Calder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 29, 2008

I've just finished watching this absolutely fantastic series on DVD. Feeling bereft, I've been trawling the web for further reading and came across this interesting interview with one of the chaps who has dubbed the series for German TV (there's some bad language in it, just in case anyone gets upset by that kind of thing):


Miles Crew  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:44
Chinese to English
Thanks Oct 29, 2008

Thanks for this, this is my favorite show (as well as, reportedly, Barack Obama's. Clearly a man of taste and class.) This must have been an incredibly challenging project; there's a certain percentage of dialogue in the show that I can only claim to get the gist of.


German to English
+ ...
(cue my regular German TV rant) Oct 30, 2008

Such a sad story ... but kudos to the interviewee. He appears to be putting a lot more effort into it than most of his colleagues.

Why do the Germans dub anything that moves? Or why don't they at least offer viewers the additional option of original soundtrack plus subtitles?

Dub action movies and anything with Hugh Grant by all means - but not good comedy or quality drama where the actor's voice (Laurie, Connery, Ecclestone, Mirren, Dennis Franz ...) or the range of dialects and accents on show (West Wing, Cracker, Spooks ...) are key.

Try Fawlty Towers or The Sopranos (Anthony S.: "ich hoffe, du hast ihm Bescheid gesagt, dass das für uns nicht zumutbar ist") in German, for example.

Or try City of Men (Cidade dos Homens) or City of God in English - and then in the original with subtitles. No contest.


sylvie malich
Local time: 10:44
German to English
Along the same lines as TonyTK's rant Oct 31, 2008

...also a pet peeve of mine here in Germany.

This takes the cake: Recently Paul Newman died. The radio show commemorating his death replayed PN's most monumental scenes -- using the German version's dubbed voice! What a rip!



James Calder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Subtitles Oct 31, 2008

Miles, I had to put the English subtitles on, and not just for the street scenes.

Tony and Sylvie, we have exactly the same problem in Spain where everything has the life dubbed out of it. I have to admit though, watching The Young Ones dubbed into Galician (the local lingo) is quite amusing:

At least with satellite TV you now have the option of switching to the original. The Portuguese have got the right idea - all films are subtitled there.


Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, ... Oct 31, 2008

James Calder wrote:

The Portuguese have got the right idea - all films are subtitled there.

... we doicon_wink.gif

For some infuriating reason though, the History and Biography channels on TV are poorly dubbed here in Portugal - the English is still audible and it's pretty difficult, for me at any rate, to try and listen to two languages at once.

Children's films (mostly animated films) are also dubbed because most of the target audience can't read subtitles, but the parts I've seen in trailers look pretty well done.

Harry Potter also always comes out in a dubbed PT version and the original EN version with PT subtitles.

[Edited at 2008-10-31 15:02]


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