Poll: Do you avoid watching the dubbed version of a film or show when possible?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Apr 7

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you avoid watching the dubbed version of a film or show when possible?".

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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It depends on... Apr 7

1. ...whether a subtitled version is available as an alternative (I won't refrain from seeing a promising looking film just because it is dubbed).
2. ...whether my wife also wants to watch it. Subtitles on foreign films are always smaller and harder to read than the subtitling available in English. She can read the latter but not the former.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:56
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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Other Apr 7

I don’t need to avoid a dubbed version… In Portugal only movies and TV shows intended for children are dubbed. TV shows and movies for older audiences are subtitled. For some juvenile films, there are two versions: one dubbed (identified by the letters V.P. for versão portuguesa - "Portuguese version") and another subtitled version (V.O. for versão original - "original version").

I lived in Brussels for 30 years and there though foreign movies and TV shows are also subtitled I found that to be quite displeasing sometimes. The Region of Brussels-Capital has two official languages on an equal footing, Dutch and French. This means that cinemas often show films in their original language with French + Dutch subtitles.

[Edited at 2018-04-07 09:39 GMT]


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Amir Arzani
Iran
Local time: 15:26
English to Farsi (Persian)
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It depends Apr 7

In the case for Japanese animes; I don't enjoy reading subtitles but the problem is most of the time the dubs aren't as good but I can't be bothered to pause to read the subtitle since I'm multi-tasking most of the time. Watching subtitles really breaks immersion and is unsettling.
For most Netflix series and movies, I try to watch the original though.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:56
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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I don't mind dubbing, but generally prefer subtitling Apr 7

When I understand the language the film is dubbed into, I can usually just enjoy a good film. If the original language is out of my language sphere, then I prefer dubbing to subtitling. I can't catch all the visual effects in the film as well as read the subtitles. It does depend, of course, on the quality of the translation and dialogue. If it is totally stiff and stereotyped, then I almost prefer not to see the film at all.

I avoid Midsomer Murders and many American films dubbed for German television - I can follow them, but Barnaby or Tom Hanks speaking German... seem distractingly odd! I prefer to wait until the same film or episode comes in the original language on Danish TV.

I have learnt a lot from good subtitling. Subtitle-bashing and catching hilarious mistakes is a sport in Denmark, but in fact there are many hours of really impressive results among all the subtitled programmes broadcast in Scandinavia. They make it possible for me to follow programmes in Norwegian and Swedish - languages I can easily read, but I have serious trouble understanding when they are spoken. With the texts, I can catch a lot more of the audio side as well.

The German subtitles for the deaf are very useful too, if the dialogue is not clear. Just as long as you do not allow yourself to be distracted by the number of adjectives they use for the music - it is not all just spannende oder traurig


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Harry Blake Paz Bonzano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:56
Member (2014)
Spanish to Italian
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Other Apr 7

I live in Italy and dubbing there is one of the best in world. I usually watch a movie dubbed in Italian because I want to fully enjoy the movie.
If no dubbing is available then I search subtitles in the languages I am familiar with (in this order: Italian, English, Spanish, French). If subtitling is not available then I watch the movie in its original language but only if I can understand it (the four languages above).
I have encountered very few movies I could not watch, mostly Japanese or German horror movies, as they are really niche. Those movies I have yet to find a way to watch them. If I cannot understand a movie I do not watch it.


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Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
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Other - no ifs, no buts, dubbing - never!! Apr 7

And this includes Studio Ghibli anime - the Japanese gestures and movements belong with the Japanese language. I don't understand more than two or three words of it, but the subtitles give me the gist.

I also tried the dubbed version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and again the characters seemed ridiculous, not noble and wonderful, when dubbed English came out of their mouths. Beautiful Chinese and good-enough subtitles every time since then.


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Francesca Grandinetti
Italy
Local time: 12:56
German to Italian
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Italy Apr 7

I'm Italian and I absolutely enjoy dubbed movies/tv shows. I sometimes watch them subtitled, but honestly our dubbers are great

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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2011)
French to English
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I hate dubbing and avoid it at all costs Apr 7

I hate dubbing and would never watch a film or show which has been dubbed, since it completely spoils my enjoyment of it. I regard dubbing as being a solution best adapted for the uneducated and illiterate and even if I do not speak the original language in which the film or show was produced I still prefer subtitles since it retains more of the flavour of the original.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:56
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
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Yes, avoid it at all costs Apr 7

Subtitling is already bad enough, but we have to use it sometimes for languages we don't speak at all.
Dubbing is a disaster. Unless you have small children at home, avoid it.
Both force the audience to lose a big part of the context, the jokes, the emotions, the moods, etc. But dubbing also makes you lose the correct tone, the ambient sounds, the real voice of the actors... so many things.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Spanish to English
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It depends on... Apr 7

The language, and the movie or show in question.
For example, the excellent French cop show Engrenages (sorry if I've missed out any accents there), which is called Spiral when shown on the BBC, is fine with subtitles, although there is a lot of argot and mumbling. My level of Spanish is almost bilingual, so I don't mind watching things like Pan's Labyrinth in the original either.
However, when it comes to Korean or Chinese movies, the dubbing can be rather amusing - especially some of the older vintage things like Godzilla or Bruce Lee films or the TV shows Monkey (not the current remakes) or Water Margin.

[Edited at 2018-04-07 15:07 GMT]

But I prefer to view more serious fodder, like Seven Samurai, with subtitles. Ditto Zatoichi...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuqwMQTc8cE

[Edited at 2018-04-07 15:10 GMT]


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Magamed Aslanov
Georgia
Local time: 14:56
Member (2017)
English to Azerbaijani
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Dubbing is ok as long as the quality of the work is not compromised! Apr 7

I can tolerate with dubbing provided that it’s been delivered professionally.

For instance, since I have a polylingual attitude towards watching movies, I’m okey if the UK or the US made blogbuster is dubbed into one of my native languages. Say, Russian. Even though the film is voiced by solo actor it should not be monotonous. Plus, I believe all the other sounds like file soundtrack, ambient sounds etc must be preserved to the maximum.

This is a tough and costly job. I understand! It’s always easy to judge rather implement it.

However, if the filming folks are ambitious enough to target higher with box-offices that should plan the movie ingredients scrupulously.


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Poll: Do you avoid watching the dubbed version of a film or show when possible?

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