Et cetera: Subtitled or Dubbed?

Dubbing the movies that are shown in movie theaters is something that varies from place to place. In some countries all movies are dubbed, whereas in others you hear the original language. There may be advantages and disadvantages in both systems.


I believe that movies are best watched in the original state. I am a big fan of sarcastic jokes, puns and all sorts of refined word/mind games. All these are often spoilt by translation. Some things just can't be translated into another language. In other cases there's a natural double meaning to a word or a subtle connotation, which gets lost in the process of translation. I've noticed many erroneous or lousy translations, and usually have some fun about the translation besides the meaning of the movie. Dubbing the movie would deprive me of the chance to hear the original and would leave only the imperfect translation.


Voices are, indeed, a very important part of any movie! I can remember a ubiquitous annoying voice that dubbed most Hollywood movies into Russian in Soviet times. It had a monotonous, mumbly voice that seemed to belong to a phlegmatic person with a chronically clogged nose. Furthermore, the same irritating voice dubbed all the characters! So, on one hand, I think it is best to hear distinctive voices rather than a single one speaking on behalf of all the characters (both women and men)! On the other hand, I want to hear the genuine voices, which some of the actors consummate to real art! I would never want to hear the annoying phlegmatic voice of some lethargic dude instead of listening to the real voice modulations of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, or especially Anthony Hopkins! By the way, think of Brad Pit's voice when talking to the old lady in the hospital in "Meet Joe Black"?


Now, of course, Germany has their own Woody Allen voice-impersonator, Italy has its Harrison Ford, Spain has it's own Sharon Stone (most of France's has the common sense not to dub its films), but generally these country's citizens grew up with these voices matched to these actors and they've gotten used to the strangeness of it all. But aren’t these people missing the genuine experience of movie going?

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