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The Great Subtitle War: Subtitles or Dub?

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 11:38 am
A lot of people choose to ignore foreign language or non-English language films because they can't stand reading subtitles when watching movies. They also can't stand watching dubbed into English or dubbed into their native tongue movies because the quality of the dub and voice actors is usually infamously bad. So ... how about you?

When watching foreign language films (any movie mostly filmed with dialogue based in another language not native to you) do you watch the movie dubbed (postproduction) into your language or with subtitles?

What is your favorite foreign language film? Is there a country which makes the best foreign language films? A country that makes the worst movies?
Have you ever went to see a foreign language film at a movie theater? Was it dubbed or subtitled?
Do you buy many foreign language DVDs?

Now with foreign language TV being far more prevalent in streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, etc... have you tried to watch an entire TV series with subtitles?
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 11:56 am
@tsarstepan,
Subtitles, hate dubbing.

Too many to name.

Many countries make good films, I don't want to pick just one.

I did watch a three part series (italian) that I liked, told you about it years ago now but I forget the name of it, and I don't use netflix anymore.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:00 pm
@ossobuco,
I figured you'd be a great defender of all Italian movies subtitled Osso.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:00 pm
@tsarstepan,
At university (in the early 70's), we liked to watch foreign films with foreign subtitles ... if any of both was in English, French or Dutch, I had an advantage Wink
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:05 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I hear that Germany was notorious for dubbing most incoming English language films into German and the voice acting tends to be goofy and atrocious when coming out of characters that don't look like they understand German let alone know how to mimic it.
InfraBlue
 
  3  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:36 pm
My wife and I watch English language movies with the subtitling on. It helps when the volume is too low to hear the dialouge. There have been moments where we think, "we're supposed to be able to hear that?"

If a movie's in Spanish we'll put the subtitling in Spanish, if it has the option, otherwise we'll put it in English.

Dubbed movies suck, in general.

tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:39 pm
@InfraBlue,
I do that as well when I want to keep the TV volume low. I also have the subtitles when watching British TV series and movies where British/Irish/Scottish accents are a tad too strong/indecipherable.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:42 pm
@tsarstepan,
I suppose, any foreign language will sound 'goofy' for someone who has just seen the original version - e.g. I mostly grin when I see German films in English.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:45 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
When it comes to Disney and Japanese animated movies? They're very professional and they tend to use the best voice over actors available to dub the films into English. Other then English dubbed anime? Dubbed movies are horrible.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:46 pm
@tsarstepan,
I looked up that tv series that was on italian tv here to see if I could find a post about it, but, nah.

I like subtitles for any language, used to see a lot of old french movies too, and some scandinavian, a few german, and at least one russian and (one czechoslovakian? or was it polish? a few spanish). And there are some movies I'd still like to see, an iranian movie maker, for example, name failing me right now but I'd recognize it. Some subtitles are better that others, re ability to see them on the screen, how well they're done, and so on. I swear, I could use subtitles for some english language speakers that talk fast in their different dialects.

Plus I've been hard of hearing for(at the least) ten years now, so even some videos are difficult to hear. Am apt to be getting that fixed soon, appointment on Oct. 3. Wish me luck..
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 12:56 pm
@ossobuco,
I forgot japanese movies. How could I? I've seen many many many, as a friend would say, all with subtitles. No anime yet, though.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 01:23 pm
Dubbing sucks...big time.

I'm partially deaf...and when Nancy and I watch television, I almost always have the hearing impaired closed caption feature activated. So I am reading but-titles all the time...and have no problem with it.

Strange thing: I can be watching something without the closed caption on...and understanding damn near nothing. But the second the closed caption feature is turned on...every word becomes distinct.
0 Replies
 
vonny
 
  3  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 01:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
Subtitles, always! I hate dubbed films. The voices rarely match up to the image one gets of the actors. Take Das Boot - a great film, but the dubbing was hideous.

The dubbed version -


With subtitles
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 01:45 pm
@vonny,
I agree. The Das Boot dub is a terrible one. I own a copy of the DVD with both versions. It was one of my first DVDs I ever bought.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  4  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 02:32 pm
I will NOT watch a dubbed movie. Feh and pooh.

Back in the days when I frequented movie theaters, I used to see foreign films a lot. Yes, Das Boot was one of them. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Two Women, etc.

I wanted to hear the emotion and nuances of the actual original actors.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 02:39 pm
@Roberta,
Our consensus so far makes me wonder if dubbed movies still exist (probably, Texas still exists), and how they are sold/ordered/sampled relative to subtitled ones.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 04:01 pm
@tsarstepan,
Subtitles, of course. What's the problem?


Of course I see subtitled films in cinemas....I'm going to one tomorrow. I don't often buy films for home, but if I do I don't give a rats if it is subtitled.

I don't have a favourite foreign film....offhand a few films I liked, Pan's Labyrinth, La Strada, Tree of Wooden Clogs, Cinema Paradiso.......too many to even think of...
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 05:13 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
I mostly grin when I see German films in English.


Zuckerbaby was downright goofy when it was dubbed into English. It didn't make any sense.

Subtitles please.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 06:33 pm
@dlowan,
Yeah, Tree of the Wooden Clogs, that one got to me.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 06:40 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Subtitles, of course. What's the problem?

You preaching to the converted. I'm refering to a decent percentage of Americans who openly ignore foreign language films because of the subtitle dilemma.

Below is the top 10 box office totals list of foreign language films in the US. Clearly these are not blockbuster numbers:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?view=openings&id=foreign.htm&p=.htm
 

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