Here in Bosnia (and I'm pretty sure in the whole ex-Yugoslavia) all foreign movies and other TV things are subtitled. Only some documentaries are dubbed or they use some kind of combination between dubbing and subtitles. Yes, I can say that it really helps me improve English skills. Without TV I could hardly be able to speak English nearly as well as I do now.
And one more thing, if movies were dubbed I couldn't hear the actors' voices and that would suck. LOL :) Besides, hearing Mel Gibson (for instance) speak Bosnian would be so weird :) When I was in Turkey they also dubbed movies and it was hilarious to hear Brandon from Beverly Hills speak Turkish.
Friends of mine visiting Paris saw a British film with French subtitles and laughed at the funny bits a few seconds before most of the other people watching it.
I saw an Almodóvar film in Spanish a few years ago in Brussels. It was double-subtitled in French and Flemish. I laughed even earlier than your British friends in Paris.
I guess Flemish is completely double Dutch to the French in Belgium! :-)
Nice one, Jordi!
I'd like to go to Brussels one day....it must be interesting linguistically as well as in other ways.....maybe I could stand for election as an MEP one day.....I wonder just what it is they actually do? Here we call it a wee bit of gravy train....a bit like MSPs. ;-)
Even when I watch a movie in English with my family, when something is funny, I laugh before my parents because I understand what was said before I read the translation. Some things can't be translated that well, there are word games etc. that you can only understand if you speak English, so when my parents read the translation they are like: "What's the big deal?" And I find it extremely funny because I understand what they don't. Fortunately, my sister speaks English too, so I can laugh with her. LOL :)
In the UK, very few foreign language films and programs are broadcast. This is probably because there is such a huge amount of English language programming available to broadcasters. Those programs that do get shown are invariably subtitled. Personally, I much prefer this to dubbing. I have sat through the marvellous "Das Boot" series twice. I have no doubt that I would have switched off five minutes into the first episode if it had been dubbed.
Here in Aussie you can get them dubbed but I always listen to them in the original language with subtitles. Not only does it sound right (dubbs sound terrible) but it can be the best way to learn the other language.
I hate dubbing for many different reasons:
1.) You can't hear the actors' real voices, tones and all the important sounds;
2.) It sounds kind of artificial and unnatural;
3.) You can't learn a foreign language, especially if it's English (because I'm not that interested in others);
4.) You miss all the "word games" and those little things that can't be literally translated;
5.) It looks weird to see American, British, German etc. actors dubbed in my native language.
By the way, most of the movies and TV series they show on our TV are in English, but you can see a lot of them in German, French, Italian, Spanish etc. I've seen even Japanese, Russian, Czech, Hungarian etc. movies on our TV.
And they are all subtitled, thank God.
movies on TV are dubbed (ONE GUY reads all the lines over the original dialogue)
movies in theaters are subtitled (except for kid movies)
Oh my God, that sucks, if I lived in Poland I would never watch movies... LOL (no offence). Just one guy reads all the lines? Well in that case I don't even have to watch the movie, somebody can just tell me all about it :)
as Tom said one guy reads all the lines but his voice is not on foreground. His reading is a little ....hidden, and you CAN hear original actors' talking rather clearly, not always of course.
Certainly, if someone learns a foreign language it would be better without a translator, and only with subtitles.
Hi there! I just found this extremely interesting forum and thought I couldn't leave without a trace. First, congrats to everyone, very nice postings and hindsights. Second, for everyone to know my background, I'm a son of Valencian parents raised in Madrid (that is, bilingual Valencian-Castilian, or if you prefer, Catalan-Spanish), but now I live in Mexico City. Third, there goes my big big applause to subtitles. Here's a list why (supplementing Sonja's), additions welcome:
- it opens your mind to foreign languages and accents (so you get rid of those clichés like sing-song Chinese, guttural German or sweet French)
- you learn much more
- you hear what the actor said while he was saying it and with the nuance he was saying it, and get exactly what the actor rendered, and what he was acclaimed (or decried) for (Note on this: in all and every country I've been to people say that their particular national dubbing and dubbing actors are excellent. No comments…).
- you don’t get the same guy dubbing ten different actors, which is really schizophrenic.
- in the particular case of English, with subtitles you get accents and intonations. How else could you perceive the differences in Meryl Streep performances, or the contrasts between Americans and Britons in soap operas like The Nanny or movies like A Fish Called Wanda? How do you dub My Fair Lady?
As for countries and dubbing, I wouldn't forward any explanation, really. Profitability? Openness? Tradition? If Spain in all its linguistic variety can be taken as an example, big cities and cultural centers (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia) subtitle more or allow for TV captions and two-version TV broadcast, original and dubbed. A huge country like Mexico subtitles-captions most movies and a large chunk of TV. Instead, European big countries dub, smaller subtitle...