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Dubbing, mixing or re-recording, is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production in which additional or supplementary recordings are "mixed" with original production sound to create the finished soundtrack.
The process usually takes place on a dub stage. After sound editors edit and prepare all the necessary tracks – dialogue, automated dialogue replacement (ADR), effects, Foley, music – the dubbing mixers proceed to balance all of the elements and record the finished soundtrack. Dubbing is sometimes confused with ADR, also known as "additional dialogue replacement", "automated dialogue recording" and "looping", in which the original actors re-record and synchronize audio segments.
Outside the film industry, the term "dubbing" commonly refers to the replacement of the actor's voices with those of different performers speaking another language, which is called "revoicing" in the film industry.
In the past, dubbing was practiced primarily in musicals when the actor had an unsatisfactory singing voice. Today, dubbing enables the screening of audiovisual material to a mass audience in countries where viewers do not speak the same language as the performers in the original production.
Films, videos, and sometimes video games are often dubbed into the local language of a foreign market. In foreign distribution, dubbing is common in theatrically released films, television films, television series, cartoons, and anime.
Automated Dialog Replacement (ADR) is the process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor after the filming process to improve audio quality or reflect dialogue changes (also known as "looping" or a "looping session"). In India the process is simply known as "dubbing", while in the UK, it is also called "post-synchronisation" or "post-sync". The insertion of voice actor performances for animation, such as computer generated imagery or animated cartoons, is often referred to as ADR although it generally does not replace existing dialogue.
The ADR process may be used to:
- remove extraneous sounds such as production equipment noise, traffic, wind, or other undesirable sounds from the environment;
- change the original lines recorded on set to clarify context;
- improve diction or correct an accent;
- improve comedic timing or dramatic timing;
- correct technical issues with synchronization;
- use a studio-quality singing performance or provide a voice-double for actors who are poor vocalists;
- add or remove content for legal purposes (such as removing an unauthorized trademarked name);
- add or remove a product placement;
- correct a misspoken line not caught during filming.
- Replace foul language for TV broadcasts of the movie.
In conventional film production, a production sound mixer records dialogue during filming. During post-production, a supervising sound editor, or ADR supervisor, reviews all of the dialogue in the film and decides which lines must be re-recorded. ADR is recorded during an ADR session, which takes place in a specialized sound studio. The actor, usually the original actor from the set, views the scene with the original sound, then attempts to recreate the performance. Over the course of multiple takes, the actor performs the lines while watching the scene; the most suitable take becomes the final version. The ADR process does not always take place in a post-production studio. The process may be recorded on location, with mobile equipment. ADR can also be recorded without showing the actor the image they must match, but by having them listen to the performance, since some actors believe that watching themselves act can degrade subsequent performances.
Sometimes, a different actor than the original actor on set is used during ADR. One famous example is the Star Wars character Darth Vader portrayed by David Prowse; in post-production, James Earl Jones dubbed the voice of Vader.
Other examples include:
- Ray Park, who acted as Darth Maul from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace had his voice dubbed over by Peter Serafinowicz.
- Frenchmen Philippe Noiret and Jacques Perrin, who were dubbed into Italian for Cinema Paradiso
- Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, dubbed for Hercules in New York
- Argentine boxer Carlos Monzón, dubbed by a professional actor for the lead in the drama La Mary
- Gert Frobe, who played Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond film Goldfinger, dubbed by Michael Collins
- Andie MacDowell's Jane, in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, who was dubbed by Glenn Close
- Tom Hardy, who portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, re-dubbed half of his own lines for ease of viewer comprehension
- Harvey Keitel was dubbed by Roy Dotrice in post production for Saturn 3.
- Dave Coulier dubbed replacement of swear words for Richard Pryor in multiple TV versions of his movies.
An alternative method to dubbing, called "rythmo band" (or "lip-sync band"), has historically been used in Canada and France. It provides a more precise guide for the actors, directors, and technicians, and can be used to complement the traditional ADR method. The "band" is actually a clear 35 mm film leader on which the dialogue is hand-written in India ink, together with numerous additional indications for the actor—including laughs, cries, length of syllables, mouth sounds, breaths, and mouth openings and closings. The rythmo band is projected in the studio and scrolls in perfect synchronization with the picture.
Studio time is used more efficiently, since with the aid of scrolling text, picture, and audio cues, actors can read more lines per hour than with ADR alone (only picture and audio). With ADR, actors can average 10–12 lines per hour, while rythmo band can facilitate the reading of 35-50 lines per hour.
However, the preparation of a rythmo band is a time-consuming process involving a series of specialists organized in a production line. This has prevented the technique from being more widely adopted, but software emulations of rythmo band technology overcome the disadvantages of the traditional rythmo band process and significantly reduce the time needed to prepare a dubbing session.
Dubbing is often used to localize a foreign movie. The new voice track is usually spoken by a voice artist, or voice actor. In many countries, actors who regularly perform this duty remain little-known, with the exception of particular circles (such as anime fandom) or when their voices have become synonymous with roles or actors whose voices they usually dub. In the United States, many of these voice artists may employ pseudonyms or go uncredited due to Screen Actors Guild regulations or the desire to dissociate themselves from the role.
Especially in comedies and animated movies, famous local actors may be hired to perform the dubbing, as their names are intended to attract a local audience; the entire cast may be dubbed by a local cast of similar familiarity.
Kids/Family films and programming
In North-West Europe (the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium and the Nordic countries), Portugal and Balkan countries, generally only movies and TV shows intended for children are dubbed, while TV shows and movies for older audiences are subtitled (although animated productions have a tradition of being dubbed). For movies in cinemas with clear target audiences (both below and above 10–11 years of age), both a dubbed and a subtitled version are usually available.
In the United Kingdom, the vast majority of foreign language films are subtitled, although mostly animated films and TV programmes are dubbed in English. These usually originate from North America, as opposed to being dubbed locally. There have, however, been notable examples of films and TV programmes successfully dubbed in the UK, such as the Japanese Monkey and French Magic Roundabout series. When airing films on television, channels in the UK often choose subtitling over dubbing, even if a dubbing in English exists. It is also a fairly common practice for animation aimed at preschool children to be re-dubbed with British voice actors replacing the original voices, such as Spin Master Entertainment's Paw Patrol series, although this is not done with shows aimed at older audiences.
In Romania, virtually all programmes intended for children are dubbed in Romanian, including cartoons, live-action movies and TV series on Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Minimax, and Nickelodeon, as well as those shown on general television networks, children-focused series (such as Power Rangers, Goosebumps, The New Addams Family, The Planet's Funniest Animals) or movies screened on children's television. Animated movies are shown in theaters with Romanian dubbing. However, those cinemas with more screening rooms usually also provide the original subtitled version. Such was the case for movies like Babe, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Finding Nemo, Cars, Shrek the Third, Ratatouille, Kung Fu Panda and WALL-E. Other foreign TV shows and movies are shown in the original language with Romanian subtitles. Subtitles are usually preferred in the Romanian market. According to "Special Eurobarometer 243" (graph QA11.8) of the European Commission (research carried out in November and December 2005), 62% of Romanians prefer to watch foreign films and programmes with subtitles (rather than dubbed), 22% prefer dubbing, and 16% declined to answer. This is led by the assumption that watching movies in their original versions is very useful for learning foreign languages. However, according to the same Eurobarometer, virtually no Romanian found this method—watching movies in their original version—to be the most efficient way to learn foreign languages, compared to 53 percent who preferred language lessons at school.
In Romania, foreign language television programs and films are generally subtitled rather than dubbed. This includes programs in non-Western languages, such as Korean.
Serbian language dubs are made mainly for Serbia, but they broadcast in Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina, too. Children's animated and live-action movies and TV series are dubbed into Serbian, while live-action films and TV series for adults are always airing subtitled, because in this region people prefer subtitling for live-action formats. Turkish soap opera Lale Devri started airing dubbed in 2011, on RTV Pink, but because of bad recepcion, dub failed and rest of TV series was aired subtitled. Married... with Children was dubbed, too.
The dubbing of cartoon series in former Yugoslavia during the 1980s had a twist of its own: famous Serbian actors, such as Nikola Simić, Mića Tatić, Nada Blam and others provided the voices for characters of Disney, Warner Bros., MGM and other companies, frequently using region-specific phrases and sentences and, thus, adding a dose of local humor to the translation of the original lines. These phrases became immensely popular and are still being used for tongue-in-cheek comments in specific situations. These dubs are today considered cult dubs. The only dub made after 1980s and 1990s ones that's considered cult is SpongeBob SquarePants dub, made by B92 in period 2002-2017, because of a great popularity and memorable translation with local humor phrases, such as 1980s dubs translation.
Some of the Serbian dubs are also broadcast in Republic of Macedonia, while cult dubs made during Yugoslavia, where aired all over the country (today Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Republic of Macedonia and Serbia).
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia dubbed many cartoons in Macedonian, but they also air some Serbian dubs. Children's programs are airing dubbed (in Macedonian or Serbian), while every other program is subtitled (in Macedonian). They use Serbian dubs for Disney movies, because there's no Macedonian Disney dubs.
In Croatia, foreign films and TV series are always subtitled, while most children's programs and animated movies are dubbed into Croatian. The practice of dubbing began in the 1980s in some animated shows and continued in 90's, 00's and forward in other shows and films, the latter ones being released in home media. Recently, more efforts have been made to introduce dubbing, but public reception has been poor in some exceptions. Regardless of language, Croatian audiences prefer subtitling to dubbing, however it is still popular in animated films. Some previously popular shows (such as Sailor Moon) lost their appeal completely after the practice of dubbing began, and the dubbing was eventually removed from the programs, even though most animated shows shown on television and some on home media have been well received by people watching them with own dub. This situation is similar with theater movies, with only those intended for children being dubbed (such as Finding Nemo and Shark Tale), but nowadays are shown in dubbed versions. Also, there has been an effort to impose dubbing by Nova TV, with La Fea Más Bella translated as Ružna ljepotica (literally, "The Ugly Beauty"), a Mexican telenovela, but it failed. Some of Croatian dubbing is also broadcast in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In Slovenia, all foreign films and television programs are subtitled with the exception of children's movies and TV shows (both animated or live-action). While dubbed versions are always shown in cinemas and later on TV channels, cinemas will sometimes play subtitled versions of children's movies as well.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina usually uses Serbian and Croatian dubs, but they've dubbed some cartoons in Bosnian by themselves, for example My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Children's programs (both animated and live-action) are airing dubbed (in Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian), while every other program is subtitled (in Bosnian).
In the Dutch speaking part of Belgium (Flanders), movies and TV series are shown in their original language with subtitles, with the exception of most movies made for a young audience. In the latter case, sometimes separate versions are recorded in the Netherlands and in Flanders (for instance, several Walt Disney films and Harry Potter films). These dubbed versions only differ from each other in their use of different voice actors and different pronunciation, while the text is almost the same.
In the French speaking part of Belgium, the range of French-dubbed versions is approximately as wide as the German range, where nearly all movies and TV series are dubbed.
In Portugal, dubbing was banned under a 1948 law as a way of protecting the domestic film industry and reduce the access to culture as most of the population was illiterate. Until 1994, animated movies, as well as other TV series for children shown in Portugal, have imported Brazilian Portuguese dubs due to the lack of interest from Portuguese companies in the dubbing industry. This lack of interest was justified, since there were already quality dubbed copies of shows and movies in Portuguese made by Brazilians. The Lion King was the first feature film to be dubbed in European Portuguese rather than strictly Brazilian Portuguese. Currently, all movies for children are dubbed in European Portuguese. Subtitles are preferred in Portugal, used in every foreign-language documentary, TV series and film. The exception to this preference is when children are the target audience.
While on TV, children's shows and movies are always dubbed, in cinemas, films with a clear juvenile target can be found in 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"). This duality applies only to juvenile films. Others use subtitles only. While the quality of these dubs is recognized (some have already received international recognition and prizes), original versions with subtitles are usually preferred by the adults (Bee Movie, for example). Dubbing cartoons aimed at adults (such as The Simpsons or South Park) is less common. When The Simpsons Movie debuted in Portugal, most cinemas showed both versions (V.O. and V.P.), but in some small cities, cinemas decided to offer only the Portuguese version, a decision that led to public protest. Presently, live action series and movies are always shown in their original language format with Portuguese subtitles. Television programs for young children (such as Power Rangers, Goosebumps, Big Bad Beetleborgs, etc.) are dubbed into European Portuguese. Some video games aimed at adults (such as God of War III, Halo 3, Assassin's Creed III and inFamous 2) are dubbed in European Portuguese, although there they provide an option to select the original language.
In the Netherlands, for the most part, Dutch versions are only made for children's and family films. Animated movies are shown in theaters with Dutch dubbing, but usually those cinemas with more screening rooms also provide the original subtitled version, such as movies like Finding Nemo, Shrek the Third and WALL-E.
In Greece, most cartoon films have dubs. Usually when a movie has a Greek dub the dub is shown in cinemas but subtitled versions are shown as well. Foreign TV shows for adults are shown in their original versions with subtitles, most cartoons, for example, The Flintstones and The Jetsons were always dubbed, while Family Guy and American Dad! are always subtitled and contain the original English dialogue, since they are mostly for adults rather than children, (even though the movie Space Jam was subtitled instead of being dubbed, since also this is suitable for children). Also some Japanese anime series are dubbed in Greek (such as Pokémon, Pichi Pichi Pitch, Sailor Moon etc.) The only television programs dubbed in Greek includes Mexican TV series (like Rubí and La usurpadora) and teen series (like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody). However, when Skai TV was re-launched in April 2006, the network opted for dubbing almost all foreign shows in Greek, unlike other Greek channels which had always broadcast most of the programs in their original language with subtitles.
In the Nordic countries, dubbing is used only in animated features and other films for younger audiences. Some cinemas in the major cities may also screen the original version, usually as the last showing of the day, or in a smaller auditorium in a multiplex.
In television programs with off-screen narration, the original audio is dubbed in their native language, while on-screen voices are usually subtitled.
The Nordic countries are often treated as a common market issuing DVD and Blu-ray releases with original audio and user choosable subtitle options in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. The covers often have text in all four languages as well, but are sometimes unique for each country. Some releases may include other European language audio and/or subtitles (i.e. German, Greek, Hungarian or Italian). Children's films typically have Nordic audio tracks in all four languages, as well as original audio in most cases.
In Finland, the dubbed version from Sweden may also be available at certain cinemas for children of the 5% Swedish-speaking minority, but only in cities or towns with a significant percentage of Swedish speakers. Most DVD and Blu-ray releases usually only have the original audio, except for children's films, which have both Finnish and Swedish language tracks, in addition to the original audio and subtitles in both languages.
In Iceland, the dubbed version of film and TV is usually Danish with some translated into Icelandic, LazyTown, an Icelandic TV show originally broadcast in English, was dubbed into Icelandic, amongst thirty-two other languages, and it remains the TV show to have been dubbed into the most languages.
In movie theaters, films for adult audiences have both Finnish and Swedish subtitles, the Finnish printed in basic font and the Swedish printed below the Finnish in a cursive font. In the early ages of television, foreign TV shows and movies were voiced by narrator in Finland. Later, subtitles became a practice on Finnish television. Dubbing of films other than children's films is unpopular in Finland, as in many other countries. A good example is The Simpsons Movie. While the original version was well-received, the Finnish-dubbed version received poor reviews, with some critics even calling it a disaster. On the other hand, many dubs of Disney animated features have been well-received, both critically and by the public.
In Estonia in cinemas, only children's animated films are dubbed and live-action films are shown in the original language with subtitles at cinemas. Subtitles are usually presented in both Estonian and Russian languages. Cartoons and animated series voiced by dubbing or voiceover and live-action films and television series only with Estonian subtitles. Animated films are commonly shown in both the original language and dubbed into Estonian (or Russian in many cinemas). Most Estonian-language television channels use subtitles for foreign-language films and TV channels. However, Russian language channels tend to use dubbing more often, especially for Russian channels broadcast from Russia (as opposed to Russian channels broadcast from Estonia).
General films and programming
In the Albanian, Turkish, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian language-speaking markets of Europe, almost all foreign films and television shows are dubbed (the exception being the majority of theatrical releases of adult-audience movies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Turkey and high-profile videos in Russia). There are few opportunities to watch foreign movies in their original versions. In Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria, even in the largest cities, there are few cinemas that screen original versions with subtitles, or without any translation. However, digital pay-TV programming is often available in the original language, including the latest movies. Prior to the rise of DVDs, which in these countries are mostly issued with multi-language audio tracks, original-language films (those in languages other than the country's official language) were rare, whether in theaters, on TV, or on home video, and subtitled versions were considered a product for small niche markets such as intellectual or art films.
Latvia and Lithuania
In Latvia and Lithuania, only children's movies get dubbed in the cinema, while many movies use voice-over. In recent years however, many cartoons have been dubbed into Latvian and Lithuanian for TV. But some other kids shows, like SpongeBob SquarePants, use the voice-over.
The first movie dubbed in Albanian language was The Great Warrior Skanderbeg in 1954 and since then, there have been thousands of popular titles dubbed in Albanian by different dubbing studios. All animated movies and children's programs are dubbed into Albanian language, many live-action movies as well. TV series nevertheless are usually not dubbed, they are subtitled except for a few Mexican, Brazilian and Turkish soap operas, like: Por Ti, Celebridade, A Casa das Sete Mulheres, Paramparça, etc. As for documentaries, Albania usually uses voice-over.
Voice actors that have dubbed for celebrities in Albanian language can be enlisted here.
In France, movies and TV series are, except purely arthouse films, usually released in the dubbed French language version. The original language version of the film with French subtitles is released in designated theaters which show only subtitled versions or both versions are shown at different times or split screenings between both versions. However, dubbing is the norm and subtitling is only for niche audience and movies with subtitles are usually very small arthouse films with very limited commercial prospects for pay and free TV airings and also home entertainment (VOD, DVD,). Dubbing in the French Language is thus absolutely essential for any sale to be made.
Since the digitalization of even now the over-the -air television broadcaster, both versions are however offered to the customer simultaneously. By default, foreign films and TV programmes shown on television are dubbed into French on a channel's main audio feed. However, with the advent of digital television, viewers can access the original language feed for some programmes, as well as matching subtitles. Most movies are released nationwide in dubbed version and subtitled versions where available with the exception of very limited often micro-budget arthouse productions that do stem come from the "hollywood movie production" machine which are exclusively arthouse films and not dubbed at the time of their theatrical release. Theaters showing these kind of movies or also showing commercial films in the original language version with French subtitles are very rare outside of the big cities and most of them are located in Paris which has the most "cinephile" cinemas in France. Often these "niche" films are only released in Paris region.
A theater showing subtitled versions of original language movies are typically well known for this and will advertise this also on the poster advising moviegoers that the film is shown in an original language version (usually abbreviated VO [version originale] or VOST [version originale sous-titrée]), as opposed to VF [version française], the latter then becoming what is known and used also in the neighboring countries like Belgium or Switzerland, as the "FRENCH LANGUAGE VERSION" of the film.)
Because the alterations made to the original film are so profound, making it no longer viewable or understandable for audiences that speak the language the film was originally shot in, the final dubbed version is called the "French language version", as opposed to the use of subtitles which leave the film in its original state. The choice to dub or not at the time of theatrical release is a decision made by the distributor releasing the film based upon their recoupment strategy for the film and their prognosis of the commercial prospects. Given the fact that a dub is needed for home entertainment and TV sales, only very small arthouse films are never dubbed. Only a very small percentage (according to the official institute CNC in France only 16.4% of all ticket-sales where for movies watched in the original language version with subtitles) and this is counting Blockbusters and others shown in their original language version with subtitles and the small number of films that are never dubbed. Voice actors that have dubbed for celebrities in the European French language can be viewed here.
|European French dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Alexandre Gillet||Elijah Wood|
|Charles Pestel||Elijah Wood|
|Serge Faliu||Adam Sandler|
|Gabriel Le Doze||Gary Oldman|
Philip Seymour Hoffman
|Marie-Eugénie Maréchal||Kirsten Dunst|
|Chloé Berthier||Kirsten Dunst|
|Dorothée Pousséo||Mary-Kate Olsen|
|Laurent Morteau||Jeff Bennett|
|Michel Bedetti||Corey Burton|
|Benoît Allemane||Morgan Freeman|
|Pierre Hatet||Christopher Lloyd|
|Dominique Collignon-Maurin||Mark Hamill|
|Bruno Dubernat||Neal McDonough|
|Jean-Claude Donda||Jim Broadbent|
William H. Macy
In Italy, dubbing is systematic, with a tradition going back to the 1930s in Rome, Milan, Florence and Turin. In Mussolini's fascist Italy, release of foreign languages movies was banned for political reasons. Rome is the principal base of the dubbing industry, where major productions such as movies, drama, documentaries and some cartoons are dubbed. However, dubbing in Milan is mostly of cartoons and some minor productions. Practically every foreign film (mostly American ones) of every genre, for children or adults, as well as TV shows, are dubbed into Italian. In big cities, original-version movies can also be seen in some theaters but it is not so common. Subtitles may be available on late-night programs on mainstream TV channels, and on pay-TV all movies are available in the original language with Italian subtitles, many shows featuring their original soundtracks.
Early in their careers, actors such as Alberto Sordi or Nino Manfredi worked extensively as dubbing actors. At one point, common practice in Italian cinema was to shoot scenes MOS (motor only sync or motor only shot) and dub the dialogue in post-production. A notable example of this practice is The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, in which all actors had to dub in their own voices.
Video games are generally either dubbed into Italian (for instance Assassin's Creed saga, Halo or Harry Potter series etc.) or released with original-speaking tracks but with all the texts translated into Italian language.
A list of the voice actors that have dubbed for celebrities in Italian can be enlisted here.
In Spain, practically all foreign television programs are shown dubbed in European Spanish, as are most films. Some dubbing actors have achieved popularity for their voices, such as Constantino Romero (who dubs Clint Eastwood, Darth Vader and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator, among others) and Óscar Muñoz (the official European Spanish dub-over voice artist for Elijah Wood and Hayden Christensen). Currently, with the spread of digital terrestrial television, viewers can choose between the original and the dubbed soundtracks for most movies and television.
In some communities such as Catalonia, some foreign programs are also dubbed into their own languages, different from European Spanish. Films from the Spanish-speaking America shown in these communities are shown in their original language, while strong regional accents (from the Spanish-speaking America or from Spain) may be subtitled in news and documentaries.
Germany, Austria and Switzerland
The Germanophone dubbing market is the largest in Europe. Germany has the most foreign-movie-dubbing studios per capita and per given area in the world and according to the german newspaper Die Welt 52% of all voice actors currently work in the german dubbing industry. In Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, practically all films, shows, television series and foreign soap operas are shown in dubbed versions created for the German market. However, in some of Switzerland's towns and cities (particularly along the language-borders), subtitled versions are common. Dubbing films is a traditional and common practice in German-speaking Europe, since subtitles are not accepted and used as much as in other European countries. According to a European study, Austria is the country with the highest rejection rate (more than 70 percent) of subtitles, followed by Italy, Spain and Germany. In German-speaking markets, computer and video games feature German text menus and are dubbed into the German language if speaking parts exist.
In recent years, Swiss and Austrian television stations have been showing increasing numbers of movies, series and TV-programmes in "dual sound," which means the viewer can choose between the original language (e.g. English) and the language of the channel (German, French or Italian, according to the location).
Although German-speaking voice actors play only a secondary role, they are still notable for providing familiar voices to well-known actors. Famous foreign actors are known and recognized for their German voice, and the German audience is used to them, so dubbing is also a matter of authenticity. However, in larger cities, there are theaters where movies can be seen in their original versions, as English has become somewhat more popular among young educated viewers. On German mainstream television, films are never broadcast with subtitles, but pay-per-view programming is often available in the original language. Subtitled niche and art films are sometimes aired on smaller networks.
German-dubbed versions sometimes diverge greatly from the original, especially in adding humorous elements to the original. In extreme cases, such as The Persuaders!, the dubbed version was more successful than the English original. Often, translation adds sexually explicit gags the U.S. versions might not be allowed to use. For example, in Bewitched, the translators changed "The Do Not Disturb sign will hang on the door tonight" to "The only hanging thing tonight will be the Do Not Disturb sign".
Some movies dubbed in Austria diverge from the German Standard version in addressing other people but only when the movies are dubbed into certain Austrian dialect versions. (Mr. and Mrs. are translated into Herr and Frau which is usually not translated in order to be in lip-sync). Sometimes even English pronounced first names are translated and are pronounced into the correct German equivalent (English name "Bert" became Southern German pronounced name "Bertl" which is an abbreviation for any name either beginning or even ending with "bert", e.g. "Berthold" or "Albert".)
German dubbing voice artists of actors are enlisted here.
|German dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Timmo Niesner||Elijah Wood|
|The Official German voice artist for Elijah Wood since 1999.|
|Marie Bierstedt||Kirsten Dunst|
|Tim Schwarzmaier||Daniel Radcliffe||Dubbed him as Harry Potter of the first two installments of the titular film series.|
|Nico Sablik||Daniel Radcliffe||Dubbed him as Harry Potter for the rest of the titular film series, starting with the third film.|
|Max Felder||Rupert Grint|
|Gabrielle Pietermann||Emma Watson|
Meaghan Jette Martin
|Dietmar Wunder||Adam Sandler|
Cuba Gooding Jr.
|Udo Schenk||Gary Oldman|
|Thomas Petruo||Gary Oldman|
In Czech Republic, all foreign films, TV series, cartoons, and animated series are provided with Czech dubbing. All television channels (both free and paid) broadcast foreign films and series dubbed - with only very rare exceptions. In some foreign channels (in the past, for example, Hallmark Channel) broadcast in the Czech Republic, was broadcast sometimes Slovak dubbed versions (for example Living with the Dead). According to the language laws for television broadcasting, there is no use of Slovak dubbing prohibited, because it is equivalent to the official language of that country. In Czech TV, for example, until 2002, the series of Dempsey and Makepeace was broadcast only in Slovak dubbing. Films in cinemas are usually provided only with subtitles, but some films like family films, films aimed at a young audience, and major film series (especially those in 3D) are also dubbed, and a subtitled version is available only in a few cinemas. It is also common for well-known foreign actors to be dubbed by one individual Czech voice actor; for instance Clint Eastwood has been dubbed by Ladislav Županič in 39 of 42 films distributed in the Czech Republic.
In Slovakia, home media market, Czech dubbed versions are widely used, with only children's films and some few exceptions (for example Independence Day) that have been dubbed for cinema being released with Slovak dubbing. Czech dubbing was also extensively used in the broadcast of Slovak television channels, but since 2008 Slovak language laws require any newer shows (understood as the first television broadcast in Slovakia) to be provided with Slovak localization (dubbing or subtitles); since then, television broadcasts of films, TV series and cartoons have been dubbed into Slovak.
In Hungary, dubbing is almost universally common. Almost every foreign movie or TV show released in Hungary is dubbed into Hungarian. The history of dubbing dates back to the 1950s, when the country was still under communist rule. One of the most iconic Hungarian dubs was of the American cartoon The Flintstones, with a local translation by József Romhányi. The Internetes Szinkron Adatbázis (ISzDB) is the largest Hungarian database for film dubs, with information for many live action and animated films. On page 59 of the Eurobarometer, 84% of Hungarians said that they prefer dubbing over subtitles.
In the socialist era, every film was dubbed with professional and mostly popular actors. Care was taken to make sure the same voice actor would lend his voice to the same original actor. In the early 1990s, as cinemas tried to keep up with showing newly released films, subtitling became dominant in the cinema. This, in turn, forced TV channels to make their own cheap versions of dubbed soundtracks for the movies they presented, resulting in a constant degrading of dubbing quality. Once this became customary, cinema distributors resumed the habit of dubbing for popular productions, presenting them in a below-average quality. However, every feature is presented with the original soundtrack in at least one cinema in large towns and cities.
However, in Hungary, most documentary films and series (for example, those on Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel) are made with voiceovers. Some old movies and series, or ones that provide non-translatable jokes and conversations (for example, the Mr. Bean television series), are shown only with subtitles.
There is a more recent problem arising from dubbing included on DVD releases. Many generations have grown up with an original (and, by current technological standards, outdated) soundtrack, which is either technologically (mono or bad quality stereo sound) or legally (expired soundtrack license) unsuitable for a DVD release. Many original features are released on DVD with a new soundtrack, which in some cases proves to be extremely unpopular, thus forcing DVD producers to include the original soundtrack. In some rare cases, the Hungarian soundtrack is left out altogether. This happens notably with Warner Home Video Hungary, which ignored the existence of Hungarian soundtracks completely, as they did not want to pay the licenses for the soundtracks to be included on their new DVD releases, which appear with improved picture quality, but very poor subtitling.
In Poland, cinema releases for general audiences are almost exclusively subtitled, with the exception of children's movies, and television screenings of movies, as well as made-for-TV shows. These are usually shown with voice-over, where a voice talent reads a translation over the original soundtrack. This method, called "juxtareading," is similar to the so-called Gavrilov translation in Russia, with one difference—all dialogues are voiced by one lector, preferably with a deep and neutral voice which does not interfere with the pitch of voice of the original speakers in the background. To some extent, it resembles live translation. Certain highly qualified voice talents are traditionally assigned to particular kinds of production, such as action or drama. Standard dubbing is not widely popular with most audiences, with the exception of cartoons and children's shows, which are dubbed also for TV releases.
Poland's dubbing traditions began between the two world wars. In 1931, among the first movies dubbed into Polish were Dangerous Curves (1929), The Dance of Life (1929), Paramount on Parade (1930), and Darling of the Gods (1930). In 1949, the first dubbing studio opened in Łódź. The first film dubbed that year was Russkiy Vopros (filmed 1948).
Polish dubbing in the first post-war years suffered from poor synchronization. Polish dialogues were not always audible and the cinema equipment of those time often made films sound less clear than they were. In the 1950s, Polish publicists discussed the quality of Polish versions of foreign movies.
The number of dubbed movies and the quality improved. Polish dubbing had a golden age between the 1960s and the 1980s. Approximately a third of foreign movies screened in cinemas were dubbed. The "Polish dubbing school" was known for its high quality. In that time, Poland had some of the best dubbing in the world. The person who initiated high-quality dubbing versions was director Zofia Dybowska-Aleksandrowicz. In that time, dubbing in Poland was very popular. Polish television dubbed popular films and TV series such as Rich Man, Poor Man; Fawlty Towers, Forsyte Saga, Elizabeth R, I, Claudius, I'll Take Manhattan, and Peter the Great.
In the 1980s, due to budget cuts, state-run TV saved on tapes by voicing films over live during transmission.
Overall, during 1948-1998, almost 1,000 films were dubbed in Polish. In the 1990s, dubbing films and TV series continued, although often also for one emission only.
In 1995, Canal+ was launched in Poland. In its first years, it dubbed 30% of its schedule dubbing popular films and TV series, one of the best-known and popular dubbings was that of Friends, but this proved unsuccessful. It stopped dubbing films in 1999, although many people supported the idea of dubbing and bought the access only for dubbing versions of foreign productions. In the 1990s, dubbing was done by the television channel known as Wizja Jeden. They mainly dubbed BBC productions such as The League of Gentlemen, Absolutely Fabulous and Men Behaving Badly. Wizja Jeden was closed in 2001. In the same year, TVP stopped dubbing the TV series Frasier, although that dubbing was very popular.
Currently, dubbing of films and TV series for teenagers is made by Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. One of the major breakthroughs in dubbing was the Polish release of Shrek, which contained many references to local culture and Polish humour. Since then, people seem to have grown to like dubbed versions more, and pay more attention to the dubbing actors. However, this seems to be the case only with animated films, as live-action dubbing is still considered a bad practice. In the case of DVD releases, most discs contain both the original soundtrack and subtitles, and either voice over or dubbed Polish track. The dubbed version is, in most cases, the one from the theater release, while voice-over is provided for movies that were only subtitled in theaters.
Since theatrical release of The Avengers in May 2012, Walt Disney Company Polska dubs all films for cinema releases. Also in 2012, United International Pictures Polska dubbed The Amazing Spider-Man, while Forum Film Polska – former distributor of Disney's films – decided to dub The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, along with its two sequels. However, when a dub is produced but the film's target audience is not exclusively children, both dubbed and subtitled versions are usually available in movie theaters. The dubbed versions are more commonly shown in morning and early afternoon hours, with the subtitled version dominating in the evening. Both can be available in parallel at similar hours in multiplexes.
Russian television is generally dubbed, but in the cases using voice-over dub technique with only a couple of voice actors, with the original speech still audible underneath. In the Soviet Union, most foreign movies to be officially released were dubbed. Voice-over dub was invented in the Soviet Union in the 1980s when with the fall of the regime, many popular foreign movies, previously forbidden, or at least questionable under communist rule, started to flood in, in the form of low-quality home-copied videos. Being unofficial releases, they were dubbed in a very primitive way. For example, the translator spoke the text directly over the audio of a video being copied, using primitive equipment.
The quality of the resulting dub was very low, the translated phrases were off-sync, interfering with the original voices, background sounds leaked into the track, translation was inaccurate and, most importantly, all dub voices were made by a single person who usually lacked the intonation of the original, making comprehension of some scenes quite difficult. This method of translation exerted a strong influence on Russian pop culture. Voices of translators became recognizable for generations.
In modern Russia, the overdubbing technique is still used in many cases, although with vastly improved quality, and now with multiple voice actors dubbing different original voices. Video games are generally either dubbed into Russian (for instance The Legend of Spyro trilogy, Skylanders series, Assassin's Creed saga, Halo or Harry Potter series etc.) or released with original-speaking tracks but with all the texts translated into Russian language.
Releases of cinemas are almost always dubbed in the Russian language. On television series are shown as a dubbed translation and offscreen. Subtitles are not used at all.
In Ukraine, since 2006 cinema releases are almost always dubbed into Ukrainian with the overdubbing technique and multiple voice actors dubbing different original voices with a small percent of art-house/documentaries shown in the original language with Ukrainian subtitles. For television, TV channels usually release movies and TV-shows with a Ukrainian voiceover, although certain high-profile films and TV shows are dubbed rather than voice-overe'ed.
In the past Russian-language films, TV series, cartoons, animated series and TV programs were usually not dubbed but were shown with the original audio with Ukrainian subtitles. However, this practise has been slowly abandoned since late 2010s: all children's films and cartoons regardless of the original language (including Russian) are always dubbed into Ukrainian; example of the first Russian cartoons dubbed into Ukrainian for the cinematic-release is The Snow Queen 2 (2015), A Warrior's Tail (2015), Volki i Ovtsy: Be-e-e-zumnoe prevrashenie (2016), Ivan Tsarevich i Seryy Volk 3 (2016), Bremenskie razboyniki (2016), The Snow Queen 3: Fire and Ice (2017), Fantastic Journey to OZ (2017), Fixies: Top Secret (2017) etc.; the same trend is seen among Russian language feature films for adults, with the first such films dubbed into Ukrainian including Battle for Sevastopol (2015), Hardcore Henry (2016), The Duelist (2016).
United States and English-speaking Canada
In the United States and English-speaking Canada, live-action foreign films are usually shown in theaters with their original languages (with English subtitles). It is because live-action dubbed movies rarely did well in United States box office since 1980's. The 1982 United States theatrical release of Wolfgang Peterson’s Das Boot was the last major release to go out in both original and English-dubbed versions, and the film's original version actually grossed much higher than the English-dubbed version. Later on, English-dubbed versions of international hits like Un indien dans la ville, Godzilla 2000, Anatomy, Pinocchio and High Tension flopped at United States box office. When Miramax planned to release the English-dubbed versions of Shaolin Soccer and Hero in the United States cinemas, their English-dubbed versions scored badly in test screenings in the United States, so Miramax finally released the films in United States cinemas with their original language. Still, English-dubbed movies have much better commercial potential in ancillary market; therefore, more distributors would release live-action foreign films in theaters with their original languages (with English subtitles), then release both original versions and English-dubbed versions in ancillary market.
On the other hand, anime is almost always released in English-dubbed format, regardless of its content or target age group. The exceptions to this practice are either when an English dub has not been produced for the program (usually in the case of feature films) or when the program is being presented by a network that places importance on presenting it in its original format (as was the case when Turner Classic Movies aired several of Hayao Miyazaki's works, which were presented both dubbed and subtitled). Most anime DVDs contain options for original Japanese, Japanese with subtitles, and English-dubbed, except for a handful of series that have been heavily edited or Americanized. In addition, Disney has a policy that makes its directors undergo stages to perfect alignment of certain lip movements so the movie looks believable.
In addition, a small number of British films have been re-dubbed when released in the United States, due to the usage of dialects which Americans are not familiar with (for example, Kes and Trainspotting). However, British children's shows (such as Bob the Builder) are always re-dubbed with American voice actors in order to make the series more understandable for American children. Conversely, British programs shown in Canada are not re-dubbed.
For Spanish-speaking countries, all foreign-language programs, films, cartoons and documentaries shown on free-to-air TV networks are dubbed into Standard Spanish, while broadcasts on cable and satellite pan-regional channels are either dubbed or subtitled. In theaters, children's movies and most blockbuster films are dubbed into Standard Spanish or Mexican Spanish, and are sometimes further dubbed into regional dialects of Spanish where they are released.
In Mexico, by law, films shown in theaters must be shown in their original version. Films in languages other than Spanish are usually subtitled. Only educational documentaries and movies rated for children, as well as some movies that are expected to have a wide audience (for example, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King or The Avengers) may be dubbed, but this is not compulsory, and some animated films are shown in theaters in both dubbed and subtitled versions (for instance, some DreamWorks productions). Nonetheless, a recent trend in several cinemas is to offer the dubbed versions only, with a stark decrease in the showing of the original ones.
Most movies released on DVD feature neutral Spanish as a language option, and sometimes feature a specific dub for Mexican audiences (for example, Rio). Foreign programs are dubbed on broadcast TV, while on pay TV most shows and movies are subtitled. It must be noted, however, that in a similar way to cinemas, in the last few years many channels on pay TV have begun to broadcast programs and films only in their dubbed version.
Dubbing became very popular in the 1990s with the rise in popularity of anime in Mexico. Some voice actors have become celebrities and are always identified with specific characters, such as Mario Castañeda (who became popular by dubbing Goku in Dragon Ball Z) or Humberto Vélez (who dubbed Homer Simpson in the first 15 seasons of The Simpsons).
The popularity of pay TV has allowed people to view several series in their original language rather than dubbed. Dubbing has been criticized for the use of TV or movie stars as voice actors (such as Ricky Martin on Disney's Hercules, or Eugenio Derbez on DreamWorks' Shrek), or for the incorrect use of local popular culture that sometimes creates unintentional jokes or breaks the feeling of the original work (such as translating Sheldon Cooper's "Bazinga!" to "¡Vacilón!").
Several video games have been dubbed into neutral Spanish, rather than European Spanish, in Mexico (such as the Gears of War series, Halo 3, Infamous 2 and others). Sony recently announced that more games (such as God of War: Ascension) will be dubbed into neutral Spanish.
In Peru, all foreign series, movies, and animated programming are shown dubbed in Latin American Spanish, with dubs imported from Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela on terrestrial and pay-television. All movies intended for kids are being offered as dub-only movies, while films aimed at older audiences are being offered dubbed and subtitled in Spanish. Pay-TV channels show both dubbed and subtitled version of every film they broadcast, being offered with a separate subtitle track and a second audio track in English. Peru doesn't produce their own dubs since dubbing studios never existed in that country. However, there is an increase of people preferring subtitle films and series rather than dubbed starting the late-2000s, as Peruvians viewers tend to get used to their original version.
In Brazil, foreign programs are invariably dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese on broadcast TV, with only a few exceptions. Films shown at cinemas are generally offered with both subtitled and dubbed versions, with dubbing frequently being the only choice for children's movies. Subtitling was primarily for adult audience movies until 2012. Since then, dubbed versions also became available for all ages. As a result, in recent years, more cinemas have opened in Brazil, attracting new audiences to the cinema who prefer dubbing.
In the 90's, with Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball and other anime shows becoming popular in Brazilian TV's, the voice actors and the dubbing career gained a higher space in Brazilian culture. Actors like Hermes Baroli (Brazilian dubber of Pegasus Seiya, in Saint Seiya and actors like Ashton Kutcher), Marco Ribeiro (Brazilian dubber of many actors like Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey and Robert Downey Jr., and Yusuke Urameshi from the anime Yu Yu Hakusho) and Wendel Bezerra (Brazilian dubber of Goku in Dragon Ball Z and SpongeBob in SpongeBob SquarePants) are recognized for their most notable roles.
Pay TV commonly offers both dubbed and subtitled movies, with statistics showing that dubbed versions are becoming predominant. Most DVD and Blu-ray releases usually feature Portuguese, Spanish, and the original audio along with subtitles in native languages. Most video games are dubbed in Brazilian Portuguese rather than having European Portuguese dubs alone. Games such as Halo 3, God of War: Ascension, inFamous 2, Assassin's Creed III, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, World of Warcraft and others are dubbed in Brazilian Portuguese. This is because despite the dropping of the dubbing law in Portugal in 1994, most companies in that country use the Brazilian Portuguese because of traditional usage during the days of the dubbing rule, along with these dubbings being more marketable than European Portuguese.
A list that showcases Brazilian Portuguese voice artists that dub for actors and actresses are displayed here. However, there can also be different official dub artists for certain regions within Brazil.
|Brazilian Portuguese dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Vagner Fagundes||Elijah Wood||Official voice artist for Elijah Wood in São Paulo dubs.|
|Sérgio Cantú||Elijah Wood|
|Official voice artist for Elijah Wood in Rio de Janeiro dubs.|
|Alexandre Moreno||Adam Sandler|
|Mauro Ramos||Gary Oldman|
|Letícia Quinto||Anne Hathaway|
|Sylvia Salustti||Renee O'Connor|
Sarah Michelle Gellar
|Márcio Seixas||Sean Connery|
|Hércules Fernando||Jet Li|
Apparently, for unknown reasons (probably technical), the Brazilian Portuguese dub credits from some shows or cartoons from channels from Viacom or Turner/Time Warner, are shown on Latin America (on Spanish-dubbed series).
In Quebec, Canada, most films and TV programs in English are dubbed into Standard French, occasionally with Quebec French idiosyncrasies. Occasionally, the dubbing of a series or a movie, such as The Simpsons, is made using the more widely spoken joual variety of Quebec French. Dubbing has the advantage of making children's films and TV series more comprehensible to younger audiences. However, many bilingual Québécois prefer subtitling, since they would understand some or all of the original audio. In addition, all films are shown in English, as well in certain theaters (especially in major cities and English-speaking areas such as the West Island), and some theatres, such as the Scotiabank Cinema Montreal, show only movies in English. Most American television series are only available in English on DVD, or on English-language channels, but some of the more popular ones have French dubs shown on mainstream networks, and are released in French on DVD as well, sometimes separately from an English-only version.
Formerly, all French-language dubbed films in Quebec were imported from France and some still are. Such a practice was criticized by former politician Mario Dumont after he took his children to see the Parisian French dub of Shrek the Third, which Dumont found incomprehensible. After his complaints and a proposed bill, Bee Movie, the film from DreamWorks Animation, was dubbed in Quebec, making it the studio's first animated film to have a Quebec French dub, as all DreamWorks Animation films had previously been dubbed in France. In terms of Disney, the first Disney animated movie to be dubbed in Quebec was Oliver and Company. The Disney Renaissance films were also dubbed in Quebec except for The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.
In addition, because Canadian viewers usually find Quebec French more comprehensible than other dialects of the language, some older film series that had the French-language versions of previous installments dubbed in France have had later ones dubbed in Quebec, often creating inconsistencies within the French version of the series' canon. Lucasfilm's Star Wars and Indiana Jones series are examples. Both series had films released in the 1970s and 1980s, with no Québécois French dubbed versions; instead, the Parisian French versions, with altered character and object names and terms, were distributed in the province. However, later films in both series released 1999 and later were dubbed in Quebec, using different voice actors and "reversing" name changes made in France's dubbings due to the change in studio.
China has a long tradition of dubbing foreign films into Mandarin Chinese, starting in the 1930s. While during the Republic of China era Western motion pictures may have been imported and dubbed into Chinese, since 1950 Soviet movies, dubbed primarily in Shanghai, became the main import. Beginning in the late 1970s, in addition to films, popular TV series from the United States, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico were also dubbed. The Shanghai Film Dubbing Studio has been the most well-known studio in the film dubbing industry in China. In order to generate high-quality products, they divide each film into short segments, each one lasting only a few minutes, and then work on the segments one-by-one. In addition to the correct meaning in translation, they make tremendous effort to match the lips of the actors to the dialogue. As a result, the dubbing in these films generally is not readily detected. The cast of dubbers is acknowledged at the end of a dubbed film. Several dubbing actors and actresses of the Shanghai Film Dubbing Studio have become well-known celebrities, such as Qiu Yuefeng, Bi Ke, Li Zi, and Liu Guangning. In recent years, however, especially in the larger cities on the east and south coasts, it has become increasingly common for movie theaters to show subtitled versions with the original soundtracks intact.
Motion pictures are also dubbed into the languages of some of China's autonomous regions. Notably, the Translation Department of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Movie Company (西藏自治区电影公司译制科) has been dubbing movies into the Tibetan language since the 1960s. In the early decades, it would dub 25 to 30 movies each year, the number rising to 60-75 by the early 2010s. Motion pictures are dubbed for China's Mongol- and Uyghur-speaking markets as well.
Taiwan dubs some foreign films and TV series in Mandarin Chinese. Until the mid-1990s, the major national terrestrial channels both dubbed and subtitled all foreign programs and films and, for some popular programs, the original voices were offered in second audio program. Gradually, however, both terrestrial and cable channels stopped dubbing for prime time U.S. shows and films, while subtitling continued.
In the 2000s, the dubbing practice has differed depending on the nature and origin of the program. Animations, children's shows and some educational programs on PTS are mostly dubbed. English live-action movies and shows are not dubbed in theaters or on television. Japanese TV dramas are no longer dubbed, while Korean dramas, Hong Kong dramas and dramas from other Asian countries are still often dubbed. Korean variety shows are not dubbed. Japanese and Korean films on Asian movie channels are still dubbed. In theaters, most foreign films are not dubbed, while animated films and some films meant for children offer a dubbed version. Hong Kong live-action films have a long tradition of being dubbed into Mandarin, while more famous films offer a Cantonese version.
In Hong Kong, foreign television programmes, except for English-language and Mandarin television programmes, are dubbed in Cantonese. English-language and Mandarin programmes are generally shown in their original with subtitles. Foreign films, such as most live-action and animated films (such as anime and Disney), are usually dubbed in Cantonese. However most cinemas also offer subtitled versions of English-language films.
For the most part, foreign films and TV programmes, both live-action and animated, are generally dubbed in both Mandarin and Cantonese. For example, in The Lord of the Rings film series, Elijah Wood's character Frodo Baggins was dubbed into Mandarin by Jiang Guangtao for China and Taiwan. For the Cantonese localization, there were actually two dubs for Hong Kong and Macau. The first Cantonese dub, he was voiced by Leung Wai Tak, with a second Cantonese dub released, he was voiced by Bosco Tang.
A list for Mandarin and Cantonese voice artists that dub for actors are shown here.
|Mandarin Chinese dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Jiang Guangtao||Elijah Wood|
|Ren Wei||Tom Cruise|
|Cantonese Chinese dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Liang Weide||Elijah Wood||Dubbed for Wood as Frodo Baggins in the 2005 TVB Pearl version of The Lord of the Rings.|
|Bosco Tang||Dubbed for Wood as Frodo Baggins in the 2010 HMC version of The Lord of the Rings.|
In Israel, only children's movies and TV programming are dubbed in Hebrew. In programs aimed at teenagers and adults, dubbing is rarely considered for translation, not only because of its high costs, but also because the audience is mainly multi-lingual. Most viewers in Israel speak at least one European language in addition to Hebrew, and a large part of the audience also speaks Arabic. Therefore, most viewers prefer to hear the original soundtrack, aided by Hebrew subtitles. Another problem is that dubbing does not allow for translation into two different languages simultaneously, as is often the case of Israeli television channels that use subtitles in Hebrew and another language (like Russian) simultaneously.
In Japan, many television programs appear on Japanese television subtitled or dubbed if they are intended for children. When the American film Morocco was released in Japan in 1931, subtitles became the mainstream method of translating TV programs and films in Japan. Later, around the 1950s, foreign television programs and films began to be shown dubbed in Japanese on television. The first ones to be dubbed into Japanese were the 1940s Superman cartoons in 1955.
Due to the lack of video software for domestic television, video software was imported from abroad. When the television program was shown on television, it was mostly dubbed. There was a character limit for a small TV screen at a lower resolution, and this method was not suitable for the poor elderly and illiterate eye, as was audio dubbing. Presently, TV shows and movies (both those aimed at all ages and adults-only) are shown dubbed with the original language and Japanese subtitles, while providing the original language option when the same film is released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray.
Adult cartoons such as Family Guy, South Park, and The Simpsons are shown dubbed in Japanese on the WOWOW TV channel. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was dubbed in Japanese by different actors instead of the same Japanese dubbing-actors from the cartoon because it was handled by a different Japanese dubbing studio, and it was marketed for the Kansai market. In Japanese theaters, foreign-language movies, except those intended for children, are usually shown in their original version with Japanese subtitles. Foreign films usually contain multiple Japanese-dubbing versions, but with several different original Japanese-dubbing voice actors, depending upon which TV station they are aired. NHK, Nippon TV, Fuji TV, TV Asahi, and TBS usually follow this practice, as do software releases on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray. As for recent foreign films being released, there are now some film theaters in Japan that show both dubbed and subtitled editions.
On 22 June 2009, 20th Century Fox's Japanese division has opened up a Blu-Ray lineup known as "Emperor of Dubbing", dedicated at having multiple Japanese dubs of popular English-language films (mostly Hollywood films) as well as retaining the original scripts, releasing them altogether in special Blu-Ray releases. These also feature a new dub created exclusively for that release as a director's cut, or a new dub made with a better surround sound mix to match that of the original English mix (as most older Japanese dubbings were made on mono mixes to be aired on TV). Other companies have followed practice, like Universal Pictures's Japanese division NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan opening up "Reprint of Memories", along with Warner Bros Japan having "Power of Dubbing", which act in a similar way by re-packaging all the multiple Japanese dubs of popular films and putting them out as Special Blu-ray releases.
"Japanese dub-over artists" provide the voices for certain performers, such as those listed in the following table:
In South Korea, anime that are imported from Japan are generally shown dubbed in Korean on television. However, some anime is censored, such as Japanese letters or content being edited for a suitable Korean audience. Western cartoons are dubbed in Korean as well, such as Nickelodeon cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants and Danny Phantom. Several English-language (mostly American) live-action films are dubbed in Korean, but they are not shown in theaters. Instead they are only broadcast on South Korean television networks (KBS, MBC, SBS, EBS), while DVD import releases of these films are shown with Korean subtitles, such as The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, the Star Wars films, and Avatar. This may be due to the fact that the six American major film studios may not own any rights to the Korean dubs of their live-action films that the Korean television networks have dubbed and aired. Even if they don't own the rights, Korean or non-Korean viewers can record from Korean-dubbed live-action films from television broadcasting onto DVDs with DVRs.
Sometimes, video games are dubbed in Korean. Examples would be the Halo series, the Jak & Daxter series, and the God of War series. For the Halo games, Lee Jeong Gu provides his Korean voice to the main protagonist Master Chief (replacing Steve Downes's voice), while Kim So Hyeong voices Chieftain Tartarus, one of the main antagonists (replacing Kevin Michael Richardson's voice).
The following South Korean voice-over artists are usually identified with the following actors:
In Thailand, foreign television programs are dubbed in Thai, but the original soundtrack is often simultaneously carried on a NICAM audio track on terrestrial broadcast, and alternate audio tracks on satellite broadcast. Previously, terrestrial stations simulcasted the original soundtrack on the radio. On pay-TV, many channels carry foreign-language movies and television programs with subtitles. Movie theaters in Bangkok and some larger cities show both the subtitled version and the dubbed version of English-language movies. In big cities like Bangkok, Thai-language movies have English subtitles.
This list features a collection of Thai voice actors and actresses that have dubbed for these featured performers.
Unlike movie theaters in most Asian countries, those in Indonesia show foreign movies with subtitles. Then a few years or months later, those movies appear on TV either dubbed in Indonesian or subtitled. Kids shows are mostly dubbed, even though in cartoon series, songs aren't dubbed, but in big movies such as Disney movies, both speaking and singing voice were cast for the new Indonesian dub even though it took maybe a few months or even years for the movie to come out. Adult films was mostly subtitled, but sometimes they can be dubbed as well, because there aren't many Indonesian voices, mostly in dubbed movies, three character can have exactly the same voice.
Reality shows never dubbed in Indonesian, because it was not a planned-interaction such as in movies, so if they appear in TV, it will be appear with subtitles on it.
|Indonesian dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Elijah Wood|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Adam Sandler|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Gary Oldman|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Kirsten Dunst|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Mark Hamill|
|Unknown dubbing artist||William Moseley|
In the Philippines, media practitioners generally have mixed practices regarding whether to dub television programes or films, even within the same kind of medium. They have mixed only with the dub television files and for G and PG graph square boundary.
The prevalence of media needing to be dubbed has resulted in a talent pool that is very capable of syncing voice to lip, especially for shows broadcast by the country's three largest networks. It is not uncommon in the Filipino dub industry to have most of the voices in a series dubbing by only a handful of voice talents. English-language programmes used to usually air in their original language in free-to-air television. However, since the late 1990s/early 2000s, more English-language programmes that air on major free-to-air networks (i.e. TV5, ABS-CBN, GMA) have been dubbed into Tagalog. Even Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports and Action) which used to show all of its foreign programmes in English, had adopted dubbing for some of its foreign programmes. Children's programmes from cable networks Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel shown on TV5 or ABS-CBN, have long been dubbed into Tagalog or another Philippine regional language. Also animated Disney films are often dubbed in Tagalog, except for the singing parts, which retains its original language (though in recent years, there has been an increase in number of Disney musicals having their songs also translated such as Frozen). Dubbing is less common in smaller free-to-air networks such as ETC, 2nd Avenue and the former RPN and the original language version is aired. Also popular in the Philippines are Chinese, Korean, and Mexican dramas, which are called Chinovelas, Koreanovelas, and Mexicanovelas, respectively. All of these dramas have always been dubbed in Tagalog or another Philippine regional language, with its unique set of Filipino-speaking voice actors.
As of 2017, new shows are not dubbed in the Philippines and only selected to kids shows in three networks unlike any other counties. However, cable television channels (such as Disney Junior) are usually not dub.
The original language version of TV programmes is also usually available on cable/satellite channels such as Fox Life, Fox, and AXN. However, some channels where foreign films or TV series are dubbed into Tagalog have proliferated. Cinema One, ABS-CBN's cable movie channel, shows some films from abroad dubbed into Tagalog. Nat Geo Wild airs most programs dubbed into Tagalog for Philippine audiences, being one of the few cable channels to do so. Tagalized Movie Channel & Tag airs Hollywood and Asian movies dubbed in Tagalog. Fox Filipino airs some English, Latin, and Asian series dubbed in Tagalog such as The Walking Dead, Devious Maids, La Teniente, Kdabra, and some selected programs from Channel M. GMA News TV airs some English-language documentaries, movies, and reality series dubbed in Tagalog. The defunct channel HERO TV, which focuses on anime and tokusatsu shows and now a web portal, dubs all its foreign programs into Tagalog. This is in contrast to Animax, where their anime programs dubbed in English.
Foreign films especially English films shown in cinemas are almost always shown in their original language. Non-English films make use of English subtitles. Unlike other countries, children's films in English are not dubbed in cinemas.
A list of voice actors with their associates that they dub into Tagalog are listed here.
In India, where "foreign films" are synonymous with "Hollywood films", dubbing is done mostly in three Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Dubbing of foreign languages is rarely done with the other major Indian languages, namely Malayalam and Bengali, due to the high literacy rate among the population who speak the languages. Despite this, some Kannada and Malayalam dubs of children television programs can be seen on Sun TV's channel. The finished works are released into the towns and lower tier settlements of the respective states (where English penetration is low), often with the English-language originals released in the metropolitan areas. In all other states, the English originals are released along with the dubbed versions, where often the dubbed version collections are more outstanding than the originals. Spider-Man 3 was also done in the Bhojpuri language, a language popular in eastern India in addition to Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. A Good Day to Die Hard, the most recent installment in the Die Hard franchise, was the first ever Hollywood film to receive a Punjabi language dub as well.
Most TV channels mention neither the Indian-language dubbing credits, nor its staff, at the end of the original ending credits, since changing the credits casting for the original actors or voice actors involves a huge budget for modifying, making it somewhat difficult to find information for the dubbed versions. The same situation is encountered for films. Sometimes foreign programs and films receive more than one dub, such as for example, Jumanji, Dragonheart and Van Helsing having two Hindi dubs. Information for the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu voice actors who have done the voices for specific actors and for their roles on foreign films and television programs are published in local Indian data magazines, for those that are involved in the dubbing industry in India. But on a few occasions, there are some foreign productions that do credit the dubbing cast, such as animated films like the Barbie films, and some Disney films. Disney Channel original series released on DVD with their Hindi dubs show a list of the artists in the Hindi dub credits, after the original ending credits. Theatrical releases and VCD releases of foreign films do not credit the dubbing cast or staff. The DVD releases, however, do have credits for the dubbing staff, if they are released multilingual. As of recently, information for the dubbing staff of foreign productions have been expanding due to high demands of people wanting to know the knowledge of the voice actors behind characters in foreign works. Various big popular dubbing studios in India are featured such as Sound & Vision India, Main Frame Software Communications, Visual Reality, ZamZam Productions, Treasure Tower International, Blue Whale Entertainment, Jai Hand Entertainment, Sugar Mediaz, Rudra Sound Solutionz and more.
For a list of Indian voice-dubbing artists, click here. A few Indian dubbing artists are listed in the table below.
|Indian dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Language dubbed in||Notes|
|Chetan Shashital||Amitabh Bachchan|
|Rajesh Khattar||Tom Hanks|
Robert Downey Jr.
|Pawan Kalra||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Hindi||Dubbed his roles for films that aired on TV and released on dubbed VCD/DVD releases.|
|Ninad Kamat||Amitabh Bachchan|
|Damandeep Singh Baggan||Jim Carrey||Hindi|
|Mona Ghosh Shetty||Kirsten Dunst|
|Hindi||Current president of Indian dubbing studio, Sound & Vision India. She was formerly vice president before her mother Leela Roy Ghosh (founder and former president) died in 2012.|
|Namrata Sawhney||Kate Winslet||Hindi|
|Karan Trivedi||Daniel Radcliffe|
|Hindi||Dubbed Radcliffe's role as Harry Potter of the titular film franchise from films 2-5. Dubbed Efron's role as Troy in the High School Musical films.|
|Parignya Pandya Shah||Emma Watson|
|Hindi||Dubbed Watson's role as Hermione Granger for the Harry Potter films from the third installment. Dubbed Hudgen's role as Gabriella in the High School Musical films. Also dubbed Stewart's role as Bella Swan for the Twilight films.|
|Nachiket Dighe||Rupert Grint|
|Hindi||Dubbed Grint's role as Ron Weasley for the Harry Potter films from the second installment. Dubbed Sanborn as Jason Cross in the High School Musical Films.|
|Shubhraj Bhat||Skandar Keynes||Hindi||Dubbed Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia films.|
|Saumya Daan||Shia LaBeouf|
James and Oliver Phelps
|Hindi||Dubbed James and Oliver Phelps as Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter film series.|
|Dilip Sinha||Robbie Coltrane||Hindi||Dubbed Robbie as Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series.|
|Rishabh Shukla||Ralph Fiennes||Hindi||Dubbed Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter film series from Goblet of Fire to Deathly Hallows Part 2.|
|Anil Datt||Richard Harris|
|Hindi||Dubbed for Richard's portrayal as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, before his death, thus Michael Gambon being the new actor and Vikrant Chaturvedi was the new Hindi dubbing voice actor for the character. Anil also Hindi dubbed for Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley (Ron's father) who appeared in all films, first appearing in the second installment.|
|Ankur Javeri||William Moseley||Hindi||Dubbed Moseley as Peter Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia films.|
|Prachi Save Sathi||Brenda Song|
|Hindi||Dubbed Brenda as London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, including its spinoff series and film. Also dubbed for Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia films.|
|Malia Pryconadhi||Tara Strong|
Tabitha St German
|Hindi||Only dubbed Martha in Martha Speaks and Kootie Pie in the Mario cartoons.Also replaced Whoopi Goldberg and Carolyn Lawrence.Finally Jordana Beatty|
|Hindi||Dubbed for Anna's role as Susan Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia films.|
|Priya Adivarekar||Miley Cyrus|
|Hindi||Dubbed Cyrus' role as Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana from Season 2 onwards after it was passed from Kumud Bappal, including the film, and her role as Penny in Bolt. Also Hindi-dubbed for Demi Lovato's roles.|
|Koustuv Ghosh||Dylan Sprouse||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Cole Sprouse||Hindi|
|Sanket Mhatre||N. T. Rama Rao Jr.|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Elijah Wood||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Sean Astin||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Ian McKellen||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Gary Oldman||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Leonardo DiCaprio||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Rachel Weisz||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Sean Connery||Hindi|
|Unknown dubbing artist||Christopher Lee||Hindi|
|Ashwin Mushran||Adam Sandler|
|Shakti Singh||George Clooney|
Samuel L. Jackson
Tommy Lee Jones
|Hindi||Official Hindi dub-over artist for George Clooney. Also spelled as: "Shaktee Singh."|
|Samay Raj Thakkar||Arnold Schwarzenegger|
|Hindi||Dubbed Bale's and Maguire's roles throughout the Batman films and Oldman as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films.|
|Lalit Agarwal||Gary Oldman||Hindi||Dubbed for Oldman as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.|
|Viraj Adhav||Tom Cruise|
|Hindi||Voiced his role as Ethan Hunt throughout the Mission Impossible series, as well as popular films in which he starred and dubbed for Maguire in the Marc Webb's Spider-Man trilogy.|
|Mohan Kapoor||Kevin Bacon||Hindi|
|Shailendra Pandey||Vin Diesel||Hindi||Dubbed for Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious films.|
In Pakistan "foreign films", and cartoons are not normally dubbed locally. Instead, foreign films, anime and cartoons, such as those shown on Nickelodeon Pakistan and Cartoon Network Pakistan, are dubbed in Hindi in India, as Hindi and Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, are mutually intelligible. However, soap operas from Turkey are now dubbed in Urdu and have gained increased popularity at the expense of Indian soap operas in Hindi. This has led to protests from local producers that these are a threat to Pakistan's television industry, with local productions being moved out of peak viewing time or dropped altogether. Similarly, politicians leaders have expressed concerns over their content, given Turkey's less conservative culture.
In Vietnam, foreign-language films and programs are subtitled on television in Vietnamese. They were not dubbed until 1985, but are briefly translated with a speaker before commercial breaks. Rio was considered to be the very first American Hollywood film to be entirely dubbed in Vietnamese. Since then, children's films that came out afterwards have been released dubbed in theaters. HTV3 has dubbed television programs for children, including Ben 10, and Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, by using various voice actors to dub over the character roles.
Sooner afterwards, more programs started to get dubbed. HTV3 also offers anime dubbed into Vietnamese. Pokémon got a Vietnamese dub in early 2014 on HTV3 starting with the Best Wishes series. But due to a controversy regarding Pokémon's cries being re-dubbed despite that all characters had their Japanese names, it was switched to VTV2 in September 2015 when the XY series debut. Sailor Moon also recently has been dubbed for HTV3 in Early 2015.
In multilingual Singapore, dubbing is rare for western programmes. English-language programmes on the free-to-air terrestrial channels are usually subtitled in Chinese or Malay. Chinese, Malay and Tamil programmes (except for news bulletins), are usually have subtitles in English and the original language during the prime time hours . Dual sound programs, such as Korean and Japanese dramas, offer sound in the original languages with subtitles, Mandarin-dubbed and subtitled, or English-dubbed. The deliberate policy to encourage Mandarin among citizens made it required by law for programs in other Chinese dialects (Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew) to be dubbed into Mandarin, with the exception of traditional operas. Cantonese and Hokkien shows from Hong Kong and Taiwan, respectively, are available on VCD and DVD. In a recent development, news bulletins are subtitled.
In Iran, foreign films and television programs are dubbed in Persian. Dubbing began in 1946 with the advent of movies and cinemas in the country. Since then, foreign movies have always been dubbed for the cinema and TV. Using various voice actors and adding local hints and witticisms to the original contents, dubbing played a major role in attracting people to the cinemas and developing an interest in other cultures. The dubbing art in Iran reached its apex during the 1960s and 1970s with the inflow of American, European and Hindi movies.
The most famous musicals of the time, such as My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music, were translated, adjusted and performed in Persian by the voice artists. Since the 1990s, for political reasons and under pressure from the state, the dubbing industry has declined, with movies dubbed only for the state TV channels. During recent years, DVDs with Persian subtitles have found a market among viewers for the same reason, but most people still prefer the Persian-speaking dubbed versions. Recently, privately operated companies started dubbing TV series by hiring famous dubbers.
A list of Persian voice actors that associate with their actor counterparts are listed here.
|Persian dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Iraj nazerian||Orson Welles
|Dubbed for Welles as Charles foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941) and dubbed for Brando as Vito Corleone in The Godfather|
|Bahram Zand||Robert De Niro|
|Jalal Maghami||James Cagney|
|Afshin Zinoori||Elijah Wood
|Dubbed for Wood as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and dubbed for Radcliffe as Harry Potter in the titular film series from 3 to 5.|
In Georgia, original soundtracks are kept in TV series and films, but with voice-over translation. There are exceptions, such as some children's cartoons.
In Algeria and Morocco, most foreign movies (especially Hollywood productions) are shown dubbed in French. These movies are usually imported directly from French film distributors. The choice of movies dubbed into French can be explained by the history of colonization of these countries by France and the widespread use of the French language (among the intellectual elite), in addition to the marginalization the two spoken languages, Berber and Darija. Another important factor is that local theaters and private media companies do not dub in local languages in order to avoid high costs, but also because of the lack of both expertise and demand.
Beginning in the 1980s, dubbed series and movies for children in Modern Standard Arabic became a popular choice among most TV channels, cinemas and VHS/DVD stores. However, dubbed films are still imported, and dubbing is performed in Arab countries with a strong tradition of dubbing and subtitling (mainly Syria, Lebanon and Jordan). The evolution of movies targeting the adult audience was different. After the satellite boom in the Arab world and the emergence of Pan-Arab channels, the use of subtitles, which was already popular in the Middle East, was highly popular among local viewers in Algeria and Morocco.
In the Arab world (member states in North Africa, Western Asia and others), only children's films and TV series were dubbed in Arabic. Many different anime titles are dubbed in the Arabic language, as well. Everything else is usually shown in its original language with Arabic subtitles. Recently, The Arabic dubbing industry has boomed, and channels such as MBC Max, are now offering famous older action films aimed at an older audience dubbed in Arabic to be broadcast on television. Action movies such as Braveheart, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Troy have become some of the first foreign action titles to be dubbed in Arabic, rather than using subtitles, on the MBC Max channel. However, they can still be watched in their original language with subtitles.
There's even a list that showcases Arabic voice actors that dub for certain performers that associate with them.
|Arabic dubbing artists||Actor(s)/Actress(es)||Notes|
|Safi Mohammed||Elijah Wood|
In Tunisia, theaters usually show French-dubbed movies, but cinema attendance in the country for such movies is in continuous decline compared to Tunisian and Arab movies. This decline can be traced to the huge popularity of free-to-air Pan-Arab movie channels offering primarily subtitled content, and the government's reduced efforts to limit piracy. Tunisia National Television (TNT), the public broadcaster of Tunisia, is not allowed to show any content in any language other than Arabic, which forces it to broadcast only dubbed content (this restriction was recently removed for commercials). During the 1970s and 1980s, TNT (known as ERTT at the time) started dubbing famous cartoons in Tunisian and Standard Arabic. This move was highly successful locally, but was not able to compete with mainstream dubbing companies (especially in the Middle East). In the private sector, television channels are not subject to the language rule and sometimes broadcast foreign content dubbed into French (excluding children content), although some of them, such as Hannibal TV, started adopting subtitling in Arabic instead, which proved to be more popular than simply importing French-dubbed content.
In South Africa, many television programmes were dubbed in Afrikaans, with the original soundtrack (usually in English, but sometimes Dutch or German) "simulcast" in FM stereo on Radio 2000. These included US series such as The Six Million Dollar Man, (Steve Austin: Die Man van Staal) Miami Vice (Misdaad in Miami), Beverly Hills 90210, and the German detective series Derrick.
As a result of the boycott by the British actors' union Equity, which banned the sale of most British television programmes, the puppet series The Adventures of Rupert Bear was dubbed into South African English, as the original voices had been recorded by Equity voice artists.
This practice has declined as a result of the reduction of airtime for the language on SABC TV, and the increase of locally produced material in Afrikaans on other channels like KykNet. Similarly, many programmes, such as The Jeffersons, were dubbed into Zulu, but this has also declined as local drama production has increased. However, some animated films, such as Maya the Bee, have been dubbed in both Afrikaans and Zulu by local artists.
Uganda's own film industry is fairly small, and foreign movies are commonly watched. The English sound track is often accompanied by the Luganda translation and comments, provided by an Ugandan "video jockey" (VJ). VJ's interpreting and narration may be available in a recorded form or live.
In common with other English-speaking countries, there has traditionally been little dubbing in Australia, with foreign-language television programmes and films being shown (usually on SBS) with subtitles or English dubs produced in other countries. This has also been the case in New Zealand, but the Maori Television Service, launched in 2004, has dubbed animated films into Maori. However, some TV commercials from foreign countries are dubbed, even if the original commercial came from another English-speaking country.
Subtitles can be used instead of dubbing, as different countries have different traditions regarding the choice between dubbing and subtitling. On DVDs with higher translation budgets, the option for both types will often be provided to account for individual preferences; purists often demand subtitles. For small markets (small language area or films for a select audience), subtitling is more suitable, because it is cheaper. In the case of films for small children who cannot yet read, or do not read fast enough, dubbing is necessary.
In most English-speaking countries, dubbing is comparatively rare. In Israel, some programmes need to be comprehensible to speakers of both Hebrew and Russian. This cannot be accomplished with dubbing, so subtitling is much more commonplace—sometimes even with subtitles in multiple languages, with the soundtrack remaining in the original language, usually English. The same applies to certain television shows in Finland, where Finnish and Swedish are both official languages.
In the Netherlands, Flanders, Nordic countries, Estonia and Portugal, films and television programmes are shown in the original language (usually English) with subtitles, and only cartoons and children's movies and programs are dubbed, such as the Harry Potter series, Finding Nemo, Shrek, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and others. Cinemas usually show both a dubbed version and one with subtitles for this kind of movie, with the subtitled version shown later in the evening.
In Portugal, one terrestrial channel, TVI, dubbed U.S. series like Dawson's Creek into Portuguese. RTP also transmitted Friends in a dubbed version, but it was poorly received and later re-aired in a subtitled version. Cartoons, on the other hand, are usually dubbed, sometimes by well-known actors, even on TV. Animated movies are usually released to the cinemas in both subtitled and dubbed versions.
In Argentina and Venezuela, terrestrial channels air films and TV series in a dubbed version, as demanded by law. However, those same series can be seen on cable channels at more accessible time-slots in their subtitled version, and usually before they are shown on open TV. In contrast, the series The Simpsons is aired in its Mexican-dubbed version both on terrestrial television and on the cable station Fox, which broadcasts the series for the area. Although the first season of the series appeared with subtitles, this was not continued for the following seasons.
Dubbing and subtitling
In Bulgaria, television series are dubbed, but most television channels use subtitles for action and drama movies. AXN uses subtitles for its series, but as of 2008 emphasizes dubbing. Only Diema channels dub all programs. Movies in theaters, with the exception of films for children, use dubbing and subtitles. Dubbing of television programs is usually done using voiceovers, but usually, voices professional actors, while trying to give each character a different voice by using appropriate intonations. Dubbing with synchronized voices is rarely used, mostly for animated films. Mrs. Doubtfire is a rare example of a feature film dubbed this way on BNT Channel 1, though a subtitled version is currently shown on other channels.
Walt Disney Television's animated series (such as DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and Timon & Pumbaa) were only aired with synchronized Bulgarian voices on BNT Channel 1 until 2005, but then the Disney shows were canceled. When airing of Disney series resumed on Nova Television and Jetix in 2008, voiceovers were used, but Disney animated-movie translations still use synchronized voices. Voiceover dubbing is not used in theatrical releases. The Bulgarian film industry law requires all children's films to be dubbed, not subtitled. Nova Television dubbed and aired the Pokémon anime with synchronized voices. Now, the show is airing on Disney Channel, also in a synchronized form.
Dubbing is also used in applications and genres other than traditional film, including video games, television, and pornographic films.
Many video games originally produced in North America, Japan, and PAL countries are dubbed into foreign languages for release in areas such as Europe and Australia, especially for video games that place a heavy emphasis on dialogue. Because characters' mouth movements can be part of the game's code, lip sync is sometimes achieved by re-coding the mouth movements to match the dialogue in the new language. The Source engine automatically generates lip-sync data, making it easier for games to be localized.
To achieve synchronization when animations are intended only for the source language, localized content is mostly recorded using techniques borrowed from movie dubbing (such as rythmo band) or, when images are not available, localized dubbing is done using source audios as a reference. Sound-synch is a method where localized audios are recorded matching the length and internal pauses of the source content.
For the European version of a video game, the on-screen text of the game is available in various languages and, in many cases, the dialogue is dubbed into each respective language, as well.
The North American version of any game is always available in English, with translated text and dubbed dialogue, if necessary, in other languages, especially if the North American version of the game contains the same data as the European version. Several Japanese games, such as those in the Sonic the Hedgehog, Dynasty Warriors, and Soul series, are released with both the original Japanese audio and the English dub included.
Dubbing is occasionally used on network television broadcasts of films that contain dialogue that the network executives or censors have decided to replace. This is usually done to remove profanity. In most cases, the original actor does not perform this duty, but an actor with a similar voice reads the changes. The results are sometimes seamless, but, in many cases, the voice of the replacement actor sounds nothing like the original performer, which becomes particularly noticeable when extensive dialogue must be replaced. Also, often easy to notice, is the sudden absence of background sounds in the movie during the dubbed dialogue. Among the films considered notorious for using substitute actors that sound very different from their theatrical counterparts are the Smokey and the Bandit and the Die Hard film series, as shown on broadcasters such as TBS. In the case of Smokey and the Bandit, extensive dubbing was done for the first network airing on ABC Television in 1978, especially for Jackie Gleason's character, Buford T. Justice. The dubbing of his phrase "sombitch" (son of a bitch) became "scum bum," which became a catchphrase of the time.
Dubbing is commonly used in science fiction television, as well. Sound generated by effects equipment such as animatronic puppets or by actors' movements on elaborate multi-level plywood sets (for example, starship bridges or other command centers) will quite often make the original character dialogue unusable. Stargate and Farscape are two prime examples where ADR is used heavily to produce usable audio.
Since some anime series contain profanity, the studios recording the English dubs often re-record certain lines if a series or movie is going to be broadcast on Cartoon Network, removing references to death and hell as well. Some companies will offer both an edited and an uncut version of the series on DVD, so that there is an edited script available in case the series is broadcast. Other companies also edit the full-length version of a series, meaning that even on the uncut DVD characters say things like "Blast!" and "Darn!" in place of the original dialogue's profanity. Bandai Entertainment's English dub of G Gundam is infamous for this, among many other things, with such lines as "Bartender, more milk".
Dubbing has also been used for comedic purposes, replacing lines of dialogue to create comedies from footage that was originally another genre. Examples include the Australian shows The Olden Days and Bargearse, re-dubbed from 1970s Australian drama and action series, respectively, the Irish show Soupy Norman, re-dubbed from Pierwsza miłość, a Polish soap opera, and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, a comedic dub of the Japanese show Takeshi's Castle.
Dubbing into a foreign language does not always entail the deletion of the original language. In some countries, a performer may read the translated dialogue as a voice-over. This often occurs in Russia and Poland, where "lektories" or "lektors" read the translated dialogue into Russian and Polish. In Poland, one announcer read all text. However, this is done almost exclusively for the television and home video markets, while theatrical releases are usually subtitled. Recently, however, the number of high-quality, fully dubbed films has increased, especially for children's movies. If a quality dubbed version exists for a film, it is shown in theaters. However, some films, such as Harry Potter or Star Wars, are shown in both dubbed and subtitled versions, varying with the time of the show. Such films are also shown on TV (although some channels drop them and do standard one-narrator translation) and VHS/DVD. In other countries, like Vietnam, the voice-over technique is also used for theatrical releases.
In Russia, the reading of all lines by a single person is referred to as a Gavrilov translation, and is generally found only in illegal copies of films and on cable television. Professional copies always include at least two actors of opposite gender translating the dialogue. Some titles in Poland have been dubbed this way, too, but this method lacks public appeal, so it is very rare now.
As budgets for pornographic films are often small, compared to films made by major studios, and there is an inherent need to film without interrupting filming, it is common for sex scenes to be over-dubbed. The audio for such over-dubbing is generally referred to as the Ms and Gs, or the moans and groans.
Dubbing into dialects
In the case of languages with large communities (such as English, Chinese, Portuguese, German, Spanish, or French), a single translation may sound foreign to native speakers in a given region. Therefore, a film may be translated into a dialect of a certain language. For example, the animated movie The Incredibles was translated to European Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Neutral Spanish (which used the Mexican voice cast), and Rioplatense Spanish (although people from Chile and Uruguay noticed a strong porteño accent from most of the characters of the Rioplatense Spanish translation). In Spanish-speaking regions, most media is dubbed twice: into Spanish (Spain) and Neutral Spanish (which is Mexican Spanish but avoids colloquialisms).
Another example is the French dialect dubbing of The Simpsons, which is entirely different in Quebec and France, the humor being very different for each audience (see Non-English versions of The Simpsons). Audiences in Quebec are generally critical of France's dubbing of The Simpsons, which they often do not find amusing. The French-language Télétoon network once aired the Quebec dub for The Simpsons, as well as Parisian French dubs of Futurama and Family Guy, which were both similar to the Parisian dub for The Simpsons. The two latter shows have since been taken off the network, while The Simpsons continues its run on Télétoon.
Quebec French dubbing of films is generally made in accent-free Standard French but may sound peculiar to audiences in France because of the persistence of some regionally-neutral expressions and because Quebec French performers pronounce Anglo-Saxon names with an American accent, unlike French performers. Occasionally, cost causes American direct-to-video films, such as the 1995 film When the Bullet Hits the Bone, to be released in France with a Quebec French dubbing, sometimes resulting in what some members of French audiences perceive as unintentional humor.
Portugal and Brazil also use different versions of dubbed films and series. Because dubbing has never been very popular in Portugal, for decades, children's films were distributed using the higher-quality Brazilian dub (unlike children's TV series, which are traditionally dubbed in European Portuguese). Only in the 1990s did dubbing begin to gain importance in Portugal. The Lion King became the first Disney feature film to be completely dubbed into European Portuguese and, subsequently, all major animation films gained European Portuguese versions. In recent DVD releases, most Brazilian-dubbed classics were released with new Portuguese dubs, eliminating the predominance of Brazilian Portuguese dubs in Portugal.
The German-speaking region, which includes Germany, Austria, the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and Liechtenstein share a common German-dubbed version. Although there are some differences in German dialects, all films, shows and series are dubbed into a single Standard German version that avoids regional variations in the German-speaking audience. Most voice actors are primarily Germans and Austrians since there has been a long tradition of dubbing films. Switzerland, which has four official languages (German, French, Italian, Romansh), generally uses dubbed versions made in each respective country (except for Romansh). Liechtenstein uses German-dubbed versions only.
Sometimes, films are also dubbed into several German dialects (Berlinerisch, Kölsch, Saxonian, Austro-Bavarian or Swiss German), which especially concerns animated films and Disney films. They are made for amusement and as an additional "special feature" to entice the audience into buying it. Popular animated films dubbed into German dialects include Asterix films (in addition to its Standard German version, every film has a particular dialect version), The Little Mermaid, Shrek 2, Cars, (+ Austrian German) and Up (+ Austrian German).
Some live-action films or TV-series have an additional German dialect dubbing: Babe and its sequel, Babe: Pig in the City (German German, Austrian German, Swiss German); and Rehearsal for Murder, Framed (+ Austrian German); The Munsters, Serpico, Rumpole (+ Austrian German), and The Thorn Birds (only Austrian German dubbing).
Before German reunification, East Germany also made its own particular German version. For example, Olsen Gang and the Hungarian animated series The Mézga Family were dubbed in West Germany as well as East Germany.
Usually, there are two dubbings produced in dialects of Serbo-Croatian: Serbian and Croatian. Serbian for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina; Croatian for Croatia and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The many martial arts movies from Hong Kong that were imported under the unofficial banner Kung Fu Theater were notorious for seemingly careless dubbing that included poor lip sync and awkward dialogue. Since the results were frequently unintentionally hilarious, this has become one of the hallmarks that endear these films to part of the 1980s culture.
While the voice actors involved usually bear the brunt of criticisms towards poor dubbing, other factors may include inaccurate script translation and poor audio mixing. Dialogue typically contains speech patterns and sentence structure that are natural to the language but would appear awkward if translated literally. English dubs of Japanese animation, for example, must rewrite the dialogue so that it flows smoothly and follows the natural pattern of English speech. Voice actors in a dubbing capacity typically do not have the luxury of viewing the original film with the original voice actor and thus have little idea regarding how to perform the role. On some occasions, voice actors record their dialogue separately, which can lack the dynamics gained from performing as a group.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dubbing (filmmaking).|
- Maluf, Ramez (19 December 2003). Dubbing into Arabic: A Trojan Horse at the Gates? (PDF). Lebanese American University. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Di Fortunato E. e Paolinelli M. (a cura di), "La Questione Doppiaggio - barriere linguistiche e circolazione delle opere audiovisive", Roma, AIDAC, 1996 - (available on website: www.aidac.it)
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- Di Fortunato E. e Paolinelli M., "Tradurre per il doppiaggio - la trasposizione linguistica dell'audiovisivo: teoria e pratica di un'arte imperfetta", Milano, Hoepli, 2005
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- Rose, Jay, Producing Great Sound for Film and Video. Focal Press, fourth edition 2014 Book info. ISBN 9780415722070