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Thread: Buffy in alternate languages

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    That was interesting to watch. It has reinforced my feeling really that it's such a shame to not hear the characters' proper voices. In some scenes it isn't as notable as others, but tones do shift between the different versions and the characters' voices have different timbres and I do think that these changes could impact your perception of the character. But those aspects are also tied in to cultural links and the cues that we use to 'classify' people. I don't know if those that are cast in each version are done so to best match the character notes that the show was going for within the alternate viewing audience. I haven't had a chance to look at the lilyginnyblackv2 posts yet. Did they remark on any sense of difference between the characters in contrast to the original?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    That was interesting to watch. It has reinforced my feeling really that it's such a shame to not hear the characters' proper voices. In some scenes it isn't as notable as others, but tones do shift between the different versions and the characters' voices have different timbres and I do think that these changes could impact your perception of the character. But those aspects are also tied in to cultural links and the cues that we use to 'classify' people. I don't know if those that are cast in each version are done so to best match the character notes that the show was going for within the alternate viewing audience. I haven't had a chance to look at the lilyginnyblackv2 posts yet. Did they remark on any sense of difference between the characters in contrast to the original?
    I agree, it massively changes our perception of the characters. And many of the voices were quite a contrast to some of the characters. Some versions were better than others, some less so.

    I actually liked the German version for Lovers Walk more than the other versions in the video, just vocally (I don't know what they're saying or if they've changed the dialogue.)

    Re: the Japanese version, it goes into great detail so I probably won't do justice to it, but I think lilyginnyblackv2 acknowledges that for School Hard they worked really hard to linguistically try and capture the original meaning, but there were still some small, necessary changes and certain words were not translatable.

    To quote:

    I feel like the Japanese dub version of Buffy went above and beyond when it came to translating Spike’s stuff. A lot of the times the Japanese dub (and subtitles) stays pretty close to the original, with usually only the pop culture stuff getting lost in translation, but here with Spike and Dru there are a lot of really small and very interesting changes from the English to the Japanese.
    Obviously it's discussed in greater detail:

    Spoiler:
    The first sentence of Japanese is essentially Spike saying what he does in the English (“You were there?”). After that he says よせよ (yoseyo), which can translate to “For Heaven’s sake/Pete’s sake, for pity’s sake, oh stop, lay off, and etc.” It is very similar in nature to Spike’s “Oh, please!” line in the original English. However, the subtitles have Spike saying 笑わせるな (warawaseru na). This translates to “Don’t (na) make me laugh (warawaseru)!” The na here is a negative imperative, it gives off the sense of being very masculine, rude, and blunt. Spike using super masculine, rude, and blunt imperatives happens a lot in this scene.

    In the English, Spike continues on to say “If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.” The subtitles simplify this a bit. The subs say 「キリストの死を見たと言うバンパイアが多すぎる。まるでウッドストックだ。」(Kirisu to no shi wo mita to iu banpaia ga oosugiru. Maru de uddosutokku da.)

    The first sentence translates to “Too many vampires say they saw the death of Christ.” I think it is interesting that they don’t use the Japanese terms that exist for crucifixion, such as 磔 (haritsuke) or 磔刑 (takkei), the latter of which is used in connection with Christ. I think it was likely done because these terms aren’t as well known in Japan. The “death of Christ” is just a far more to-the-point way of getting across the same thing; this is especially true for the kanji (Chinese characters) that get used here. The kanji and kanji combination used here for these terms are very specifically used in connection with crucifixion, so it is likely the term would be understood when spoken, but not in text. Plus, the subs try to keep this as simple and straight to the point as possible to make the reading comprehension happen as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

    The second sentence translates to “It’s like Woodstock.” This translation changes the meaning of the original English just a bit. In the original English, the image that we get is that Spike is saying that if every vampire who claimed to be at the crucifixion was actually there, then it would have been like Woodstock with its huge crowd. In the Japanese subs the image that we get is more like there are all these vampires claiming that they were at the crucifixion in a similar way that there are all these people who claim that they went to Woodstock. The subs translate the English just slightly differently, but it makes for a pretty interesting and rather vastly different interpretation of what Spike is actually claiming/saying here.

    The spoken Japanese, however, stays true to the original English. The fun aspect of the spoken Japanese here is when Spike says the word 言ったら (ittara). He heavily rolls the ra, which is not common in Japanese. The Japanese ‘r’ sound is usually a mixture of ‘r’ and ‘l,’ so the hard roll that he does here is uncommon. However, it is common with yakuza/yankee (as in gang) speak/speech patterns. So this indicates right off the bat to the Japanese viewers that Spike’s character is a “tough guy.” Spike speech pattern isn’t full on yakuza, it is more of a mix, kinda like his accent in English. But the very masculine grammar he uses (na, omae, ze, ore, and etc.) do help to build up this image.

    A small change that doesn’t really affect anything is when the other vampire speaks to Spike. In the English he says, “I oughta rip your throat out.” In Japanese he says, “Do you want me to cut open/slash/slit your throat.” Ultimately the two sentences imply the same the same, the imagery is just a bit different and the threat given in a slightly different way.

    What Spike says next is a pretty fun and interesting change though. In the English he says “I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig.” The subs are 「ウッドストックは愉快だったせ。」(Uddosutokku wa yukai datta se.) This translates to “Woodstock was a delight (a joy/pleasure/amusement)!” This is the implication that we get from the rest of the English sentence, which has him (rather fondly) talking about staring at his hands for hours after sucking the blood out of a flower child.

    In the spoken dub, Spike says that he was there and then states 「それは妙だったんや。」(Sore wa myou dattan ya.) or “It was weird.” The ya at the end of this sentence indicates that Spike probably speaks with a bit of a Kansai or Osaka accent (or he just lets an Osaka/Kansai accent slip in occasionally). I had never seen ya as a sentence ending in this type of situation (the colloquial version I am used to either indicates imperative, invitation, or request…none of which work here), so I looked it up and found this: “…「や」(ya) is a dialectal sentence-ender mostly for Kansai. It expresses affirmation and it is the equivalent of 「だ」(da) in Standard Japanese.” I am not a huge expert on Kansai accents in general (the Osaka accent or otherwise), so I can’t say that I would be able to 100% pick up on when Spike may be using words, phrases, or speech patterns that are associated with those dialects, but I do know that the common yakusa/yankee/etc. type of speech patterns are connected to the Osaka accent.

    Osaka, unlike Tokyo, was a city that was built on the hard work of the merchant class, which was viewed as being very low on the hierarchy ladder in ancient Japan. So Osaka in general can be seen as more of a blue collar city, as opposed to Tokyo, which is more white collar in feeling and image. This same kind of association is affixed to the Tokyo and Osaka accents. Much like the southern accent in America, the Osaka accent in Japan is often negatively associated with unintelligence, lower class, and so forth. Much like with the yakuza speech patterns in general, Spike only seems to have a slight Kansai / Osaka accent. It is mixed in with a more general (Tokyo) accent, which works well with Spike’s accent (in the English version) being largely faked and created over the years.

    When the Japanese dub and sub gets to the line, “So, who do you kill for fun around here?” The spoken Japanese is similar in nature, he uses the contraction じゃ (jya) in place of では (dewa), this is very masculine and also implies bluntness and some rudeness. In the subtitles he asks 「ここのお勧めスポットは?」(Koko no osusume supotto wa?) This translates to “So, what place do you recommend here?” or “So, where’s the hotspot here.”

    After this, we have The Anointed One asks Spike who he is. In the Japanese he asks 「何者だ?」(Nani mono da?) This is not a normal way of asking who someone is, but rather a very “anime/manga/drama only” way of asking about that. It was a way of asking who someone was in ancient times, which isn’t used in normal, real life conversations anymore. I feel like that really fits The Anointed One and that “ancient” image that fits around him and The Master.

    The Japanese for The Anointed One is 救世主 (kyuuseishu), which is the Biblical terminology for The Savior, Messiah, The Anointed One, and etc. In the subtitles they add さん (-san) to the end of the name, which is more polite. But in the spoken Japanese that doesn’t happen and Spike actually uses お前 (omae) when addressing The Anointed One. He uses that for pretty much everyone, so it shows he lack of care or respect for The Anointed One and his gang.

    The rest of the scene is very similar to the English. I just love the way 「本で読んでよ。」(Hon de yonde yo.) or “I read [about you] in/through books” is delivered. That line just rolls out so smoothly. When Spike mentions that there is a Slayer problem, in the dub he then says 「手がつてないな。」(Te ga tsutenai na.) or “Seems you can’t handle it,” with the na being a kind of “I sympathize” and kind of a “lol, you guys suck.” The next bit in Japanese translates to something like “Shall I tell you what you should do?” The Japanese makes Spike come off a bit more condescending here, which is both interesting and amusing.

    Finally, the last bit for this first part is the “nancy boy” comment. In the Japanese they just straight up translate it to “homo” and have Spike say that. That is a slur in Japanese, just like it is in English. I still hate the fact that the writers had Spike use homophobic slurs. I’m glad that got phased out in the comics.

    The subtitles, however, have Spike saying 「スレイヤー退治は任せとけ。」(Sureiyaa taiji ha makasetoke.) This translates to “Leave the Slayer extermination/elimination/eradication to me.” This is fascinating, because it almost makes Buffy sound as if she is some kind of insect, rodent, or general pest. The toke is also a masculine, plain form ~teoku which is a grammar point that indicates something will be prepped for/done in advance. The toke form of this is very plainly spoken, direct, and forceful.
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    @SpuffyGlitz. You disappoint me. At the same time, I'm really relieved that the only problem I encounter when conversing with my parents is one calls me "Duck" and the other uses "Shug" (short for Sugar). (actually, my dad's dead - that's probably the biggest hurdle to conversation - Ouija boards notwithstanding). And yeah, I think Bow-wow is a poor replacement for Beneath You (I should also add, I've had about nine dogs in my lifetime and I don't recall any of them making a noise approximate to bow-wow. They've all "woofed". Stupid dogs!) I only used the example because a) I could make it fit and b) Saussure uses it to illustrate the cultural specificity of onomatopoeia. I think the evidence I used came from Psychology Today (?), which I tend to use for quotes because it's fairly basic, and it's a magazine (rather than a journal) as well as a website.

    a) I personally don't like dubbing. I find the lip sync (or lack of it) more of a distraction than sub-titles.
    b) That reading distracts from viewing is the reason most students use when objecting to sub-titles. Yeah, I get this but after a while it becomes habit (honest).
    c) I tend to use subtitles for everything because I'm hearing-impaired (or just old). In fact, I'm not sure whether subtitling is (in some circumstances) obligatory under the Disability Discrimination Act.
    d) Translation/transliteration isn't necessarily a hurdle for me because, even in English, I begin at the point where something is always "lost in translation".


    On this note - I think "translation" and alternate languages in BtVS transcends the ideas being discussed. - particularly in S7. I've put this in spoilers 'cos it's long and boring!

    Spoiler:
    Lessons (I really like Lessons). It occurred me that structurally and discursively Lessons evoked Eliot's Four Quartets, East Coker (in the end is my beginning; in the beginning is my end...blah). I was happy to dismiss this as a personal "feeling". Then I found David Lavery (one of the academics responsible for "Buffy Studies") had made a similar remark. Okay - reassuring. Then I remembered Beneath You begins with a homage to Thomas Twyker’s Run Lola Run (which is in German). RLR has an epigraph consisting of two quotes. This is the first:

    “At the end of our exploring we shall not cease from exploration and the end of all of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

    This is the second:

    "After the game is before the game." S. Herberger.

    Ignore the second (though I can work with it in relation to Lessons and BtVS) and sidebar - I'd already written about exploration (colonisation/orientalism) in relation to the opening of Lessons.) The first is from the final stanza of Little Giddings, the last poem of Eliot's Four Quartets. Aargh! So...go to Four bloody Quartets - which has its own epigraph:

    τοῦ λόγου δὲ ἐόντος ξυνοῦ ζώουσιν οἱ πολλοί
    ὡς ἰδίαν ἔχοντες φρόνησιν
    I. p. 77. Fr. 2.
    Although logos [knowledge or reason] is common,
    the many live as if they had a wisdom of their own

    ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή
    I. p. 89 Fr. 60.
    The way upward and the way downward
    is one and the same

    H. A. Diels: Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Herakleitos)
    The Fragments of the Presocratics (Heraclitus)

    What the...!? As far as I'm concerned Logos is central to S7, and as far as I'm aware Heraclitus is the father of "becoming" - also central. And three - three damned languages!?

    Then I'm reminded of the inscription in The Mission in S7

    "The inscription is Latin words written with Greek letters: Non tibi est. Ei solae tractare licet."
    SPIKE (translating) "It is not for thee. It is for her alone to wield."

    I'm also reminded of this (Touched)

    DAWN
    Hey...I've been reading this old Turkish spell book. There's an old conjuration that the ancient Turks used to communicate with the dying. [SIDEBAR: S7 BEGINS IN TURKEY WITH A GIRL DYING]

    WILLOW
    Oh, yeah. I think I've read a translation of it.

    DAWN
    (wide-eyed) There's a translation of it?! (sighs) I'm over it. Um, so the spell is used to communicate with people who can't talk. Um, like if a person was dying, this spell would let them say their good-byes or, you know, gripe about how nobody came to visit them. Would this help us with Mr. No-Tongue?


    I think the point I'm making is - BtVS is absolutely aware of the complexity of language and the fact that "something is always lost in translation" (except in Touched when they don't speak). The above is an example of why I'd defend S7 to the hilt!
    Last edited by TriBel; 05-06-19 at 01:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    Is it mostly European countries that dub movies and TV shows? Because I think in Asia and Africa only cartoons, anime and Disney animated movies that get dubbed for the kids. Adults can read the subtitles.
    I think it's mostly just the European countries that have a large enough mass in terms of audience (number of people speaking the country's main language), and maybe size of the acting industry, to make it worthwhile? This would be compatible with the list from the link SpuffyGlitz provided -- Germany, France, Italy, Spain. And Portuguese only for Brazil, because Portugal doesn't have the mass. Subtitling is MUCH easier and cheaper than dubbing, so it would really have to be worth the investment to do dubbing instead.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tribel: I agree the lack of lipsync with dubbing is terribly distracting. And with enough practice, like TTB also said, subtitles are not distracting at all -- you read them at a glance. Of course it helps if you've grown up with them, then you just don't know any better. One of my early childhood memories is my grandmother reading the subtitles of Black Beauty to me because I couldn't read them fast enough yet

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    Well, personally I enjoyed watching the French dubbed BtVS. I have watched OMWF in Italian and was disappointed they didn't dub the songs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    Is it mostly European countries that dub movies and TV shows? Because I think in Asia and Africa only cartoons, anime and Disney animated movies that get dubbed for the kids. Adults can read the subtitles.
    Not all of them.

    But I know for sure that Germany, Italy, Spain do, France maybe? I think Russia and possibly Poland (?) do an even worse version where one guy just reads everyone's lines. I ran into an example of that a couple of times when I used to satellite TV. It's so weird.

    I wonder if Greece does dubbing, but if they do, that would explain why so few people in Greece seemed to speak any English (my impression from my vacation there a couple of years ago). It was even worse than in Italy, where you would find some people who spoke English but the majority you run into the street don't speak English.
    Most foreigners in Belgrade are like: "People here speak English so well!" Well, yes, that's the result of not having any dubbing and actually being able to hear other languages on your TV!

    But dubbing of foreign movies into English apparently also happens. I don't know who does it, is it done in USA or what, but it's terrible. Occasionally I run into old Hong Kong action movies on some of the lamer Serbian TV channels, and they're usually dubbed in English, with American accents, and they sound TERRIBLE. So fake it's ridiculous.
    But now that Run, Lola, Run was mentioned - one case I still can't believe happened was way back, I think it was shortly the movie came out, when Serbian state TV showed it during New Year's Eve - I was at some friends' sitting party and we were watching TV together, but for some reason, they didn't have the original version but one dubbed in English?! (With American accents.) WTF?! I don't remember how they were so incompetent. They are funded from the budget and take additional money from people and they couldn't even find the proper version of a movie. I don't think that has ever happened other than that one time (some cheap channels running Hong Kong movies are a different thing).
    And it was so bad. Dubbing always sounds fake, but in this case, the actors were so bad. The guy who played Lola's father was particularly awful. I found the movie to be 'meh'. Then I saw the proper German version a few months later and found it to be an excellent movie.

    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    @SpuffyGlitz. You disappoint me. At the same time, I'm really relieved that the only problem I encounter when conversing with my parents is one calls me "Duck" and the other uses "Shug" (short for Sugar). (actually, my dad's dead - that's probably the biggest hurdle to conversation - Ouija boards notwithstanding). And yeah, I think Bow-wow is a poor replacement for Beneath You (I should also add, I've had about nine dogs in my lifetime and I don't recall any of them making a noise approximate to bow-wow. They've all "woofed". Stupid dogs!) I only used the example because a) I could make it fit and b) Saussure uses it to illustrate the cultural specificity of onomatopoeia. I think the evidence I used came from Psychology Today (?), which I tend to use for quotes because it's fairly basic, and it's a magazine (rather than a journal) as well as a website.

    a) I personally don't like dubbing. I find the lip sync (or lack of it) more of a distraction than sub-titles.
    b) That reading distracts from viewing is the reason most students use when objecting to sub-titles. Yeah, I get this but after a while it becomes habit (honest).
    c) I tend to use subtitles for everything because I'm hearing-impaired (or just old). In fact, I'm not sure whether subtitling is (in some circumstances) obligatory under the Disability Discrimination Act.
    d) Translation/transliteration isn't necessarily a hurdle for me because, even in English, I begin at the point where something is always "lost in translation".
    I like to use English subtitles with shows and movies I watch in English, to avoid having to go back multiple times because of things like bad sound or actors mumbling their lines. I guess I'm just so used to having subtitles that I really miss them when they aren't there and I have to make an effort to listen hard and replay scenes to understand someone's mumbled words.
    Back in the day when people watched VHS tapes and there were no subtitles available, I used to have so much trouble with movies where actors were speaking in thick Cockney or Scouse or Welsh accent... (There was one movie that was an adaptation of King Lear set among mob gangs in modern day Liverpool, starring Richard Harris... I could only understand about half of what everyone was saying.) I think I'd be better at it now, but still, sometimes it's difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Dutchess View Post
    I think it's mostly just the European countries that have a large enough mass in terms of audience (number of people speaking the country's main language), and maybe size of the acting industry, to make it worthwhile? This would be compatible with the list from the link SpuffyGlitz provided -- Germany, France, Italy, Spain. And Portuguese only for Brazil, because Portugal doesn't have the mass. Subtitling is MUCH easier and cheaper than dubbing, so it would really have to be worth the investment to do dubbing instead.


    Tribel: I agree the lack of lipsync with dubbing is terribly distracting. And with enough practice, like TTB also said, subtitles are not distracting at all -- you read them at a glance. Of course it helps if you've grown up with them, then you just don't know any better. One of my early childhood memories is my grandmother reading the subtitles of Black Beauty to me because I couldn't read them fast enough yet
    You mean, you don't know any worse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    You mean, you don't know any worse.
    But I *do* know worse: dubbing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    But dubbing of foreign movies into English apparently also happens. I don't know who does it, is it done in USA or what, but it's terrible.
    I have watched the Spanish series Cable Girls dubbed in English. I think it sounded like standard English, it was a long time ago, I don't remember if the actors had American or English accents.
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    I grew up watching subbed series and movies. We didn't have cable TV and national television rarely ever showed subbed material. Sadly, in Latin America there is a lot of people that can’t read the subtitles, or at least not quickly enough, and most people don’t enjoy having a hard time understanding what is been said and what is happening in their sources of entertainment.

    I probably watched the first seasons in Lantin American Spanish. I must say that usually Latin American dubs are pretty good, especially for cartoons. A lot of people prefer them over the original dubs (for example the woman that dubbed Bart Simpson was so witty that a lot of jokes and stuff were even funnier in Spanish than they were in English, weird as it sounds). Most of them are done in Mexico or Chile, as far as I know, and even if there is a slight accent going on, usually they try to use a very neutral Spanish that would be the next best thing, I suppose. At least it works for everyone, except Spain.
    Spanish dubs from Spain are a whole different matter, they are heavily accented and usually the voices are quite nasal, and for the rest of the Spanish-spoken world, it sounds like when you scratch a blackboard with your nails.

    Once I made an unfortunate comment to a Spanish friend, under the presumptuous premise that even Spanish people had to be aware of how horrible their dubs are (bad, bad me…). She is a very kind person but didn’t take that too kindly. She said that it is a nice thing to hear the characters speaking like you speak. Sound like you sound.

    So I was: “O…K… Whatever you say”, while thinking “I'd rather be watching without any sound at all”.
    Of course, I’m not trying to say that Spanish people speak horribly (some of they do, though, but that happens everywhere). Some of my favorite movies are Spanish (from Spain) and I can’t imagine watching them dubbed, they would lose a big portion of their magic, as it happens with all dubs (and really, sometimes I need subtitles with Spanish and Latin American movies and series too).

    Anyway, from my friend I learned that people have the right to hear their shows the way the enjoy them the most, and that it is fine, and that it is also why I watch everything in their original languages, as long as English or Spanish (or at least Portuguese, or Italian) subtitles are available.

    But, OK, about how it was watching Buffy in Latin American Spanish. Firstly, I didn’t know what I was missing until I heard the original English. This may sound weird, but most of the voices and affectations are somehow “equivalent” to American English. This means that the American characters are not too diminished by the dub, even if a lot of good stuff gets lost in the translation. This happens with many dubbed American series. I suppose that comes from years and years of dubbing American movies. They use idioms and mannerisms that are not even used in Spanish, in order to ensure that the dub still sounds like American English, only spoken in Spanish. Does it make any sense?

    Then there are Giles and Spike (and other characters, of course, but I didn't care for their accents that much). There is no way to save that situation. The Latin American voice actors tried to copy the voice effects somehow (the Latin American Spanish version of the British English does work well in cartoons, but in live action series it is way too… well, cartoonish), as if trying to keep the essence of the characters, but without the actual accents it just doesn’t work, too much gets lost.
    So, now that Buffy is not on Netflix anymore, I don’t really know how I’m going to watch my episode for the season 7 re-watch. Any suggestions? Otherwise I’ll have to go and watch it in Spanish

    Edit:
    Ughhh... there is a fun fact I almost forgot to mention. Latin American television has pretty tough censoring policies, so usually nothing that would be considered crude or obscene gets translated literally. They try to keep the sentiment, but of course it just makes everybody sound very polite. In Spain they don't have such reservations, so usually Spanish TV sounds quite rude to us, even if people do say a lot of obscene words in real life here in Latin America too. It is just that we are not used to hear them in TV. Pretty lame, right?
    Last edited by Rihannon; 07-06-19 at 03:30 PM.

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    It's interesting to hear that some dubs will try to keep a feel for the language that they are dubbing over. I can see how some character tone could translate by doing that but, as you say, it doesn't fully work and when you have two characters like Spike and Giles (and Wes etc presumably) where their Britishness is such a key part of their characterisation then it isn't sufficient and hearing the accent to subtitles would be far better.

    It's all really fascinating and I'd never even considered whether BtVS was dubbed and now I'm finding it has been many, many times. I really do hope that people eventually hear the original though and perhaps there is a fan forum out there where they are discussing their own dubs and providing each other links to original clips to hear the true character voices.

    You could download the S7 ep you need here Rihannon (but they are the HD versions).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

    You could download the S7 ep you need here Rihannon (but they are the HD versions).
    Thank you very much, I'll check it out!

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    Rihannon
    Then there are Giles and Spike (and other characters, of course, but I didn't care for their accents that much). There is no way to save that situation. The Latin American voice actors tried to copy the voice effects somehow (the Latin American Spanish version of the British English does work well in cartoons, but in live action series it is way too… well, cartoonish), as if trying to keep the essence of the characters, but without the actual accents it just doesn’t work, too much gets lost.
    I don`t know if it's betteror worse but that's something they never tried in Germany. Spike and Giles speak without any accents. I need to check on Kendra though ... I don't know what they did with that horrible accent of hers.

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    There's a massive problem with translation in and of itself. I use a lot of theories that were written in one language and then translated into another (mostly French but some German) and there's always the fear that you're not reading what was actually written but a close approximation of what was written. In order to translate, the translator needs to have an understanding of the piece as a whole. In this case, I'm not just reading words that are different than the original but could be absorbing an idea that might not be what the original author intended (difficult in itself because a lot of what I read is antithetical to authorial intent).

    flow:

    I don`t know if it's better or worse but that's something they never tried in Germany. Spike and Giles speak without any accents. I need to check on Kendra though ... I don't know what they did with that horrible accent of hers.
    Oh bugger! It's all doing my head in now! I'm sitting here trying to figure out what an English accent sounds like in German. Does it sound like a German accent in English? They should just film everything without sound - like Hush. The other option is to have Sean Connery play EVERY role - all his accents are Scottish.
    Last edited by TriBel; 07-06-19 at 08:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    Wow! The singing is so much better!



    Almost all of the International Titles are like that:
    Germans always have to make up a completely different title. Who and why called it that?

    And WTF is the Japanese title even supposed to mean?!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Dutchess View Post
    But I *do* know worse: dubbing!
    That was the point. You said "Of course it helps if you've grown up with them (subtitles), then you just don't know any better."
    I didn't know worse, until I was in Germany as a kid and watched German TV and learned about dubbing.

    Actually, I did know that some countries dubbed everything even before that - I remember an article about dubbing in a popular youth magazine. The tone was like presenting this really bizarre practice that exists in some countries, which is basically the attitude that pretty much everyone I know has about dubbing.

    Now, I did grow up watching cartoons that were kinda dubbed (?) - I'm not sure if that's the right word when you can still hear the original voices in the background?
    They always used top actors for those.
    Serbian Bugs Bunny was really beloved - it was a very popular comedy actor Nikola Simic (he died a few years ago), who played Bugs with a very nasal, sarcastic voice, in a similar vein to the original voice performance. (It's easy to compare when you can hear the original voices as well.)
    Here's an example:

    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    flow and TriBel:
    I think the “accent” in a different language thing is more like trying to replicate the feeling, I don’t know how to describe it better. It is also about the way things were said, word choices and voice inflections. Also, they tried to use voice actors with voices that were similar or could get close to the voices of the actors.
    An example that pops into my head is the USA western movies. They usually dubbed the western “cowboy” accent as well. And it does work most of the time. Other European accents, (not only British English-like accent) get translated as well in Latin American dubs when they have plot significance (for example, when there is a foreign character in the movie, let’s say an Italian character in a French movie). That’s how they are used to do it, I guess. Another thing they often do is translating some foreign concepts literally, in order to keep the feeling of where the action is happening. I mean, they intend to keep a clear notions that the action is happening in the US, for example, and the only thing that is changing is the actual language that people is hearing (how it would be to use the Babel Fish from the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I suppose). For instance, a recurrent concept is the “soda fountain” one, that has been translated from the beginning of (TV) times as “fuente de sodas”, which is in fact the literal translation. The funny detail is that there is not such a thing as a “fuente de sodas” in Latin America, but everybody knows that it is a place where US teenagers went to have milkshakes in very old US movies and series. So, it is about keeping the cultural experience, and there lies the merit, even if dubs will never get close to the real thing.

    TimeTravellingBunny:
    Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck sound in Serbian exactly like the Spanish version I grew up hearing. How awesome!

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    But, but... Bugs Bunny's voice is iconic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    I didn't know worse, until I was in Germany as a kid and watched German TV and learned about dubbing.
    My first exposure to dubbing (other than for children's programmes) was also German TV. When my parents got cable, we got extra channels including German ones. But we never watched them because of the dubbing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rihannon View Post
    An example that pops into my head is the USA western movies.
    Funny that you mention it! In my country, THE example that's always mentioned when making fun of German dubbing is John Wayne saying "Hände hoch"-- this is commonly regarded as the pinnacle of ridiculousness. (We make fun of German dubbing because that's the only dubbing we're normally exposed to, being a neighbouring country.) It seems a lot less weird to hear cowboys speak Spanish.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Serbian Bugs Bunny was really beloved - it was a very popular comedy actor Nikola Simic (he died a few years ago), who played Bugs with a very nasal, sarcastic voice, in a similar vein to the original voice performance.
    He really does make a great Bugs Bunny! Very similar to the original. (Daffy Duck not so much though.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Dutchess View Post
    ... It seems a lot less weird to hear cowboys speak Spanish.
    It is not weird at all, now that I think of it. We do have cowboys even nowadays, they use hats and boots, ride horses and rope cows, and actually sound a lot like the movies. It's almost like a sub-culture thing.

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    Germans always have to make up a completely different title. Who and why called it that?
    It's the word slayer that's the problem. In English there's slayer and there's killer and those are two different words with slightly different meanings. In other languages the word slayer just doesn't exist. Slayer translates to an equivalent of killer or murderer - it's close enough but it's not exactly the same meaning, right? Buffy doesn't like to be called a killer, she gets all angry and offended. The people responsible for the translation were obviously aware of that and decided to work around it, use an alternative title instead of a verbatim translation. That's why you get all those seemingly weird titles.

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    That's right but because Slayer is often used as her title during the show they still had to come up with something and translated Slayer with Jägerin which is closer to huntress than to killer.

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