View Poll Results: Dubs or subs?
Original language audio with subtitles 78 79.59%
Dubbed audio without subtitles 5 5.10%
Original language without subtitles 0 0%
Dubbed audio with subtitles 4 4.08%
Depends on the movie 9 9.18%
Depends on the original language 0 0%
Depends on something else 2 2.04%
I'd never watch a foreign language film; the question is moot 0 0%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:09 PM
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Foreign language movie: dubs or subs?


You're watching a movie that was filmed in a language not your own. You have a choice between the original audio and subtitles, or dialogue dubbed into your own language without subs.

What do you generally prefer?
  #2  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:14 PM
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I was just having this conversation earlier today. Dubbed. I almost never just watch a movie. I'm cooking, cleaning, working, moving around, etc. It's gotten to the point that I get (mildly) antsy in movie theaters where I'm expected to spend two-plus hours doing just one thing. Sitting down and reading a movie to know what's going on is not for me.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:17 PM
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I generally prefer the original language with subtitles. Not much takes me out of a film more than dialogue not matching up to the mouths speaking it. Subtitles bother a lot of people, but they don't bother me; a lot of times I'll leave the subtitles on even for stuff that's in English, for various reasons.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:27 PM
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Depends on multiple factors.

Live action - subbed, with a handful of exceptions, where the downside of dubs is actually part of the experience (the older Godzilla movies (except for the first), some old French Canadian stuff that I have a nostalgic fondness for, etc).

Animated - if it's something I want to watch while doing something else, dubbed. If it's something I'm going to be paying full attention to...depends on the quality of the dub - a seriously good dub, like Cowboy Bebop? Will totally watch it dubbed. An OK, but not great English dub...probably subbed, unless the original language dub is bad (it happens, especially in anime - there's one particular style of 'young girl' voice that makes me want to poke my eardrums out with a rusty spoon). A bad English dub, the subs, even if the original language dub is also bad.

Some movies, I'll do both on different rewatches!

Last edited by Kamino Neko; 07-25-2019 at 02:28 PM.
  #5  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:30 PM
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OL w/subs, always.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:33 PM
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I think films like Tora Tora Tora and the Longest Day would have been far inferior if not using the native languages of the speakers with subtitles. Far better than the buffoonish Hunt for Red October which started out with the actors speaking Russian but after a few minutes all the Russian sailors were speaking the Queen's English.
  #7  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:34 PM
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Always original language with subs except for this.
  #8  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:38 PM
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Technically, I'd have to say it depends on the movie. In general, I find subtitles distracting, and have trouble keeping my attention on the storyline. I am aware that this preference identifies me as a mouth breathing knuckle dragger.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:39 PM
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I voted "it depends on the movie." For a seriously arty film, I want to hear the original dialog, even if I can't understand it. I want to hear the emotions in the voices. I can get the meaning from the subtitles. But if it's just a frivolous action flick or comedy, without a lot of depth to it, make it easy on me and give me dubbed dialog.
  #10  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:40 PM
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Original language with subtitles in English. Of course I already have the subtitles on because I'm deaf as a post.
  #11  
Old 07-25-2019, 02:51 PM
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I voted "it depends on the movie." For a seriously arty film, I want to hear the original dialog, even if I can't understand it. I want to hear the emotions in the voices. I can get the meaning from the subtitles. But if it's just a frivolous action flick or comedy, without a lot of depth to it, make it easy on me and give me dubbed dialog.
How about an undubbed Passion of the Christ in Aramaic? I don't that would have gone over well.
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:31 PM
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If you see a dubbed movie you are not seeing the real movie, IMHO, just a bastardized version.
The fact that you don't hear the real actor's voices is bad enough, but they actually change the dialog to try and fit the movement of the actor's lips.
When I learned that I decided to never see another dubbed movie.
(which is getting increasingly harder :/, I couldn't see Winter Soldier in the cinema because all the damn theaters in Greater Buenos Aires decided to show it dubbed in Spanish, with a few screenings in English at really inconvenient times (think 1 AM))
  #13  
Old 07-25-2019, 04:00 PM
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Yeah, I want to see and hear the actual actors acting. Even if I don't understand what they're saying, the emotion comes through, and it comes through a lot less (or at least differently than the director intended) in a dubbed vocal track. Subtitles aren't usually distracting to me at all. They can be, but it's rare. And if I have something else to do that I can't read the screen during the movie, I'll just watch something else, and save the foreign language film for when I can focus.
  #14  
Old 07-25-2019, 04:10 PM
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100% original language and subs. There are many subtleties of foreign languages that can't be conveyed by dubs and even subs.
  #15  
Old 07-25-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
OL w/subs, always.
Agree. I'm trying to think of an exception. There must be one, but I can't think of it. I mean, sure, animated kids films, dubs are better because, well, it's for kids and they may not be able to read subtitles. But, otherwise. No. I remember one time in college renting "Cinema Paradiso" from Blockbuster and I somehow ended up with a dubbed version. I wasn't any kind of movie "purist" at the time, or even had any opinions about subtitles vs dubs, but, fuck, I could just not get through more than fifteen minutes of that movie, because the dubs were just bothering me so much.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
How about an undubbed Passion of the Christ in Aramaic? I don't that would have gone over well.
Good example. Mel's Apocalypto is another excellent example where dubbing would have ruined everything.
  #17  
Old 07-25-2019, 06:23 PM
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Original language with subtitles always. I usually have the subtitles on even when they're speaking English. My hearing is crap, and anyway, with the captions on, often you'll get dialogue (whispered, for example) that you wouldn't be able to hear. And if there's a song playing, you'll get the words.
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2019, 06:42 PM
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Can't stand subtitles, they take your eyes away from where they should be. Dubs are usually terrible but at least I can watch what I'm supposed to be watching instead of the bottom of the screen.
  #19  
Old 07-25-2019, 06:52 PM
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Dub-overs absolutely ruin it. Original track, with English sub all the way.
  #20  
Old 07-25-2019, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
In general, I find subtitles distracting, and have trouble keeping my attention on the storyline. I am aware that this preference identifies me as a mouth breathing knuckle dragger.
I think it's the art house snobs, and herd mentality. The Crowd doth proclaim that subtitles are the one true path, and all others shall be exiled. So sayeth the Crowd.

Who is to say if the subtitles are any more accurate than dubbing? Subs have to condense dialog to fit, and of course their accuracy depends on the skill of the translator. It's just luck if the subtleties come through in either form.

Fortunately, we have choices. In general, I prefer dubbing, because then I can actually watch the movie. You all talk about things in the actor's voices that convey information? How about being too busy reading subtitles that you miss some action in the corner of the screen? or miss the character contradicting what they are saying with their eyes or gestures?
  #21  
Old 07-25-2019, 08:03 PM
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Subtitles, of course. I won't watch anything dubbed. Dubbing is the audio equivalent of watching a movie through a snapchat animal filter.
  #22  
Old 07-25-2019, 08:10 PM
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I think it's the art house snobs, and herd mentality. The Crowd doth proclaim that subtitles are the one true path, and all others shall be exiled. So sayeth the Crowd.

Who is to say if the subtitles are any more accurate than dubbing? Subs have to condense dialog to fit, and of course their accuracy depends on the skill of the translator. It's just luck if the subtleties come through in either form.

Fortunately, we have choices. In general, I prefer dubbing, because then I can actually watch the movie. You all talk about things in the actor's voices that convey information? How about being too busy reading subtitles that you miss some action in the corner of the screen? or miss the character contradicting what they are saying with their eyes or gestures?
I've been watching subtitled movies from about 30 years, most of them in English which I also speak, and I have never found an example of dialog being condensed to fit.
  #23  
Old 07-25-2019, 08:49 PM
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I've been watching subtitled movies from about 30 years, most of them in English which I also speak, and I have never found an example of dialog being condensed to fit.
Really? It's quite common to abbreviate the dialog to fit the reading speed of watchers. I honestly can't think of a single movie I've watched where I knew both the spoken and translated language where this did not happen.
  #24  
Old 07-25-2019, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
You're watching a movie that was filmed in a language not your own. You have a choice...
You didn't have a category for "If I start watching, say, Princess Mononoke, and decide it's worth seeing, I'll pause the movie, move to Tokyo, enroll in a class at the University of Tsukuba-Tokyo called 'Japanese for American Ex-Pats', attend every class for two semesters and do all the homework which includes meeting with my kenkyū gurūpu (geographically-determined study group), attend graduation and receive my Tsukuba Certificate in Modern Japanese, fly home and unpause the movie."
  #25  
Old 07-25-2019, 10:00 PM
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I think it's the art house snobs, and herd mentality. The Crowd doth proclaim that subtitles are the one true path, and all others shall be exiled. So sayeth the Crowd.
I wouldn't go anywhere near that far, but I do feel that this subject tends to attract those who take their TV/movie watching far more seriously than I do. Understandable, as I'll get the same way on other subjects. I simply choose to not make that same time and attention commitment to watch a subtitled-only foreign language show because it is not that important to me. But I am sure that there are things that are important to me that I do make the time commitment for that others choose not to.

But some do handle the subject quite snobbishly.
  #26  
Old 07-25-2019, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Agree. I'm trying to think of an exception. There must be one, but I can't think of it. I mean, sure, animated kids films, dubs are better because, well, it's for kids and they may not be able to read subtitles.
Any animated film is already dubbed, in a sense: the drawings you see on the screen are not who's actually speaking. So I don't see anything wrong with a (good!) dub of an animated film.
  #27  
Old 07-25-2019, 11:55 PM
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Subtitles, but be careful. I watch with subtitles, often British TV. The subtitles are often inaccurate, or condensed. The use of "[inaudible]" is common. (It wasn't inaudible, she said "Aberystwyth" you deaf nitwit.) Anime is bearable, but after a while you can hear the speaker using one word and it is being translated as another. This is particularly bad with names which can be honorifics, ranks, nicknames, first or last names but which can be translated as "you" or "he". The worst is the dreaded "dub-titles", where you get the English transcription of the dub. OTOH, a literal translation of what was said is often headache inducing what with a lack of third person tense or some similar issue. So, you get a mixed bag.
  #28  
Old 07-25-2019, 11:58 PM
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Subtitles for live action. Dubbing for animation.
  #29  
Old 07-26-2019, 12:07 AM
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i picked depends on the movie/show

if its supposed ot be funny esp for anime i mean dominion tank police isnt as funny with subs...

But it all depends on the cast tho
  #30  
Old 07-26-2019, 03:28 AM
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Original language, with subtitles. Always. I don't think I'm a snob for respecting directors and actors. How are people who don't know or care what foreign-language actors sound like not being English-language snobs?

People in other countries where dubbing is the norm live their whole lives having never heard the voices of, to choose some classic actors, Katherine Hepburn, Kathleen Turner, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Jean Arthur and so many others, because their voices have been erased.

I personally want to hear the real voices of, just to name a few, people like Toshirô Mifune, Catherine Deneuve, Klaus Kinski, Marion Cotillard, Audrey Tautou, Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Tabu, and, well, everyone in a movie where they're not speaking English.
  #31  
Old 07-26-2019, 03:44 AM
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I voted "Subs Not Dubs", but then realised I make an exception specifically for later Miyazaki films (Princess Mononoke onwards) so I guess I'm "depends on the movie" but that's the only set of movies I make an exception for.

It might be because in 70s/80s South Africa, dubbing into Afrikaans and sometimes African languages was routine - I grew up on Alpha:1999 (Space:1999), Blitspatrollie (The Sweeney), Redding Internationaal(Thunderbirds), Misdaad in Miami (Miami Vice), Steve Austin: Die Man van Staal (6 Million Dollar Man) and Rabobi!( Xhosa animated Spiderman. His themesong went something like this).

I fucking hated it all.
  #32  
Old 07-26-2019, 06:40 AM
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Unless it's an old Japanese monster movie, I prefer subtitles. Bad dubbing is part of the kaiju charm.
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  #33  
Old 07-26-2019, 06:55 AM
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Live action: Original language with subs.

Animation: Dubs.
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  #34  
Old 07-26-2019, 07:14 AM
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A few days ago, I sent back a Netflix disk after watching only a few minutes, because everyone was talking Cockney and there were no subtitles.

Back in the early nineties, I saw and loved a film called Riff-Raff, that was technically in English but subtitled. For the British audience as well as American, because not only were the regional accents thick as bricks, there was such a mix of them! Cockney and Glaswegian and Suffolk and Welsh...In the theater and on VHS, it had bright yellow subtitles that the director (Ken Loach) had overseen. But when it came out on DVD...no subtitles. Not even generic ones. Oi!
  #35  
Old 07-26-2019, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmwgreen View Post
Subtitles, but be careful. I watch with subtitles, often British TV. The subtitles are often inaccurate, or condensed. The use of "[inaudible]" is common. (It wasn't inaudible, she said "Aberystwyth" you deaf nitwit.)
Technically speaking, those aren't subtitles, that's closed captioning.
  #36  
Old 07-26-2019, 08:17 AM
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I usually get them off torrents. That means original-language audio that I don't really understand, subbed with titles in some third language that I definitely don't understand.
  #37  
Old 07-26-2019, 11:03 AM
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If I'm actually going to sit there and pay it my full attention, original language. However, in general I am doing something else when watching something so would like the ease of audio language. Subtitles are a must either way though.
  #38  
Old 07-26-2019, 11:17 AM
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Unless it's an old Japanese monster movie, I prefer subtitles. Bad dubbing is part of the kaiju charm.
Indeed!
Woody Allen understood this.
  #39  
Old 07-26-2019, 11:25 AM
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Live action, I'll watch with subtitles. For anime, I'll watch it dubbed. (Most anime is "dubbed" even in Japanese, as the animation is completed before dialog is recorded.)
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:31 AM
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Dubbed. If I keep having to read at the bottom, I miss a lot of the non-dialog nuance.
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  #41  
Old 07-26-2019, 11:44 AM
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The issue with anime dubs is that I find the acting atrocious. For one thing, too much effort is made to match the dialog up with the lip movements. (Sometimes the dialog bets a lot better when the character is facing away from the camera or has a really thick mustache.) I'm just mystified however when I hear a dub with an actor I know is talented and it still sounds lame.

One exception, kinda, Miyazaki says he prefers the Jean Reno dub of Porco Rosso to the original. Of course, I don't speak French either, so I'll still need the subs.
  #42  
Old 07-26-2019, 11:55 AM
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First Ghibli movie I saw was Ponyo at a little hippy volunteer run cinema- so hippy that the only person who knew how to work the projector properly hadn't come in, so we all watched it in Japanese, with French subtitles.

They did let us in for half price, and as pointed out by the ticket seller, it doesn't make a whole lot more sense if you know what they're saying
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:09 PM
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If the dubs are done really well, then dubs. But dubs are almost never done well, so almost always subtitles.

The absolute worst was when I rented Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the default for some reason was dub and sub... and the translations were slightly different. It was maximally distracting for me to see understandable words, and hear understandable words, and they didn't match.

The most amusing was a movie called Jesus of Montreal, which was (unsurprisingly) set in Montreal, with all of the characters speaking French (so, of course, I was watching it with English subtitles). But there was one scene in a hospital, so one of the main characters was talking to the doctors in English, and that section had French subtitles in the original movie, for the benefit of the original francophone audience... and the actress's accent was so strong that I actually found it easier to read the French subtitles than to listen to the English audio.

I've also had moments where I'm watching a movie and look away at something else for a moment, and am briefly puzzled why I can't understand it any more.
  #44  
Old 07-26-2019, 01:02 PM
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Subtitled 100%.

I don't find reading words to be difficult at all. A dubbed live-action film takes me right out because the sounds I'm hearing don't match their lips and it looks fake. I want to hear the actual actors act and hear their emotions.
  #45  
Old 07-26-2019, 01:30 PM
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I use subtitles regardless due to hearing loss, so subs for me.
  #46  
Old 07-26-2019, 01:44 PM
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I always use subs due to hearing loss. However, when watching anime, I use whatever will piss off the weeaboos most.
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