Transparent Language Blog

Dubbed Movies are Silly Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Archived Posts

When foreign languages get dubbed in movies and TV, it sometimes gets ridiculous. Then again, sometimes it gets ridiculous anyway.

We can all agree that dubbed films and TV shows have their silly moments when it comes to foreign languages. Obviously writers can’t account for their work being re-voiced in every conceivable language, so we the viewers are left with scenes like the above which make no sense in any context. Sometimes you’ll have a scene where a character is learning to speak a language – the same language that the film is dubbed in!

Like that scene from Love, Actually where Colin Firth’s character is learning Portuguese to woo that lady. Yes, it’s creepy, but besides that, what about in the Portuguese-dubbed version of the film?! Do they just change it so she’s Italian or Greek or something?

So that’s one thing. But I think what bothers me more than dubbed movies are regular movies where people inexplicably speak English. I just saw Wonder Woman the other day, and there’s a scene where a Turkish scientist is talking to a German officer during World War II, and an American spy is listening to their conversation. Luckily for him, they’re all speaking English! Well, isn’t that convenient! I stopped watching The Man in the High Castle for the same reason – I just couldn’t stand to watch another scene where two high-up Japanese officials speak Japanese-accented English to each other. Just takes me right out of the story. Like really, subtitles are SO horrible?

I’m a filmmaker myself, so I get it. It’s kind of a lose-lose scenario – you need either subtitles, which require reading and which occupy precious real estate on the screen, or you dub, and everyone sounds and looks ridiculous.

Or we could all just learn a few more languages. What’s wrong with THAT?!

Keep learning a language with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Malachi Rempen

Malachi Rempen is an American filmmaker, author, photographer, and cartoonist. Born in Switzerland, raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he fled Los Angeles after film school and expatted it in France, Morocco, Italy, and now Berlin, Germany, where he lives with his Italian wife and German cat. "Itchy Feet" is his weekly cartoon chronicle of travel, language learning, and life as an expat.

Leave a comment: