Three Essential Ingredients of a Good Quality Dub

Dubbing a television show or advertisement into another language is essential to extend its reach into new markets, especially since not everybody is willing to read subtitles all of the time. Many viewers use dubs as a way of consuming foreign cinema that they normally wouldn’t get a chance to watch and learning more about another culture. But there have been too many examples over the years of poor quality dubs that have become a laughing stock and failed in their purpose. Here are a few ways you can produce a quality dub and avoid these embarrassing mistakes:

1. Authenticity

An article published by The Independent says that the reason many films aren’t dubbed is because viewers want authenticity from the production’s home country, even if it is felt only through subtitles. It is essential, therefore, for any dub to maintain the authenticity of where it comes from without losing any cultural norms or ways of speaking. One movie viewer, for example, reported in The Guardian that the German dub of Selma lost its impact as the dub artist couldn’t accurately capture Martin Luther King’s vocal cadences.

2. Translation

Dubbing can only be as good as the translation it is based upon. It can be difficult to express certain ideas in translation or make them match mouth movement, but an accurate translation is the first step towards a good dub.

3. Adding and Subtracting

Translators will often remove jokes or phrases that don’t make sense in the dubbed language and substitute those that will make sense to the audience. There is nothing wrong with this but it needs to be handled carefully in order to maintain the authenticity and avoid replacing good jokes with bad ones.

Producing a dub may be a difficult practice but by hiring the best translators and voice artists you can and being sensitive to the native culture, you can make a quality dub which will go over well in any country.


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