Lonely Translations

english german dubbing translation

Dub or sub?
The decision could be more important than we realise.

It is no secret that with dubbing, so much can be lost in translation. Humour sometimes falls flat-on-its-face flat and the voices of actors can ring hollow – or worse, come off as camp or macho when they should be the other way round. However, hidden under the voice-over, there is a far bigger concern lurking: does dubbing affect our ability to aquire another language?

Surely, it is no coincidence that the citizens of Spain, whose TV and cinema are dubbed into the local language, have the worst level of English in the EU according to a recent survey (http://www.ef-uk.co.uk/epi/download-full-report/), nor that the top five on the same list, including Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark, all use subtitling. Research has shown that we pick up languages much quicker as children than we do as adults, and that in…

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