The Linguist

The Linguist 56,5 – October/November 2017

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 26 of 35 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER The Linguist 27 OPINION & COMMENT those who wish to improve their competence in foreign languages, and who are interested in using films to deepen their understanding of other cultures. DUBBING VS. VOICEOVER In the film industry, there are distinctions to be made between dubbing (also known as mixing or re-recording) and other audio processes, such as 'additional dialogue replacement', 'additional dialogue recording' (ADR), 'looping' and 'post-synchronisation'. ADR involves re-recording the original actor after the filming process to improve the sound quality or make changes to the dialogue. In dubbing, of course, the voices of the original actors are replaced by those of performers speaking another language. The dubbing process takes place on what is called a 'dub stage' after all the necessary tracks have been edited and prepared by the sound editors. The dubbing mixers then blend all the elements and record the finished soundtrack. A distinction must also be made between voiceover and dubbing. With voiceover, the content, or a summary of the content, is recorded over the original audio track, which can be heard in the background, using a single track. With dubbing, the content is recorded by a cast of professional voice actors; the original audio track is replaced or mixed with the dubbed version. Here, choice of the right words is vital because there must be synchronisation with the lip movements of the actors on the screen (lip sync). The main drawback of dubbing is the problem that arises with lip sync. It can be distracting to watch the character's mouth at the same time as the dubbed audio track when they often fail to coincide. Also, dubbing often removes authenticity from the characterisation. As far as TV programmes are concerned, most contemporary TV sets offer the possibility of adding or removing subtitles, so it can be argued that dubbing is strictly unnecessary. However, appeal to the widest possible audiences could be guaranteed by offering a choice, as in the film industry. One strategy might be for broadcasting authorities to designate certain channels where TV programmes are dubbed and others where they are only subtitled. The process of subtitling is cheaper than dubbing and less time-consuming. Above all, subtitling guarantees that the original soundtrack can be followed for those who wish to have a more authentic experience of what is being communicated. Proponents of the 'Natural Approach', such as Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell, 2 David Wilson MCIL is a semi-retired language teacher, translator and writer with over 30 years' experience. TL have long acknowledged that exposure to the rich input of listening and reading material in the target language is extremely beneficial for students wishing to learn how to communicate in that language. Abandoning the practice of dubbing or voiceover in exchange for subtitling on at least some TV programmes would give a big boost to foreign language learning in the UK and elsewhere, and would contribute in no small measure to helping English-language speakers come to terms with the type of communication required in the unstoppable globalisation of the 21st century. Notes 1 'Subtitling Versus Dubbing: An OTX Case – Report to the UK Film Council' (2010). Download via 2 Krashen S D and Terrell T D (1983) The Natural Approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. Oxford Pergamon Press; Mahnke, K (1985) 'The Natural Approach in Language Acquisition'. In Cambridge Journals in Second Language Acquisition 7,3; Not only does dubbing remove a valuable resource for learning languages, it bolsters a sense of insularity A SHIFT TOWARDS SUBTITLING Described as the 'Norwegian Breaking Bad', Valkyrien launched on Channel 4 in August. It is part of the trailblazing Walter Presents series of quality subtitled foreign-language drama

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