Dubbing (filmmaking) - Practice of Dubbing Foreign Films Throughout The World - Asia


China has a long tradition of generally dubbing foreign films into Mandarin Chinese, starting in the 1930s. Beginning in the late 1970s, not only films, but popular TV series from the United States, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico were also dubbed. The Shanghai Film Dubbing Studio has been the most celebrated one in the film dubbing industry in China. In order to generate high-quality products, they divide each film into short segments, each one lasting only a few minutes, and then work on the segments one by one. In addition to the correct meaning in translation, they make tremendous effort to match the lips of the actors. As a result, viewers can hardly detect that the films they are seeing are actually dubbed. The cast of dubbers is acknowledged at the end of a dubbed film. Quite a few dubbing actors and actresses of the Shanghai Film Dubbing Studio became well-known celebrities, among whom are Qiu Yuefeng, Bi Ke, Li Zi, and Liu Guangning. In recent years however, especially in the larger cities on east and south coast, it has become increasingly common that movie theaters show subtitled versions with the original soundtrack intact.

Taiwan also dubs some foreign films and TV series in Mandarin Chinese. Until mid 1990s, the major national terrestrial channels both dubbed and subtitled all foreign programs and films, and for some popular programs, the original voices were offered in Second audio program. But gradually both terrestrial and cable channels stopped dubbing for prime time US shows and films, while subtitling continued. In the 2000s, the dubbing practice differs depends on the nature and origin of the program. Animations, children's shows and some educational programs on PTS are mostly dubbed. English live-action movies and shows were not dubbed in theaters or on any channel. Japanese TV dramas were no longer dubbed, while Korean dramas, Hong Kong dramas and dramas from other Asian countries were still often dubbed. Korean variety shows were not dubbed. Japanese and Korean films on Asian movie channels were still dubbed. In theaters, most foreign films were not dubbed, while animated films and some films meant for children offer a dubbed version. Hong Kong live-action films have a long tradition of being dubbed into Mandarin, while more famous films offer a Cantonese version.

In Hong Kong, foreign television programmes, except for English and Mandarin television programmes, are dubbed in Cantonese, and Japanese programmes, including anime, are also dubbed in Cantonese Chinese. English and Mandarin programmes are generally shown in their original language with subtitles. Foreign films such as most live-action films and animated films are also generally dubbed in Cantonese such as anime films and Disney animated films.

Almost all the time, foreign films and TV programmes, both live-action and animated, are generally dubbed in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

For example in The Lord of the Rings film series, Elijah Wood's character Frodo Baggins was dubbed into Mandarin by Jiang Guangtao for China and Taiwan. For the Cantonese localization, his voice was given by Bosco Tang for the Hong Kong market.

In Israel, only children's movies and TV programming are dubbed in Hebrew. In programs aimed at teenagers and adults, dubbing is rarely considered as a method of translation not only because of its high costs, but also because the audience is mainly multi-lingual. Most viewers in Israel speak at least one European language in addition to Hebrew, and there is also a large audience that speaks Arabic. Therefore, most viewers prefer to hear the original soundtrack, aided by Hebrew subtitles. Another problem is that dubbing does not allow for translation into two different languages simultaneously, as is often the case in Israeli television channels that use subtitles in Hebrew and another language (like Russian) simultaneously.

In Japan, many television programs go on Japanese television subtitled or dubbed if they are intended for children. When the American film Morocco was released in Japan in 1931, subtitles became the mainstream method of translating TV programs and films in Japan. Later around the 1950s, foreign television programs and films began to be shown dubbed in Japanese on television. In the first stage; the lack of video software for domestic television; video software is imported from abroad. When the television program was shown on television, it was mostly dubbed. This is the character limit for a small TV screen at a lower resolution and the initial response to their poor elderly and illiterate eye, as far as television was to be used for audio dubbing. Nowadays, TV shows and movies that are aimed either at all ages, or for adults-only are both shown generally dubbed and shown with its original language with Japanese subtitles and contains the original language option when that film gets released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. Adult cartoons such as Family Guy and South Park are shown dubbed in Japanese on the WOWOW TV channel. But South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was dubbed in Japanese by different actors instead of the same Japanese dubbing-actors from the cartoon, due to the fact that it was handled by a different Japanese dubbing studio, and also marketed for the Kansai market. In Japanese theaters, foreign-language movies, except those intended for children, are usually shown in their original version with Japanese subtitles. Foreign films usually contain multiple different Japanese-dubbing versions, but with a bunch of different original Japanese-dubbing voice actors depending whenever on which TV station it airs on. NHK, Nippon TV, Fuji TV, TV Asahi and also TBS usually do this, and same for even on software releases such as being released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. There are also certain film theaters in Japan that also show both dubbed and subtitled editions of foreign films. There also exists "Japanese dub-over artists" for famous celebrities, for many examples that are listed:

  • Tesshō Genda - Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Hiroya Ishimaru - Jackie Chan
  • Masashi Ebara - Tom Hanks
  • Toshiyuki Morikawa - Tom Cruise
  • Hiroaki Hirata - Johnny Depp
  • Keiji Fujiwara - Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Rikiya Koyama - George Clooney
  • Maaya Sakamoto - Natalie Portman
  • Kōichi Yamadera - Jim Carrey
  • Kazuhiro Yamaji - Jason Statham
  • Akio Ōtsuka - Nicolas Cage
  • Daisuke Hirakawa - Orlando Bloom

In Thailand, foreign television programs are dubbed in Thai, but the original soundtrack is often simultaneously carried on a NICAM audio track on terrestrial broadcast, and alternate audio tracks on satellite broadcast; previously, terrestrial stations simulcasted the original soundtrack on the radio. On pay-TV, many channels carry foreign-language movies and television programs with subtitles. Nearly all movie theaters throughout the country show both the subtitled version and the dubbed version of English-language movies. In Bangkok, the majority of theaters showing English-language movies are subtitled only. In big cities like Bangkok Thai-language movies have English subtitles. For English-language animated movies, Disney films like The Lion King, Mulan and Tangled are dubbed ENTIRELY in Thai. Chonnai Sukawat has provided the Thai-dubbing voice for the heroine Rapunzel in the film Tangled. In Harry Potter, Hermione Granger was dubbed in Thai by Thai singer and actress Bismillah Nana. Many English-language movies are sold on VCDs in Thailand, with the original English language with Thai subtitles as well as also being available with the Thai-language-dubbed version, such as Eragon, Avatar, the Harry Potter film series and The Lord of the Rings film series. Thai lakorns are with English subtitles if broadcast on international television channels, or sold as DVD abroad.

In South Korea, anime that are imported from Japan are shown dubbed in Korean generally, on television. However, some anime gets censored such as Japanese letters or content being edited for a suitable Korean audience. Western cartoons are also dubbed in Korean as well, such as Nickelodeon cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants and Danny Phantom. Several English-language (mostly American) live-action films were generally dubbed in Korean, but they were not shown in theaters. Instead they were only broadcast on South Korean television networks (KBS, MBC, SBS), while DVD import releases of these films were shown with Korean subtitles. This may be due to the fact that the six American major film studios may not own any rights to the Korean dubs of their live-action films, currently to this point, that the Korean television networks have dubbed and aired. Even if they don't own the rights, Korean or Non-Korean viewers can record off Korean dubbed live action films from Television broadcasting onto DVDs with DVRs. Sometimes video games are also dubbed in Korean. Good examples would be the Halo video games, the Jak & Daxter series and even the God of War series. For the Halo games, Lee Jeong Gu lends his Korean voice to the main protagonist Master Chief (replacing Steve Downes's voice), while Kim So Hyeong voices Chieftain Tartarus (replacing Kevin Michael Richardson's voice), one of the main antagonists.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, South American telenovelas are dubbed in Indonesian and Malay, while English-language programs are usually shown in the original language with Indonesian and Malay subtitles, respectively. However, this has recently changed in Malaysia, and South American telenovelas now retain their original language, with Malay subtitles. Most but not all Korean and Japanese dramas are still dubbed in Mandarin with Malay subtitles on terrestrial television channels. Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil and Hindi programmes are shown in original language all this while, usually with Malay subtitling (and in some cases, multilingual subtitling). Cartoons and anime are also dubbed as well, such as Kekkaishi, Megas XLR, Spheres (Korea), dubbed by young sound-man Mohamad Nor Aliff Abd Majid, also known as Aliff JJ, and others like Crayon Shin Chan, Doraemon, Bleach, and Naruto. Although English-language cartoons are normally not dubbed, and some anime do retain their original Japanese language. However, Malay dubbed English-language cartoons are much more frequent occurring on televisions such as Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network series. In Indonesia, English-language daytime cartoons are mostly dubbed, however on some pay-TV channels like Nickelodeon, cartoons are not dubbed and do not have subtitles. Feature animations are either dubbed or subtitled depending on which television-channel it appears on.

Malaysian news programs are broadcast in several languages for twenty minutes each language for minor languages and international languages, including dialects of Chinese, the languages of news to broadcast by law is Malay, English, Mandarin Chinese, Min Nan and Thai.

In the Philippines, Japanese anime are usually dubbed in Tagalog or another Philippine regional language. The channel HERO TV, which focuses on anime and tokusatsu shows, dubs all its foreign programs into Tagalog. Animax, meanwhile, have their anime programs dubbed in English. Also popular in the Philippines are Chinese, Korean, and Mexican dramas, which are called Chinovelas, Koreanovelas, and Mexicanovelas, respectively. All these are also dubbed in Tagalog or another Philippine regional language, with its unique set of Filipino-speaking voice actors. The prevalence of media needing to be dubbed has resulted in a talent pool that is very capable of syncing voice to lip, especially for shows broadcast by the country's three largest networks. It is not uncommon in the Filipino dub industry to have most of the voices in a series dubbed by only a handful of voice talents. Normally, English-language programs are usually not dubbed, because most Filipinos can understand English. Notable exceptions are a number of Nickelodeon cartoons shown on TV5, which are dubbed in Tagalog or another Philippine regional language. TV5 and GMA7 are also the only television channels in the country that air English-language movies dubbed in Tagalog.

In Mongolia, most television dubbing uses the Russian method, with only a few voice actors, and the original language audible underneath. In movie theaters, foreign films are shown in their original language with Mongolian subtitles underneath.

In India, where "foreign films" are synonymous with Hollywood films, dubbing is generally done mostly in major three Indian languages that include: Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Dubbing ( of foreign languages) is rarely done to the other major Indian languages, namely Malayalam and Bengali, due to the high literacy rate among the population who speak the languages. The finished works are released into the towns and lower tier settlements of the respective states (where English penetration is low), often with the English-language originals being released in the metropolitan areas. In all other states, the English originals are released along with the dubbed versions where often the dubbed version collections are outstanding than original. The most recent dubbing of Spider-Man 3 was also done in the Bhojpuri language, a language popular in northern India. Information for the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu voice actors who have done the voices for specific actors and for their roles on foreign films and television programs are published in local Indian data magazines, for those that are involved in the dubbing industry in India. But in a few occasions, there are some foreign productions that credit the dubbing cast, such as for example, Animated films like the Barbie films, and some Disney films. Disney Channel original series released on DVD with their Hindi dubs, also shows a list of the artists at the Hindi dub credits, shown after the original ending credits. For a list of Indian voice-dubbing artists, click here.

In Pakistan, almost 60% of the population speaks Punjabi as their mother tongue. Therefore, Punjabi films have more business than Urdu films. The film companies produced Punjabi films and re-record all films in Urdu and released the result as a "double version" film.

Also in Pakistan, where "foreign films" are synonymous with Hollywood films, dubbing is done mostly in Urdu, which is the national language, and the finished works are released in the major cities throughout country.

In Vietnam, foreign-language films and programs are subtitled on television in Vietnamese, and previously (until 1985) are not dubbed, but are brief translated with a speaker before commercial breaks. Rio was considered to be the very first American Hollywood film to be entirely dubbed in Vietnamese.

In multilingual Singapore, English-language programs on the free-to-air terrestrial channels are usually subtitled in Chinese or Malay, while Chinese, Malay and Tamil programs are almost always subtitled in English. Dual sound programs like Korean and Japanese dramas offer sound in the original languages with subtitles, Mandarin dubbed and subtitled, or English dubbed. The deliberate policy to encourage Mandarin among citizens made it required by law for programs in other Chinese dialects (Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew) to be dubbed into Mandarin, exceptions being traditional operas. Cantonese and Hokkien shows from Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively are nevertheless available on VCD and DVD. In a recent development, news bulletins are subtitled.

Read more about this topic:  Dubbing (filmmaking), Practice of Dubbing Foreign Films Throughout The World

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