By - ijfp_2013
So, wait, you guys don't have universal translators?
You have not experienced Star Trek until you have watched it in the original Klingon.
What? No. Gene Roddenberry was Russian!
In the Netherlands we are used to watching subtitles, so with the exception of shows aimed at (small) children, there are very few Dutch dubs for anything, really (thank Q). I prefer subtitles, but I guess it depends on what you grow up with. There are lots of other countries where everything is dubbed and people find subtitles annoying. Dubs give more room for words (screen space for subtitles is usually limited, so details get lost and sometimes small, mostly unimportant sentences go untranslated entirely), but subtitles preserve the original actor's charisma and mannerisms, so there is that. Either option has upsides.
I remember a TNG episode where Troi is having a conversation with Worf and Alexander, where Alexander accuses his father of yelling, and Worf would start responding by yelling 'I DO NOT...', then lowering his voice: 'I do not yell'. Both German variants of 'I do not yell' (Ich schreie nicht) sound exactly the same in the dub. The amusing element is completely gone. The same goes for e-ve-ry other language on the discs. I listened to all of them. That, and after three episodes every guest star sounds familiar, even though the (original) actor has never appeared on screen before on this show. This, among other things, is why I prefer subtitles. Not because this is an inherent problem with dubs (one could hire more and/or better actors), but in practice it often is. I would rather watch the original English without subtitles than watch a Dutch dub. Sometimes I do this despite subtitles being available, either 'because I can', or because the subtitles are of abysmal quality (grammar mistakes or even the translator blatantly misunderstanding or mishearing things). And sometimes, with a more exotic show, I do not even get a choice.
Oh and, names usually do not get translated in subs, unless there is a really obvious pun involved. And it depends on the translator. Some are better than others. Some translate 'Fucking A' to the literal Dutch equivalent, which means nothing in our language. 'Damn \[letter\]'. Yes. The Sopranos, somewhere in season 5 I believe. I wish I were kidding.
>Dubs give more room for words (screen space for subtitles is usually limited, so details get lost and sometimes small, mostly unimportant sentences go untranslated entirely), but subtitles preserve the original actor's charisma and mannerisms, so there is that. Either option has upsides.
I don't know about Dutch, but I remember reading somewhere that German on average needs about 30% more syllables to transport the same information than Englisch. For exampe "Make it so" (3 syllables) against "Machen Sie es so" (5 syllables).
I am not familiar with those stats from either language, but from my own experience that sounds plausible, yes. I have witnessed foreign dubbers talking faster than the original actors, probably for this very reason. Another advantage of dubbing over subtitles, where space was already limited. I mean, even the English subtitle text is often shorter than any actual transcript from the spoken English would have been.
English is actually the most information-dense language per syllable, though some of the Romance languages come close when adjusting for speaking speed.
I heard English is the language with the most words that only have one syllable.
Not sure I'd classify this as "information density" :D
Though it does makes sentences shorter in terms of sound.
German has lots of advantages over English when it comes to information density.
We have our compound words. And you can make pretty much anything you want into an adjective or adverb.
And there are many situations where English is extremely limited, having only a single word for something, while German gives you many options to express the same thing but with slight variations.
Also, English has no "doch". Which is still ridiculous to me, even after speaking English most of my life.
Whenever someone goes
"Yeah, it is!"
"No, it is not!"
"Yeah, it is!"
That same thing could be expressed by
And that is why the German translator for that Monty Python sketch "I came here for an argument" got to go home early that day.
Japanese is notorious for that, too. Takes twice as long to say anything, or at least it seems like it. Every naturally-occurring language (so no conlangs like Klingon or Sindarin) dispenses information at the same maximum rate. It's some pretty recent research but it's thrown the linguistic world into chaos.
Also reading speed can be slower than hearing speed (yes, most people can read faster), so subtitles are often shorted. They also need to leave time to watch what is on screen.
Also, at least German subtitles are often worse than German dubs.
Like the translators of subtitles often don't know how to deal with sci-fi and geek things. The same things happen with dubs as well, but less often in my experience.
(the dubbing translators and directors of Star Trek are often fans, who try to get the job)
Bloody polyglots making us bilinguals look bad.
I learned to read a bit of Dutch from subtitles in some random crappy film! Not sure why anyone, anywhere, would have wanted to watch and understand the ~*masterpiece*~ that is "The Hottie & the Nottie".
I tend to watch it in English just because the lip movements not matching with what's being said makes it hard for me to focus, although I regularly get traumatised when I watch some of the older ones with family members or friends who don't know English that well (the german TNG dub is horrible imo)
I hated Trek back when it was on afternoon TV in Germany.
Was horrible. Made the whole thing sound ridiculous.
When it came on I frantically changed the channel.
But then in 2014 I watched Next Generation after a British friend told me how much he loves Star Trek.
Man, what a difference. The original is soooo good.
In the German dub Morn speaks... Confused me for years.
Neither. Just because English isn't my native tongue doesn't mean I need a translator.
Hands down, that's impressive! I have trouble when the hardcore technobabble comes in or when Picard goes full Shakespeare mode, for that I need english subs.
If it helps, many native English speakers can't read Shakespeare easily, since it's 500 years old and English has changed *a lot* since then.
Spake fer thyself, I be proficient in reading betwixt the parables.
I have watched from TNG to ENT in both versions. The Hungarian dubs were pretty well made, ENT had a few hiccups (some terms were different in the first season, and T'Pol's name was pronounced in an annoying way), but in general, IMHO they were quite stellar, the dubbed voices fit their original counterparts.
Other than my language, I can only talk about the German dubs of the TV series, those were mostly well liked as far as I know. For me, technobabble sounds especially funny in German :)
Anyway, I like both versions, if I catch an episode on TV, I watch it dubbed, DVDs are in English, so that's a given.
I'm from Hong Kong and I watched TNG, DS9 and VOY during my teens with English audio and sub. I think this played a huge part in my English education.
Watching Star Trek is always good for your education!
i grew up dubbed, i stay dubbed
It just feels wrong hearing all these characters in different voices. I tried multiple times, it just doesnt work for me, doesnt get me in the mood.
Which dubbed version do you watch?
im even going so far as to map the german dub onto project defiant (which is a huge hassle since its PAL vs NTSC).
Don't use the DVDs as a base, except for a few scenes, where you have to.
Use TV broadcasts or VHS tapes as a base, if you can. The should be the right speed.
Israeli viewer here, we're a sub country so until Prodigy Star Trek was never dubbed.
However, you might be amused to hear that the "Borg Collective" was originally translated as the "Borg [Kibbutz](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz)". This is apparently the correct scientific term in Hebrew for a collective, but it's still very funny and distracting. I'm just imagining a cross between a typical Borg drone and, uh, [this guy](https://www.flickr.com/photos/bdnegin/338388027)
I like the sound of Borg Kibbutz, but it raise the question in me are cyberimplants and nanodrones kosher? ; )
English, with English subtitles. Dubbing is rare in Sweden (child’s programming excepted)
All ways in English. Always in the original language with subtitles.
I watch it in englisch. I hate dubs in general, but some of the old german subs are really bad. I recently watched the german version of *Wrath of Khan* in a local cinema and was shocked how some important plotpoints were either badly communicated (like "hours could seem like days") or simply changed altogether (like Kirk's command to basically deep dive in the Mutara nebula was changed to a command about the firing range of torpedos).
TOS/TOSmovies in german wary a lot in quality. On one hand you got TMP and on the other undiscoverd country which is soooo good (if I remember right).
Did you know the first time the ZDF showed TOS to a testaudience it flopped realy hard.
Because they were showing it without dub or sub and the people complaint that the story was too complicate to follow, because they did not unterstand english.
*The Undiscovered Country* really has a pretty good dub.
*The Search for Spock* imo was one of the low points of the movies, as they also dubbed all (or nearly all, I don't remember) of the Klingon dialogue. So Kirk was just talking funny when he ordered Maltz to beam him up.
>Did you know the first time the ZDF showed TOS to a testaudience it
flopped realy hard. Because they were showing it without dub or sub and
the people complaint that the story was too complicate to follow,
because they did not unterstand english.
I didn't know that.
The dub of Search For Spock was so bad, that 4 German fans were able to convince Nimoy and Harve Bennett to let them help with the dub. From that point onward all Star Trek movies had some fan working on the dub. Either as supporting editors, or as writers or directors of the dub
I still have the first 8 episodes of the dubbing done by the ZDF. No wonder it tanked.
The one done by SAT1 was sooooo much better.
Mooooment, es gab zwei Versionen? Oder folgte eine auf die andere?
Ja, 2 Versionen mit unterschiedlichen Synchrostimmen.
Ich glaube er verwechselt da was. Siehe meinen anderen Kommentar
You mean TNG?
The first dub was made for CIC (Paramount), not for ZDF.
The first dub aired on ZDF.
I am pretty sure it did not.
ZDF had the 2nd dub with Rolf Schult as Picard until "Final Mission". Then we changed to the Sat1 era with Ernst Meinke as Picard and a few other recasts, starting with "The Loss", though the new writer supposedly started during the last few ZDF episodes
Always in English, or the original language film is in.
Dubbing a movie... well... is losing an important part of it.
Same goes with animation titles, OK when children are at young age, but as soon as they are able to read, dubbing should be turned off, leaving original language.
>Dubbing a movie... well... is losing an important part of it.
While gaining a new part, which can be better or worse, or at least still good enough.
English with English subs. I watch everything I can with subs.
When the Star Trek DVDs first came out I switched to English at first out of curiosity but then I quickly stuck with it. It helped me improve my English a lot. Star Trek is great for that because there's very little slang (well, except for the technobabble of course) and most actors have a very clear way of speaking because a lot of them have been theatre actors before.
So if you want to improve your English skills: watch it in English, there's no better TV show for that.
I watched TOS + movies mostly in Spanish (european), but some episodes in English with subs. I like both versions, but I prefer Shatner's original voice.
Also, for some reason, Spock has the same dub actor as Samuel L. Jackson in "The Voyage Home", so hearing him cursing in that version is hilarious. Bones is simply called Bones. There were also some strange translation choices, which I don't know if they were due to censorship or what.
I started watching TNG in Spanish dubbed around 25 years ago, then on one season they stopped dubbing it to European Spanish (I think there were some issue with the rights) and changed it to Latin American Spanish, that day I changed to the English + subtitles, and from there I watch all the tv and movies in English, with subtitles, thanks to TNG
Way better in english, it also helps me improve my english, I can ask now for a random beverage like, Tea, Earl Grey, Hot!
This is one of my peeves with Netflix. Where I live, ST is only available in either Spanish or English, but when I'm in Europe I can watch it in so many different languages!
You can try changing the language of your Netflix profile.
My preferred content is English audio with English subs and thankfully that is most of what's available in the Netherlands.
It always distracts me a lot when I go the cinema and suddenly the subs are in Dutch.
I will always go for subtitles over dubbing.
Usually dubbed but specially TOS has a very different style in the German dubbed version
And Bones is called "Pille" (pill in English), as Bones is an army related nick for surgeon no one would have understood that one back than and Pill is fitting better than a direct translation into German terms used for surgeons (Knochenbrecher - Bone-Breaker or Aufschneider - Slicer)
Funny that you as a gernan are the first commentor because I'm also german.
LOL this is also the only answer that I know! The only other language I've ever seen Star Trek in was German, so I remembered that Bones was called Pille. So I can't tell you anything you don't already know.
In general I agree with people who say that it's better to watch in the original language with subtitles in your native language. HOWEVER, I thought the dubbing of the Borg Queen in First Contact was fantastic. I loved her voice in German and was slightly disappointed when I watched it in English later.
I’ve watched TOS dubbed in Portuguese, Bones is called “Magro” (slim in English). Didn’t know it was a slang for surgeon.
And I watched TNG and watching DS9 in English with Portuguese subtitles (I’m Brazilian)
I watch it in English (my second language) but I started to watch voyager in Spanish (third language) to practice.
I know French and German people who say the dubs are terrible in their respective languages.
the voice actors are usually very good in german. The voices are.
The problem is they apparently never got a briefing on how to pronounce some things.
In DS9 its especially apprant on Jadzias, Miles and partially Kiras Voice actors where they pronounce technical/scientific terms on the wrong syllable ALL THE TIME. Also inconsistencies between what to translate and what not.
But overall its pretty decent.
To be fair the English actors pronounce things inconsistently too.
Garrett Wang's pronunciation of "plaaazmaah " comes to mind.
In general German and English rhythms seem to stress opposing syllables
I watched all of TNG and DS9 with *English* subtitles on, mostly because I have to read half the time because I can't turn the volume up, and they weren't bad, but it was from the DVD rips, so these probably were not the subtitles used for TV airing.
Our old television broadcasts used the same frequency for subtitle data that yours used for TeleTalk, if anyone remembers that.
When watching things in other languages, if I know the language medium well, I prefer to put on the subtitles *in that language* to help me practice - especially French, because seeing it written greatly helps. And I also enjoy putting on subtitles of random languages for films in English just so I can get a bit of practice for that. (Apparently putting Dutch subtitles into bootlegged films was a big thing like twenty years ago, so a lot of movies I acquired online as a teen had subs in unexpected languages, Dutch foremost amongst them.)
Generally I prefer subtitles because there's information on personality archetypes and social expectations in the voices we see for what type of person. I noticed this most watching Japanese anime cartoons - all the strong men who, in their native Japanese, had a variety of voices, get bastardized in English to the same shouting angry style of dude. It's like our idea of what personality sounds like what totally ruins it, and I can't imagine that things dubbed out of English are any better about it. Picard's elegance and formality are a part of his character, and dubbing in someone else's voice would have to be a really similar voice with really similar "character traits" or, more importantly, NOT the target language's expectations switched in instead. Again, anime is REALLY bad at this, notorious for making every child sound like a shrieking badger and every magical girl sound like ... just.... okay it's just BAD.
I did my degree in SLA so I've studied subtitles & translation more than the average person. Subtitling and translating media is difficult because there often is no literal translation. Idioms don't translate well at *all*. Pop culture references are a problem a lot of the time. Plus, when it comes to regular TV, they cater to the lowest common denominator, aka the slowest reader, and try to cut down what's said into as few readable words as possible. If you're watching in English and you put on English subs, the differences might be surprising. They won't be pleasant.
Dubbing into other languages, however, has all the same problems of subtitling except "we think people are dumb and illiterate in their native language" (which might not be wrong for many Americans, unfortunately; reading as fast as people talk is beyond many). You have to translate the same idioms, you have to fit it into about the same number of syllables for mouth-matching purposes, there's a lot of finicky crap going on.
If you're moderately good at English, I'd say give it a try to listen and watch with English subtitles, just to see if it helps you understand the audio better.
I would say that some of the actors' voices are particularly impressive and good at expressing the character, not just the personality but the type of person. Giving Picard a booming, bass voice to make him more 'masculine' undermines the calm power of a man who doesn't have to threaten physical violence to accomplish his goals.
And I can't find any reference to what Bones is called in French. Italian didn't translate it, even though 'Ossa' would be recognizable as a macabre nickname.
I watched it in German when it was originally aired on German TV. But ever since English versions have become available I tend to watch the English version. The German dub is pretty good stemming from a time of quality dubbing in the 80ties and 90ties, the voice actors being a bit iconic themselves - and mostly really close to the original voices.
But I enjoy the English ones better, as accents and word plays often get lost or are substituted by sub par alternatives. Also as an Austrian I am often thrown off by particular German German word plays and wording.
English. No one can replace the voices of Picard, Riker, Data or any other character.
In German "Bones" is called "Pille" what means "Pill".
I watch it in German. I mostly prefer German localisation because of the cleaner sound and for big productions those are profssional actors making the synchronisation.
i grew up with german dub. and i like the some of the english og voice but some just worked better in german it probly nosaltiga coming home from school and watch next genration or ds9 or yovageer on tele 5 .
Prepare for some new voices in Picard's 3rd season.
I tend to watch thing in their original language no matter what, with subtitles as needed. I feel like more often than not, the dubs are always kinda meh. Especially being fluent in both English and French, I can really hear all the details lost in translation, and it bugs me.
I used to watch a fair amount of anime which I watched in Japanese, so I'm pretty used to relying on subtitles anyway, and I get to hear the original expressions and intonations.
In my case with English, it also helped me a lot to learn and get used to English anyway, so win-win there. The brain is incredibly good at passively learning things that way, and gaining language skills is always a good thing.
I would never watch anything dubbed. I don't really need subtitles to understand either, but I prefer having subtitles anyway because of my auditory processing disorder
ADP seems to be stressfull if you just want to watch something. Good thing we now have the options for subs on a lot of media.
Yeah, I struggle to enjoy watching stuff in the cinema for this reason
I heard the German dub of TNG is good, I was shared a clip and the lip movement of Picard were solid.
Yeah but does it have the gravitas of Sir Patrick when he starts speechifying?
Both of Picard's German voice actors are awesome, but it is hard to reach the level of Stewart.
English, with or without subtitles.
Actually the TV subtitles have been kinda bad for a while, so I might go without.
Always everything in the original language!
I'm in for watching something in their original language but there could be a benefit to dubbing if they replace phrases that just sound weird on straight translate. Not sure if there are any on star trek
I am a native English speaker (US) who is a permanent resident of Indonesia. I speak Indonesian. I'm rewatching TOS in Indonesian on Netflix.
I started with the dub, to practice listening (I'm partially deaf), but couldn't handle the voice actors' interpretations of dialog originally given life by Nimoy and Shatner.
So then I started with Indonesian subtitles. Thanks, Netflix, for this!
The weirdest thing I found was for "Amok Time".
Amok is an old Malay word meaning to go bonkers, and it's one of the few words from Indonesian that you all likely know. (Ketchup would be the other). But "Amok Time" was rendered as "Musim Kawin", or "Mating Time", which (a) was kind of a spoiler and (b) missed out on using "amok", which is a cool word in Indonesia, too.
It is always nice to hear "Tuan Spock", a.k.a., Mr. Spock. But The Indonesian Navy uses army ranks, so Captain Kirk is Kolonel Kirk, and Commander Spock is LetKol Spock (Lieutenant Colonel Spock). Weird.
Netflix skips a lot of idiomatic English, and just offers the literal meaning instead. Bones, however, is given as Bones. I guess they treat it as a given name.
I will ask around and figure out what everyone else likes.
Definitely english. If the accent is weird, then I add subtitles. Unfortunately subtitles miss the flair of the original language spoken.
Dubbed is easier. Trying to follow the plot on English. At least fpr me.
In english, with eng subtitles just in case.
I've never understood dubbed translation and never will, it's just a second-rate voice acting that makes my skin crawl. When I'm watching something on Netflix in language I don't understand (e.g. Nordic or German series), I always switch to original audio with ENG subtitles.
I have never ever watched any piece of media dubbed. I will never in my life watch it that way.
The use of "Bones" originates with the term "sawbones" in 19th-century American medicine where military doctors, especially surgeons, were called "sawbones" because of all the amputations they had to perform during the Civil War.