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May 13 2012

Buffy in the World. Listen to how the show sounds in Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese. Which one do you like best ?

I don't speak a word of German, but Xander's voice and intonation in all the others—except for the French, maybe—is kind of hilariously inappropriate.

And damn, Spike's speech translates well no matter what.

Oh God, Brazilian Buffy calls Giles "guy-les", whyyy. Well, I guess that finally explains why every RL friend I have who's seen Buffy calls him that. Huh.
I agree with Christy, concerning Xander's voice. I'm German, understanding French and chunks of Castellan.
Ohhh the memories. The German voices still sound so familiar. Especially Willow, she always sounds cute, even in German <3
Wow, haven't heard the German dub since I got the DVDs.
The only voice I remember is Angel's, maybe because of Bones.
Man, dubbing really ruins the show. I'm so happy to live in a country where subtitles reign supreme and only cartoons and kids movies get dubbed.
I am glad there's no Swedish dub.
Death to dubbing !
On second thought, this is actually a quesion I would love to ask someone like Joss: Are you actually aware of how much the translation of your TV shows and movies destroys the integrity of what you have written ? How much it kills the humor of it ? How much your work is being... "Devalue" and mediocrised ? Is that something you are unhappy with but simply know that thats the way it is at the moment ? Do you just not care ? Or do you simply not know what they turn your works into ? And would you have any idea how to make it better ? Or would be interested in helping others make it better ?

Yes, that would be an interesting discussion to have.
I can't help myself. Still love our German translation and the intonations of our voice-actors, only OV sounds better ;-)
I like Xanders voice, no complaints, I even think it's closer to his original voice, but maybe just because I'm used to it.

@Bad Karma: Really interesting questions ;-)

[ edited by Panther on 2012-05-13 14:34 ]

[ edited by Panther on 2012-05-13 15:58 ]
Xander's voice(s) made me laugh out loud.

Bad Karma, I'm sure he's aware of it, but what can he do? Usually, in big-budget productions, directors do get to choose the "dubbers" for their characters (and sometimes the actors do as well). But I don't think Joss would have that kind of power (yet, muahaha), and money is money, and most countries do dub films in order for them to make money... there is really no way of making it better, unless you force subtitles on everyone. And the translations are usually pretty bad, even in subtitles. So most of the world will never know the full extent of the cleverness, brilliance and humour of Buffy, or other things. However, that doesn't stop anyone from loving the show.

And, of course, most of us can't fully understand any films in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese... we read the subtitles, and unless we learn all of those languages, we'll always be in the same boat.
I grew up with the spanish (castillian) version. And until I bought the DVDs, I loved it (but men, we lost all of the jokes with translations). After I discovered that fact, I always watch tv shows in english.
as a gal who watched buffy in whole 3 languages, there's no compare to original, ever! cause, let me tell you, the amount of mistakes in russian dubbing is Awful with a capital A!
I thought there was no Russian dubbing ? only a voice translating over the original, like in Poland.
Let's just say I'm really glad they don't dub series here in the Netherlands... good god

And suddenly I'm left wondering what they did with the French part in "Restless" in French :P

[ edited by Rashann on 2012-05-13 16:24 ]
I was surprised by how mature our favorite "teenagers" sounded. Yikes. I found the German-dubbed voices most in keeping with their American counterparts, with the exception of Giles.
@Rashann : They turned it into gibberish.
I gotta say, in this video Giles German voice didn't come over as well as I remember it. I always kinda liked it, it has the same kind of "confusedness" that Tony had :)
Am I the only one who loves the Italian dub ? I think it sounds very natural, and seems to be pretty true to the original.

I discovered Buffy with the French version, and I have to say they did a pretty good job with the casting of the voices, and the intonations. But you were losing so much in the translation, so many references were taken out. It really is a different show in English.

But I would still say that dubbing is the only way in many countries to make people aware of the show. And very often it will make them curious enough to go to the original. So we shouldn't be too hard on dubbed versions (not all at least).
Yes, well, I find this whole dubbing business very ambivalent. On the one hand, I grew up watching dubbed shows, so I'm somewhat used to it. Now that I'm relatively fluent in English, I prefer watching original versions of course. But I'm not against dubbing in general. Of course a lot of the quality disappears, not just from the jokes, but mostly the original actors skills! That's what bugs me the most, along with the writing. However, sometimes it gets really exhausting reading subtitles all the time. You are constantly distracted from what the actors are doing, you miss a lot of things. Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and relax and watch the movie without having to read stuff at the bottom of the screen, when all you want is to enjoy the story, the actors, the action etc.
I agree with Liam12 that the French voices work very well tonally. I've kept up my French comprehension by listening to the episodes in French, but you miss tons of subtleties in the translations, for sure. Although, some episodes seem better translated than others, so there may be different people doing them.
Once More With Feeling is sung in French from what I recall.
The first time I watched Buffy was with the Italian dub: I, of course, loved the show, but I didn't know how much I was missing (the DVDs are still the best purchase I've ever done).

The first seasons were actually translated pretty well overall, but things changed with season 4: there were a lot more errors and the network didn't seem as interested in the material as before (they changed the airing slot every few weeks, with season 6 and 7 airing between 11.00 pm and 1.00 am).
If I remember correctly, in German TV the music numbers of Once More With Feeling were shown in English with German subtitles, and the normal conversation scenes with German dubbing. It was funny having the voices switch back and forth between English and German. That's how I remember it anyways. Soooo long ago!

Edited for a typo

[ edited by Illy on 2012-05-13 19:09 ]
@Cronin, I hate when they do that! Here, they showed Buffy on the same day, same time, throughout the entire series. But they just ditched Angel and replaced it with Charmed after a while. Then they started showing Angel late night, around 1am, and then in the middle of the season stopped it completely (the episode where baby Connor is taken into the other dimension by Holtz - meanest unplanned cliffhanger EVER).
@Simon : Yeah OMWF was entirely dubbed in French. Some of the songs were okay and some were just terrible ("Under your spell" being the worst). But still, I've heard the Spanish version (Latin America) and it was much worse. I don't think the songs were dubbed in any other language.
There used to be this clip of once more with feeling in french on youtube(specifically going through the motions). It was awesome and it had it on repeat for a while. Then sadly it got removed.
Poor Oz sounds like a little kid in all of them, but it seems like it's hard to get Willow wrong.
I watched the French dub all the way to Buffy S5/Angel S2 before I realized that the only reason I'd been understanding it so well up to that point was that I'd seen the English version of the early seasons so many times that I'd practically memorized the dialogue--not that I had mad French skillz. But it was still great for keeping my French fresh when I wasn't taking French classes, and Angel's dub voice is just *so* very sexy. French Xander sounds pretty much exactly like Nick Brendan, which is awesome, and French Willow sounds absolutely adorable. It's kind of sad how you lose the accents of all the British characters. It would have been cool if all the Americans (and American-sounding non-Americans) had been dubbed by French Canadians and all the Brits dubbed by France French-speakers.
I'm partial to the French and German dubbing because that's what I studied at uni, but on the whole I prefer things in original voice and subtitles. I've started watching in French a few times but always go back to English so as not to miss anything.
I agree about Angel's dub voice, it suits him very well. Actually I think Angel the series works better in French than Buffy, maybe because it's darker and has less pop culture references.
I remember the French and Latin Spanish dubs from the Region 1 DVDs. It's nice they kept the voice actors consistent throughout the seasons, although for some reason they switched the Latin Spanish actress who did Willow for S6 and part of S7 with another one before they got the original one back in.

And the show dubs well in French. The Latin Spanish dub is a bit inconsistent on S3, especially "Doppelgangland".
The tonality of the voices sound best in Italian to me.
I remember once switching to the French soundtrack on a Buffy DVD years back. Had to have a lie down - CC with a Frech accent was too much for this guy to take.

German was funny though...

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