Wednesday, August 22, 2007

There's something wrong with my Universe

Now I understand what my Brazilian friends used to say about Brazilian Novelas translated into Spanish. They used to laugh because the voices sounded funny to them, but I didn't understand because it sounded okay to me. Well, this weekend I got it.

I love foreign films, Asian ones in particular. Chinese movies are full of drama and action, but the one thing I love the most is the details, the scenery, the colors.........every mood of the characters changes with the colors, just lovely. I had rented this movie called "The Promise", and based on the previews it promised to be spectacular! When the movie started I was a bit taken aback when everybody started speaking English - I thought to myself, "wow, the Chinese are now catering to the American market and have actually made a whole movie in English, how interesting". As the movie progressed I found myself kind-of disappointed, it was not what I was expecting, what I was accustomed to. Maybe I was too tired, but this movie was going to be a big disappointment - nothing was making sense, the words didn't fit the mood of the characters and frankly, it was too Americanized. Then something quite funny of the characters started sounding like Sean Connery.....hmmm........then, another one of the characters used the "b" word and that's when my Universe turned up-side down. That definitely couldn't be right, and that my frieds is when I came to the realization that maybe this movie was dubbed and I needed to change the settings on my DVD player. Well, that's exactly what I did, and after changing the language back to Chinese, and adding subtitles, my Universe was right side up again. I, of course, had to start the movie again because now everything was back to normal and the characters were making sense.

Why couldn't the English translators be a little more faithful to the original script? Why did they feel that by using American words people would relate better? It truly made a difference when I changed the language, the movie went from bad to really spectacular, because now the voices went with the characters and the appropriate words were used - Chinese movies don't use the "b" word, and Chinese swordsmen certainly don't sound Scottish, that's just wrong! But all is back to normal in my universe.........but why is Sean Connery dubbing (badly) Chinese movies? Is he in need of funds? Did he think we would never find out?.....hmmm.......

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