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Monday, August 23, 2010

Why I hate Arabic dubbing...

Initially, I should have written a post about animés dubbing to Arabic in order to be published by a Razan, a Syrian blogger who is too a fan of manga and anime. So, I beg her pardon for being late for personal and professional reasons.

Recently, I noticed that some Arabophone satellite channels mainly financed by petrodollars began to broadcast American series in Arabic and before Turkish and South Korean soap-operas. For a person who used to watch The X-Files, Friends, CSI and others in French long time before streaming on the Internet, it sounds to me strange. I won't discuss about Mexican soaps and Japanese animes which entered longtime ago in the scene of Arabophone TV and I omited to talk about documentaries.

So, you want to know why I hate dubbed programmes in Arabic. So easy!

  • In the opening and the ending, try to see who REALLY produced the anime, film, serie or whatever in original language or even French or English dubbing, and compare to Arabic one. 98% of dubbing companies in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt or Dubai will just mention themselves in the Arabic version. Why omitting those who made the real job? Selfishness, "the Arabophone viewer doesn't see any interest to see who did it, just want to see", other things?
Case study: Nadia the secret of blue water (Fushigi no umi no Nadia)

Japanese opening

English Opening

Arabic opening
  • In many programmes, there are topics which are in clash with traditions and religion (I mean here Islam mainly, but Christianity can be involved like in the case broadcasting an Iranian serie about Jesus in Lebanon). So, the easiest way for dubbers to present an adapted product to viewers (Especially customers in rich Gulf monarchies) is censorship, changing names "to adapt with viewers" and even changing the whole story from original synopsis with the risk of killing the plot. The same way American film distributors used to do with many works coming abroad (Remember Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" or Hayao Miyazaki's "Nausicaa") until recently. For afficionados and those who saw in western versions (Don't forget it can be edited too, especially in USA) , it's "sacrilège!". Maybe I'll understand some scenes of nudity in "Nadia, the secret of blue water" can be censored, but calling a wild boar in Arabic dubbed "Asterix" a "wild bull"...Are kids dumb to believe that?! I won't say about changing names (From Captain Tsubasa to Captain Majid, and from Mehmet to Mohanad) that I find ridiculous.
Other things I skiped such as opening music (As if dubbers in MENA must make work their musician friends because people don't undrstand soundtracks while it's easy to find on Internet).

I don't know if uncut version series in Arabic version (standard or dialects) will be available one day or even if Animax will decide to show Vandread or Ranma 1/2 in whole. For me, in case it will happen, I'll say there's something funky happening among Generation Y in the MENA area.

Agree or not? Have your say.


Hisham said...

Thank you for the post. I kind of share your unease with the quality of Arabic language dubbing, but I'm not sure we should blame the language for it. Most of these crappy translations and dubbing has more to do with the low standards in these companies and also with lack of regulations and law enforcement in these countries.

EL GORDE Mohamed Mouâd said...

Thank you for the reply.
You're right. I agree that the problem is not language. I remeber of an Arabic dubbing of a scientific serie produced by French TV, the dubbers took the initiative to mention who did it. Ah, I forgot that BBC Arabic keeps crediting too.
Otherwise, viewers must be enough smart to shout "it's such a crap"

مياسي said...

well, recently i watched lady oscar in French and "Dear Brother" in Japenese and really loved them so much!! More than arabic, also becoz the original versions are not cut due to censorship issues i feel the story is more than clear to me!!

i discovered that translating these 2 shows was like a big crime really!!

Anonymous said...

And the end the series before the real one actually ends