Watching a non-German film in Germany is a strange thing—the voices are still almost always dubbed. The result is that linguistic nuances, accents, and intonations are lost. Believe me, I’ve seen Der Pate (The Godfather) and Vito Corleone just doesn’t sound the same. But there is a sizable dubbing industry in Germany and the voice performers have become stars in their own right (Hey, that’s the guy who does Robert DeNiro!). Wouldn’t subtitles be preferable? After all, this isn’t Bruce Lee in The Chinese Connection. I would not have wanted to hear someone speaking over the likes of Bruno Ganz in Downfall or Ulrich Mühe in The Lives of Others. And subtitles aren’t that much of a distraction.
I bring this up having recently watched a video review of The Adventures of Tintin in FAZ. What’s the use of having talent like Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell, and Simon Pegg if their voices are nonexistent? What is amusing is the title in German, Die Abenteuer von Tim und Struppi—Das Geheimnis der Einhorn (The Adventures of Tim and Struppi—the Secret of the Unicorn). Odd from our standpoint but not as awkward as Mrs. Doubtfire, which was translated as Das stachelige Kindermädchen (The Prickly Babysitter).
But seriously, the Germans are about to embark on yet another rescue of the European Union. Its unemployment is amazingly lower now than even before the recession. Isn’t it time they get rid of voice dubbing in movies?