Synchronization mania in Germany: Why the original can't be beaten

Synchronization mania in Germany: Why the original can't be beaten

Synchronization mania in Germany

It is practically good form in Germany, but also in Austria and the neighboring German-speaking areas: German dubbing. This is especially true for films, where it is more difficult to find film screenings with versions in the original sound than translated versions, but also for games. There they are more common, the untranslated titles, but the synchro is rarely missing in blockbusters, and in the respective exceptional cases this fact is discussed at length and width.

Table of contents

1 Do you speak German? 2 Lost in translation 3 He always tried hard 4 Learning by doing 5 Je ne parle pas français 6 What did he say? For some people, a German synchro is even a knockout criterion: If it is missing, you are out. And I can understand that if you don't speak the language and no subtitles are offered - it rarely happens, but happens. Japanese games from Atlus in particular like to take the path of the least amount of effort and are limited to English texts.

Recommended editorial content Here you will find external content from [PLATFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. If, however, subtitles are available in your own language, I find the non-translation excitement exaggerated and, on the contrary, advocate always choosing the original language, if available.

About the author

Synchronization mania in Germany: Why the original can't be beaten (6) Source: Lukas Schmid Lukas Schmid has been working in various positions at Computec Media and thus at PC Games since 2010 , first as an intern, then as a freelancer, then as a volunteer, editor and now as chief editor for,, and He loves action, adventure, action adventures, shooters, jump & runs, horror and role-playing games, you can hunt him with strategy titles, most rogue likes and military simulations. Every Saturday at around 9 a.m. he tells you in his column what is annoying or happy about him. Hate comments and love letters are welcome in the comments under the column, to [email protected] or on Twitter to @Schmid_Luki.

Do you speak German?

Why does this view exist that everything has to be Germanized? This is a cultural preference that has grown in German-speaking countries over the last century and is as pronounced in only a few parts of the world as it is here. It's not the case that German is now a language of as immensely relevant a language as English or Chinese when viewed around the world.

Americans like to make new films, so they simply adopt media products, especially films. If this is not an option, however, subtitles are the standard. In Asia there are countries that translate quite excessively, but a large number of them use subtitles instead as the norm.

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In our synchro comparison to The Last of Us: Part 2 we put (spoiler-free) scenes in German and in the O -Tone right across the street. var lstExcludedArticleTicker = '1374257,1372633,1363390,1352408'; And in northern Europe, in the Scandinavian countries, the idea of ​​synchros is looked at in a weird way. These are almost exclusively reserved for children's programs and films, for which it cannot be assumed that the recipients can already read.

Lost in translation

Synchronization mania in Germany: Why not the original to beat is (5) Source: Nintendo Regardless of whether it is a film or a game: a translation inevitably leads to a loss of quality. The original actors or voice actors were chosen for a good reason. Which doesn't mean that they always do their job well, and in return that the German speakers always do a bad job. But every linguistic translation is also an interpretation, and the further you move from the original, the more daring the differences become.

And it's not as if translations always refer to the original. I have a friend who worked as a translator for Nintendo, for example he worked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Xenoblade Chronicles. But he can only translate from English - so the version that we, you played, was even changed twice before it landed on the shelf.

This is not an isolated case, it is done that way in an incredible number of studios .

He always tried

Synchronization mania in Germany: Why the original can't be beat (4) Source: Disney One can imagine that many things cannot be translated because the authors play with the language in a way that cannot be translated into any other language. And incredibly stupid mistakes happen too.

I like to use the Simpsons as an example, where Bart writes on the board in the opening credits "Bewitched does not promote" in Season 7, Episode 2, "Radioactive Man" Satanism ", ie" Bewitched does not promote Satanism ". A clear reference to the 1960s series "Bewitched", known in this country as "In love with a witch".

What does Bart say in the German version instead? "Being bewitched does not encourage Satanism". Oookay. And mistakes like this happen all the time, with the Simpsons, but also with other series, films and games, then and now.

Learning by doing

Synchronization madness in Germany: Why not beat the original is (3) Source: KAZÉ Sure, I am aware that subtitles do not solve this problem per se. They can also be wrong, they can also be bad, and as a recipient without knowledge of the language it is not noticeable. But in my opinion, the damage of a wrong voice recording is greater than that of a wrong line of text. In addition, nowadays you can quickly submit a bugfix for games with a small patch.

Apart from that, dealing with foreign languages ​​is always a chance to get to know them better. No, contrary to the belief of some anime fans, you can't "speak" Japanese, not even a little, because you're watching Naruto or One Piece with subtitles. But yes, you can take some phrases, some basic features with you.

And let's be realistic, in the majority of cases you are confronted with English after all, and the consumption of corresponding films, series and games can be quite a problem without question helping to improve your own bumpy school English. This is not an assumption, there are enough studies on this - it is no coincidence that people in the Scandinavian region speak better English on average than the inhabitants of Germany. In the north, dealing with the world's number one foreign language is not an exception, but a reality.

Je ne parle pas français

Synchronization mania in Germany: Why the original can't be beaten (2) Source: PC Games Hardware Apart from that: Language always helps to carry atmosphere. My French at school is a catastrophe, even the directions to the train station are hard to come by. A Plague Tale: I played Innocence in French anyway and that helped immensely to get my bearings in the depicted world of the French Middle Ages (that the game started extremely strong and atmospheric, but then quickly deteriorated and ended so stupidly that I laughed out loud had to is another topic).

What did he say?

Synchronization madness in Germany: Why the original can't be beaten (1) Source: 3L Of course, playing with subtitles in particular has its quirks. You can concentrate less on what's going on, at Nier Automata, where people like to talk a lot in fights, as someone who doesn't speak Japanese, it was difficult for me to focus. In my opinion, this is only a minor flaw compared to the many advantages that the original language has.

Except for old Asterix and Bud Spencer films. Objectively, the German version is much better. No arguing.

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