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Current poll

Unicorn Lynx (181469) on Jun 02, 2010


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The current poll (about the languages) lacks some very important answer choices. I wanted to answer that I like playing games in their native language in case I understand this language well enough. Meaning that I don't want to play every Japanese-made game in Japanese, because my Japanese is not good enough.

Also, I wanted to answer that a choice of language depends very much on the game's setting. I would like to play a French game set in a fantasy world in French ("Beyond Good and Evil"); but I would like to play a French game set in USA in English ("Fahrenheit"). I play Shenmue and Yakuza in Japanese even though my English is much better and there are English version of these games.

Re: Current poll

Patrick Bregger (262987) on Jun 02, 2010


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If the choice is between German and English I want to have both options. It really depends on the game and my mood. Generally I don't have a problem with playing any game in English but I prefer German during my first walkthrough - assuming the localization is acceptable. For example I can't stand NWN 2 in German: I always stop during the tutorial when I meet that eight year old kid who sounds like a 40 year old chain smoker.

I can't remember when I played the last non-Telltale adventure game in English - most of these modern ones are from German developers anyway.

But with most of the newest games I don't have a choice anyway - I import them from amazon.co.uk for ridiculous low prices. And most publishers are smart enough to make only the non-UK versions multilingual...

(Edited by Patrick Bregger (262987), Jun 02, 2010)

Re: Current poll

vedder (54383) on Jun 02, 2010


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My preference is English, but that's not my mother tongue. So my opinion is also not represented in the Poll :)

I'd rather play a Dutch game in English than in Dutch, unless the Dutch voice-overs are better.

Re: Current poll

Sciere (737601) on Jun 03, 2010


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Every Dutch voice-over sounds like a toddlers' TV show. I remember playing the original The Longest Journey that way. The game was hilarious, and I doubt that was the developer's intention.

(Edited by Sciere (737601), Jun 03, 2010)

Re: Current poll

PolloDiablo (16876) on Jun 03, 2010


I still have nightmares about Bas Westerweel's voice in the Atlantis games. {shudder}

Re: Current poll

formercontrib (158201) on Jun 02, 2010


Patrick Bregger Wrote:
I always stop during the tutorial when I meet that eight year old kid who sounds like a 40 year old chain smoker.



Hey!!!!!!! I'mma oppressed. I'm 40 and i'm a smoker ... And MY voice melts women hearts ! :)

Re: Current poll

Patrick Bregger (262987) on Jun 02, 2010


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But you wouldn't pass as eight year old kid, I hope :)

Re: Current poll

Daniel Saner (3416) on Jun 02, 2010


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In movies, I prefer the original language in any case (with subtitles if it's anything other than English or French), partly because a lot can get lost in translation (and many of today's translations are atrocious), but mostly because re-dubbed movies just sound worse and together with the movements of the lips of the actors it is irritating. The latter is not a problem for videogames because they're (usually) not produced with actual actors, so I am mostly indifferent as well to the language I play a game in. If a publisher went through the trouble to have a game fully localised, and the translation and voiceovers are in good quality, I will often prefer to play the German translation.

That the issue of dialogue losing some of its wit or meaning in translation does not seem to bother me as much for games as it does for movies might be because few games as of yet offer writing that is good enough to even take damage from that. In the few notable exceptions that come to mind - Mass Effect, Heavy Rain, Grand Theft Auto, etc. - publishers even seem to have recognised that and went for just subtitling the games while keeping the original voice-overs. (That, or they were too cheap to pay for more voice actors). Of course the translation has been done anyway for the subtitles, but it emphasises that the original language is, if you understand it, the best way of getting all the writers wanted to bring across. I like it that way.

I also like the fact that most games, at least around these European parts, are released in multilingual form. Seeing as games don't have a theatrical release, it's good that they offer this option similar to DVD/BR releases of movies, where you always have the choice to switch back to the original audio tracks. Publishers are always happy if they have more data to fill the discs with, to spite the file sharers.

(Edited by Daniel Saner (3416), Jun 02, 2010)

Re: Current poll

vedder (54383) on Jun 02, 2010


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I would never watch a dubbed movie. Although I did watch some of the Studio Ghibli films in English. I guess I make an exception for cartoons. But even then I prefer the original language.

Re: Current poll

Rola (8282) on Jun 03, 2010


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Same for me. Remember when I first caught a glimpse of Star Wars in German... yikes! "Luke, ich bin dein Vater! Nein! Vader ist mein Vater? Are you sure this isn't just a spelling mistake? :D". There was a huge wave of protests here when the distributor decided to release dubbed version of prequels ("hey, it's a kids movie, right?"), so they went for a compromise and launched both original and dubbed for kids.

Not only something is lost in translation, if I'm paying my bucks to see, say, Harrison Ford or Michelle Pfeiffer, I want to hear them as well. Otherwise they sound like imitations :)

That's not to say that dubbed versions are substandard in terms of overall quality. Original "Baldur's Gate" didn't had all-star cast, while we used like a half a dozen of very popular film/stage/TV actors with characteristic voices.

Re: Current poll

Daniel Saner (3416) on Jun 03, 2010


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Yes, for cartoons I apply the same reasoning, although often it is really the original language that has received the most attention and sounds the best. Still, it makes less of a difference because every language has been dubbed.

About a year or two ago, I read in local Swiss newspapers that for the first time, more movie tickets were sold for dubbed versions than original subtitled ones. At first I though that was a mistake and they somehow wrote it the wrong way around, as surely more and more people grew fond of the better quality of original audio, and be literate enough to read along if they didn't understand the language. Sadly they were right though, and there seems to be a general trend for more dubbing.

We have a big "movie palace" near my home town that used to be pretty neat. A couple of years ago they changed ownership, and now they only show movies in German anymore, no more original versions there ever. On the "upside" this former palace is really run down now and has the, mostly deserved, reputation of having a very, shall I say uneducated audience. It doesn't really concern me as I rarely watch the Hollywood blockbuster kind of movie, but I find it sad to see so many people caring so little about what they're watching or reading or listening to. It seems to go hand in hand with the trend towards movies abolishing the notion of narrative and character altogether because most audiences seem to perceive them as nuisances that take away from the action and boobs.

Man, somehow the MG forums make me drift off-topic more than any other place.

Re: Current poll

JudgeDeadd (26966) on Jun 04, 2010


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Depends on the quality of translation.

Some games (like Gothic) have great Polish translation and thus I'd rather play them this way.

But, for example, Portal is a trainwreck of a "translation" which murders most funny jokes because the translator(s?) hardly spoke English. Or Polish. Even the menu items and options are badly translated.

Re: Current poll

Parf (7785) on Jun 05, 2010


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If possible, I prefer to play games in the original language with subtitles. I grew up in a country where dubbing is very frowned upon and is considered something you only do to kids' movies/shows. In my mind, if the game is made in a language, it's because the creators wanted it to be made in that language.

Re: Current poll

HenriH (614) on Jun 05, 2010


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Growing up with very, VERY shitty dubbed cartoons (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW5ZTBL4DNE ) I prefer everything with the original voice overs and subtitles. Luckily I live in a country small enough to not dub live action movies, the only things that are dubbed are cartoons made for under 11 year old children.

As I said, if I have a choice I prefer to have everything in their original language, even if I don't understand a word of it. As long as it has English subtitles I'm good. I hate dubs with passion, not only is dub quality horrible most of the time, but it takes away from the original experience. Also by having subtitles instead, you can learn new languages. I have learned most of my English from games and movies instead of studying, and it's a fact that countries that prefer subtitling over dubbing have in general people with better English than those who use dubs all the time.

Re: Current poll

Foxhack (31460) on Jun 06, 2010


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Jesus Christ, are those voice artists stoned?!