Monday, September 6, 2010

Star Trek

Since I am soon going to the big country in the East, I kind of felt like I should write a couple of posts here first, just in case I don't get the time to do so this fall. St. Petersburg is after all St. Petersburg so it needs to be visited, we will have lots of homework and the alcohol will be practically free compared to what we're used to.

But I wanted to talk about Star Trek today.

Star Trek seems to be a rather popular way of getting some instant immersion. I know of at least two other people/bloggers who have used Star Trek to practice their understanding of their target languages. It's quite easy to understand why; there are tons and tons of episodes, each episode is 40 minutes or so and contains some sort of adventure, making them very easy to watch. Since I am on episode 23 of season one of Star Trek Enterprise dubbed in Russian I can affirm this :-) What is so great about having this amount of episodes is that you grow accustomed to the voices of the actors, to the manner of speaking and the rhythm, so the progress in understanding can be very motivating.

For Scandinavians in general, dubbing is quite close to being a mortal sin. I don't think I know anyone who can watch anything dubbed without cringing, but it only takes some breaking in, and then you're good to go. The Star Trek I am watching has kept the English voices and only added the Russian ones on top, which can be rather disturbing at first. The Russians speech is always a bit delayed, so you get the two or three first English words as well, and then there is no real illusion about the Russian voices somehow being the real voices. Dubbing in Swedish is awful. This may have something to do with Swedish being rather chopped up in the kind of movies were dubbing is used (children's movies), making it look absolutely ridiculous as the actors voices move completely out of sync with the way too perky Swedish speech. I somehow imagine this could be less of a problem with a language that has less clear boundaries, such as Danish, but I'm not sure. I also watched the Star Trek movie (I love it, I do, Spock is pure perfection), and it was done very professionally, without English voices, but I hardly even noticed that it was actually dubbed. This is a major motion picture though, and I guess the budget is somewhat bigger for those...

Has anyone else tried watching Star Trek? Any favorite series? :-)


  1. Some Hungarian dubs done before 1990 (or not long after) are really good :)

    Check out The Flintstones, all the dubbing done in rhyme, and it's actually convincing!

  2. btw favourite series: tng, second favourite: original. :-) used to watch it with hungarian dub when i was a kid

  3. Hopefully I will end up watching Star Trek in Hungarian as well, it may just be a bit harder to find than Russian ;) I used to watch the original when I was a kid and would sit in front of the TV and weave Saami ribbons from wool :)

    What happened to dubs >1990?

  4. Formerly there used to be a single dubbing studio (of course, communist country), which employed the best actors of the country. Also, the same film actor was often given the same (usually matching) voice in different films.

    Nowadays there are many, and they try to get the job done quick and cheap, resulting in some awful dubs. Not all are awful of course but the quality has noticeably decreased.

  5. Where were you able to find Star Trek dubbed in Russian?

  6. Hmm... Probably or some such site :)