Eli5 Why, when reports or documentaries are dubbed in another language, do they keep the original audio quietly on the background?


I live in Germany, but my first language is English. It drives me insane when I can hear the English quietly in the background of a dubbed report or documentary in German. Wtf is the point of this??

In: Other

Hi 🙂

It’s like citation in written documents. The original is spoken by someone else, in another language, and they keep the original audio (as you can’t look it up elsewhere).

It also helps to bring things into context when the translation isn’t perfect or a summary of the actual original.

I kind of like it. I’d rather listen to the original audio, while my in-laws for example need the German dub.

But of course sometimes it’s made poorly (e.g. audio too lout, difficult to listen to either voice).

I wonder why they do not use the audio description channel for some of these things.

It is partially to uphold the integrity of the interview. Like quoting or citing someone.

By leaving the original audio in, someone can go and independently check your translation to see if it is accurate or not.

This is like when written new translates a quote or article, and then gives the source of the original article/quote in the original language, so people can verify that the translation is correct if they feel the need to.

When they do it they also assume that nobody who they are translating it for speaks the original language, in your case the assume that the majority of people don’t speak English fluently like you do, so having the original English in the background is much less distracting/annoying.