Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Synchronizing Schwarzenegger

   Austrian TV-critic Telemax is of the opinion (perhaps with tongue-in-cheek) that those who give voice to Arnold Schwarzenegger's words in Hollywood films dubbed into German ought to better imitate the tough guy accent and mountain man dialect of the Hollywood star, affectionally known to fans in his Austrian homeland as the Styrian Oak.

Naturally Telemax is aware that the German version of the Schwarzenegger drawl is aimed at an international German-speaking TV and Kino audience and it makes little or no economic sense to dub-in an appropriate Oak-cent solely for the benefit of homeland Terminator aficionados in the sparsely populated mountainous region of Styria, the so-called Green Heart of Austria.

When an English language script is translated into German the final text seen on the page will invariably be longer and should therefore take longer to read . . .  at least theoretically. You can test this for your self by comparing English and German editions of the same novel.

You will find that the German version (typeface, layout and page size being equal) will have 20-25% more pages.  Here, to illustrate the point, are some examples of sentence length. They are taken from a modern German/English text book:-

"Ich kann es machen." 
"I can make it."
"Sie liess mich es machen." 
"She let me do it."

"Sie fahren nach Deutschland, um die Sprache zu studieren." 
"They go to Germany to study the language."

"Das Urteil werden von Richter ausgesprochen."
"The sentence was given by the judge."

So there it is. All that remains is to assemble a selection of Hollywood character actors talking nineteen to a dozen in Deutsch. Throw a Terminator with a rushed Styrian drawl into the mix and you have the main ingredients of a  Telemax translation farce.

Might be fun!

Goad knows I've already watched too many of them. Or at least I've tried to.

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