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Thread: Why Mainland always dubbed their series?

  1. #21
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    If you watch some of the newer US films w/ British, Australian actors/actresses, they now use their original voices thru a digital audio filter which "digitally" removes their accents. In the old days, they had to hire an expensive and talented audio technician to manipulate the voice. It took a long time to do it correctly.

    In the near future, Mainland series will undoubtedly go thru this type of digital audio transformation/filtering/manipulation/re-dubbing/etc.... As long as they don't go over-board it can enhance clarity and be more enjoyable to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by szfong View Post
    If you watch some of the newer US films w/ British, Australian actors/actresses, they now use their original voices thru a digital audio filter which "digitally" removes their accents. In the old days, they had to hire an expensive and talented audio technician to manipulate the voice. It took a long time to do it correctly.
    That's interesting....how did you know about all this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shangster View Post
    That's interesting....how did you know about all this?
    If your in the US, during promotional periods of newly released films in various late night shows, you'd hear the "true" voices of the actors/actresses during interviews... They sound REALLY different from the voices on film. They are able to manipulate some star's voice to sound very pleasant & young, like how they sounded when they first started acting. Drugs, alcohol, and smoking probably didn't help their vocal chords. Making the voice sound natural during re-dubbing is really difficult. They devote alot of studio time for such tasks during film production.

    Also, actors w/ heavy foreign accents are much less apparent on American film as well. If you look at the ending credits, you'll notice they hire many people to do the audio manipulation/touch-ups work.

    However, doing this sort of thing on a long 40+ episode series is way too expensive & time consuming to bear, but newer audio manipulation techniques allows a custom filter to be used throughout an entire series for a particular actor. These skills are actually in great demand if your looking for a good paying job in Hollywood.

    Some of the "newest" techniques are so called "real-time" audio morphing equipment. They can manipulate your voice into someone else's voice in real-time. eg turning a man's voice into a women's voice or adding/removing an accent, etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ransi View Post
    It may be a bit more difficult when there's no linguistic comprehension (since many Chinese dialects are as incomprehensible to each other as if they were foreign languages). I don't think Hollywood is able to coach completely non-English speaking actors into speaking non-accented American English, right?
    Oh yeah, definitely when it's an actor of another language then it's much, much harder (if not virtually impossible).

    But I was under the impression that just about every (younger) generation Mainland Chinese person knew Mandarin right? I know those in Hong Kong are different, but I've yet to meet a Mainland Chinese person who didn't know Mandarin (of course they also know they're local dialect as well).

    So in those cases I guess I feel they should try to put in that effort.

    To my ears as a native speaker, it just sounded like disastrously monotonous memorized speech with almost a complete lack of the vocal intonations and proper word stressing that would be present in a native speaker's speech patterns. Imagine an English Hollywood film where the actors sounded like they were reciting lines without comprehension of what they were saying, and that would essentially be how I felt in that theater. Perhaps if more attempts were made and they were to be able to truly streamline this into a sort of language school as part of an actor's vocal training, I'd be hopeful that it could work better in future works.

    ...

    1. I absolutely hated the way the two main actors's emulated standard Mandarin sounded in Crouching Tiger despite being an Ang Lee fan.
    Haha, I definitely agree that was awkward and difficult to listen too, but I wonder why it was so strange?

    When you watch a Hollywood film and someone speaks with German-accented English (like those Nazi in WW2 movies) it doesn't feel awkward at all, right? Similarly when you watch movies with Russian-accented English it's fine too, right?

    I realize Mandarin is a tonal language, but many of the local-accented Mandarin sounds fine to me. Like the Sichuan-accented Mandarin is really interesting. So is the Hubei accent and many others (and I don't mean their dialect/language, but their accented Mandarin).

    Also, when I last in Hong Kong and the locals spoke to me in Mandarin, it didn't sound strange at all. So I don't know why CTHD was so awkward because Chow Young Fat is a great actor and Ang Lee a great director. But something was just off in that movie, because in real life, Canto-accented Mandarin isn't that strange.

    I guess to me, I like realism not just in the actors voice, but also in the setting. So if the heroes are traveling in Fuzhuo, then I expect the people there to speak a Fuzhou-accented Mandarin (technically, since in reality they probably spoke Old Chinese or just their local dialect )

    2. There's a number of voice actors that I admire for their work in drama CDs / audio dramas and so I've come to appreciate their vocal work. I don't think there's a habit of admiring voice actors outside of perhaps China and Japan (though there are seemingly quite a few foreign fans of Japanese anime voice actors).
    Yeah, I know what you mean. And I would really be interested in watching a film actually starting these voice actors. Even if some folks don't think they "fit" I would find it really amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by szfong View Post
    If you watch some of the newer US films w/ British, Australian actors/actresses, they now use their original voices thru a digital audio filter which "digitally" removes their accents. In the old days, they had to hire an expensive and talented audio technician to manipulate the voice. It took a long time to do it correctly.
    Oh wow! So is it like auto-tune for dialogue? That's really amazing.
    Last edited by j2j2j2; 04-18-13 at 11:06 AM.

  5. #25
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    Personally, I don't like having very non-standard accents when I'm watching dramas. Taiwan and HK accents bother me especially. It's not just that they don't sound as smooth as the accents of voice actors, actors' accents don't always match their characters' backgrounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by szfong View Post
    If your in the US, during promotional periods of newly released films in various late night shows, you'd hear the "true" voices of the actors/actresses during interviews... They sound REALLY different from the voices on film. They are able to manipulate some star's voice to sound very pleasant & young, like how they sounded when they first started acting. Drugs, alcohol, and smoking probably didn't help their vocal chords. Making the voice sound natural during re-dubbing is really difficult. They devote alot of studio time for such tasks during film production.

    Also, actors w/ heavy foreign accents are much less apparent on American film as well. If you look at the ending credits, you'll notice they hire many people to do the audio manipulation/touch-ups work.

    However, doing this sort of thing on a long 40+ episode series is way too expensive & time consuming to bear, but newer audio manipulation techniques allows a custom filter to be used throughout an entire series for a particular actor. These skills are actually in great demand if your looking for a good paying job in Hollywood.

    Some of the "newest" techniques are so called "real-time" audio morphing equipment. They can manipulate your voice into someone else's voice in real-time. eg turning a man's voice into a women's voice or adding/removing an accent, etc...
    But movies rarely use programs to change a person's accent. Actors get a dialect coach with whom they train intensively, especially foreign actors, and by the time they do promotion, they don't try as hard to maintain the accent or they've simply reverted back to their native accent. That's why you can often clearly hear an actor struggling with an accent in a movie. And a lot of the time, American actors doing English accents come off as clearly not being authentic.
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    I agree completely with what Ransi said about the complexity of Mandarin, and that it should be dubbed if the actors do not speak Mandarin as a native dialect. Ransi, back to your example of Crouching Tiger, both Michele Yeoh and CYF are Cantonese speakers, thus, Ang Lee should have their voices dubbed. However, if the entire casts speak Mandarin, then the production should not be dubbed. Responsibilities should be placed on the actors to work on their accent.

    I think overall,dubbing cheapens the experience of watching a series. (I am not referring to a Cantonese production that is dubbed into Mandarin or vice versa. In those circumstances, obviously, the series will have to be dubbed.) I understand that voice actors are professionals, but there is only so much they can do. I watched some of the newer series, and the problems with dubbing are that sometimes it's not synched correctly, the voice of the dubbing does not match what the voice of the character should sound like, and of course, the voice actors does not convey the correct tone to match that of the actor's expression.

    Ransi and Szfong, given the common problems with dubbing Mandarin series, what do you think Mainland production should do in the future to avoid these problems?

  7. #27
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    ^I have not seen that issue in productions of good quality. The first consideration a voice actor makes is how the line was originally spoke by the actor.

    Let's be honest, how many productions can you find with whole casts who are legitimately good at Mandarin? The only ones I can think of are productions that are not actually dubbed at all. And even actors with really good Mandarin can't capture required speaking style in ancient series. "Working on your accent" is far more difficult in Mandarin than it is in England. People from certain parts of China might spend their whole life trying to drop an accent and they simply cannot do it. And even in English productions, and American playing a Brit nearly always sounds unconvincing.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Heiress View Post
    Let's be honest, how many productions can you find with whole casts who are legitimately good at Mandarin? The only ones I can think of are productions that are not actually dubbed at all. And even actors with really good Mandarin can't capture required speaking style in ancient series. "Working on your accent" is far more difficult in Mandarin than it is in England. People from certain parts of China might spend their whole life trying to drop an accent and they simply cannot do it. And even in English productions, and American playing a Brit nearly always sounds unconvincing.
    While I agree that trying to drop an accent is very difficult, it can be down well enough if they are willing to spend the time. Not just the actors, but if the director is willing to re-film scenes or re-record in post-production.

    And if all else fails, then maybe they need to get a different actor. I feel that by holding actors to this higher standard, it can improve the entire quality of the entertainment industry in general.

    Because the biggest problem that I see is productions relying too much on fixing things in "later." So they sacrifice quality up front or they hire actors that can't act. And in the end it just cheapens the entire production.

  9. #29
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    ^I think the issue is that the value of an actor is beyond their accent. It's also their emotional range, interpretation of the character, screen presence, box office value, etc. That's why American actors are cast in British roles despite unconvincing accents. I think Chinese productions not only have a higher standard for accents, but dropping accents in Chinese is much harder as well. Wallace Huo did a mainland production that was originally supposed to be undubbed and he worked really hard to drop his Taiwanese accent. The end result? It wasn't good enough and the series ended up getting dubbed. It's not always quite as easy as finding another actor for the role.

    We shouldn't be sacrificing one type of quality for another type. There are some great actors who I think would be a pity to rule out of all mainland productions just because of their accents. I think the quality of the acting is more important than on-site sound recording. I don't think it cheapens productions at all, unless it's badly dubbed. And there are some really great voice actors out there, many of whom improve the production if anything. They're chosen very carefully, and some actors even dub themselves (though that doesn't usually work very well).

    And even Beijinger actors don't have perfect Mandarin. LSS who was born and raised in Beijing has a non-standard accent. It's passable if she makes the effort, but I highly doubt it would work in an ancient series.
    我是个疯子疯子疯子只爱你的疯子 你是个傻子傻子傻子傻的却好懂事
    要爱你一辈子 写爱你的故事 在我心里承诺了几千次

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