Dialogue book

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The term dialogue book or also dubbing book describes the textual template for the synchronization of a foreign language cinema or television film or a television series . It includes the translation of the dialogues and monologues of a film into the respective national language, but in contrast to subtitles or voice-overs , the text is less verbatim than lip-synchronic. At the same time, attention should be paid to the content, length and mouth movements.

Using this book, the voice actors, under the direction of the voice director, speak the texts in the desired target language as closely as possible to the movements of the lips of the film actors. The author of this script is called a dialog book author or synchronous author .

Editing of the rough translation

The rough translation is the pure translation of the original dialogues. In this process, the text should be translated as verbatim as possible. Formulations that cannot be directly translated are explained in the comments. Above all, colloquial expressions , idioms , metaphors and idioms are explained in the so-called "subnotes" in order to contribute to a better understanding of the statement and to show possibilities of how to deal with them in the target language. Terms from subject-specific terminology must also be explained on the basis of thorough research and reproduced as adequately as possible. This applies, for example, to films or series from the judicial or investigative milieu.

Furthermore, detailed background information is required if the dialogues relate to social events typical of the country, institutions or prominent personalities who are not known abroad and these allusions are not understandable for the target audience. If, for example, an American television classic is quoted that is completely unknown in German-speaking countries, the dubbing writer tries to find an equivalent, another American film that is also famous there.

Especially with very foreign cultures, such as B. Bollywood films, the dialogue book author needs solid research in order to understand the core of the statement. Because before writing the texts, he has to decide which of them can be implemented and which cannot. It is hardly possible to reproduce a Bollywood film literally. On the one hand, "the characters' dialogues often relate to cultural rites and sometimes quote such demanding poetic texts that the German audience would not understand and in some cases would be indigestible." On the other hand, the foreign structure of Hindi grammar, which can be far more complex and intricate is than the German, not the same sentence lengths are adhered to. "On the other hand, the English language is structured much more graphically but less complicated, so that you have to" evaporate "the text, i.e. leave out some information."

Before starting the dialogue, the dubbing author tries to recognize and determine the linguistic level of the protagonists and to analyze their cultural background and attitude towards life so that he can formulate the individual dialogues more freely within this framework. Its main task is to “find a new, meaningful, scene-based text synchronized with the movements of the mouth recorded in the picture and the given text content (...). All asynchronous appearing passages have to be eliminated, German slang expressions and word games have to be found or cleverly bypassed through text editing and linguistic irregularities have to be removed. "

Lip-synchronous adjustment

When writing, the dubbing author must formulate the content of the original in the target language, taking into account the following three components: The length of the speaking phase must match the original, the mouth movements must correspond as closely as possible to those of the film actor and the emphasis on the words must be for facial expression and the Body language to fit.

Above all, the dubbing author has to subordinate himself to the mouth movements of the actors (in "On") that can be seen in close-ups. This means that sentence lengths and the position of certain consonants that cause lip closures, so-called labials , are already specified and the translation must be adjusted according to these parameters. "The text does not have to lie on top of the original text; the original movements of the mouth are the benchmark."

The consonants “b”, “p” and “m” are clearly recognizable as their generation can be read from the lips. The sounds “v”, “w” and “f”, on the other hand, are shaped very similarly, so that they can be confused or exchanged. Other sounds like “d”, “t”, “k”, “g”, “s”, “r” are easily interchangeable because they are pronounced without a specific lip position. The articulation of vowels must be taken into account, as they are associated with extreme lip or jaw openings.

Furthermore, the newly formulated dialogue must match the facial expression and body language of the actor. “Talking with hands and feet” gives the spoken words more expression, but these gestures in turn give the dubbing author a rhythm. For example, the English sentence “I had enough” has the stress on the fourth syllable, with gestural underlining such as stamping a foot at the end. In the German translation, “But that's enough for me!”, The emphasis would move to the middle of the sentence and no longer match the visual aspect.

"If the dubbing book is to be consistent in every respect, it is in good and fluent German, meets the language level of the characters involved, matches the facial expressions and gestures , is lip-synchronized and reproduces the content of the original as precisely as possible."

Division into takes

Within these premises, the dubbed author adapts the original text line by line. In doing so, he either follows the subdivisions created by an editor into short individual sections, in so-called takes , which usually only comprise one or two sentences and are around two to ten seconds long, or then pass his text to the editor for further processing, who then enters these takes will register his book. In the final version of the dubbing book, all dialogues to be spoken are given in takes with consecutive numbers.

In addition, he notes shorter or longer pauses in the dialogues and whether the figure can be seen in the picture from the front, only from behind or not at all while speaking. These notes in brackets contain information such as (Atmer) , (ZÖG) , (into ON) , (into CONT) , (into OFF) or suggest an alternative text (2.F:…) .

Based on the takes contained in the dubbing book, the voice recordings are made in the studio, where the voice actors speak the sentences take by take . The recordings are not made chronologically, but sorted by role so that the respective artists can speak the text in just a few days.

A ninety minute film usually consists of around 1200 to 1500 takes. There can be significant differences between a theatrical version and a television version. Only a fifth of the Mexican screen epic Babel was dubbed and the rest subtitled, but the entire text had to be translated into German for television, since subtitles are very often not accepted by the audience. The number of takes in a 45-minute series is around 400 to 450.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ The term dubbed book. In: Lexicon of film terms. Kiel University, Institute for Modern German Literature and Media, January 21, 2012, accessed on January 5, 2013 .
  2. cf. Oliver Rohrbeck in: Sabine Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization - From the translation to the finished film (2009). P. 92
  3. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . P. 81: Quote from Nadine Geist
  4. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . P. 91: Quote from Oliver Rohrbeck
  5. ^ T. Bridegroom: Stars and their voices - Lexicon of the voice actors (2009). P. 36; Quote from W. Grau (from The dubbing of films , 1966)
  6. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . P. 55: Quote from Erik Paulsen
  7. a b Working in the dubbing studio. (No longer available online.) Herzogverlag.de, formerly in the original ; Retrieved April 20, 2011 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / herzogverlag.de
  8. ^ T. Bridegroom: Stars and their voices . P. 36
  9. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . P. 41: Quote from Erik Paulsen
  10. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . Pp. 41, 89-90
  11. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . P. 64
  12. S. Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization . P. 95