The Difference in Dubbing


Sorry about the lack of articles coming your way. Those last two took it out of my poor finger. So, before you ask, yes, it is possible to sew your finger. No, it isn’t particularly painful though it does act like a paper cut. It’s on the end, right where my finger connects with the keyboard. I’m an idiot.

As you know, I love languages. Therefore I thought I’d type up a quick article for you all. I’ve been working on a cover version of ‘Let it Go’ from Disney’s latest princess movie in about five languages. During my searching for languages that I love and can replicate at a decent level I came across something very interesting.

I hadn’t given it any prior thought, but, now knowing it, I do see why it works the way it does. It makes perfect sense. What am I talking about exactly? It’s all a matter of naming.

Guóyǔ, or, as you are more likely to know it, Mandarin, and Pǔtōnghuà, are in many ways one and the same. They are essentially the same language, though, to be technical, there will be colloquial differences. Otherwise, they are essentially the same and both mean the same – but there is an exception.

The political differences between the mainland and Táiwān means that they are treated separately. This is a terrible example, really, but think of it as America and Britain. Both are countries where English is a primary language. However, each country has a different dub. The Studio Ghibli movie, ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ has two dubs. I’m pretty sure that in one, the name Shō was changed to Shawn (pet peeve alert). That was one of the reasons for a difference in dubs (inane reason), but another is distribution rights.

As you can probably tell, along with many other things, there will be problems if mainland China and Táiwān share a dub. Pǔtōnghuà, being a Chinese word, is the title of the mainland Chinese dub. Mandarin, being of foreign origin (to my knowledge) is the title of dubbing in Táiwān.

Even though it’s for political reasons, having two dubs is something that I think is awesome. Two Elsa’s are pretty awesome and any person complaining about dubbing can be booted over to the other one. That is, unless you’re talking about ‘Reflection’. The Cantonese dub wins hands, feet, head and toes down.

I wouldn’t necessarily think that knowing which one is which matters. It is the same language after all. Aside from a few colloquial terms I think you can view them as pretty much the same. To Chinese learners it can be useful, however. The scripts are different. They should get to the same point (with the exclusion of songs) so it’s always handy in that respect.

If you are interested in learning Chinese may I make a recommendation? One of my favourite YouTube channels is ‘Ce rêve bleu‘. Now, my French isn’t good enough to be able to distinguish ‘ce’. It means ‘this’ or ‘that’ and I always get confused. It translates to something like ‘That blue dream’. I think it’s a song name. I can’t explain why…

I recommend this channel as it deals in mostly Chinese languages and Disney. I think everyone knows Disney enough to get the jist of the scenes without an English transcript. There are songs uploaded and scenes. They’re awesome for practising your listening skills.

I’d recommend listening to the songs as well. As they have pīnyīn (WITH intonations! I think I’m gonna die of squee~) you can always try enhancing your speaking skills as well. Oh, and the Chinese. There are characters included in the songs as well. For those interested in Simplified I would suggest searching ‘Michael Wong Commitment Chromien’. I don’t know if he channel will be up for long because it hasn’t appeared to have been used in a long time.

For people interested in other languages I would suggest going to the ‘About’ page and looking at the Featured Channels.

So, I hope that this wasn’t a boring article. I hope that you found something of interest or of use to you. I once again thank you for choosing to read my blog. The attention to my opinions is actually pretty nice. Have a nice day, night, week, year… everyone.

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