Senior Member
English English
Term: (A word or expression you have seen in writing)

Your definition or explanation:
Not my definition (as I still can't quite get my head round it) ~ this is Wikipedia's:
"Dubtitled" is a term for a subtitled show recorded on DVD in which the subtitles are merely transcriptions of the dialogue spoken on the dubbed soundtrack rather than a translation of the original dialogue, without any localization. Also, to fully translate the dialogue would often require lots of on-screen notes to explain cultural peculiarities; a "Dubtitled" program does without these.

Example: (An example of the term in use)
Another problem of dubtitling complained of by fans is that dubbed anime dialogue sometimes departs drastically from the original Japanese, while subtitles need to stay close to it, since they are read at the same time as the original soundtrack is heard.

One or more places you have seen the term: (Please give URLs/links to web pages, or a full description of a print publication.)

Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries, and not found it? Yes __:tick:__ No ___

I'd like to make it absolutely plain that I'm not in the least interested in 'anime' and have never watched one in my life:)
  • Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I'm confused. (A great surprise, I'm sure. :p)

    Is this the same thing as when someone subtitles a non-English clip with words that sound the same as in the language of origin but which are nonsense and irrelevant to the clip? (Done as a joke.)


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    An ordinary subtitle is an effort to translate the original dialog into the target language.

    As I understand it, a "dubtitle" presents the dubbed dialog in writing. One thing that makes the "dubtitles" less accurate than subtitles is that dubbed speech is modified so that words match the movement of the actors' mouths when they speak the original lines. This matching requires compromises in translation be made when writing dubbed lines that are not necessary when writing subtitles.

    At least, that is my understanding.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Is this different from closed captioning?

    Maybe I should just accept that this surpasses my understanding...


    Senior Member
    As I think I understand it, tentatively...

    1. Movie/film is made in language A.
    2. Translation is done to language B, spoken aloud.
    3. Dubtitles: a transcription of the translation to the spoken language B.

    I have no idea what closed captioning is, but I'm sure you could confuse me more
    by explaining it to me.


    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    OK, I had this completely wrong. I think I get it now, though I don't understand the utility (or desirability) of it.

    Closed captioning is a service to deaf people watching television. It uses a special device for reception, if I am not mistaken. Unlike regular subtitles, it also interprets or describes all audio content, not just the dialogue.


    Senior Member
    American English
    Closed captioning is for the deaf and has been done for decades. If you haven't seen it all you need to do is grab your remote control, press the menu button,...it's easy to turn on for most people. It's legally required on all TVs, has been for years.

    I've used them to learn Spanish because I can tune in a Spanish channel and see the words as they are spoken. It's a great help. Often it's like reading a teleprompter.

    Subtitles are different. Most DVDs come with optional Spanish dubbing. There are also Spanish subtitles—but they are a quite literal translation of the original spoken English. The dubbed dialogue is often very different from this; it tries to match the lips, the time allocated, and sound more like what a Spanish-speaker would actually say. Oh, how I wish that there were dubtitles to let me see the actual Spanish words that are being spoken.

    This fits what I think is meant, although most of the examples are to Japanese films.


    New Member
    English - British
    I love this word. In terms of a definition... as I understand it, in the same way that subtitles are the transcription of the original dialogue of the film or TV show being subtitled, dubtitles are the transcription of a dubbed dialogue track added to the film or TV show.