Vocalization in dubbed children's shows in Israel

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by trigel, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Does dubbing practice in Israeli children's programming overall favor the more normative vocalizations/forms or is it on the more colloquial side? I especially wonder if the "correct" rules for the very common ו/ל/ב/כ are consistently observed.
  2. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    From what I've seen/heard, it's more on the colloquial side, but my experience is very limited. Perhaps it depends on the show. I'd be interested to hear what someone with more experience would have to say.
  3. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    I neither know and hardly watch TV.
    However, I'm quite sure the translation is done by professionals translators,
    and the translated texts are probably מְנוּקדִים.
    Still, so I can guess, the dubbing actors have the freedom to interpret the texts to make them more alive, and they maybe don't always obey the rules..

    I must comment that only children movies are dubbed.
    Movies for teenagers and adults (including cartoons) will have titles with the translation and the soundtrack will be the original one.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  4. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    I knew that already. I just wonder how much they compromise with the colloquial register, in lieu of trying to teach children normative Hebrew at all costs.
  5. arbelyoni Senior Member

    No, unless it is done deliberately for artistic purposes; perhaps in order to characterize old, dramatic or educated characters.
  6. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I totally agree. I don't think you'd catch the teenage mutant ninja turtles speaking in "textbook" Hebrew. It just wouldn't be natural.
  7. Tararam Senior Member

    Weird... according to what I remember, Disney movies and TV shows back in 90's did follow grammatical rules most of the time...
    I don't watch kids shows these days so I can't be certain, but back in the days, I believe you'd notice that.

    Look up אקס מן or ספיידרמן in youtube and watch the Hebrew dubbed episodes. It does present a higher register than everyday speech.

    The voice acting is horrible though...
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  8. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Nowadays children shows are quite terrible to listen to. The worst is when they directly translate an English phrase that makes no sense in Hebrew.
  9. itzik200 New Member

    Agree with Tararam, back in the day, they did followed the grammatical rules.
    Don't know about nowdays...
  10. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Not exactly kids' shows, but one "formal" feature I notice in (recent, in last 10 years) Hebrew subs on foreign SF/fantasy shows is the heavy use of "real" imperatives. Sometimes they are even spelled excessively (like שימרו for shimru) to indicate the "correct" vowel.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  11. Tararam Senior Member

    LOL, ever since I read this thread I occasionally stumble upon ערוץ 1 (Israel's public TV network) which broadcasts old and classic kids shows like: The Smurfs, Alice in wonderland, Peter Pan, Moomin and others, and indeed, they are dubbed using high register Hebrew to this day. Using imperatives, adding possessive suffixes instead of the word של, correct spelling of the כלב"ו letters etc.
  12. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    I think that may have been because they (have been influenced by those who) vehemently disapproved of the future imperative (one example here, the Academy itself apparently is neutral on this.)

    [Reading the forum link... some of the prescriptions would seem very weird to me (no ve- at the beginning of a sentence?? Am I misinterpreting? and one person condemns "biglal she-"), while for others I can't believe natives make those kinds of mistakes at all. (עם and אם, and arim and harim) but this is getting off topic]
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  13. Tararam Senior Member

    Natives do confuse אם and עם. You see it from time to time (not too often though.)
    הרים and ערים - never seen anyone confuse the two.
    בגלל ש isn't entirely correct actually. But it's used all the time by almost everyone. It's has become the most common form of "because".
  14. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Maybe the question I was really asking was:
    Imagine a hypothetical world where you guys dubbed every foreign program into Hebrew. Do you visualize/"auralize" a colloquial vocalization or the normative vocalization coming out of the characters' mouths? (If you've never thought about this question and never would because this question/premise is nonsensical, I wouldn't be bothered so much). Or to put in another way, how do you guys mentally vocalize the Hebrew subs?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  15. C_J Member

    I guess most people expect standard modern Hebrew, not too literary nor too colloquial; close to the language found in newspapers. I suppose. In most cases the vocalisations will be accurate (unless the character requires otherwise), but the pronunciation will tend to follow everyday speech and not necessarily the guidelines of the Academy of the Hebrew Language (uvular "R", more penultimate stresses etc.). The vobaluary will typically reflect the setting and the characters.

    I have to point out though, that programmes on non governmental channels that are aimed at the younger generations (which might be pretty much everything but the news), tend to be much more colloquial (this is evident in written media too - I noticed that the very popular Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper uses a lot of sub-standard colloquialisms, and their online version ynet.co.il often uses language that is simply vulgar).

    Also, now when I think of it, dubbed programmes are expected to be much more standartised than the local programmes, since many things that are common in everyday Hebrew (such as mizrahi pronunciation, accents, different colloquialisms, biblical quotes, common mispronunciations etc.) will sound very jarring and out of context in a dubbed foreign programme.
  16. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Interesting, some posters above seem to have different opinions, that correct nikud would sound too artificial. Just to ask for clarification... you mean:

    *kaTAVtem/n in informal registers, ktavTEM/N in formal registers in-universe
    *correct nikud in all of the following: ה\ו\ב\ל\כ\מ, construct/suffixed forms, vowel changes in guttural radical verbs (I know that newer guttural verbs don't undergo compensatory lengthening processes)

    Would you expect majority of the imperatives to be the "real" imperative or the future imperative, or is it dependent on character/register?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  17. Albert Schlef Senior Member

    That's an "ANiMe" forum and many of the participants there are cHilDReN. Don't build intricate anthropological theories based on what you read there.
  18. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    @Albert Schief: A lot of anime is not intended for children and many anime fans are not children (maybe they are in Israel, I don't know). But still, you're right, I guess I could just have asked...

    do you see/expect to see mostly real imperatives or mostly future imperatives in subtitles to foreign programs?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  19. Tararam Senior Member

    I'd say mostly real imperatives. You do see the future imperatives though, I'll pay more attention to it in the upcoming days.
  20. C_J Member

    As I said, stress patterns will probably follow informal registers, as formal registers night evoke historical/religious connotations, and will sound out of place.
    Niqqud will be correct too, but rarer forms that might sound too literary are usually rephrased (often in a very awkward way, which makes the translation feel "broken") so it won't sound too archaic/snobbish.

    "Real" imperatives were used alongside "future imperatives" from biblical times so they pretty much have the same standing (the Academy is neutral on this issue, just like in the case of 2nd person future f pl תִּלְמְדוּ vs תִּלְמַדְנָה). I want to open a separate thread to discuss this, please check it out when I do.

    You know, your question really sparked my curiosity, so I'm currently watching all kind of shows to try and evaluate the language that is used there. So far, my impression is that although the vocabulary is often very problematic and syntax is broken here and there, the dubbed vocalisations are usually surprisingly good (especially in comparison to reality TV). I didn't even hear a single "בגלל ש" which is extremely coomon in informal language...

    Also bear in mind, that the Academy and the government still have a strong impact on the language here, for instance: five years ago a governmental radio station refused to play a new song because the singer repeatedly mispronounced "מַכִּירִים" as "מֵכּירִים" (which is somewhat common in informal speech), and he actually had to rerecord his song so it could be aired... So yes, I think people do expect to hear standrartised pronunciation, unless the setting is very informal.
  21. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    No way, snobbery is better/more awesome than brokenness! :'-( :)

    What types of channels and shows are you talking about, and what sources do you recommend to listen/read good Hebrew?

    Your posts give the impression that Israelis actually know how to speak correctly, and because of peer pressure/some mysterious hatred of proper Hebrew, doubtless of sinister origin and quality, they just ain't doin' it. Am I right?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  22. Tararam Senior Member

    Define speak correctly...
    If you mean imperatives, then yes, most, if not all native speakers know the proper imperative forms, but often do not use them. I wouldn't say it's peer pressure though, It's just informal speech. It's not like you'll be put in the town's square, and be ridiculed by all if you use the imperative form.
    Vocalization is a whole other thing. There are more than a few rules about it (בג"ד כפ"ת/כלב"ו/verb conjugations...), and most Israelis, in my opinion, simply don't remember them.
    Nonetheless, it's not all black and white. There are words/expressions which would sound odd if you DON'T use the proper vocalization.
    משא ומתן
    תוהו ובוהו
    חמש וחצי (chamesh VAchezi)
  23. C_J Member

    I agree with Tararam. It's not peer pressure, it's more of trying to stay informal so that you won't create an impression that you're trying to distance yourself from the listeners (or even worse, imply that you are their superior). We also have a sizeable population of "Hebrew as a second language" speakers, which creates an envronment where eloquence is not necessarily apreciated as it might create a language barrier (and on the other hand their neologisms often spread fast and become popular, promoting non standard use).

    Also, I must admit that sometimes using the proper pronunciation is kind of embarassing... Especially when you notice that you are not being understood and being taken for a "person with disabilities" and then everybody starts talking realy sloowww and loud LOL...

    I noticed that many people will immediately improve their pronunciation when reading aloud, so perhaps they are aware of at least most of the rules, but just choose not to bother with them in everyday speech (come to think of it, voice actors read aloud...).

    All government funded radio and TV stations mandate the use of standard formal Hebrew. Newspapers are usually good. Well, except Yedioth Ahronoth which deliberately "aims low" as a business strategy - they figured out that since this is what most Isarelis do anyway, this will increase their market share (yes, it worked - theirs is the most popular newspaper in Israel).

    Do you want links? Am I even allowed to post here any?
  24. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    I agree, I think a lot of Modern Hebrew's instability comes from the small number of speakers (therefore their language is much more susceptible to fluctuations in the first place) and the large fraction that the non-native speakers occupy.

    Yeah, links would be nice.
  25. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    On the other hand all this probably means Israelis do expect (expressions that are) Anglicisms in translated works, especially in subs and dubs, right?
  26. C_J Member

    Depends on what you call an "Anglicism". In my opinion, an "anglicism" (which has no long history of popular usage) will be expected primarily when describing something "foreign" (A common example is how the term "Saturday night" is treated in Hebrew). Usually, when works are translated, they're not translated to sound "foreign".
    There is a tendancy to preserve English syntax though (which is very easy since Hebrew now uses English punctuation), and this sometimes calls for constructs which sound a bit different from what a native speaker would usually write. This is not "expected" but rather "tolerated".

    Here's an example (taken from a translated book, Cell by Stephen King 2006):
    "The event that came to be known as The Pulse began at 3:03 p.m., eastern standard time, on the afternoon of October 1. The term was a misnomer, of course, but within ten hours of the event, most of the scientists capable of pointing this out were either dead or insane"
    "האירוע שנודע בדיעבד בתור "הפעימה" החל בשעה 15:03, שעון החוף המזרחי, באחד באוקטובר. המונח לא התאים, כמובן, אבל בתוך עשר שעות מאז האירוע, מרבית המדענים שהיו מסוגלים לשים לב לכך כבר היו מתים או לא שפויים."
    "Inside the bag, swinging back and forth, was a small round object. A present, you might have guessed, and you would have been right."
    "בתוך השקית, מיטלטל לכל הצדדים, היה חפץ קטן ועגול. מתנה, הייתם מנחשים והייתם צודקים."

    In this case, it's easy to recognise that this is "translated English" (especially for an English speaker), but since the Hebrew is mostly grammatically correct, the (rather lazy) translator can get away with his "anglicisms". And yet again, this is "acceptable" and not "expected" (good translations are always rare, regardless of the language).
  27. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    @C_J: Can you show me a sample of a good (better than average) English > Hebrew translation?
  28. arielipi Senior Member

    Id say the Harry Potter/ early DragonLance books were done brilliantly by the translator. Mostly, fantasy/sci-fi books tend to have better than average translation due to fantasy's/sci-fi's unique language and terms that force the translator to work harder in the first place.
  29. Tararam Senior Member

    "כל החיות שוות, אך ישנן חיות ששוות יותר"
    Famous quote from George Orwell's "Animal Farm", is a fine example of a brilliant translation (the whole book, and this line in particular.)
    Another one would be from Italian (but it bears the same title in English): "If this is a man" by Primo Levy.
    In Hebrew it was translated as "הזהו אדם" which gives an ambiguous meaning: 1. "Is this a man?" / 2."Is this all a man is?".
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  30. C_J Member

    I usually prefer to read the books in the original English and also, maybe becuase I'm multilingual, I have this weird thing: I often don't remember in which language I read the book, I can read a text in Hebrew but the next day I could swear that I read it in English (does this ever happen too any of you?). So I can't help you much with this, sorry...

    I noticed that books that were translated before the 90's tend too have better translations though. IMO, nowadays the reformed punctuation rules (which are now almost identical to English) together with the fact that the translators expect the readers to be at least familiar with English, allows them to "go lazy" and go for a word-for-word translations. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the translator is knowing what's he's doing, but unfortunately these translations often come out very bad (as if whole sections of the book were Google Translated)...

    The most recent well translated book that I read was the new translation of M. Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (1999). I really enjoyed reading that version, and I personaly even prefer it to the original Russian (which is too hard for me).
  31. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I'm clearly nowhere near fluent in Hebrew, but even I have noticed this at times. I think it is because memory works by capturing the key details and "shading in" the rest of the story when trying to remember something later. In language, this can mean that you only remember the meaning of what you read, not the words. If you're interested in the peculiarities of memory, a great book is 'seven sins of memory' by Daniel schacter.

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