Czech Voice Provided By…

In Language, Media on September 26, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

It is occupational hazard, I guess, when I think that half of foreign TV shows and sitcoms should be kept in their original sound. When you turn your TV on in the Czech Republic, it strikes you: dozens of American sitcoms, comedy series and other programs sound terrible because instead of a normal street sound the voice actor was in a booth when he spoke his/her lines.

Shows like The Simpsons or Friends are even aired twice during one series’ run. It means the premiere (around 6 p.m.) could well be in Czech, whereas the repeat at 3 a.m. the same night could be kept in English with Czech subtitles, of course.

Unfornunately, in Czech TV industry movies in English with Czech subtitles are limited exclusively to public service Czech TV’s second channel (“Dvojka”) and its Filmovy klub thing, which is almost a vintage-movie fans’ world. Everything else is dubbed, as result of which the vast majority of Czechs are not used to a sound of a foreign language.

I am talking about English, of course. Czechs who learn English are kind of like patients who are in coma and to whom their relatives speak, knowing the patients “hear it”. Learners of English must hear the language even outside of normal course of studying. The Czech Television should do its public service even in this manner. This is not happening, despite the widely known fact that immigrants who come to the States learn A LOT from just watching/listening to sitcoms.

Many Czechs learn English in a manner that gives them only – how to say this – isolated knowledge. They learn isolated phrases but they can not be taught reactions. TV shows in English can do it.

From what I heard [so I am not one hundred percent sure about it] in Scandinavia many movies are subtitled. When it this gonna work here?

The most annoying thing about the Czech dubbing of U.S. (or German) sitcoms and other shows are the voiceovers during opening credits that say the names of Czech actors who provided their voices. I have never seen it anywhere outside the Czech Republic…  

NOTE: Spelling was not checked in this post, as the spelling checker was out of service at the time of posting…Sorry.


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