Dubbing VS Subtitles
Which is better for language learners? Dubbing or subtitles? Or both?
Much can be said about this topic. First of all, it depends on the situation of the country (or countries) where the language is spoken. In the western world, some countries tend to dub all foreign products, while others use subtitles for films and only dub cartoons and programs for children. Some countries even dub products in their same language because foreign accents and cultural differences may lead viewers to misunderstanding. In Eastern Europe, voice-over is traditionally used: the original soundtrack persists together with recordings by one or two voice actors.
Independently from their preferences or habits, language learners should consider the pros and cons of each solution. Dubbing lets students practice listening but is less faithful to the original, and sentences could become difficult to understand because of background noise or music, local varieties and technical problems. Subtitles are more faithful and can help the learner to compare the original audio with the translated text. However, they mainly help to practice reading.
Voice-over, as well, can help the listener to compare original audio with the translated audio, but, personally, I find it confusing to hear two or more voices speaking at the same time.
What do you think? Share your ideas and experiences.