I am not a T.V. person; I would rather listen to the radio while doing other more productive (or not so productive) things. I however try to stay connected with what the T.V. industry has to offer whenever I get the chance. But even if you are not a T.V. person living in the Arab world, it is quiet easy to notice that every once in a while, television channels of the Arab world are invaded with a new phenomenon; from talk shows that are silly copies of more popular western ones, to translated versions of game shows. The new phenomenon in the Arab world right now is dubbed series and movies –knowing that dubbing has always been around, but these days, it is… Phenomenal 🙂
You would be watching television one day, and come across Turkish series dubbed in Syrian accent, American series in Lebanese accent, and Indian movies in dialect belonging to a country of the Arab Gulf. I have to admit that I have never watched any of those series or movies fully, but I did get an idea about them as I changed between channels on the few occasions that I watched T.V in the last period of time.
My impression of the few shots that I watched could be explained in one word: Disastrous. Yet, I will not stick to this one word and will give a brief explanation of why I felt this way about what I saw. If we try to forget about the awkwardness of the scenes where English speaking actors and actresses are speaking Arabic, we are left with the criminal act of abstracting those movies/series of very important drama effects when doing this dubbing (when we are talking about the dubbed movies that actually have a meaning and a message). Let us say that you are watching a movie where the actors/actresses are supposed to be speaking with a certain accent, and using certain dialect to actually send a message about those people’s backgrounds, environments, educational level… etc.
Dubbing such movies, whether it is done in the Arab world or anywhere else, is a crime against the world of drama writing, which is something that we Arabs specifically need to learn more about (some current Arab writers actually use the same language in dialogues between the educated and uneducated characters in their stories :S ).
Moral of the story: STOP DUBBING MOVIES/SERIES FOR GOD’S SAKE.
More serious moral of the story: We need to start understanding more of the stuff we watch on T.V., not all of it could be counted as a mere pass time activity, some actually have messages hidden in the simplest gestures and words.