Film Dubbing

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dubbing, Film


the reproduction of the soundtrack of a sound film in a different language. It consists of two phases: the creation of a script that is synchronized with the images on the film and the implementation of the script by the director and actors during postrecording.

Work on the first phase of film dubbing is carried out by the author of the script and the actor-interpreter, who monitor each other’s work. A copy of the film is cut into pieces 3-4 m long (6-8 sec of screen time), which are pasted together into loops that are viewed continuously in a screening room. The author of the script to be dubbed listens to the intonational pattern of the piece that is being repeated, observing all the details of the physical actions of the characters. While preserving as much as possible the exact meaning and emotional coloring of a literal translation, the author seeks out words that correspond to the actor’s mode of articulation. In this process an attempt is made to preserve the length of each sentence (the number of syllables) and to ensure the exact positioning therein of consonants in the pronunciation of which the lips come together (b, v, m, p, and/). The dubbing of films that have a great deal of singing in them is especially complex because of the need to create a synchronized script in verse form, observing its correlation to the music.

After completion of the work on the script, the director selects the principal actors and conducts acting tests. For these tests and the subsequent reading with intonation, the initial loops are combined into longer loops (10-20 m). Such loops are also run many times on the screen in front of the actor, who is standing at a microphone in a sound studio. The director attempts to select individuals who correspond in acting style and age to their opposite numbers in the original.

The most important phase of work in film dubbing is the process of postrecording, during which the principal actors and the director attempt to make the speech pattern coincide with the physical nuances of the actor in the original film.

In the USSR more than 500 Soviet and foreign dramatic films a year are dubbed into the languages of the peoples of the USSR.


Zolotnitskii, A. V. Kak dubliruiutsia kinofil’my. Moscow, 1954.
Andrievskii, A. N. “Trudnoe iskusstvo dublirovaniia.” Sovetskii fil’m, 1969, no. 9.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Film Dubbing: Phonetic, Semiotic, Esthetic and Psychological Aspects.
It is also widely adopted for a diverse range of audio-production work tasks, including Foley, multi-track music recording, film dubbing, live-to-tape shop recording, ADR and media-education programmes.
Shanghai Film Group Corporation, composed of Shanghai Film Studio, Shanghai Film Dubbing Studio, Shanghai Science and Educational Film Studio, and Shanghai Film Technology Laboratory, is one of the largest and most powerful film groups in China.