Dubbing English Movies in Tagalog

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clint eastwood

Dumbing down can’t be uplifting.

The dubbing of English movies in Tagalog is a reflection of the makers’ patronizing attitude toward the Filipino audience. It’s what you call dumbing down. To accommodate the comprehension level of the viewer. Filipinos speak English – HELLO!

The rationale by the TV station that does this, is to create fare classified “pang-masa” or “for the masses.” The result is a grotesque matchup between normally English-speaking actors and the Tagalog verbiage they spew.

Filipino movie-goers have been exposed to English instruction since pre-school years. They’ve grown up on Sesame Street and have flocked to standing-room-only theatres featuring The Ten Commandments, The Sound of Music, Love Story and the James Bond series. All in English.

A recent online survey among Filipinos revealed a number of disgusted responders. “We understand English,” ”we want our children to perfect their English,” ”the dubbed versions are awful,” constituted the rhetoric among other comments.

Sure the novelty factor or attention-grabber works well in a carnival sideshow. Is that what dubbing English movies in Tagalog is all about? Turning them into a carnival sideshow to gain more viewers? Hey, a bearded lady, a dwarf or a two-headed embryo can only go so far in entertainment value. Not to mention transvestites and cross-dressers on family television. Sure you might laugh when Clint Eastwood says, “Gawin mo ang araw ko,” (make my day), or when a bikini-clad model with a masculine face sashays down a runway. Where’s the redeeming factor in that? Yeah, scratch your head.

Here’s what a friend of mine said after watching a Tagalog-dubbed Hollywood blockbuster on T.V. “I think my i.q. just dropped a few points.”

5 thoughts on “Dubbing English Movies in Tagalog

  1. Unfortunately, these types of entertainment known as “Tagalized movies” continuously draw the masses’ interest and watching them has become part of a household’s routine.

    And as its avid fans grow in numbers, the patronizing practice becomes intense. I believe people who get engrossed in these, young and old alike, are robbed of their ability to polish their precious neurons’ capacity to comprehend, while the TV networks sabotage their viewers potential to learn the English language well.

    Back then, we made watching Hollywood movies our fun way of learning spoken English. Our attention was drawn towards taking notice of the good sounding idioms and phrases in quotes and dialogues and lo and behold, our “comprehensionability” sharpened.

  2. Kenneth

    I know. The Philippines claims to have the third largest number of English speakers in the world. That’s a definite advantage on the international front. Muscle. Watch Japan, China and Korea scramble to get their people to learn English. They’re not stupid. Now we have some numbskulls trying to squander our advantage. Lee Kuan Yew was convinced that English would enhance the economy of Singapore. Seeing Filipinos waste this resource would make him roll in his grave.

  3. Kenneth Lim

    You’re welcome, Arden. We’ve been gifted with an advantage in communication. We should use it as a powerful tool in our interaction with the rest of the world.

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