Why Retro Movies Should Be Watched in the Original Language with Subtitles

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Many people watch classic movies despite the abundance of Hollywood movies that come out every year. Some of them even ask for greater exposure to classic and retro movies. This is not surprising because true cinephiles find it a lot of fun to watch older movies with iconic actors, great directors, and unique plot lines. 

When you watch the dubbed versions of retro movies, you are missing out on many nuances and undertones that the author is trying to get across. Let’s review some of the reasons why you should watch retro movies in the original languages with subtitles.

Cultural details 

This must be a no-brainer. Any film is rooted in some cultural context, which is communicating through language. When watching the dubbed versions, you often get an interpretation of the intended content and meaning, which is not always accurate. Lots of things can get lost through inadequately translated idioms and expressions. 

Instead, go for the films in the original language with subtitles. This allows you to enjoy the original accent of actors and actresses. The way they speak is part of their acting. More often than not, it is how they get into character. You don’t want to miss any of that.

Enjoying original content and intent

Every film has its unique intent. The choice of actors, their mannerisms, and accents is never accidental. They constitute essential elements of what the author of the film conceived as part of the film design. For instance, when you watch dubbed versions of your favorite retro movies about student life, you might not grasp the intended meaning. Translators try to make the text easily comprehensible, and they often worry much less about retaining the symbolism of the film expressed through the original language. 

At worst, you might end up watching a film that is taken out of its original context artificially. You also risk missing the key parts that are absolutely critical to understanding. Opt for the original version with subtitles to make the most of your experience.

Learning from multilingualism

You should treat this as an opportunity to learn and practice a new language. You can be purposeful about which retro films to watch. The clear benefit is that you get to listen to the native speakers. And these native speakers have excellent speaking skills, which means you can also practice your pronunciation skills. 

If unsure about the meaning of words or phrases, you can always use subtitles to verify your understanding. Thus, you get the double benefit of both enjoying your favorite movies and learning a new language. If you struggle to find time to watch movies because you need to get some of your medical records translated, make sure you use the best medical translation services to avoid losing any important content. Trusting your translation done by professionals, you can get time for your hobby—watching retro movies.

Enjoying original performance

Another advantage of watching retro films in the original languages is that you fully embrace the craft of actors’ performances. Not all meaning is conveyed through words. A lot of it is communicated by the tone and pitch that actors use. You don’t want to bury the lead by using the dubbed version. If you do, you risk misunderstanding or misinterpreting the intended content. 

This is of critical importance when it comes to watching the types of films where the style of narration is out of the ordinary. When the author uses abstract or surreal methods, you need to be able to grasp the entirety of the film rather than the mere meaning of discrete words. 

Final Thoughts

Watching retro movies is a lot of fun. Classic movies have stood the test of time, and no one makes films the same way they used to decades ago. To get the most out of your experience, you should always opt for films in the original language with subtitles. This will help you grasp the intended content and meaning via subtitles while avoiding losing any of it through dubbing.

About the Author

Ruby Butz is a professional writer and long-time cinephile. She loves everything about films and filmmaking. Ruby is a true expert on the history of cinema, and you can’t go wrong by following her advice on what to watch and how to enjoy different kinds of films.

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