An Italian Crime Series in English. The Dubbing and Subtitling of Suburra

Annalisa Sandrelli


In recent years, the European AVT landscape has changed dramatically, as a result of technological innovations that have made it possible for viewers to select the language version they prefer (dubbed or subtitled) when watching audiovisual products on TV or on web-based streaming services. This has led to greater demand for subtitles in dubbing countries and increasing curiosity for dubbing in subtitling countries. The present paper presents a small-scale experiment on the reception of the Italian crime TV series Suburra in an English dubbed and a subtitled version. A questionnaire was developed in order to elicit information from 19 subjects on both their comprehension and enjoyment of 4 clips taken from the series. Although a preference for the subtitled version has emerged in our results, the English dubbed version was appreciated for its quality, for allowing viewers more time to watch the images and for providing an ‘easier’, more relaxed viewing mode. This small-scale case study seems to indicate that there might be a niche in the English-speaking audiovisual market for dubbed foreign language TV series.

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