Going to the movies in Germany

Are English-language films dubbed or subtitled?

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Hi all,

I'll be moving to a small town in Germany in a few weeks and fully expect to be lonely for a while (by myself, no ex-pat community, limited German...). Until I get better language skills and meet people, I need to get some distractions lined up. So tell me, when you go to English language movies in Germany, are they dubbed over in German or sub-titled?

Oh please oh please let them be subtitled in German rather than dubbed, so I can hear the original English...

Thanks once again!


Larger towns like Frankfurt and Munich have 'English theatres'. Hopefully you live close enough to get to one.

Yeah sucks, but when your German gets better it's funny to hear celebrity voices in German. And it's a great way to practice German!

Sorry, I know you wanted a different answer.
Movies originally produced in English (and other foreign movies) that are released to the German public are almost all dubbed in German. The quality of the dubbing - the German voice acting etc. - is exceptionally good, unlike other countries that dub Hollywood and other original language movies.

It does suck if you're hoping to see movies with their original language and subtitles for the German audience; some movies are shown that way in select theaters, but not so many.
Aussie Steve
First of all good Suburb Balmain and great Rugby League team (was at 2005 grandfinal). I worked their for 4 years. 3 at Balmain Tigers. any way I was in Augsburg today and asked about Movies in English, They said the show OV (original version) On Mondays only. Augsburg is not a small Town But is not huge eithier. So I guess A larger city around where youll be working will have Original Movies on a Particular day.

I lived In a small Town for the 1st month of living in Germany and Outside big cities people dont speak as good english. So I guess you will be kind of thrown in the deep end if your germans not up to scratch.

I went and watched a Movie In German and It sucked. Get yourself a 90cm sky dish and a digibox to watch English sat TV.

Stop Via Bejing and just get the Movie for a Euro before its even been released.

Enjoy Germany

Websight for OV movies in mannheim


Aussie Steve
Hey thanks for the replies and yes, AussieSteve, Balmain is great. Luckily I'll be near Mannheim, so I'll check out the English language cinemas. Glad to know I will have access to "Shrek der Dritte" in English!

Its not only movies that are dubbed either, all TV show's are as well. You'll virtually never hear anything in English. Sometimes they dub over the audio, but keep the old audio as well and start the translation a little later. This won't happen with movies, but with documentaries/interviews it happens all the time. I remember when I first got here I'd concentrate hard to try to hear the lower volume English over the louder German translation.
So is there anything English language on free to air telly? What's the deal with cable or satellite?
Aussie Steve
I think with Cable you can order like 4 channles in English and with Saterlite TV from UK Then you can pick up about 200 channels on free to air (about 10 worth watching with a Free to view card) Or get subscription with Movies, Sports etc. Check Out Baveria Saterlite fro More Info.
... Luckily I'll be near Mannheim, so I'll check out the English language cinemas. ...
There are two movie theatres in Mannheim that show maybe one OV (original) language film a week. most blockbusters show up there (Spider Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) Heidelberg (about 20 km south of MA) also has one theatre that always shows an original film a week (crappy theatre) though. And a town close to the two towns, Viernheim, that also offers one film per week.
Maybe you should watch the dubbed ones to learn German.

Don't know why people always think dubbing=BAD. The major cinema films are dubbed really well. My British partner now sometimes prefers the dubbed version to the original, because they sometimed add a bit of interest and make it a even a bit funnier.

Unfortunately, TV series and sitcoms are not dubbed so well and often lose their appeal.
I live in a small town(Tuebingen), and none of the films have subtitles or anything, they're all dubbed. The bigger cities usually have English theaters.

It works out pretty well though as far as learning German...
Don't know why people always think dubbing=BAD. The major cinema films are dubbed really well.
Dubbing=never as good as the original, =BAD. That it's done well does not get over this fact.

Against the case that cinema films are done well I present Exhibit One, any film with Eddie Murphy. Nothing wrong with the synching, but the choice of voice in German is ludicrous.

Anyway, to get back nearly on topic, I can only add that investing in a DVD player may be in order too, as most German DVDs have the English soundtrack on them too.
But of course, most DVDs here, including rental ones include the original English soundtrack as well as the German overdub
I prefer good dubbing to having to read subtitles. If I watch the original film in a language I understand or want to learn I obviously don't need dubbing.

But I think it's more relaxing to hear your own language and you can concentrate on the film instead of having to listen to some totally unfamiliar language, try and read and try and figure out what's happening on the screen - too much hard work :-)
I hate dubbed movies, especially of English-speaking movies, so I always make the trip to Mannheim or wait till I'm in Munich to watch a movie in English. Or I simply wait for the DVD release.
I do have to admit I prefer watching the dubbed version of movies in a language that I do not speak at all, though, as the quality of dubbing is quite high in Germany (compared to other countries/languages), but of course it's not the same thing as the original.
In Mannheim the Cinemaxx right by the train station shows several movies a week in English, you should be able to see most of the major releases there. And as Elfenstar mentioned, the theater in Viernheim (at Rhein-Neckar-Zentrum) also shows movies in English.
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