You know that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits theaters today, right? Of course you knew that—you’re an urbane, culturally astute consumer of highbrow entertainment. Or a geeky middle-aged guy who’s reliving his childhood. Either way, allow me to share a geekdom two-fer: The Force Awakens in five foreign languages.
It may surprise you to learn that U.S. films released in foreign markets aren’t only subtitled. In major foreign markets, the characters’ voices are dubbed. In France, for example, you can choose to see an American film in VOST form (version originale sous-titrée, meaning in English with subtitles) or in its doublé (dubbed) form.
Why? Well, just like many American filmgoers, foreign audiences don’t like to have to read lines of text throughout a two-hour movie. If the film is dubbed, viewers can sit back and let their eyes concentrate on the action while their ears take in the film’s dialogue.
French: Le Réveil de la Force
Listen for Han’s “Chewie, we’re home” line at 1:27. Sounds a bit too literal to me.
Italian: Il Risveglio della Forza
The A NATALE text you see at 1:14 may look strange, but Natale, the Italian word for “Christmas,” shares the same root as the English word Nativity.
German: Das Erwachen der Macht
Literally, Das Erwachen der Macht means “The Awakening of the Force.”
Spanish (Spain): El Despertar de la Fuerza
When protagonist Rey is asked “Who are you?” she (or the Spanish VO talent who voiced her) replies, “Nadie” (I’m no one).
Brazilian Portuguese: O Despertar da Força
It’s no surprise that the Portuguese title of the film looks a lot like the Spanish title. Spanish, of course, is a Romance language just like Portuguese: compare O Despertar da Força with El Despertar de la Fuerza.
Enjoy the film—in any language!
Star Wars fans, did you know that Google Translate now offers Aurebesh?