Discovery to bring local lingo in dubbed fare

NEW DELHI: As programming focus continues shifts, Discovery Communications has decided to review the use of language in its fare dubbed in Hindi.

Reason: to bring it closer to levels of comprehension of the common man in India.


A senior executive of Discovery India told, "We do undertake periodically an exercise to evaluate whether the usage of phrases and words in dubbed feeds is contemporary and understandable to our viewers. In Hind's case too, we are doing the same."

Infotainment channels like Discovery, Animal Planet, Discovery Travel and Lifestyle and NGC have seen substantial upsurge in their viewership from the time they started making available a separate feed of their respective channels in Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.



This route of broadcasting the viewership through Hindi language feeds where the content is dubbed (as in the case of infotainment channels and kids channels ) or created has also been taken by sports channels like ESPN, which has several Hindi versions of its popular programmes in English.

The present Discovery initiative has been necessitated as it was felt that those translating voice-overs and programming material into Hindi from mostly English --- or the `language creators', as Discovery would like to dub them --- need to be made aware of the changing priorities and attitude of the company.

For example, the Discovery programming executive said an exact translation of the English word `tectonic' into Hindi may end up confusing the viewer further. In such cases, it has been decided in principle to retain the original English word.

Similarly, in another instance the reference to historical events like `crusade' has created problems while trying to find an appropriate Hindi equivalent.

Pointing out that two workshops of the language creators have been lined up in the second half of March, the Discovery executive explained, "The effort is to make Hindi appropriate to the requirements and needs of the Hindi speaking audience instead of using high-flown language."

Another reason behind this move is that programming on various Discovery channels are undergoing a change and newer fare in the categories of history and wildlife are being introduced where literal translation of English phrases are not possible.

The English-to-Hindi dictionaries available in the market have not been of much help either. For example, a particular such book, which sells like hot cakes in smaller towns of India, translates guitar into sitar.

According to Discovery India, there are about six levels before a dubbed programming is cleared for airing on the channels and with the Hindi evolving, it's necessary that newer people are taken on for such assignments.

At the moment, Discovery India employs the services of about three outside companies where people are engaged in translating English programming into Hindi. Recently, Discovery took on another company to expand its base of `language creators.' This new company is headed by Sailesh, a former print medium journalist-turned-TV professional who has worked in Hindi newspaper like Navbharat Times and TV channels like Zee News and most recently Total TV, a Delhi-specific channel.

Discovery Communications, Inc. is a leading global real-world media and entertainment company operating in more than 160 countries and territories reaching one billion cumulative subscribers. Worldwide, the company operates 19 television brands, including Discovery Channel and TLC.

Outside of the US, the company serves 450 million cumulative subscribers and operates 10 television brands. DCI ownership consists of four shareholders: Liberty Media Corporation, Cox Communications, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the company's founder and chairman.

India has been successfully used by DCI to incubate its new portfolio of channels dedicated to lifestyle programming in markets outside the United States.

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