The Rain on Netflix: Danish or English? (Subbed or Dubbed?) Let’s Discuss.

Posted May 14, 2018 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss, Movies / 51 Comments

I know this is off the topic of books, but I started to write about it in my Sunday Post, and it was really long, so I thought I’d just turn it into a non-bookish discussion. I’m allowed to have some of those, right? (Well, it’s my blog, so I’ve decided I am. 🙂 )

My Hulu wasn’t working for some reason, so I couldn’t watch Fear the Walking Dead while I worked out on Friday. Instead, I decided to try out a new show on Netflix: The Rain.

I didn’t realize how foreign (to me) shows worked on Netflix, though. It took me a few minutes to realize that it was dubbed. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.

I watched the whole episode (and really enjoyed it—I think I’ll keep watching), and then I went and looked it up and found out that I could have switched it to subtitled instead. I read a whole article discussing the dubbing that I found pretty fascinating. Some of the dubbing was done by the original actors, and they talked about how weird and inorganic the process was. It made me want to watch the show in subtitles instead, even though I’d enjoyed the dubbed version.

One point that the article made (which is very valid) is that offering the show in both dubbed and subbed versions opens it up to people who may not have watched it otherwise. I think this is very true. If I’m being honest, I might not have even checked the show out if it had defaulted to the subbed version—I don’t watch a lot of foreign films and I might just have dismissed it. (Shame on me!)

However, I thought it was interesting that they made a big point of saying that more English-speaking people watch the show dubbed than subbed. I wonder if this statistic is a bit skewed, though, because dubbed is the default. If I hadn’t been interested enough to go read more about it, I never would have realized that there was even an option to watch it subtitled. I wish they’d made it more apparent when I started watching the show that there were options.

Anyway, I watched one scene both ways a few times, and I decided that the emotion definitely came through more in the original Danish (which makes sense, since they were actually in the moment, responding to each other, etc. when they filmed it that way). I plan to watch the rest of the show in Danish with subtitles.

Have you watched this show? What language did you watch it in? Do you have a preference when you watch movies or TV in a foreign language? Subbed or Dubbed?


51 responses to “The Rain on Netflix: Danish or English? (Subbed or Dubbed?) Let’s Discuss.

  1. I haven’t watched this specifically, but I do love foreign films and TV shows. I don’t think I’ve ever watched them dubbed; I don’t mind subtitles at all. You get used to reading them and I think it does allow you to feel the emotion more because that’s how the actors initially “played” it, if you will.


  2. My husband and I just started watching this! To be honest, if the voices are good (like they are in this one) I definitely prefer dubbed. Most of the Netflix dubbed shows tend to use excellent voice actors (have you tried The 3%? Also on Netflix and highly addicting) so we go with dubbed. This is for two reasons. 1. I like to draw when we watch tv, and I can’t do that if I’m trying to read subtitles. 2. This is more of a personal quirk, but after a while I start to count the words in the subtitles and I start to get a little obsessive about it. I’m not sure where I picked up this habit, and I seem to do it automatically and it starts giving me a headache after awhile. Probably sounds stupid, but there you have it.

    Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles recently posted: I’m on Authortube!
    • Oh, wow—that reminds me of a book I just read, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. She has to count the words on a page before she can read it. I could see how counting subtitles would start to make you more than a little frustrated. And I can definitely understand wanting the dubbed version if you can’t completely focus on the show. For some reason, I hadn’t even thought of that—it’s fine if I’m working out because I’m not trying to do anything else, but most of the time when I sit and watch TV, I’m also on my computer (a bad habit, I know).

      • Private

        I usually watch foreign films subbed because emotions are usually lost in translation when dubbed.
        But with THIS series, i noticed the acting of the English dubbed version still maintained an accent. I didn’t sense that Anything was lost in translation and i didn’t feel I had anything to gain by suffering through subtitles just to hear it in Danish. By the Second season i started to suspect it was because the actors themselves were performing their own dubbed voice overs. By the end of season 2 i decided to watch the credits and confirm my suspensions cuz as i switched back and forth between Danish and English in some of the scenes, the voices were identical. I confirmed by the credits, the main actors had indeed dubbed over their own voices.
        I always watch with subtitles and the English dubbing with the English subtitling don’t even match, i found that the subtitles were losing the essence and emotions of the spoken words
        So in this instance, I don’t have anything to gain by relying on the subtitles
        Im watching the whole thing in English

  3. Robin

    I haven’t watched this show yet, though I do have it on my Watch List. I have seen 3% which also gives you the option of Subbed vs Dubbed. I tried watching it in dubbed format and it just felt off to me. I definitely prefer the subbed versions.

  4. We did watch the show. My Miguel found it. At first I thought the timing was off, which really bothered me. Then Miguel told me it was a Danish show so they were indeed speaking another language. I liked the dubbed much better than subtitles. I think I miss things while I am trying to read. It is meant to be watched, not read. So it can take away from the film or show.
    Great topic!

    karen recently posted: It’s Been Awhile…
  5. I’ve noticed there are a couple of foreign shows on Netflix which come as dubbed and I definitely don’t like that, I’d prefer to get the option when you start watching for it to be dubbed or subbed and then for it to remember that going forward. I guess because I’m used to watching k-dramas I don’t mind watching stuff with subtitles but I will often wait until I can give the show my full attention and don’t always binge watch to the same degree I would an English show mostly because there’s the extra effort of reading whilst watching. I do think it’s worth watching in the original language wherever possible because I find dubbing a little offputting. I think the only time it works for me is when it’s something animated because the mouth voice mismatch it far less obvious then.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Bite Sized Books // A Teenage Con Artist Mystery I Really Enjoyed
  6. I haven’t watched this show, but I have watched shows that were dubbed and subbed. I think I prefer subbed. I think it’s a bit distracting to have the words dubbed in. I watched Girl With the Dragon Tattoo subbed and enjoyed it, and I’ve watched other subbed foreign films/shows and I liked watching it with the actors speaking the language the show was originally produced in. I didn’t know you had options for dubbed or subbed with Netflix because I don’t watch very many foreign movies or any movies anymore since I’ve got my nose in a book most days, lol! 🙂

    Great post with an interesting topic, Nicole! 🙂

  7. I like this show a lot! And I watched it dubbed and wish now that I would have watched it in Danish and subtitled. I’ve made a note of that for the future. 🙂 Also, I think I read that same article and had the same reaction- you mean I can watch it subbed? Ha ha!

  8. I actually don’t watch t.v. (although I’ve made exceptions to watch Sherlock with my younger daughter) but I think I’d prefer watching a foreign film or show subbed because like you said, the emotions are better conveyed in the original language. This is really interesting to think about though. Thanks for sharing a non-book related post! 😉

  9. I would for sure prefer subbed because then I will actually focus on the show! I often struggle with getting distracted and not actually watching TV and films ?

  10. I tried both! The default was dubbed, so that was how I started it, but then I switched over to subtitles and found I liked them a LOT better. Actually, I found this out when I was watching Dark, which is another European show, and the dubbing was throwing me off, and when I switched to subtitles, I was amazed at how much more the emotions came across! Of course, my eyes get tired easier that way and I definitely need glasses but… meh.

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Snarkable Stories
    • I watched the second episode with subtitles today while I worked out, and I agree it was much better that way. It’s perfect for the elliptical too, because reading the subtitles gives my brain something more to do to make me forget I’m being active. 🙂

  11. We don’t get NetFlix or any streaming so I’m a few years behind on TV because we have to wait for the DVD boxsets! That said, we love our Scandinavian dramas so I’ve made a note of The Rain for when it comes around. We loved The Killing and The Bridge and have just started Borgen – 2 episodes in and great so far!
    Subtitles work best for us as lips not moving in sync is sooo irritating! We tend to watch all our DVDs with subtitles though because my OH is getting a bit hard of hearing and he can’t always make out what the characters are ‘mumbling’, especially if there’s loud incidental music in the background.

    • Actually, it’s funny you mention this because we usually watch most things with subtitles as well. When our first dog was a puppy and we were crate training him, he barked so much that we had to resort to subtitles—and we just never went back. We tend to miss a lot when we turn them off for some reason. But for whatever reason, I don’t usually use them when I watch Netflix downstairs while working out.

  12. Vee @ Under The Mountain

    I had zero clue that dubbed was an option? Maybe it’s a US thing. I loved the show and watched it subtitles (I watch everything subtitled) but unfortunately when they were speaking English they cut the English subtitles out entirely, so anyone deaf watching will have had no idea what was going on – I had to get my partner to translate whole paragraphs.

    Overall though I loved it, because Mikkel Boe Folsgaard is freaking beautiful. XD

    Vee @ Under The Mountain

  13. haha the same happened to me with this show! At first I wasn’t sure if the sound was out of sync LOL We kinda gave up with it because we were watching with the kids and all they did was complain 🙂

  14. I haven’t watch this particular show, but I watch a lot of subtitled shows. Not just Korean k-dramas, but Chinese, Swedish, Norwegian and French. Dubbing throws me off, the mouth not moving with the words. I think you should do what’s comfortable. Great discussion!

  15. JC

    Personally I would have not watched 3% or The Rain if it was not dubbed. With foreign movies it’s harder for me to focus on the whole movie because I’m busy reading the subtitles. It makes me wonder how people that prefer the subtitled version are able to experience everything happening on screen when their eyes are at the bottom quickly reading the subtitles. I know everybody’s day to day life is different and how they choose to experience entertainment depends on their lifestyle. Typically when I sit down to watch a film I rarely focus 100% on the TV. Sometimes I’m folding laundry, scrolling through emails, cooking dinner or finishing up something for work. I’m still paying attention to the show because I can hear what they are saying. With subtitles I can’t do this and usually check out within minutes of starting the show. With these two show’s I thought the dubbing was excellent and I was able to enjoy a show that I normally would pass up or delay watching because it was subtitled. I think more foreign films should be done like 3% and The Rain because you are able to reach a bigger audience. Maybe it’s a generation thing but I did think that Netflix did an excellent job with dubbing and it looks like their users agree based on viewing stats. My point is, I would not have watched either show if they were not dubbed.I love that Netflix offers the options to cater to the user’s preference. I wish they did this with all their foreign films.

    • I think you are demonstrating perfectly Netflix’s point. If they offer it both ways, more people will watch—it’s pretty much the best of both worlds. Watching subbed works perfectly when I’m working out because I’m able to focus on the screen (and I don’t feel like I miss out on much by reading, but it’s possible I miss more than I realize). But if I wasn’t working out, I agree that I’d probably be doing something else (like replying to comments—doing that while watching TV now) and I definitely would need the dubbed version to do that.

  16. Adam

    I watched the whole thing dubbed and thought it was fine, I think that the English words are very similar to the Danish words and made the dubbing sometimes look like they actually said ut in English. I’ve seen some terrible dubbing but this is pretty good.

  17. Christopher

    I can’t watch subtitled shows. If I have to buy Rosetta Stone so I can watch them, which is what I did for the Japanese show One-piece, I will. ? If my eyes are constantly looking downward I can’t immerse myself in the experience. I didn’t mind the dubbed version of The Rain. In fact, I suspected that some of the original cast may have been involved in the dubbing, which led me here. Thank you ?

    • KK

      As someone who’s grown up in a non-English speaking country (but now living in the UK), I’ve been watching subbed TV/movies from a very young age. Because of that I actually always prefer subs over dub as it’s something I’m used to and therefore don’t find them distracting at all or think that reading (or more like quickly glancing) them hinder my ability to pay attention to what’s actually going on.

      I tried rewatching an episode with the English dub, and even with some of the original actors giving their voices, it still was nowhere near as impactful. And the audio not syncing up to what they’re saying would bug the hell out of me. Plus I’ve grown to really enjoy the flow of the Danish language ?

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