Humor of Dubbing Movies

Humor of Dubbing Movies in French is from a book by humorist Bill Bryson titled ‘Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe’, page 179-180.

This excerpt is about the humor of the dubbing of John Wayne’s voice in French – heard while watching an American movie in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.


I watched a 1954 film called ‘The Sands of Iwo Jima’, featuring John Wayne killing Japanese people while talking French using someone else’s voice – an acting skill I never knew he possessed.

It occurred to me, as I lay there watching this movie, of which I could understand barely a word apart from “bonjour,” “merci bien” and “aaaaargh” (what the Japanese said when John Wayne stuck them in the belly with his bayonet), that this was almost boring enough to cause brain damage,

and yet at the same time – and here’s the interesting thing – I was probably having as much fun as anyone else in Switzerland.


Humor Ordering Beer in Germany, by Bill Bryson.

Humor of French Shrugs, by Bill Bryson.

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