Non-Dubbed Grunts

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Sometimes, when a series is dubbed into a different language the producers try to save time and money by leaving minor sounds as is. Things such as grunts, incoherent yelling, sneezes or gasps, and all manner of other (allegedly) inconsequential noises are often too minor in the eyes of the execs to warrant the effort it takes to re-do them.

Ideally, this isn't too noticeable. Unfortunately, on occasion a dub VA with a deep voice is paired to an original VA with a much higher voice. Other odd shifts in tonality can occur as well, but whatever the case, the difference becomes so great to be distracting.

Alternately, this may occur on its own due to Larynx Dissonance. This has nothing to do with the bad dubbing of Halo 3.

Examples of Non-Dubbed Grunts include:

  • This happens between games in Tomb Raider, to varying degrees of success. It even happens in the original English dub - Lara's had four voice actresses over the years and occasionally clips from the previous voice are kept - this is most obvious in Tomb Raider 2, in which not even the "No." sound was replaced. One Tomb Raider 3 clip was recycled for Last Revelation, but the pitch was raised to make it less obvious. Lara's iconic Stock Scream survived through three different voices before it was replaced.
    • Fangames also indulge in this, most notable would be Himalayan Mysteries, which mixes the high-pitched voice clips from Lara's third official voice with a somewhat-similar sounding new voice provided by a fan. This on its own works, but the author also used Lara's "Aha!" sound from Tomb Raider 2, which is about 200 octaves deeper than the rest of the clips and sticks out like a sore thumb.
    • Another fangame, Tomb Raider Anniversary: Retold, is a Double Subversion - the project leader specifically had the voice actress record brand new "No." and "Aha!" sounds, but in the opening cutscene one small voice sample from the original actress is not replaced, due to being short, quiet and subtle.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 does dub grunts and little phrases. However, instead of actually translating them to a more common English equivalent, it keeps the words the same. Those unfamiliar with Japanese might ask "why the hell does Eggman say 'Yosh'"?
  • In the German dub of Dragonball Z the original Japanese grunts and screams are left in.
    • So did the Malaysian dub. They also left in Japanese attack names.
    • And the French dub. In fact, they didn't even bother to dub the grunts in any anime back in the eighties.
    • The European Spanish dub did dub them... until Goku and Gohan come out of the Chamber of Room and Time. Then they stop doing it, which is awkward to say the least.
  • In the German dub of the Donald Duck cartoon, "Donald's Snow Fight" Huey, Dewey and Louie have conventional human voices, their laughter on the other hand is clearly non-dubbed from their English duck voices.
  • In an episode of the UK dub of The Save Ums, Custard's laughter is left undubbed, meaning you hear is voice slip into a deeper one with an American accent.
  • In the Malay dub of the Jimmy Neutron cartoon the boys' reaction noises were left untouched.
  • Very, very noticeable in the Finnish dub of WALL-E. Due to them being mostly The Unintelligible, the two main characters' voices are dubbed about half the time and left un-dubbed the other half, and EVE's Finnish voice especially sounds way different from the original. Also, the changes between dubbing and original voices are often located awkwardly, and there are some English words accidentally left here and there in the Finnish version.
  • In lategame Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, the party starts slinging around Synchronity Chains fairly frequently. The shout that the spell releases on is very obviously not the English VAs.
  • Super Smash Bros. usually keeps the same sounds of grunts, wheezes, and some screams (or at least ones that won't be to noticeable) the same between versions (of course, Marth kept his Japanese voice in both Melee and Brawl).
    • In fact, in Melee, the only character that was redubbed was Jigglypuff. Other characters had their dialogue removed (Mewtwo, some of Fox and Falco's lines), spoke Gratuitous English (Ness, Peach, Captain Falcon, Kirby's "Falcon Punch", the rest of Fox and Falco's lines), retained their Japanese lines (Marth and Roy), or didn't speak intelligibly in the first place (everyone else), but no one but 'Puff had redubbed dialogue. Heck, Jigglypuff was only changed because of her Pokémon-Speak. Brawl redubs all characters that required it.
  • Pokémon does this all over the place in the anime. For example, Onix actually does say his own name (Japanese "Iwark")
    • Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker didn't bother dubbing May's singing voice, since her song consists solely of "Doo-doo-doo" being repeated. On the other hand, she gains a very subtle Japanese accent and her voice becomes a bit lower.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, the absent silhouettes and data versions of the members of Organization XIII from Chain of Memories don't speak during their battles, but the Japanese voice actors voice their grunts and exclamations, despite the rest of the game being voiced in English. This was for practical reasons. These characters didn't have English VAs as the only other game they appeared in at this point was Chain of Memories which only had Voice Grunting.
    • In the English dub of Re: Chain of Memories, during the battle with Jafar one can hear some of Sora's grunts done with sound clips from the first game and some with the newer and much deeper voiced clips.
  • Hiro, the main character of Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, is voiced in Japanese by Hikaru Midorikawa. His voice is so distinctive, it's very noticeable when the English version leaves Hiro's gasps and grunts undubbed.
  • In the video game The Witcher, while the in-game dialog is dubbed, grunts during combat sequences are not (they're taken from the original Polish version). It's more noticeable with Geralt's grunts and screams when he does combos (the grunts are much deeper and more gutturals than Geralt's raspy and nasal voice (in English)). It's the case with the other dubs too (not sure, having only tested the French and English dub).
  • Some generic units in Disgaea have battle voices in only Japanese. Conversely, at least in the PlayStation 2 version of the first game, some main characters have battle voices only in English, causing them to change languages from cutscenes into battle if the voices are set to Japanese.
    • This seems to have been mostly fixed as of the PSP version of the game, both the battle and cutscene voices are in the language the game is set to, though it's quite possible that the wordless grunts some characters make during battle might be the same regardless of language setting.
    • One noteable one is Etna's final episode preview. After the charcters note she's being serious and given an accurate preview of the next Episode. They panic. The panicked screams are left undubbed and sharp eared players can note Jennifer shouting help in Japanese.
  • Many of the FMV cutscenes in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
  • Most any PS 1 RPG with voice clips (that isn't made by Tri-Ace) will have them still in Japanese; Breath of Fire III, Xenogears, Tales of Destiny (but not Tales of Eternia) etc.
  • Very noticeable in the first Shadow Hearts game. If you have Margarete use her Grenade attack, you hear her English VA recite: "Yeah, I could use some help here," followed by the undubbed grunt as she throws it.
  • Minorly noticeable in Persona 3, in which the Main Character's grunts when taking damage are a bit higher than his English voice. "Minorly noticeable" since he rarely says anything to begin with.
    • Also seen earlier in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, the Japanese shouts are left untranslated. Whenever you hear a monster grunt it's pretty clearly got a Japanese flavor to it.
  • Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore for the PlayStation 2 had this. When the voices are set in English (the default option), all spoken dialogue is in English except for the battle grunts and cries.
  • The pseudoanime Space Transformers has this, and it's specially jarring, considering the original voice actor sounded like a small boy, and the dub voice was an adult male.
  • It is very apparent in many Dingo Pictures cartoons.
  • Inverted in Mega Man X7, where, when playing with the Japanese voice track, the grunts and battle quotes are the only sounds in English.
  • Capcom is going above and beyond to avert this in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 . Capcom characters will have two voice tracks, English and Japanese, that play in the appropriate region, and Marvel characters will apparently only speak English. Capcom also did this for their Street Fighter IV series, even for characters that don't even really say anything during matches.
  • Hungarian dubs do this all the time, but there are instances when they put a twist on it: in some movies and cartoons, a number of cries and screams are dubbed over, but in another scene (within the same movie/episode), the original voices can be heard. And sometimes the voice actors grunt over the original, still audible track, creating a very strange effect. It is also common for animal or monster roars to be dubbed over, even when the original roar can still be clearly heard.
  • Interestingly goes in the other direction with Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (and its sequel Naruto: The Broken Bond). The games are based on the American localization of the anime series so they feature an English voice track. However it is possible to activate a Japanese dialogue option (through a downloadable patch for Rise of a Ninja or an option toggle in Broken Bond) but any non-conversational vocalizations are not from the Japanese voice actors.
  • Not all that noticeable, but definitely present, in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword; in particular, Zelda often says "ne" ("hey") when she starts talking to you, and the Japanese equivalent of "owwwwwch" is used at least once.
  • In the German dub of "The Simpsons", Homer's "D'oh" is dubbed, but when he gets hurt, his "Ouch"es often aren't. It's quite a contrast considering his German voice actor Norbert Gastell has a higher and softer voice than Dan Castellaneta.