Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay #34: French and German Dialogue

The French and German Diablo 3 beta clients went live a few days ago, and German fans quickly got to work identifying the voice actors, many of whom are well known for their work dubbing German dialogue into every sort of major Hollywood film.

But what does Diablo 3 sound like in German and French? Happily, that’s an easy question to answer, thanks to various German and French fans who have uploaded beta videos over the past couple of days. French on the left, German on the right, each showing the opening 15+ minutes of the beta, with all of the NPC conversations in and around DiabloWikiTristram played out in full.

Who knew DiabloWikiLeah could sound even sadder in other languages?

I enjoyed both videos, but my favorite is when someone says “DiabloWikiCaptain Rumford” in the French one. That’s such an ordinary, plain name in English, but in French the “cap-ee-TAHN” makes it exotic, like the name of an expensive perfume. Can’t you just envision the commercial, with some lingerie-clad model rolling around on luxurious silk sheets while moaning “We we Ca-pee-tahn Rump-forddd!” Like that Adriana Lima Valentine’s Day ad, but a little less blatant in the “buy flowers to get laid” narrative.

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22 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay #34: French and German Dialogue

    • I was imagining the same thing. It made me cringe just thinking about the game being in that standard bad dutch voice over

  1. Yep, being French myself, I tend to be either hugely ashamed or ludicrously entertained by french localizations (at least at the beginning). Apart from really specific cases, I prefer to play english voice acted games in… English…   But I find it sastifying that the french spoken translation made some of you english-mother-tongue people laugh and jest about it ! 😀    I am yet to find a good french localized voice-acting game… Despite good efforts especially from Blizzard…   Anyway, thank you Blizz for letting us choose the \playing\ language of  games you make !

  2. How do the localisations deal with different English accents, like Scottish, Australian, British, etc? Do they attempt to make distinctions or dont they bother?

    • sure they do. you don’t want an angry scott voice to scare the brits do ya then laddy?

      captcha is kiss me, read it with an angry scott voice. 

  3. well i listened the first ~5 dialogues for every class and gender yesterday ; and i was positively suprised with the german dub ; the dialogue is sometimes just cheesy oneliners though thats no different in english – so I am sold on the German version ; i wish i could have german dub with english text though ; because the item translation and regions / tooltips are sometimes rather odd.

  4. A curious hack is to play a version of a game in a language that you don’t understand. It goes a long way toward protecting you from terrible voice acting, which is generally terrible even in the original language.

    I found my experience of The Witcher was greatly improved by playing in Polish with English subtitles. This was good in two ways. Firstly, it’s a Polish game and thus I believe should be presented in Polish. I don’t watch English dubs of German, French or Japanese films, so why “dub” a game? The Witcher just feels right in Polish.

    Secondly, being unable to directly understand the dialogue makes it harder to detect just how terrible the acting really is. Let’s face it, game acting is in general, execrable*.

    (Update: I’m listening to the French D3 clip right now, and it’s so bad that I’m still cringing, even though I speak no French.)

    *Respect and thanks to Jennifer Hale for Commander Shepard and Ellen McLain for GLaDOS.

  5. Man I love Flux’s writing style on this website.  He can just go off on a tangent about supermodels for no reason, but darwindamnit it just works!

  6. I thought both didn’t sound too bad, but that’s probably because I’m not a native speaker of either language. It’s a good thing everyone is able to play the game in the language they prefer though, I remember some truly awful dubbed voice acting in my own language (Dutch) with some games that was either impossible or hard to change back to English. Lucky me that’s common practice here to just subtitle every form of entertainment apart from kiddy cartoons.

  7. Except for Leah, the German version is surprisinly good, may be one of the few titles I play in German

  8. Will they have the option to select the language in the US/Canadian versions or would it require a completely different install? i love how the German voices sound and would like to play the game with german voices, english subs would be nice but i can deal with straight german, or french.

    • There are not going to be language selections in the game. You’re either all German, all French, all English, etc. And that’s all written text as well as verbal dialogue. It would be cool if they let you switch around, and that’s certainly something fans could work on via a mod, except that Bliz isn’t allowing fan mods for D3.

  9. Interesting note: the German characters speak to one another using an old-school, formal form of address. Think “thee/thou” in English, or the royal “we.” (“Are you Leah?” is translated as “Seid Ihr Leah?” rather than “Sind Sie Leah?” which would be the modern way to formally address somebody.)

  10. So the interesting question is will you be able to use the localized version key with the English Installer? They offer the EUen version as a preorder as retail but not the Collectors Edition. 😕

  11. Hmm the french version was okay (being french myself) 🙂 Will still play in English, usually jokes, pun, enemy names are always better in original.

  12. Being french, I’m not sure of the quality of acting (probably not much worse than the original english), but the translation itself is not very convincing. Sounds very “translated”…
    On the other hand I remember playing D2 in french and this one was really nice. 

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