It is official. Netflix is cooperating with two film studios,Postmodern Postproduction and “Так Треба Продашн” to introduce Ukrainian dubbing – a move they hope will get many local fans onto the streaming service. This is a major success for the Ukrainian language as Ukrainian dubbing is only common in cinema and TV.
The quality of cinematic dubbing is remarkable, with proper translations, natural sentence structure and a guaranteed giggle caused by sharp Ukrainian cursing here and there. However, TV is where we stumble with licensing and quality. For one, the amount of new foreign shows is dramatically low. Sure, you can find Sherlock or Breaking Bad but those are rather popular, what about hidden gems and new premieres? Granted, we do have hundreds of Russian soap operas dubbed into Ukrainian but the only words to describe them are repetitive, boring, and cheap.
So, with Netflix making this huge deal we’re opening a new door to better content. While subtitles have been readily available, it doesn’t compare with watching a show in your native language. It’s much easier to consume media in your mother tongue, rather than investing energy in reading subtitles.
The best thing we could hope for is that this cooperation might lead into even more deals with other streaming services and companies which would help us make the cultural barriers thinner or even break them completely.