Spanish Translation Blog: Spanish Translation US » Blog Archive » Lights….Camera….ACTION!!!

Lights….Camera….ACTION!!!

It’s summer time here in the US and going to the movies is a great American pastime. The act of watching a movie is a release from the daily grind, an excursion, a mini vacation for the family.

Globalization and technology now allows movies to be simultaneously released all over the world. For example, the new Batman movie was released in over 40 countries in the same week. Of course, it’s not a cost effective option to dub movies into 40+ languages. This is where subtitling comes in.

Subtitles are textual versions of the dialog in films displayed at the bottom of the screen. They can either be a form of written translation of a dialog in a foreign language or a written rendering of the dialog in the same language.

Subtitles have to be “invisible”. The titles should give people the impression that they understand the characters speaking, not reading words on the screen.

Translating one language into another in the course of a film is challenging and has limitations that apply to dubbing and subtitling. Unlike literature which has the safety net of footnotes, film subtitlers have to make it work in the moment, all while trying to adapt wordplay and cultural references.

At the Cannes Film Festival, in the span of 10 days, some 65 films from 34 countries will be shown. All of these movies will be subtitled in English, French or both. Subtitles allow non-native viewers to follow the stories are crucial because no matter how flashy or impressive a movie may be; it’s the subtitles that can stifle or showcase its quality.

Hence, we conclude that subtitles remain an unsung yet essential tool of movie going. And with technology improvements, more people speaking foreign languages and the modern habit of multi-tasking, the traditional aversion to watching a film while reading it just might be on the wane.

No tags for this post.

Tags: