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“Subtitling” or “Dubbing”

This weekend I watched two very interesting, although very different genre movies. One was the latest action Bond film from the renowned James bond franchise: Skyfall, and the other a drama film directed by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez: Biutiful.

Not only was the content of these films very different but also the languages. Being an English native speaker, subtitles were necessary for the Spanish movie, Biutiful.

As a visual and spoken art, movies allow us to experience a cultural diversity which would be impossible without subtitles or dubbing due to the language barrier.

Here poses the question, would the movie in the Spanish language been better if it were dubbed or would that cause it to lose its significance?

With subtitles we can continue to perceive what the director and actors wish you to experience as the movie and sound track remain unaltered and the translated words are added as a text on the screen

When dubbing, the picture itself is not modified but the soundtrack is replaced by the language of choice, where actors speak over the original dialogue.

Dubbing can drastically change the essence of a film as the intonation of the actor’s voice in the original picture is very important. Movies in this era are generally not silent films and body language + words together create the magical experience that films provide. Understandably subtitles require your full attention in order to watch, listen and read the translated words, but in this manner you are able to attain the message depicted by the director and actors.

Ironically enough “Biutiful” refers to the phonological spelling in Spanish of the English word beautiful. With this we can see how something can change when interpreted by someone other than the creator. Translations are necessary to survive and enjoy this multicultural world, but buyer beware of things getting lost in translation.

For all your dubbing/subtitling needs, please do not hesitate in visiting us at Spanish Post Production or call Trusted Translations, Inc. for a free quote.

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