Spanish Translation Film Television
Spanish Translation Film Television
In this article I explain how I approach film and television translation.
I love translating film and television scripts.
However, it is some of the most difficult translation to perfect.
Scripts from films and television series come with their own particular idiosyncrasies.
Translating cross cultural references in films
Before embarking on a film script translation, I have to be sure I can do it justice.
I have a huge love and respect for this art form.
Films not only provide entertainment.
Additionally, they can be thought provoking and informative even if fictional.
Provided that we allow that they are indeed works of fiction nonetheless they can show us a world we do not personally know.
Films can be both country specific and yet meaningful worldwide.
Hence the film translation must really work for its target audience.
Due to this I only translate films between English Britain and Spanish Spain.
I often watch and enjoy films from other countries.
However, I need to have strong cultural reference to produce the perfect translation.
I am absolutely comfortable translating Spanish Spain films for Britain.
Having very strong ties with both countries I feel both cultures.
That does not mean that I can be complacent.
I am always humble and keen to listen to and talk with the director and writers.
Spanish Translation Film Dubbing
Dubbing is the process whereby an actor’s lines are said by another actor and language.
The correct film industry term is revoicing.
Thus a film is made in Spanish, for example.
To be shown in Britain it needs British actor’s voices.
For this to happen first the original script needs to be translated into English.
This is where I can help.
My job is to provide an accurate translation.
However, I also have to ensure that the English words fit the mouth movements that you see on screen.
That is quite difficult because English and Spanish words are often completely different.
They can be longer or shorter and of course the mouth moves differently in each language.
Producing Film subtitles
This is somewhat easier than the aforementioned dubbing or revoicing.
However, I do have to try to make sure that the length of each subtitle fits the dialogue perfectly.
It must not overlap into the next spoken line.
Each subtitle must clearly match with each utterance.
Spanish translation television scripts
Much of the script translation for films and television is very similar.
However, when translating a television series I have an extra layer to take into account.
Just like in films, the characters all have their own personalities and speech patterns.
However, when I work on a long ongoing series I have to really identity with the characters.
The script writers create the dialogue very carefully.
The type of vocabulary that each actor speaks is a part of the definition of the character that they play.
In my translation I have to be consistent with the mood or feeling of each character.
Translation of Literature for film scripts
Cinema and television films are sometimes based on works of literature.
Such works are sometimes labelled period dramas.
In theory I would find all the information that I need in the original script.
Indeed, that is often the case.
Nonetheless I do tend the also read the written work that inspired the film.
Let me explain this in practice.
A production company have made a film in Spanish of Don Quixote de La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes.
They approach me because they want me to translate their film script to English.
I do two things together.
On the one hand I read the book by Cervantes in its original Spanish.
At the same time, I read the film script in Spanish.
The key is to remember that my translation must always be faithful to the film script.
I read the original literary work as part of my research.
Thus, my understanding of said work is supportive.
It can never take over.
This is important because although I understand literature I am working for my client.
I am focussed on their specific requirements.
This is important.
Often people involved in the arts have new interpretations of classic works of literature.
They may make a film that re thinks the whole basic understanding of the original work.
As such, I set out to fully understand their interpretation and intentions.
Perhaps you might also enjoy my page on Literary Translation.