Day: August 4, 2017

Aaaand Action!: Remembering Translation and Localization in Movies and TV Shows


Conan the Barbarian (1982)


Do you remember your favorite movies and shows in your native language when you were a kid? I remember Las Tortugas Ninja (the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Los Magníficos (The A-Team) and Conan El Bárbaro (Conan the Barbarian) in Spanish and I loved them. That is, until I saw them for the first time in English. Then, everything changed. The emotions expressed in the voice over were not the same in Spanish as they were in English. Culturally, we express differently, especially over 25 years ago when social media had not had the cultural impact that it has today. Moreover, the translations were not all that accurate and localization was still taking baby steps within the industry, and unfortunately, since I knew both languages as a child, that was very disappointing. I’m sure most of you who are translators have had similar experiences when watching movies or TV shows in your downtime. If you have, you probably were not able to escape disappointment and/or frustration when you realized you could have done a better job at translating that movie or show.

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