The Linguist

The Linguist 53,3

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 19 of 35

20 The Linguist JUNE/JULY FEATURES Dubbing is the unseen side of the Spanish film industry. Claire Nevill takes a closer look at the recent challenges F ilm buffs and TV enthusiasts have long cast dubbed audiovisuals into the 'sin bin', preferring to watch subtitled versions in the original language (known as versión original or VO). Spain, however, is renowned for its artistic dubbing production and first-rate sound, and its successful dubbing industry is now attempting to prove that high- quality dubbing is by no means beyond reach. 'Germany is renowned for its technical excellence in the industry, while in Spain we work a lot on the text and interpretation of the characters – we focus on the artistic part more before getting down to the technical reproduction,' explains Bruno Jordá, who has worked in the Spanish dubbing industry for almost 30 years. Jordá started out as a voice actor before moving into directing and adjusting dubbed films, and also teaches at the Barcelona dubbing school and Pompeu Fabra University. No matter where the dubbing process takes place, it relies on the same combination of actor, director and technician, but recording methods vary between countries. In Germany, the director has a separate cabin, communicating with the actor through a microphone, whereas in Spain, Italy and France, actor, director and technician work together in the studio. Mastering the technique So what is the recipe for the most seamless and profitable dubbed versions? Jordá lays the responsibility at the director's door. 'As a director you need to be aware of the whole game and know the film inside out to develop a good adaptation, choose a good cast and mix it well.' He continues: 'The actor/director relationship is fundamental to a well-dubbed version. The director should help to create the right atmosphere so that both he and the actor can reach their full potential.' When it comes to dubbing Hollywood blockbusters, the film company often sends a 'supervisor' to work alongside the director, and Stanley Kubrick has personally supervised the dubbing of his films into several foreign languages. As a director, Jordá says he has to be able to think on his feet and adapt the script when problems crop up during recording. The translator's work is seen as a draft, rather than an end-product, and it is polished and adjusted to the needs and demands of the production. 'The objective is for the dubbing to go unnoticed by the public. If they don't mention the dubbing, it's been well done. A good dubbed version should come close to the original version but it should never be the same,' he adds. James Phillips, from the US, works in Barcelona as a freelance director, script adjuster and voice actor into English. He has directed the voices for the original English versions of several animated feature films, which are then dubbed into Spanish and other regional languages. For Phillips, the secret to a successful dubbed version lies in the budget and resources behind the film. 'A big-name Hollywood film already has all the publicity machinery working in its favour, so that obviously helps the local distributor when dubbing the film into Spanish,' he says. 'Where I have seen smaller scale productions fail is in the area of promotion and advertising. I directed the voices for the Lip service IN THE STUDIO Dubbing the 2007 animated film 'Donkey Xote' (left); and studio equipment (top right)

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