Hi there! From a post on Spanish film translation to reminiscing about the 33rd edition of the Goya Awards, Spain’s annual film awards which were held here in Seville, this week on the Tatutrad blog it’s all about just how much we love the cinema.

The awards ceremony was held in FIBES, the Conference and Exposition Centre in Seville, which, luckily for us, is just around the corner from our translation agency.

Carrying on with the cinema theme, in this post we’re going to focus on translation in the world of cinema, namely short films with a plot that revolves around the fields of translation and interpretation. Do you know of any films in which the main character is a translator or interpreter? If not, here are some recommendations for this weekend:

  • Arrival: in this film, the interpreter has to try and communicate with some aliens to find out whether they have come to Earth in peace or whether, on the other hand, they pose a serious threat. Although it is an entirely fictional story, the complexity of contacting outer space is interesting and, one way or another, there is certain parallelism with current situations in which we humans are sometimes unable to communicate with each other, despite belonging to the same species…
  • The Interpreter: a United Nations interpreter (Nicole Kidman) accidentally overhears threats to kill an African president who is going to make a public speech. The agent responsible for protecting her starts to suspect the interpreter’s true intentions and decides to investigate. As you can imagine, the work of interpreters in the institutional field is rather complex and requires you to be very discerning and to master the established protocols to ensure a correct interpretation. In this film, intrigue is mixed with the best of our profession and the result is a highly intense thriller.
  • Lost in Translation: an actor on his way out and a young woman married to a photographer meet in Tokyo. The language and cultural barriers reflect the isolation felt by the main characters, who become more than just friends almost by chance. Although it’s not directly about translation, the film portrays the complexity of communication from a very particular point of view.

And returning to the theme of translation and our profession, film translators have a very tough job in this field, particularly in terms of translating subtitles. More and more people are choosing to watch series and films in the original language with subtitles, which is great for practising the language in question and increases demand for subtitles on internet streaming platforms.

However, in Spain, for example, there’s no denying that the almost standard option for watching foreign films is determined by dubbing. Has it never surprised you how all films are dubbed in Spain, while in other countries subtitles are more widely used? While more and more people are choosing to watch original versions with subtitles, there are professionals in the film dubbing industry in Spain who offer the highest quality results, and this continues to be the option preferred by Spaniards when going to the cinema.

Film titles are another thorny issue in film translation… At times people shake their head when they see the translation of a title. We tend to think that it’s the work of a translator, but that’s not the case. This task is usually undertaken by the marketing departments of the various film distributors, which is why the translations are more in line with marketing criteria than mere linguistic issues.

At Tatutrad, we recommend turning to professional translators whenever you require subtitling or translation services. That way, a high-quality result is ensured which will ultimately influence the audience’s satisfaction. 

We have the tools at our translation agency to undertake this task. Our translators master the subtitling software programs and strive to offer an optimal result. If you need any advice or directly want a quote for subtitling a video, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be happy to help! 

That’s all for today, we hope you like our post. May the cinema be with you!

Author: Loli Guerrero     

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loli-guerrero-rosado-364b3257/