Dubbing: the eternal debate

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If you're a Spanish speaker you're in luck, since you speak one of the three most spoken languages in the world, and that always has to be an advantage for something, well, it's supposed to. However, there is a tricky issue that brings many Spanish speakers around the world to their senses. It's something that can get us crazy when we download a movie and find out that ¡Horror! The film is in Latin Spanish. Or maybe the other way around, it turns out that we are from Latin America and we downloaded that movie... in Spanish from Spain! With how hard that accent sounds.

Well, without wanting to get into the debate about what is the best dubbing, the first thing I must say is that if you downloaded on platforms like Elitetorrent this would not happen, since they have both versions of dubbing of the same movie, and also differentiate well before you download them. And if you also dare to watch the movies and series in V.O. you are not going to have these problems either. So now you have an easy and quick solution to overcome the trauma: Elite Torrent. If you still like the eternal war of dubbing, read on.


Film dubbing emerged in Europe in the late 1920s with the advent of sound cinema. Dubbing was the form adopted by some countries to exert control, and in a way censorship, over foreign films that were projected, and at the same time a way to reinforce one's identity through language. The countries where this type of practice was most common were Spain, Germany, France and Italy.


In Spain the dubbing of films became widespread in 1932, when the Second Republic introduced it in Madrid and Barcelona. After the Civil War, dubbing was reinforced by a regulation enacted based on Mussolini's Law for the Defense of the Language, which was intended to control censorship and was based on nationalism through linguistic identity, promoting Spanish to the detriment of the other national languages: Catalan, Basque and Galician. This regulation was also adopted by Italy, Germany and France.


However, with the arrival of television in Spain, most animated series and films were shown with Latin dubbing. This was due to several reasons, among which were the working conditions in Spanish dubbing studios. Neither was much attention paid to this type of product, since they were considered for children, and therefore of worse quality.


In Latin America dubbing began in the golden age of Mexican cinema during the Second World War, when Hollywood began to invest money in Mexican cinema. In 1938, Disney Pictures launched its first movie entirely in Spanish: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This was dubbed in the United States.  

The first Spanish dubbing contained a strange mixture of accents from different regions of Latin America and Spain. They depended largely on the actors and director of the moment, since the institutionalized role of the dubbing actor did not yet exist. The first large dubbing studio in Latin America was opened in Buenos Aires. The first film dubbed entirely in that studio was Dumbo.


In 1942, Metro Goldwyn Mayer sent the first cast of dubbing actors to Mexico City from New York, to dub their films for all of Latin America. Most of the dubbing done in Mexico was done for all the Spanish speaking countries of the world, which also included Spain.


From the 80's onwards, an attempt was made to standardize the Spanish used in dubbing studios, and what came to be known as neutral Spanish was introduced, a unified accent for the Hispanic American market that imposed a low tone with euphemisms and without twists or musicality.



There are obvious differences between Spanish dubbing and Latin dubbing, from the expressions, the words used, to the intonation in the sentences.


Spanish dubbing is known for using words that are very typical of Spanish, very colloquial expressions in Spain that are foreign to Latin American listeners. Some criticize the introduction of idioms that distance it from the subject matter and the original language. In addition, films or series are now dubbed in Spain into the co-official languages of Galician, Catalan and Basque, in an attempt to restore the damage done by years of oppression and to recover the language and culture of the historical regions that make up Spain. The level of Spanish dubbing is considered to be among the best in the world.


In Latin America, a single dubbing is performed for the entire Latin American market by actors from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile...

Mexican dubbing has been described as the best, although the attempt at neutral Spanish makes it alien to the entire Spanish-speaking community, and in reality the supposed neutrality often disappears with the appearance of numerous idioms that can confuse the Spanish-speaking viewer. This is a common trend in dubbing done in Latin America, although concessions are made from time to time.


To be a good dubbing actor or actress it is not enough to have a good voice, you must also know how to transmit emotions, faithfully reproduce what is shown on screen, have the ability to change the interpretative register, sense of meter and a good memory. In reality, a voice actor or actress is only different from a normal actor or actress because he or she does not have to have any particular physique.


In fact, the controversy between which dubbing is better is something that will never cease, since it depends on what our ears are used to, and not so much on the professionalism of those who have performed the dubbing. That's why if you decide to download free movies in Spanish, try to make sure you do it in the Spanish you want to hear. If you want to download free movies in Latin Spanish, Elitetorrent is the right place for you. And if you are tired of so much debate, join those of us who choose to watch everything in V.O., who have controversy is because they want to.

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