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Happy Feet [ Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 17:16 ]
ursine1
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |recumbentrecumbent]

Last weekend Ruben and I watched Happy Feet at my piso. Naturally the DVD was purchased in Spain so the first thing we did was to check the available languages and subtitles before watching the film. We usually select the versión original, unless it is not in a language that either of us know. Then subtitles are chosen in another language. Sometimes a Spanish film will only have castellano audio available and no English subtitles. In that case I choose castellano subtitles as well. My castellano is good enough that I sometimes ask Ruben about the disparity between what is spoken and what is displayed as subtitles.

Back to Happy Feet. We were surprised to see that both castellano and català were offered for both audio and subtitles. This usually means that the Generalitat kicked in some money for the dubbing and subtitles since the market for Catalán speakers is not that large, Andorra included.

We chose English for the audio, since it was the versión original. For me it makes a difference when I am able to hear the specific voices that they chose for the animated characters. Ruben selected català for the subtitles. This also allows me to learn, or at least recognize, more conversational Catalán.

The last surprise we got was during the credits at the end of the film. There is usually a subtitle for the producer and language of the subtitles. In this case it said “CATALAN SPANISH”, which is offensive to some people who live here. It should have said just “CATALAN”. Here in Spain they often will use the term “Castilian Spanish”, which is correct, since it differs from conversational Latin American Spanish, which is a much larger viewing market.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 16:40 (UTC)
I happened to catch some of that at my sister's on Christmas Day, as it was a gift to my nephews. I think I would've found it about 400 times more worthwhile with Catalan subtitles. Dubbing would've been interesting, too, if only to see what they did with the ethnic accents of the various groups of penguins. Do the rockhoppers sound like xarnegos?
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 16:54 (UTC)

Dubbing would've been interesting

Actually they don't often do ethnic accents. It is a bit disconcerting for me when they use someone who is obviously not black dub for the same. Also they sometimes use a child-like voice for a late teenager/young adult. This is especially annoying when it's a sex scene.

Happy Feet did use a lot of different ethnic voices as the credits revealed.

Another interesting thing is that although the English version of Shrek used Antonio Banderas' voice, the Spanish version did not. I guess he costs too much. By the way, have you seen La ley del deseo which was Banderas' first explicitly gay role?

Chuck
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 17:44 (UTC)
You must delight as much as I do in asking people, "You love Banderas? Hey, did you know there's a film where he takes it up the butt?"

It's been a while since I watched either, but I still prefer Matador to La ley del deseo.
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 22:28 (UTC)
I saw that scene when I was 11 with my parents...
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 22:32 (UTC)
...and the rest is history!
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 23:11 (UTC)
Oh, nope... They were ultra-cool. In the sense that they faked a "we're a modern liberal family that shows no negative reactions to any sex whatsoever"
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 22:28 (UTC)
They don't use ethnic accents for several reasons. First of all, because they have enough trouble getting the actors to speak correct catalan. TV3 believes that they're predicating, so they must keep the standard as pure as possible (to which I say HA, quite a number of times).

Then, remember that we use accents to make fun of other people. It would be considered rude if we used a valencian for jokes, or a majorcan for snobbish. It'd be considered barcelonian "centralisme" and politically incorrect
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 22:49 (UTC)
Well, it's not exactly PC to give all your humourous sidekicks Chicano accents in an American film, so that would be quite appropriate.

Do you know the comic artist Ralf König? His Bullenklöten tells the story of a torrid affair between a gay German and a straight-identified Andalusian guest worker. In the German original, "Ramón" speaks imperfect German of the type associated with foreign workers (a.k.a. "Gastarbeiterdeutsch"). At one point, the German and his close friend even mock it ("Er nix mache mit Männer?"). But a friend who read the French translation (Couilles de taureau) told me that in that version the Andalusian's French is indistinguishable from that of the other characters. I don't really think this is because the French are more sensitive to minority issues than the Germans, rather it's probably just laziness on the part of the translator(s)/editor(s).

(If you've read the Spanish version, Huevos de toro, I'd love to know what they do with his dialogue--particularly as he lapses into Spanish at moments of passion.)
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 23:13 (UTC)
I have that comic and I know personally the guy who translated it from German (Vladimir Padrós)

It's a sort of standard andalusian but without showing any kind of disrespect (the lost of the intervocallic "d", some way of conjugating verbs...) Vladi told me that he had an awful time doing that because he couldn't make fun of the andalusian accent (which in Spain is used to make jokes).
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 23:34 (UTC)
It's a particular problem in Spanish, I imagine, since having a native Spaniard use broken Spanish would seem to imply some sort of mental deficiency whereas having him speak broken German merely implies that he hasn't had much time to learn it properly.
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 23:37 (UTC)
Well, add the fact that Germans tend to look over our shoulders... (like everybody north of the Pyrenees), so they could be politically incorrect with a southern spaniard.
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 02 Jan 08 | 23:55 (UTC)
I don't know that it's necessarily "politically incorrect" to depict a character as speaking the way he would actually speak. It seems odder to me, in fact, to have a working-class immigrant without any higher education who's only been in the country for a short while speaking the same flawless colloquial language as everyone around him. If you had a similar tale set in the USA, I wouldn't think it belittling to have the Mexican bracero speaking less-than-perfect English. In fact, anything else would require some explanation to make it plausible.

By the same token, imagine a romance between, say, a British holidaymaker and a local man. Would it be un-PC or simply realistic to saddle the Brit with a heavy English accent on his Spanish and a limited vocabulary?
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Thursday, 03 Jan 08 | 10:11 (UTC)
The thing is that foreign characters only have an accent but by no means, this can be a source for jokes. It's considered very tacky and unpolite (this doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, but it's very scarse). One thing is respecting the accent and other thing is treating the person as an idiot (I'd say, someone only good for sex), as Bullballs treats Ramon.

But you'll never see on a dubbed film, or even a translated book, anything related to accents. And you'd be amazed how mexicans speak in dubbed films here...
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Thursday, 03 Jan 08 | 17:19 (UTC)
I agree with you completely about the stereotypical, festishised characterisation of Ramón, but I think that's separable from the linguistic issue. You could've given him the same grammatical quirks and yet made him a more complex and realistic character--and for all I know that's what König does in the sequels, which I haven't read yet. For instance, Saferer Zeiten (La noche más loca) has a Dutch stud with as much or more depth as Ramón who also speaks less-than-perfect German.

Out of curiosity, what other comic titles has Vladi translated?
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Friday, 04 Jan 08 | 08:25 (UTC)
Again... A Dutchman is easier to be portrayed as a peer rathern than a horny Andalusian. Call it a topic if you want (actually current Mr. Bear Germany is Dutch, go figure).


In favour of König, I should say that the greek character in Super Paradise is far nicer.

If I remember right, all but the last 4 ones published in Spain were translated by him (oh, I forgot to mention that he's a bear). We have about 90% of König's work available in Spanish and only 20% in Catalan (also translated by Vladimir, who is from here)
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Friday, 04 Jan 08 | 15:43 (UTC)
Crec que tot just acabo d'enamorar-me d'ell, fins i tot sense que'l vegi! Pots presentar-m'hi, oi?
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[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Wednesday, 09 Jan 08 | 17:44 (UTC)
És tan dolent el meu català? Doncs, pots dir-li que sóc un geni amb l'alemany!
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 09 Jan 08 | 19:03 (UTC)
Que va! És boníssim... Però ara no sé com trobar-lo. He donat la veu perquè es posi en contacte amb mi!
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