Los Increibles

Cool News reports on some fairly sophisticated movie localization at Disney. The studio recently dubbed its hit movie The Incredibles for Argentina using well-known local personalities.

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    This extra Argentine effort was a first for Disney, which “began dubbing specific versions of its films for Mexico, its fifth largest market,” only two years ago. The studio also began dubbing “two additional versions in ‘neutral’ Spanish, one for Central America — including Colombia, Venezuela and Peru — and another for the Southern Cone countries of Argentina, Uruaguay, Paraguay and Chile.”

Note that a “neutral” Spanish is not without its risks. Many a marketer is lured by the prospect of a “one size fits all” language because they stretch their translation/dubbing budgets. What translators do in these cases is attempt to remove any truly local phrases, slang and so on. The danger of a neutral language is that it can end up sounding generic, which might work just fine for an instruction manual but not so with a film. Sometimes less neutral is more interesting.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.