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Spanish subtitles and language

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Usually, it's the local publisher who pays for the localization and owns it. Why? Because developers don't have money to do it. Let's take Pendulo's last games, just because I work there as a writer - and do my best to help translators and recording studios. Our games are fully localized into 5-6 languages and partially into 4-5 more. Paying for all of them would eat at least 40% of our budget. And, yes, we're talking about very short budgets 'cause, as you all know, "adventure gaming died a long time ago", "the adventure community is not what it used to be" and "I'm sorry but in order to make this investment profitable I can only give you 50% of what you need to make a good game".

So... why don't local publishers share those localizations, as you say? Well, sometimes they do, but it's a rare bug in their financial engine. Why don't they do it MORE? Because, contrary the general belief, publishers don't hate developers: they're too busy hating other publishers.

Thank you for the explanation.

Lately I boot more on Mac than PC (just for working with 3dsmax and wintermute), so I played the Mac version of Hollywood Monsters 2 integrating the localiced videos and sounds from the FX version into the app store version (I own both so it was easy to figure how). With Yesterday/New York Crimes I plan to do the same, so I'm waiting for the Mac/Ipad version, but no date yet. It's a pity publishers have so limited vision... I dont talk about Mac version, but with the iPad, with so many new people (casual gamers, etc), if fully localized it can bring much more success and it's so enjoyful, and new people to the genre.

Anyway, I dont know how DF are going to do the localizations. I readed on your eurogamer.es interview that some of you are backers also (no surprise here hehee), and would like to translate DF game into spanish. I hope so, and if you can, put DF in contact with FX interactive for a "friend-price" for dubbing... as a backer I already bought the game, but I will buy it again for sure on another plataform (ipad/iphone) if it's the case.

PS. Greetings from a neighbor from C/zurita (although now living at Manuel Becerra)... dont miss the oportunity to take a wine and ropa vieja from El Sur if you dont know the place (at C/Torrecilla del Leal nearer to Anton Martín). And hehe if you ever need a 3D animator/illsutrator/programmer just ask :P

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Well, you know, I'm biased because I'm also from Argentina, but I'd rather have a game in neutral spanish so it's better for all of Latin America (two continents: Central and South America) rather than having it in Spain's spanish to satisfy just one country.

.

The ideal scenario would have two Spanish versions, that way everybody is happy. But in case this is not possible, I'm sorry but Spain have way better PC game sales than all latin America together, so you'll understand why so many games have ONLY one localization to Spanish (Spain).

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I'm from Spain, but if I can choose between English or Spanish subtitles, I'll definitively choose the English option.

I'm tired of bad translations or words that I know they were put a wrong way, so the original sense is lost.

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Well, you know, I'm biased because I'm also from Argentina, but I'd rather have a game in neutral spanish so it's better for all of Latin America (two continents: Central and South America) rather than having it in Spain's spanish to satisfy just one country.

.

The ideal scenario would have two Spanish versions, that way everybody is happy. But in case this is not possible, I'm sorry but Spain have way better PC game sales than all latin America together, so you'll understand why so many games have ONLY one localization to Spanish (Spain).

Yep. That's right.

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I think that is more important to rely on people who is doing a good job in game localization than get lost in an endless discussion about localization. There is a lot of good examples of spanish localized games: Runaway, Heavy Rain... and there are a lot of companies doing a good job in this field. One of them is the aforementioned Pendulo Studios. We must follow their path and choose Spanish (Spain).

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Interesting topic! :)

Regarding making two versions of Spanish subtitles, Spanish and Latin American... I'm afraid that wouldn't be enough. Just the same as there is no real "Neutral" Spanish, in Latin America there are too many differences between countries, so there will always be some region where the results won't be good enough. This is what I've gathered from experience (I'm a professional English>Spanish translator); even though most clients look for a solution in neutral Spanish, unless it is for very general topics and rather short texts, it just doesn't work.

I agree with getting a good localization team, and letting them make the choices. The team will have to take lots of things into account in order to choose what kind of regionalisms use or not.

PS: I sent my résumé to DF some time ago, since I'd love to be part of the localization team, but I guess they'll probably get some third party localization agency. But I can dream, right? :)

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At the end I don´t think we have a choice on it. Like I said, I don´t think DF cares that much, and anyway Tim´s writing in english (author´s original language) is mostly always the best way to experience any work of art. But this thread is very interesting, so thank you guys.

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I've always wondered. Why do some countries always dub everything they get their hands over?

Spanish, Russian, German, French (a bit), Italian (any more?)

In Norway & Scandinavia I've never experienced a movie getting dubbed unless it's a children's movie. The reason for that is that children are just learning to read, so they need the extra help in audio. So why do adults in all these other countries have such great difficulty reading? Are their literal abilities weak? Is their language more difficult? It must be something that makes people willing to sacrifice quality for more understanding.

Just curious.

It would be unfortunate if every linguistic denomination wanted regionalized voice actors.. imagine how expensive that would be on the budget.

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I've always wondered. Why do some countries always dub everything they get their hands over?

Spanish, Russian, German, French (a bit), Italian (any more?)

In Norway & Scandinavia I've never experienced a movie getting dubbed unless it's a children's movie. The reason for that is that children are just learning to read, so they need the extra help in audio. So why do adults in all these other countries have such great difficulty reading? Are their literal abilities weak? Is their language more difficult? It must be something that makes people willing to sacrifice quality for more understanding.

Just curious.

It would be unfortunate if every linguistic denomination wanted regionalized voice actors.. imagine how expensive that would be on the budget.

No need to wonder anymore, the answer is simple:

you scandinavian people are superior...

No, en serio, es un tema complejo: pienso que por un lado existe una gran tradición cultural de doblaje; el inglés ha estado menos implantado en España, Francia, Rusia, Italia o Alemania que en Escandinavia. Además, hay un elemento importante que es la conciencia de lenguajes minoritarios que hay en Escandinavia, donde el inglés es hablado por un 80% de la gente. Nosotros vemos nuestros idiomas (español, francés etc...) como idiomas "fuertes", de peso social y cultural, y por eso no es raro que queramos que los productos culturales se adapten a nuestra idiosincrasia, es decir, a nuestro idioma. ¿Es correcto? No es ese el problema, es solamente una opción. Yo personalmente prefiero las versiones subtituladas que las dobladas, pero comprendo que mucha gente en España no le gusta leer subtítulos mientras ven una peli.

Ursäkta, Shigawire, förstår du inte? Vill du ha undertexter eller ska jag ringa och berätta? ;-)

Hälsningar

No bad feelings

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Though through the pass of time I've known and liked the benefits of the original version, it is undoubtful that in visual media the "visual" part plays a great role. Thus, when you watch a movie and you have to read subtitles at the same time, you're missing a good part of the important visuals, which is the movie itself and not the subs. Of course if you dub you miss the richness of the original voices, the diversity of tones and intonations, the sound of different languages, and a good part of the players work. In a perfect world we could watch movies and other visual media in original version without subtitles, but that's not going to happen anytime soon ;)

Oh, and it is also a comercial issue. People are lazy and rather not read while watching a movie (well most people just don't want to read at all in fact :P ). Therefore dubbed movies are so much more popular than the ones in original version that exhibitors just don't work with original version copies at all.

On another hand, way more extreme is the situation in other countries, where people not only don't want to watch movies in original version, but they cannot even watch them dubbed and they make the famous "remakes", injecting a good number of cliches and the seal of their own culture, normally spoiling if not destroying completely the spirit of the original product.

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Sorry, could not read all the text, but had to make my point, so sorry if this overlaps with anyone's comment:

please, don't dub it in spanish. Just that. There will be a lot of people that can't understand english and need at least a translation, but almost any videogame dubbing done in/for spain has been a disaster. Just spend a little more in ferefecting the translation.

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I've always wondered. Why do some countries always dub everything they get their hands over?

Spanish, Russian, German, French (a bit), Italian (any more?)

Talking about Spain there is no weak abilities here hehehehe... :P

Here, lenguage is something complicated... lets say it's historical, cultural and also political. We already have enough lenguagues... spanish, galician, catalonian and vaske are the four official ones, but there are other dialets/languages. The main one is spanish and it's the lenguage learnt at school, but at the bilingual regions, spanish is also learnt later. At those regions, for example, they promote their own regional lenguage so it doesnt weak with the years (and the presure of spanish)... so all children movies are dubbed (and I'm not sure if they are required to be by law) to catalonian, for example, if they are screened there. Also a % movies in general have to be dubbed to the regional lenguage at each region.

So the key here... is... and educational one. How much time is left for english classes? did you have at school any subject completely taught in english? is your native language in anyway similar (in sintaxis/semantic) than the english lenguage? My answers are... 2hr/week at public 7hr/week at private school, no, and no. Also you have to take into consideration that, 40yrs ago, the foreign lenguage taught here was French (we are neigbors after all) and not English. And lastly, spanish is latin-based..italian, portuguese and french are readable and you can understand most of them without any knowledge (also spoken italian and portuguese, french is way harder) as we share the same roots and construction form.

And that may be the reason cause you will not find a market for non-translated entertaiment here...and with every movie dubbed, we built a strong dubbing industry with great professionals, that over the years dub the same actor/actress. We all know who is the spanish voice of Bruce Willis. The only problem is with game publishers that dont want to spend so much money for a emerging market like videogames and go lowcost with poorer quality voices or no dubbing at all.

But when you're talking about adventure games, when the hints and your goals are explained with loooots of text, you must understand it or you'll never advance. And if you cant advance, then, you dont like it, and never try again another non-translated adventure. And the casual, more adult market (to which adventure games target)... is faaaar away from any english knowledge and so used to spanish voices in movies and tv that I can see them avoiding any non full translated adventure game.

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Though through the pass of time I've known and liked the benefits of the original version, it is undoubtful that in visual media the "visual" part plays a great role.

+1

If you are reading subtitles you are missing everything else. I always say, that in entertaiment what you are paying for is for the experience. I want the same full experience.... with all the explosions, bullets and agressive talking usual of adventure games... err... you get what I mean hehe.

*Fate of atlantis had a lot of lava... and explosions hehe*

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No need to wonder anymore, the answer is simple:

you scandinavian people are superior...

-snip-

something in spanish

-snip-

Ursäkta, Shigawire, förstår du inte? Vill du ha undertexter eller ska jag ringa och berätta? ;-)

Hälsningar

No bad feelings

Yes, I feel proud to have the special ability to read my own language without having dubbed audio.

I don't think you got the point. The point was, why do people need dubbing when they already have subtitles?

Are people so insecure in their own tongue, that they need audio + subtitles? What's wrong with just subtitles?

Would you watch an Akira Korusawa movie dubbed to Swedish or Spanish, or would you be satisfied with the subtitles?

Momomomo

Thank you. That's far more intelligible information. Cultural it seems.

On another hand, way more extreme is the situation in other countries, where people not only don't want to watch movies in original version, but they cannot even watch them dubbed and they make the famous "remakes", injecting a good number of cliches and the seal of their own culture, normally spoiling if not destroying completely the spirit of the original product.

Yes! The best (worst) must be the Turkish Star Wars, and Superman movies.

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In Norway & Scandinavia I've never experienced a movie getting dubbed unless it's a children's movie. The reason for that is that children are just learning to read, so they need the extra help in audio.

Same in Latin America if you are interested in knowing the fact. But they do subtitle everything.

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In Norway & Scandinavia I've never experienced a movie getting dubbed unless it's a children's movie. The reason for that is that children are just learning to read, so they need the extra help in audio.

Same in Latin America if you are interested in knowing the fact. But they do subtitle everything.

That's good to hear. Everyone has subtitles for foreign productions, but not every nation dubs everything.

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Let me disagree a bit with Momomomo (sorry man!)

Since the birth of talkies in 1929, all foreign movies came into Spain in its original version with Spanish subtitles, but then we had a Civil War in 1936 which ended in a fascist dictatorship from 1939 to 1975. The regime feared dangerous ideas could come with cinema, so they made a law during the early 40s: all foreign movies should be dubbed. This way, the censors could rewrite whole parts of the script so they matched the regime ideology. The side effect is that the Spanish moviegoers could not hear films in their original version during almost 40 years... after that time, it's difficult to get people out of such a comfortable habit.

(Trivia: 3 examples of that rewriting.

- Casablanca:

Original: Bogart says he fought in the Spanish Civil War against the fascist troops.

Spanish: Bogart says he fought against the Nazis in Austria.

- The Lady of Shangai:

Original: Orson Welles says he killed a fascist in Murcia (Spain)

Spanish: Orson Welles says he killed a spy in Tripoli.

- 55 Days in Peking:

Original: Ava Gardner dies hopeless saying that God doesn't care about humanity and that love is a lie.

Spanish: Ava Gardner dies full of hope saying that God is merciful and that love has made her life worth it.

More? Check out Ladri di Biciclette, Les 400 Coups, Mogambo...)

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Well, you know, I'm biased because I'm also from Argentina, but I'd rather have a game in neutral spanish so it's better for all of Latin America (two continents: Central and South America) rather than having it in Spain's spanish to satisfy just one country.

.

The ideal scenario would have two Spanish versions, that way everybody is happy. But in case this is not possible, I'm sorry but Spain have way better PC game sales than all latin America together, so you'll understand why so many games have ONLY one localization to Spanish (Spain).

Yeah, you're probably right. It's a shame because we're kinda forced to pirate games because of stupid taxes that our stupid government puts on imports, but that's a topic for another time.

I rather get the game and the documentary in english with english subtitles anyway, so it doesn't affect me as much.

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After reading this thread I think the solution I like the most is to have several subtitle languages (different spanish versions would be nice) with a way for players to modify/patch their preferred modifications.

I am used to playing games in english, but when I think about it it's mainly because of bad translations (I know it is difficult to translate puns and double meanings as many have stated in this thread).

There are many examples online of crowdsourced translations (Facebook?) and translation tools (dotsub.com), so I believe there should be a practical solution that solves most of the translation issues discussed here.

I'm from Mexico, in case it matters.

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In the surveys I've seen the "Latinoamerican spanish" as an option for the documentary, as well as a "spanish" option.

So maybe this whole discussion is piontless.

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I left this a couple of days and is a complete mess.

If I bought a game that is dubbed to Spanish and I must listen the Spanish from Spain, all the game lose the right feeling. For me, Latin American speaker.

If the game is english speaked and subtitle Spanish, it would be great for ME, in my opinion, do not read words like VALE (means ok) or COGER (means pick up) that are only used in spain as slang word. Because they have also "TOMAR" (pickup also) and BIEN OR BUENO ( good or all right)

Is only in subtitles because is awful hear, for me, dubbed games in Spanish. Have de ps3 and a lot of games automatically switch to spanish.. Puaj! I switch all system to English and then I got the English version of the game.

Besides, the Spanish version of homer from the Simpsons is like homer speaking in British English. It simple couldn't be.

I think this is the only language that has the problem neither French or German or Italian have this situation, that's why I like to discuss here.

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Let me disagree a bit with Momomomo (sorry man!)

hahaha dont mind :P

I was just figuring it out.. I didnt take into consideration the civil war and censorship of the day...

Anyway now that the survey ask directly about your primary language to the full set of backers we only have to wait for official stats :) and... there were castilian spanish, latin spanish and hmmm... just spanish... from any other region? i nearly picked this option until I saw there were more.

Because they have also “TOMAR”
Hmmmm no. Well I mean yes, we understand "tomar" (it's used in castillian spanish), like we understand most of the latin spanish-only words (most of them comes from ancient spanish or are synonyms not used anymore). But for pick up the right verb is "coger". I know that in latin spanish you pick up... er... "other things" hehehehee :) but here "tomar" is used more in a "have a drink" or "eat something" context.

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I left this a couple of days and is a complete mess.

If I bought a game that is dubbed to Spanish and I must listen the Spanish from Spain, all the game lose the right feeling. For me, Latin American speaker.

If the game is english speaked and subtitle Spanish, it would be great for ME, in my opinion, do not read words like VALE (means ok) or COGER (means pick up) that are only used in spain as slang word. Because they have also "TOMAR" (pickup also) and BIEN OR BUENO ( good or all right)

Is only in subtitles because is awful hear, for me, dubbed games in Spanish. Have de ps3 and a lot of games automatically switch to spanish.. Puaj! I switch all system to English and then I got the English version of the game.

Besides, the Spanish version of homer from the Simpsons is like homer speaking in British English. It simple couldn't be.

I think this is the only language that has the problem neither French or German or Italian have this situation, that's why I like to discuss here.

It's equally painful for us spanish to have to hear some dubbings with latin american voices or subs, with all the people talking with vos or ustedes instead of tu and vosotros, or "el mesero de la cantina estaba platicando con las chiquitas que estaban tomando y le decia 'qué hacen ustedes de luego'"....

also, why in latin america they call Homer "Homero"... it's just strange

so, all that applies for us also applies for you, don't come thinking yours is the only valid point of view. Also, I put the dubbing in english in every game I can, even if it is spanish english, just because all spanish dubbing for games is just bad. They don't want to spend enough money to make good dubbings so that's how it always end up as.

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I left this a couple of days and is a complete mess.

If I bought a game that is dubbed to Spanish and I must listen the Spanish from Spain, all the game lose the right feeling. For me, Latin American speaker.

If the game is english speaked and subtitle Spanish, it would be great for ME, in my opinion, do not read words like VALE (means ok) or COGER (means pick up) that are only used in spain as slang word. Because they have also "TOMAR" (pickup also) and BIEN OR BUENO ( good or all right)

Is only in subtitles because is awful hear, for me, dubbed games in Spanish. Have de ps3 and a lot of games automatically switch to spanish.. Puaj! I switch all system to English and then I got the English version of the game.

Besides, the Spanish version of homer from the Simpsons is like homer speaking in British English. It simple couldn't be.

I think this is the only language that has the problem neither French or German or Italian have this situation, that's why I like to discuss here.

¿"Coger" is a slang word?

It is by far the most used word for "pick up" in Spain.

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¿"Coger" is a slang word?

It is by far the most used word for "pick up" in Spain.

yeah, that too. that is the original meaning of the word, but latin americans laugh at us as if we're saying something funny even when it's them who changed the meaning of the word. people, the sexual definition is the 31st one on the RAE dictionary for coger, it's definitely not the main definition even if you don't use the other 31, including pick up, collect, take, catch, occupy, understand, learn and choose.

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Let me disagree a bit with Momomomo (sorry man!)

Since the birth of talkies in 1929, all foreign movies came into Spain in its original version with Spanish subtitles, but then we had a Civil War in 1936 which ended in a fascist dictatorship from 1939 to 1975. The regime feared dangerous ideas could come with cinema, so they made a law during the early 40s: all foreign movies should be dubbed. This way, the censors could rewrite whole parts of the script so they matched the regime ideology. The side effect is that the Spanish moviegoers could not hear films in their original version during almost 40 years... after that time, it's difficult to get people out of such a comfortable habit.

(Trivia: 3 examples of that rewriting.

- Casablanca:

Original: Bogart says he fought in the Spanish Civil War against the fascist troops.

Spanish: Bogart says he fought against the Nazis in Austria.

- The Lady of Shangai:

Original: Orson Welles says he killed a fascist in Murcia (Spain)

Spanish: Orson Welles says he killed a spy in Tripoli.

- 55 Days in Peking:

Original: Ava Gardner dies hopeless saying that God doesn't care about humanity and that love is a lie.

Spanish: Ava Gardner dies full of hope saying that God is merciful and that love has made her life worth it.

More? Check out Ladri di Biciclette, Les 400 Coups, Mogambo...)

This seems more convincing argument to me. So many years of fascism is bound to inculcate certain ways of thinking into the cultural psyche. That's what I've thought is the reason for so much dubbing throughout. Latent or post-nationalism, old habits. etc

Nothing to do with "inferior" or "superior"

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There was no fascism in France and they dub. People who live in big countries with major languages are just less prone to speak other languages. And also think that Spain is a peninsula.

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Let me disagree a bit with Momomomo (sorry man!)

Since the birth of talkies in 1929, all foreign movies came into Spain in its original version with Spanish subtitles, but then we had a Civil War in 1936 which ended in a fascist dictatorship from 1939 to 1975. The regime feared dangerous ideas could come with cinema, so they made a law during the early 40s: all foreign movies should be dubbed. This way, the censors could rewrite whole parts of the script so they matched the regime ideology. The side effect is that the Spanish moviegoers could not hear films in their original version during almost 40 years... after that time, it's difficult to get people out of such a comfortable habit.

(Trivia: 3 examples of that rewriting.

- Casablanca:

Original: Bogart says he fought in the Spanish Civil War against the fascist troops.

Spanish: Bogart says he fought against the Nazis in Austria.

- The Lady of Shangai:

Original: Orson Welles says he killed a fascist in Murcia (Spain)

Spanish: Orson Welles says he killed a spy in Tripoli.

- 55 Days in Peking:

Original: Ava Gardner dies hopeless saying that God doesn't care about humanity and that love is a lie.

Spanish: Ava Gardner dies full of hope saying that God is merciful and that love has made her life worth it.

More? Check out Ladri di Biciclette, Les 400 Coups, Mogambo...)

This seems more convincing argument to me. So many years of fascism is bound to inculcate certain ways of thinking into the cultural psyche. That's what I've thought is the reason for so much dubbing throughout. Latent or post-nationalism, old habits. etc

Nothing to do with "inferior" or "superior"

Sorry, but as tempting as it can be blaming the bad guys for everything, that's not completely right. It's true that after the Civil War dubbing got kind of reinforced in Spain, but before the war there already existed a dubbing industry. Actually, when talkies started, there were attempts to "remake" some films with Spanish, German, etc. actors, to make those films more accesible to non-English speakers, mainly from Latin America and Europe, as the audience had begun to decrease (rather than increase as everybody had expected - you know, like "everybody will want to see the new technologies"). Those "remakes" were almost frame-by-frame copies, shot in the same sets and with the same clothes and props. A well-known example is the Spanish version of Tod Browning's "Dracula" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula_(Spanish-language_version)). The problem was that those versions were too expensive, and that's why they decided to dub. Why not subtitles? Well, in those years there was still a high number of illiterate people, or people who were able to read but not fast enough to follow a film (intertitles in silent movies were much slower). Actually, even for people who seemed to prefer subtitles those weren't an option sometimes. A good example are Marx Brothers' films. In these films they always speak too fast and there are too many jokes to put everything in the subtitles. I don't know about other countries, but in Spain the Marx Brothers became actually popular only after their films were dubbed. (By the way, "A Night in the Opera" was translated, for dubbing, by Miguel Mihura - a well-known, for Spaniards, comedy writer - in 1935, so before the war.)

So while it's true that during the dictatorship dubbing could be used to help the censorship, that's neither the only nor the main reason why we have dubbed films (and series, etc.) now. After all, there was no dictatorship after 1945 in Germany or Italy (and not so many years of fascism either), nor in France. Dubbing was, however, more used to promote the idea of a nation, what can still be seen nowadays in Spain in those regions with own languages. Right now, in my opinion, the only reason has to do with old habits (you can discard any kind of Spanish nationalism as I haven't seen a less patriotic country than Spain), and with the fact that there is a well settled industry, so as long as it is profitable it will still work. (That, by the way, is in my opinion one of the reasons why only bigger countries dub: dubbing for a small number of people wasn't profitable, hence no industry starting in the past and no habits & settled industry in the present day.)

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