It is important to remember that audiovisual translation is the process by which the content of audiovisuals is translated to transmit information through visual or acoustic media. In this type of translation, each word must make sense in a context, time and tone. Among the translation services is dubbing, which consists of replacing the dialogues in an audiovisual production in its original version with dialogues in another language. Trying to make it as natural as possible and that it makes sense with what is being seen in the production. It is used in movies, series, animations, etc. Below are dubbing errors that have occurred in major movies and series:
– In the movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008), in its original language the word “torch” is used, which should be translated as “flashlight” and was wrongly translated as “torch”. The error was more serious when in the film people are clearly seen holding flashlights and not torches.
– Another error occurred in the film Blade Runner (1982) the dubbing says in Spanish “I think, Sebastian, that’s what I am” when in English it is saying “I think, Sebastian, therefore I am”. The correct translation would be “I think, therefore I am”.
– In the film Matrix (1999) units were translated as “agents” instead of “units”. In addition, in the film a policeman affirms that two agents were sent and later four appear.
– In the Norwegian dubbed version of Star Wars, lightsaber was translated as “light sabers” since light was confused with “light” and was not related to light.
-In the movie Terminator Genesis there is a serious error, because when the father finds out that John is his son, he gets upset and says “Why didn’t you tell me that you are my FATHER?”. It’s clearly a serious mistake as it doesn’t make sense with what people are seeing in the movie.
– In the well-known series Friends there are also several translation errors, for example in a sentence of the character Ross he says “Why, does it look like I’m having trouble with my misshapen claw?”, this was translated by “Why than? Do you think I have a problem with my “claw fracture”?” when it should have been translated as “Why? Does it seem that I have problems with my misshapen claw? Also in another episode Chandler says “Honey, we’ve been over this”, translated by a “heaven, we already did everything”, when the ideal would have been to translate it by a “heaven, we have already talked about this”.
Undoubtedly dubbing is a job that requires a lot of responsibility, the context of production must be analyzed in the best way to be able to do a good job. Expert translators are able to avoid these mistakes and give meaning and context to the translation. This is why audiovisual producers must always make quality dubbing a priority in their productions, since it is known that one of these errors can have many consequences.