Spanish -not Mexican- Spoken in Spain

Filmax, the Spanish producer and distributor of films, is tangled up in some bizarre fight with Mexican film maker Rigoberto Castañeda. As it turns out, Filmax is determined to dubb Mr. Castañeda’s latest film, Km 31 into Spanish… problem is, the film IS in Spanish (Mexican Spanish, that is).

The Mexican film maker this week told El País that the argument behind Filmax’ insistence in translating the film into Spain’s Spanish (from Mexican Spanish) has to do with offering a more culturally-relevant movie to Spain’s audiences… (mmm, aren’t we all speaking the same language?)

As Jon Stewart said recently a propos of Univision’s “Spanish-language” presidential debate: “mmm ¿en dónde está mi cabeza?”

5 thoughts on “Spanish -not Mexican- Spoken in Spain

  1. Good point, Eddie, in the pre-dubbed version Mel Gibson says “oi” instead of “hey.” But I think that while there’s a huge difference between Australian English and American English, the difference between Mexican Spanish and Castilian Spanish is not huge enough to warrant a dubbing. The accent is different, some words are different, but overral, you can understand what a Mexican says even if you’re not a Mexican.

  2. Generally, I agree. But there’s a big difference in the pronounciation of the sibilant ‘ce’ sound. In Castilian it becomes a ‘th’ sound – so we have, in Mexico, ‘veces’ and ‘meses’ becoming ‘vethes’ and ‘methes’ when rendered in Iberian Spanish.

    Similarly, in reverse, I don’t think that Castilian suffers the b/v confusion that Mexican Spanish suffers. Its the time of the year when I see signs here saying ‘Feliz Nabidad’ and we are asked, in our store, what sounds to my ear as ‘basos no benden?’

    Incidentally, most Americans of my acquaintance can’t tell the difference between an Australian and a Cockney Londoner. Go figure!

  3. How many movies have you seen that have been translated from one language to another or subtitled that are totally off base and lose the meaning and relevance in the translation? Yo hablo Castellano and yes there is a huge difference in slang, and other cultural naunces between Mexican Spanish and Castellano, problem will be since it was originally created in Mexican Spanish-how to make it relevant to Castellanos without viewers saying “que? or huh?”.

  4. I am from Asturias (Celtic land in north Spain) and have worked parrtime at a callcenter and parttime as translator. There were sometimes projects in which I had to mantein contact with folks from Mexico. I had to phone them just to make them several questions about their usage of media and other multi-media technologies. Who says that the language spoken in Mexico and the aunthentic Castilian (so unfairly nominated as “spanish language”) is the same??? You guys do speak out of huge ignorance. Only one who has been born in Castilla and who does speak the only Castilian language can speak up fairly and make a fear judgment over this very sensitive matter.
    I do remember evenings that I ended in fearly tears and all stressed out after talking Mexican on the phone. Only for one simple reason: we just didnt understood eachother at all. I had to change my entry several times and say the story, the reason why I was contacting them in many different ways untill they finally said: ohhhhhhh OK! Yes..Yes…of course you can interview me! The interview was not even officialy started and I was already stressed out and all my energy was gone!
    God, God, how much energy took me to try to make a normal dailogue between these people and my person! It never ever happend to me this when I used to contact regular Spaniards. The interview with my country people was always smooth, clear and mostly very very relaxing. There was clarity all the time because they spoke my language. Mexicans on the contrary….they took all my energy off untill we could finally communicate eachother. I do remember each time we had some Mexican targets all my Spanish colleges gave me the Mexican samples to me so I would phone them. Why? Because nobody wanted to do the job. They all got stressed out and they gave me all the Mexican respondants just because they knew I had a lot patience and a lot of tolerance. I always got all Mexican targets day after day and month after month untill one day I exploded in tears and quit. I’ve never came back and never wish work again in similar projects. Sorry, NO more Mexicans for me! Is over. These folks do speak their own language and they have totally and completely butchered my language: the Castilian.

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