Should TV Shows Use Spanish Voice Overs?




Should TV Shows Use Spanish Voice Overs?


TV shows regularly employ voice overs to explain a specific plot point or to provide dubbing for foreign TV shows. A recent idea is to have certain shows broadcast with Spanish voice overs. It’s something which has been done with some success in other countries, such as in the US which has a strong Spanish-speaking population.


Is it a good idea to bring in the use of a Spanish voice over on UK shows, though?


Language Learning


Using voice overs exposes us to different languages. It’s something we sorely lack in the UK. It isn’t our fault. We live on an island and are largely isolated from Europe with our conservative views. The government wants to change this, though. This would go a long way to getting people associated with other languages.


It was already done quite successfully with Dora the Explorer. This TV show for children used Spanish heavily to help them learn the basics of this language. One of the main factors in how we treat languages is whether we were exposed to them from a young age.


This is definitely a reason to use voice overs in Spanish.


Why Spanish?


We do have to question why we have to choose Spanish exclusively. The first reason is because it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It isn’t just based on the numbers, though. Lots of people speak Arabic and Mandarin, but this doesn’t mean they’re more important.


Spanish is spread around the world. It isn’t concentrated in a single location. You can find large groups of Spanish speakers in the US, Mexico, Spain, and in South America.


It isn’t about learning any old language. It’s about becoming acquainted with one spoken around the world on a regular basis.


Preserving the Culture


When we watch foreign TV shows in the UK, we regularly have the cultural references and accents glossed over. They’re transformed into English so audiences can better relate to them. On one hand, this is a fantastic thing as it enables TV networks to market an array of foreign TV shows to a British audience. But it destroys the original culture.


We’ve encountered this debate before in the anime community. Some anime fans claim the elimination of the Japanese and replacing all the actors with English ones takes away from the ambience and emotional intensity of the original version.


The same thing applies to shows from Spanish-speaking countries. Instead, we could keep a Spanish voice over and use subtitles. Some would say this ruins the enjoyment of watching TV, but people would soon grow used to it.


Gradual Shift


It would be wrong to start using voice overs in Spanish immediately. Since Britain hasn’t yet become accustomed to hearing lots of different languages in their daily lives it only makes sense to introduce it gradually.


Overall, using Spanish more in our lives would enable us to become more open and understand things more. It would lead to people becoming unhappy about the change, but there’s no reason why perceptions can’t change over a period of time.


Gwent Teel is an expert when it comes to providing useful information about Spanish voice over.

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