Since the controversy jumped at the beginning of this week, Netflix did not want to make a statement. Neither in peninsular Spanish, nor in any other variant of the language. Nor in English. However, it has responded with an action: the company has removed the option of subtitles from the film from its platform Rome, by Alfonso Cuarón, who they translated Spanish from Mexico to Spain and that had generated doubts and criticism, in addition to the indignation of the director of the film. Alfonso Cuarón declared to EL PAÍS on Tuesday: "It is parochial, ignorant and offensive to the Spaniards themselves. Something I enjoy the most is the color and texture of other accents. It's as if Almodóvar needs to be subtitled. "
Now, the possibility of seeing Rome in pure original version only on-line, or with labels that the company calls in "Latin American Spanish". That is, they literally reflect what is said on the screen. The missing subtitles turned "angry" into "angry" or "shore" into "edge", among other examples.
In the Verdi cinemas of Madrid and Barcelona Rome will continue to include subtitles translated, which have generated so much debate. "We just wanted the majority of the audience to be able to understand the film, and that's why we always chose the original version. We do not intend to blur or cover it at all, "Sergio Morera, of the Communication, Programming and Marketing team of the Verdi cinemas, told yesterday. "From the beginning we understood that the version with Spanish subtitles was the one that facilitated the most comprehension for our viewers, so we will continue with it in our cinemas," added a spokesperson for the Europa Press news agency. subtitles for conversations in Mixtec, an indigenous language.
There remains, however, silence about the original decision of Netflix. After publishing on Wednesday the first news that opened the debate and the controversy, EL PAÍS asked the company several times why it developed these subtitles for Rome, but this one never answered. This morning, at last, the communication department contacted this newspaper to indicate that Netflix believed that the subtitles adapted to Spanish peninsular helped "the understanding of the film". Nothing said, however, of its withdrawal, which was occurring just at once.
The option of subtitles translated It is not usual on the platform. The vast majority of their Spanish and Latin American productions offer the possibility of seeing labels, but these are limited to transcribing what the characters are saying. Single coveted, a box office comedy from Peru, is one of the works that follows the same model of Rome. In fact, in this case there has been no withdrawal. The film continues offering subtitles for the moment translated: when a character shouts "wait!" the sign reads "wait!".
"It is parochial, ignorant and offensive to the Spaniards themselves," explained Cuarón to EL PAÍS on Tuesday, regarding adapted subtitles. "Something I enjoy the most is the color and texture of other accents. It's as if Almodóvar needs to be subtitled, "he added. Much earlier, on December 16, the Mexican writer based in Barcelona Jordi Soler had opened Pandora's box. "Rome is subtitled in Spanish peninsular, which is paternalistic, offensive and deeply provincial, "he wrote on Twitter, after attending the premiere of the film in theaters.
Soler put examples, how to convert "you" in "you", or "mom (the height of ridicule) in mother". The straw that broke the camel's back was the "gansito" that one of the children in the movie asks for. In Mexico, it is the mark of a chocolate cupcake. But the written translation transformed it into "hooks". In Spain, that's an appetizer with the smell of cheese and orange color. The writer's message received both support and criticism, from users who appreciated the presence of the subtitles and explained that they often missed them even for films and series from another Spanish-speaking country.
RAE academic Pedro Álvarez de Miranda had also criticized the situation after seeing the film: "You hear one thing that you understand perfectly, but you read a different one, it seems to me even a lack of confidence in the audience and their ability to understand," he said. The philologist considers "surprising and unnecessary" the subtitles in Spanish, which have also meant "a waste of time and money" for those responsible for the distribution of the tape.
"It's not about screaming in heaven either, because it's not that bad, but someone would have to tell the distributors that they are losing their time and money in some way by subtitling something that we are already understanding and that could be be shocking outside Spain, in other Spanish-speaking countries, "said the academic told Europa Press.
In any case, the academic was not "very supportive of the complaints" and insisted on the idea of "not putting the cry in the sky" with this issue. "Simply remember that it is not necessary, never has been, and of course the association of academies insist that it is a great mutual benefit the unity of the Spanish language, over diversity," he concluded.
In Mexico, Rome It is projected in theaters without subtitles (except the parts in Mixtec). These are reserved for US production, especially.