AEW no habla Español
AEW has tried to market itself in Latin America by broadcasting its events in Spanish. They would be even better if they were actually in Spanish.
How would you feel watching a sporting event narrated by someone using a heavy foreign accent, bad grammar, constant mistranslations, and improper terminology to describe most aspects of the game? I am sure you are cringing just thinking about it. But we Spanish speakers don’t need to imagine it. We simply need to tune in to AEW’s TV programming every Wednesday and Friday. And yes, it is as terrible as it sounds.
No, esta sí es Unpopular jeje…
Disfruto en demasía los comentarios de AEW en Español.
Es un cague de risa, sorry pero yo si me la paso re bien.#AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/ZnGGoMEEWT
— Beyond The Ropes💥 (@Beyond_Ropes) September 22, 2022
Dasha González (known in WWE as Dasha Fuentes), Alex Abrahantes, and Alvaro Riojas make up the commentary team. None of them are native Spanish speakers. While native-level fluency is not essential for business and personal matters in a foreign country, it is expected for a high-end sporting event, especially from the second-largest pro wrestling company in the world.
Someone forgot to tell AEW, though.
Is it really that bad?
Yes, it is. Ignoring their accents, let’s analyze other parts of their flawed narration:
Everybody makes mistakes when they speak, and nervousness can bring out the worst of a broadcaster on live television. I get that. But saying “hablando sobre yo” instead of “hablando sobre mí,” “¿quién va a caer primera?” and “es tiempo de AEW” over “es hora de AEW” (at the start of every show) are phrases not even a six-year-old in Mexico would say.
#AEW con los peores comentarios en español de la historia del wrestling. Se ríen de nuestro idioma y de nuestra cultura. pic.twitter.com/aW9QRa9k7Z
— Miguel Pérez (@King_Migui) July 29, 2022
It depends on company policy whether to translate nicknames, finishers, moves, and titles as WWE does. But when the broadcasters leave these terms untranslated, they create a broadcast that’s difficult to follow for those that only speak one language. If this narration was created for non-English-speaking audiences, then all terms should be translated.
This is especially egregious with wrestling since all the shows are scripted. Broadcasters can get their hands on the script before the show starts and make notes on how to translate tricky terms, like a piledriver, for example. Because we do have a word for that, you know? It is martinete.
Terrible audio mix
Promos are essential in pro wrestling. Since they tell the story behind the matches, it is necessary to understand them to be invested in a rivalry, stipulation, or whatever is presented. When dealing with two languages, a choice has to be made – either listen to the wrestlers, or listen to the translation.
This shit is incredible…
The AEW Spanish announcers not only speak in TERRIBLE spanish, they don't translate many of the promo
Now they also spoiler signing contract, "accidentally" naming Christian Cage to speak about Brian Cage in #AEWRevolution PATHETIC @TonyKhan pic.twitter.com/ZXpca53NYl
— Khriztopher (@KhrizRulez) March 8, 2021
AEW seems to have chosen neither. The audio mix, or lack thereof, is so bad that when the wrestler talks and the commentator speak over them, everything becomes an unintelligible mess. Who are we supposed to be cheering for, exactly?
Last but not least, the AEW Spanish team got in trouble last year when Willie Urbina, who has since been released from the company, was translating a promo by the AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida. He did it by speaking in a stereotypical Japanese accent. Even after being told to stop by his partner Thunder Rosa, he kept going.
AEW has a fixable problem
Not everything is as gloomy as it seems. For all its defects in the Spanish narration, AEW’s product is awesome. Getting that fixed shouldn’t be too difficult.
Just get native Spanish speakers who know what they are doing. Latin America has A LOT of talented Lucha Libre commentators who could work well with AEW with some initial guidance. Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera are available. Just give them a call. Not only would it solve the issue, it would also do a big service to fans all over the Hispanic world.
That is just my opinion, however, hablando sobre yo.