One of the more fun projects I’ve worked on lately was a documentary, in Spanish, about samba in Colombia.

Samba is the music and dance made famous by Carnaval in Brazil, but it’s so much fun that there are samba groups all over the world.

I play in a samba group in Adelaide, and one of my friends from the band made a documentary about it before he left Colombia to start life in Adelaide.


The film is about to be screened in Bogotá, Rio and Adelaide. Being from Colombia, it’s in Spanish, so a version with English subtitles was needed to gain an audience in Australia. This is where I could help. My friend transcribed the dialogue, which is quite colloquial, and then translated it into English. The translation need to be edited and shortened to be ready to add to the film as subtitles. This was the first time I’d been involved in this sort of project, and I really enjoyed it.

Apart from playing in a samba group, one of my other interests is learning Spanish, which I’ve been doing for many years. Until recently, its only practical application had been for travelling, for reading books that haven’t yet been translated into English (it’s so much more satisfying to be able to read a book in its original language), and for making me think about grammar and words even more than I would otherwise.  It’s certainly the first time I could say I’ve earnt money from it! As part of preparing the text for the subtitles, at times I needed to refer to the original Spanish transcription. It was a fun team effort!

A Samba Journey

If you’d like to come along to the Adelaide screening of A Samba Journey/Samba en las Alturas, it’ll be at the Mercury Cinema, Wednesday April 6 at 7pm. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $10 + a small booking fee through Eventbrite. There will be a live performance by SaSamba as well, so bring your dancing shoes!

SaSamba performs at corporate and community events regularly, as well as at private functions.

If you need help with documents translated from Spanish to English, let me know.