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This volume is of particular relevance to literary and filmic translators, to translation theorists and to anyone with an interest in translation as an art. Throughout the majority of essays in the volume, translation is projected as a complex creative task and not as an exercise in simply re-encoding the meaning of a source text. The received superiority of the original is ultimately questioned here. The customary binary divide between original and translation or copy, and between author and translator is forcefully challenged as cinematic and literary translation is presented as an essentially creative process. Whether highlighting specific author-related problems or whether focusing on the broader issues of the ethics of translation, of cultural transmissibility or of obsolescence, the general thrust of these essays seeks to demonstrate the authorial credentials of the translator. Despite the cogent counter-arguments advanced by a minority of the contributors, the dominant discourse here is one which replaces the stereotypical, virtually anonymous translator with a high-profile, creative figure.


Veronica Bonsignori, Silvia Bruti and Silvia Masi

Greetings, leave-takings and good wishes are usually regarded as variously 'complex' expressions because of the array of socio-pragmatic meanings that are associated with them (cf. Coulmas 1979) and consequently represent an area of potential difficulty in translation. The present work builds on the premises of previous research (Bonsignori, Bruti & Masi 2011) and describes translating trends for greetings and leave-takings in film language and in translation. Relevant issues in translating trends especially concern the asymmetry of 'good forms', the coherence of register across turns and between characters, along with peculiar choices pertaining to idiolect and connoted slang varieties. Leave-takings, in particular, include 'formulae' with different degrees of 'fixity' as well as a vast range of expressions of phatic communion, which are here distinguished into two subsets. The present analysis is based on a corpus of fifteen recent films, where language varies diatopically, diachronically and diastratically. A pilot reference corpus containing five original Italian films is exploited to investigate the phenomena at issue in original (i.e. not translated) Italian film dialogue.


Maria Freddi

This contribution reports on a research project aimed at identifying frequent phraseology in both original and translated filmic speech. Findings based on the Pavia Corpus of Film Dialogue, a parallel corpus of original British and American film dialogues and their dubbed Italian versions, are presented and discussed with a view to showing how corpus methods can be of use to audiovisual translation (AVT). It is argued that, on the one hand, corpus investigations provide a deeper understanding of film dialogue and the ways in which such dialogue functions. On the other, quantitative information gleaned from observation of translators' recurrent behaviour can help pinpoint linguistic and translational areas that are specific to the genre and, consequently, develop translators' awareness, improve translation quality and thus foster alignment with acceptability standards.


Anna Vermeulen

This contribution focuses on the problem of translating heterolingualism in audiovisual translation (AVT). At first sight, AVT seems to offer the perfect opportunity to maintain the use of different languages in a film. In the subtitled versions, the other languages always remain present since the original soundtrack is not replaced and translations are rendered in the subtitles, whereas in dubbed versions the other languages can be rendered by the dubbing actor or narrator in the foreign language and also be translated in subtitles. Thus, viewers who can distinguish between foreign languages and who are not distracted from listening by reading the subtitles can easily notice code switching. However, as this case study shows, it is not as simple as that. Depending on the meaning and the relevance of heterolingualism in the context on the one hand, and the target audience's views on foreign languages and cultures on the other, the translators/adaptors of the Spanish subtitling and dubbing of the Belgian (Dutch spoken) film De zaak Alzheimer / La memoria del asesino resorted to different strategies to overcome the problem. The aim of this case study is to identify the different functions that heterolingualism performs in the film and to summarise the translation strategies that were used to maintain (or to neutralise) heterolingualism. In fact, this film is no exception. Given the linguistic situation of Belgium, heterolingualism is a feature of many of its film productions.


Vincenza Minutella

This contribution aims to investigate how multilingual films are translated for an Italian audience. The study presented in this contribution focuses on three films directed by South Asian diasporic directors (Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice and The Namesake), in which communication takes place in more than one language. In addition, the films portray linguistic and cultural diversity. A small bilingual parallel corpus containing transcriptions of the original, dubbed and subtitled film dialogues is tagged for some of the main aspects of multilingual films, that is, instances of cultural references, code-mixing, code-switching and ethnolects. Taking into account both dubbing and subtitling, this contribution describes how such features are rendered in audiovisual translation (AVT) and in the different films. Several examples illustrate how the two AVT modes tackle the challenges posed by multilingual films. The translation strategies chosen by the translators are illustrated and commented on in an attempt to assess what the translators convey and whether they give priority to domestication or foreignisation.