New Article Published: Overcoming Linguacultural Barriers in Screen Translation Cross-linguistic and Cross-cultural Encounters in the Italian Dubbed Version of Polyglot Films

2022-03-28

We are happy to announce that a new article has been published in JAT:

Monti, S. (2022). Overcoming Linguacultural Barriers in Screen Translation: Cross-linguistic and Cross-cultural Encounters in the Italian Dubbed Version of Polyglot Films. Journal of Audiovisual Translation5(1), 22–48. https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v5i1.2022.153

Abstract

The multilingual discourse practices distinctive of contemporary multicultural societies have assumed an increasingly prominent position in contemporary European and American multicultural films (cf. Bleichenbacher, 2008; Berghahn & Sternberg, 2010; Jacobsson, 2017), where code-switching (cf. Myers-Scotton, 1993; Auer, 1998; Gardner-Chloros, 2009; Bathia & Ritchie, 2014) stands out as a key conversational strategy when interethnic encounters are at stake. This ties issues of on-screen multilingualism to the field of audiovisual translation (cf. Corrius & Zabalbeascoa, 2011, 2019; Şerban, 2012; Zabalbeascoa & Voellmer, 2014; de Higes Andino, 2014), intended as a key vehicle of intercultural/interlinguistic mediation. This paper aims at looking contrastively and diachronically at how code-switching, implying the recurrent on-screen presence of L3s, has been dealt with in the original version and in the Italian dubbed versions of twenty European and American multicultural/multilingual films, belonging to different genres and released within a time span covering three decades, where interracial relationships are at centre stage; the main objective of this study is to verify whether specific translation, or non-translation, strategies are applied to the instances of language alternation either to faithfully re-create the original linguistic interplay for the Italian audience or to manipulate it in dubbing.

Lay summary

The multilingual discourse practices distinctive of contemporary multicultural societies have assumed an increasingly prominent position also in contemporary European and American multicultural films, where the alternation of different languages by bilingual/multilingual characters stands out as a key conversational strategy when interethnic encounters and cross-cultural romance are at stake. On-screen multilingualism thus results to be strictly tied to the field of audiovisual translation, nowadays intended as a crucial vehicle of intercultural/interlinguistic mediation worldwide. This paper aims at analyzing how different language alternation practices have been dealt with in the original version and in the Italian dubbed versions of twenty European and American multicultural/multilingual films, belonging to different genres and released within a time span of thirty years, where interracial relationships and love-stories are at centre stage. The main objective of this study is indeed to verify whether specific translation, or non-translation, strategies are applied to the instances of language alternation enacted throughout the film dialogues, either to faithfully re-create the original linguistic interplay for the Italian audience or to manipulate it through dubbing. All this primarily aims at pointing out what can be achieved by screen translation in terms of transcultural and translingual transmission, mediation and re-mediation when cross-cultural relations are at stake and at highlighting a series of translation (or non-translation) trends that increasingly favour affective bonds between Self and Other, liable to overcome cultural clashes as well as to cross linguistic bridges both on and off the screen.

Silvia Monti, University of Pavia

Silvia Monti is a researcher in English language at the University of Pavia. Her research interests relate especially to: the presence and functions of code-switching and code-mixing as markers of ethnolinguistic identity in multilingual/multicultural audiovisual products and the translation strategies relevant to such language alternation practices in the films’ Italian dubbed versions; the translation strategies of regional and social dialects, slang and Cockney Rhyming Slang in the Italian dubbed versions of contemporary British and American films; the distinctive lexical, morphological and syntactic features of online English (i.e. Netspeak, language of the social media).

Among her most recent publications: (2019) “Cooking up flavours of linguistic identity in British and American multiethnic films and their Italian dubbed version”, in María Pérez López de Heredia & Irene de Higes Andino (eds.) MonTI, Special issue 4, “Multilingualism and representation of identities in audiovisual texts / Multilingüismo y representación de las identidades en textos audiovisuals”; (2018) Multilingualism on the screen. Code-switching in European and American films and their Italian dubbed version, Pavia: Clu.