Speech Act (Im)Politeness and Audiovisual Constraints in Translation for Dubbing

Gain, Loss, or Both?





audiovisual translation, dubbing, dubbing constraints, (im)politeness, requests


The present article sets out to explore the under-researched relationship between linguistic (im)politeness and audiovisual translation, by taking the speech act of requests as object of analysis in English films and in their dubbed Italian versions. As dubbing constraints often lead translators to depart substantially from the original utterance, the study shows how linguistic changes can result in alterations of the (im)polite load inherent in the requests from original film versions. The study focuses on pragmatic strategies for realizing requests in English film dialogues and shows that dubbing constraints may underlie the adoption of different pragmatic strategies for the requests of target-language dialogues. The (im)politeness shifts that this linguistic modification process entails may make the same character come across as more or less (im)polite in the target-language version and are, for this reason, worth investigating.


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Author Biography

Vittorio Napoli, Università di Pavia

Graduated in Specialized Translation from the University of Bologna, Vittorio Napoli is finalizing a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Pavia and teaches English Linguistics and English Language at the University of Eastern Piedmont and at the University of Pavia. His main interests lie in Translation Studies, Audiovisual Translation Studies and Pragmatics, with a focus on (im)politeness phenomena in a translational perspective. More specifically, Vittorio Napoli is interested in how pragmatic and (im)politeness-related language features in English film conversation are handled in translation for dubbing and subtitling into Italian. The author contributed to a number of national and international conferences in the field of Translation Studies, Pragmatics and (Im)politeness.




How to Cite

Napoli, V. (2020). Speech Act (Im)Politeness and Audiovisual Constraints in Translation for Dubbing: Gain, Loss, or Both?. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 3(2), 29–46. https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v3i2.2020.119



Special Issue: November 2020