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Multilingual Films in Translation

A Sociolinguistic and Intercultural Study of Diasporic Films


Micòl Beseghi

A contribution to the ever-growing field of audiovisual translation studies, this volume investigates the processes involved in the translation of multilingual films, a media genre where language, culture and identity are closely interwoven. To explore the relationships that get established between audiovisual translation, linguistic diversity and identity, the book analyses a corpus of immigrant films portraying the South Asian diaspora, with the aim of determining how diasporic identity is then reconstructed for the Italian audience through dubbing and subtitling. A sociolinguistic analysis model is proposed that covers all linguistic levels, including the use of ethnolects and some fundamental discourse strategies, such as code-switching and code-mixing, thus illustrating how linguistic choices and language variation are socio-culturally symbolic.

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Multilingual Films in Translation investigates the main sociolinguistic and intercultural issues involved in the process of translating multilingual films characterized by linguistic diversity, variation and hybridity. It is thus a contribution to the ever-growing field of audiovisual translation (AVT) studies and, more specifically, to the new field of multilingual audiovisual translation (MATV). Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of publications and conferences that focus on audiovisual translation, as well as the development of many different specialist courses in AVT at universities worldwide (Díaz Cintas and Anderman, 2009). On the topic of multilingualism in AVT, a growing number of studies have been published and conferences have been organized, such as the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra (, 2005–2007) and The Translation and Reception of Multilingual Films (University Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, 2012). Furthermore, the proliferation of new forms of entertainment such as DVD and pay-per-view TV has created a huge demand for the professional service of dubbing and subtitling, which are both indispensable tools to overcome language barriers for viewers with little or no knowledge of the foreign language(s).

Multilingual films have recently become more popular, as a result of directors and scriptwriters who wish to represent the linguistic diversity typical of contemporary society (Bruti and Di Giovanni, 2012). Focusing on multilingual films that narrate stories of migration and diaspora, this work investigates the forms which the relationship between translation, migration and identity takes in the context of AVT. In order...

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