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The Languages of Dubbing

Mainstream Audiovisual Translation in Italy


Maria Pavesi, Maicol Formentelli and Elisa Ghia

The purpose of this volume is to investigate the languages of dubbing. The plural evokes the complex interplay of different codes as well as the numerous levels of analysis involved. The volume focuses on the languages of Anglophone films and television series and their dubbing into Italian while broadening the perspective to the general debate on audiovisual translation. Dubbing offers itself as a privileged place where languages interact in simulating, creating and recreating fictive orality and where influential linguistic and pragmatic conventions are generated and developed. The chapters cover a rich range of topics including syntactic, lexical and sociolinguistic features of audiovisual dialogue, cross-linguistic contrasts, and the translation of culture specific references and multilingualism on screen. The volume provides an updated picture of research on Italian dubbed language, a key area of inquiry with reference to the investigation of telecinematic discourse, Audiovisual Translation and Corpus-based Translation Studies.
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Translating slanguage in British and American films: a corpus-based analysis: Maicol Formentelli, Silvia Monti



Translating slanguage in British and American films: a corpus-based analysis


Considering screen translation as a transcoding process focussed not merely on language transfer but also on cross-cultural transfer (Toury 2012 [1995]), language use and translation processes in films are important vehicles in weaving relations of cultural identity and in conveying them to the audience. This is especially the case with language varieties that are deeply embedded in the socio-cultural context of the country or community in which they are spoken (Munnich et al. 2001) and whose equivalents in another language are difficult to find.

This study sets out to investigate the main translation strategies relevant to slanguage in Italian dubbing, relying upon data stored in the Pavia Corpus of Film Dialogue (henceforth PCFD), a parallel corpus of American and British films and their dubbed versions in Italian (Pavesi this volume; Freddi/Pavesi 2009). Audiovisual products prove indeed to be especially apt for the analysis of standard and non-standard language varieties, which have been increasingly exploited by the British and the American film industry to provide film audiences with authentic settings (Taylor 1998, 2006; see also Ranzato 2010) and give them the impression of real conversational contexts (Kozloff 2000). Slanguage is therefore extensively to be found in filmic speech, standing out both in its morphological, lexical and syntactic innovations as well as in its socio-cultural and pragmatic aspects (Adams 2003; Azzaro 2005).

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