Translating verbally expressed humour in dubbing and subtitling: the Italian versions of Shrek: Vincenza Minutella
Translating verbally expressed humour in dubbing and subtitling: the Italian versions of Shrek
The aim of this article is to explore how Italian dubbing and subtitling render verbal humour that presents “complex translational challenges” (Chiaro & Piferi, 2010: 295) in the animated movie Shrek tetralogy. More specifically, the paper will describe instances of language and culture-based humour and will try to answer the following questions: do dubbing and subtitling differ in the way they tackle this type of humour? If so, how do they differ? Is it possible to identify translation trends? The aim of the study is not to judge whether dubbing is better than subtitling or vice versa, but rather to provide a descriptive analysis of the choices made in the two translation modes in order to ascertain their approach to verbal humour.
The Shrek films have been chosen since they are among the most successful animated movies worldwide and they are rich in multilayered humour and complex intertextuality. They appeal to a wide, intergenerational audience thanks to their frequent linguistic puns, irony, parody and references to fairy tales, films, songs, nursery rhymes, famous people, and the like.