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Translating Humour in Audiovisual Texts

Edited By Gian Luigi De Rosa, Francesca Bianchi, Antonella De Laurentiis and Elisa Perego

Humour found in audiovisual products is, of course, performative in nature. If we consider instances of humour – any droll moment occurring in today’s fare of mixed-genre products as a composite of cognition, emotion, interaction and expression – we see that the verbal code becomes just one component of four equally significant elements. And, as ‘expression’ is not limited to verbal output alone, humour may of course be created in absence of a verbal code. Translating humour for audiovisuals is not too different from translating verbal humour tout court. What makes humour occurring within audiovisual texts more problematic is the fact that it may be visually anchored; in other words a gag or a joke may pivot on verbal content directed at a specific element that is present within the graphic system of the same text. As the term itself suggests, audiovisuals contain two overlying structures: a visual and an auditory channel each of which contain a series of both verbal and non-verbal elements which inextricably cross-cut one another. The contributors in this collection of essays present a series of case studies from films and video-games exemplifying problems and solutions to audiovisual humour in the dubs and subs in a variety of language combinations.
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Accent and dialect as a source of humour: the case of Rio: Silvia Bruti



Accent and dialect as a source of humour: the case of Rio

1. Introduction

The sources of humour in narrative texts, be they literary or audiovisual, are manifold, as has been shown in the relevant literature (cf., among many, Chiaro, 2005, 2006, 2010; Vandaele, 2002; Zabalbeascoa, 1996). The analysis of the problem has then been extended to animated feature films (Tortoriello, 2006; Bruti, 2009; De Rosa, 2010), a genre with its own peculiarities, which obviously shares the problematic areas of translation in general but has its own specific constraints.

The present work stems from a research project carried out with G. L. De Rosa on the dubbing and subtitling of the film Rio3 (Saldanha, 2011), produced by Blue Sky Studios, in which the original English dialogues are compared and contrasted to translations into several languages, i.e., Brazilian Portuguese and Italian, making occasional reference to other dubbed versions, e.g., the Mexican, Spanish and Portuguese versions. In particular, this paper is devoted to an analysis of the Italian dubbing of Rio, focusing especially on humorous aspects and sociolinguistic variation and drawing a comparison with another animated film, i.e., The Aristocats (Reitherman, 1970). ← 89 | 90 →

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