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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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Back to Brazil: humor and sociolinguistic variation in Rio: Gian Luigi De Rosa



Back to Brazil: humor and sociolinguistic variation in Rio

1. Introduction

The animated film Rio: The Movie (2011) – a U.S.A/Brazil co-production directed by Carlos Saldanha – falls within the category of films, known as ‘talent movies’, which feature the voices of actors and characters from the Star System. The advent of talent movies has given rise to a specific genre in the field of animation, implying an adaptation in terms of ‘talent voices’ in the dubbed versions too. The original version of Rio features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Jamie Foxx and Will.I.Am, among others; in the Brazilian version, the voices are of Rodrigo Santoro, dubbing his own original dialogue in his native language, Gustavo Pereira, Adriana Torres, Guilherme Briggs, Alexandre Moreno, Mauro Ramos and Luiz Carlos Persy; finally, the Italian version includes, besides the duo Victoria Cabello–Fabio De Luigi, Mario Biondi, Pino Insegno, Emilio Carelli and José Altafini, who superbly dubs Luiz, the bulldog friend of the birds.

The following table sums up the voices and characters of the three versions:

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