Subtitling Linguistic Variation in Films
This book focuses on a collection of British and French films selected for the range of approaches that they adopt in portraying linguistic variation. Each chapter explores the challenges posed by the subtitling of such linguistic difference in the given films and the corresponding solutions offered by their subtitlers. Drawing on these findings and referring to contemporary thinking in the field of translation studies, this book argues that with insight and skill, linguistic variation can be preserved in film subtitles.
Chapter 4 Police Patter: Retaining Linguistic Variation in the English Subtitles of Maïwenn’s Polisse
← 102 | 103 → CHAPTER 4
Author-director Maïwenn’s 2011 film, Polisse, is based on real-life cases handled by Paris’ Brigade de Protection de Mineurs (BPM) [Child Protection Unit]. After introducing the film, this chapter defines the particular challenges to which subtitling Polisse into English gives rise. It then concentrates on three scenes in which members of the BPM interact with one another, and subsequently on three scenes in which the team deals with a range of distinct subjects. Focusing on the linguistic variation present in the SL film, this chapter examines the translation strategies employed, and the extent to which Polisse’s linguistically variegated character is therefore retained, in its English-language subtitles.
Polisse, the title of which is a child’s misspelling of the word police, is a powerful pseudo-documentary of the BPM’s daily activities. Photographer Mélissa (Maïwenn) is assigned by the Ministry of Justice to document some ← 103 | 104 → of the Unit’s work, which includes dealing with child molesters, teenage prostitutes, abused children and foreign people in difficulty. The emotional strain under which the BPM work is extreme, and Polisse illustrates vividly how this impacts on the personal lives of the team. The film ends dramatically as female officer Iris, who has just been informed of her promotion, can no longer handle the pressure and jumps from the window of the room in which a meeting with her colleagues is being held.
The language contained in Polisse contributes significantly to the portrayal of those...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.