New Series, Vol. 1
Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Marcel Thelen, Gys-Walt van Egdom, Dirk Verbeeck and Łukasz Bogucki
Rendering Otherness in Film – Techniques for Translating Multilingual Audiovisual Material
Abstract: A pertinent area of audiovisual translation (AVT) research is rendering films (and other audiovisual material) where more than one language is used. The other languages are typically deployed to introduce characters which do not belong: foreigners or possibly aliens, in the case of sci-fi productions. In line with Relevance Theory, the audience are forced to make additional cognitive effort (process an utterance in a tongue they may or may not speak), to be offset by extra benefits (experiencing the verisimilitude of a multilingual world).
The foreign utterances may or may not be translated into the dominant language of the given audiovisual production; occasionally a diegetic interpreter may be used, such as the Chinese cook in Blade Runner or Juan Antonio in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The rendition (or lack thereof) of these utterances when producing a foreign language version of the material depends on the method of audiovisual translation (subtitling, dubbing, voice-over or others), as well as the translator’s decision filtered by applicable constraints. The issue takes on a new meaning in the case of intralingual modes of AVT (respeaking, subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing).
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