Delia Chiaro - Mimesis, reality and fictitious intermediation
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Mimesis, reality and fictitious intermediation
Films containing two or more languages have existed since the birth of the talkies. However, be it due to huge fluxes of people moving from one region of the world to another; be it due to the process of globalization, recently the number of multilingual movies has risen exponentially (De Bonis 2014). Obviously, the presence of two different languages on screen causes a number of problems. Firstly, characters who do not share the same language somehow need to work out a way to communicate with each other; secondly, the (monolingual) audience needs to understand what the character speaking the foreign language is saying. Therefore, in order to aid communication between characters speaking different languages, often these films will employ a character who happens to speak both the dominant language adopted in the film and the secondary language too. This incidental interpreter will mediate in linguistic terms and ensure that communication takes place between characters that speak different languages while at the same time providing a translation for the onlooking audience too. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with fictional communication, this chapter sets out to examine how both big screen movies and television products depict the (imagined) process of lingua-cultural mediation and their (fictional) untaught operators.
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