[New publication] Status Quaestions, No. 15: Exploring Audiovisual Retranslation

Exploring Audiovisual Retranslation

Margherita Dore

Link: https://statusquaestionis.uniroma1.it/index.php/statusquaestionis/issue/view/1239/showToc

Titles and abstracts:

 Introduction: Exploring the Many Ways of Audiovisual Translation. Retranslated, Simultaneous, Indirect, Mediated or What? by Margherita Dore

Over the last decade, a growing number of Translation Studies scholars has focused on the many aspects of AVT, as demonstrated by the proliferation of research papers in journals, essay collections and monographs devoted to this topic (e.g. Chiaro 2007; Díaz Cintas 2012; Chaume, 2012; Pérez-González 2014, 2018; Maszerowska, Matamala and Orero 2014; Di Giovanni and Gambier 2018; Baños 2018 just to name a few). This has certainly enabled AVT to develop “its very own theoretical and methodological approaches, allowing it to claim the status of a scholarly area of research in its own right” (Díaz-Cintas 2009: 7). One of the interesting consequences of the rapid advances in the production of audiovisual content and the availability of its many translated versions (e.g. dubbed, (fan)subtitled, in respeaking or audio-described) is that the traditional separation between ‘dubbing’ and ‘subtitling’ countries by now appears obsolete (Gambier 2003; Chaume 2013; Sandrelli, this volume). It is probably time we overcame “the frequently futile debate over the pros and cons of dubbing and subtitling, generally simplified to subjective and pseudo-intellectual arguments” (Chaume 2012: 13). Scholarly research on AVT may fare better at exploring the intricacies and resulting phenomena that the current mediascape brings about so as to continue to contribute fruitfully to the advances in theory and practice. In light of this, the provocative ‘what’ in the title above aims to draw the readers’ attention to the fact that many issues in AVT have yet to be properlyaddressed by academia. One aspect that has already received some attention (Chaume 2007; Zanotti 2015) yet is still a relatively unexplored area of research (Baños and Díaz-Cintas 2015: 5; O’Sullivan 2018: 269) is the retranslation of audiovisual material. This thematic issue will hopefully contribute to the ongoing research on this multifaceted phenomenon and its underlying reasons.

The Retranslation and Mediated Translation of Audiovisual Content in Multilingual Spain: Reasons and Market Trends by Frederic Chaume

Abstract: Retranslations are the second, third, fourth or nth-translations of the same text produced at a later stage. In the case of audiovisual content, retranslations occur under certain circumstances. Focusing on Spain as a multilingual country, where regional languages demand new translations, frequently conceived as mediated translations, this article concentrates on the definition of retranslation and the differences between retranslation and mediated translation, and also lists the major reasons why retranslations, be them redubbings or resubtitlings, are commissioned and carried about. Economic, historical, linguistic and political issues triggering retranslations will also be dealt with, and some translatological conclusions will be drawn, as well as some new avenues of research grounded on retranslations.

Redubs in Basque Public Television: Western Films as a Case in Point by Candelas Cabanillas

Abstract: Redubs represent an unparalleled opportunity to analyse the divergences in different translations of one and the same source text. This study investigates the different strategies adopted by audiovisual translators of the same original film within the framework of the Spanish dubbing industry. In order to do this, various issues will be looked at. Firstly, cultural references, which typically pose a challenge to translators. Likewise, the choice between formal versus informal forms of address in Spanish is also fraught with difficulties, as opting for one or the other will have an impact on the way power relations are depicted to the target audience. Additionally, the presence of taboo words and offensive language and how these are transferred into the target language is also examined. The study shows that there is a strong tendency towards levelling out or omitting any instances of substandard language. Finally, the oral features in the original version seem to invariably undergo a standardization process that, again, contributes to reducing the linguistic variation present in the source text. Therefore, the connotative meaning of the text seems to be neglected, to a greater or lesser extent, during the translation process.

Archival Resources and Uncertainties in Film Retranslation Research by Serenella Zanotti

Abstract: This article addresses some of the issues relevant to audiovisual retranslation with a focus on film redubs, a vast though still largely underexplored phenomenon that merits specific investigation. Redubbing is an umbrella term which encompasses translation and adaptation practices ranging from mere re-acting of a previously translated dubbing script, to slight revision, to completely new translating (Chaume 2007; Zanotti 2015). The present contribution aims to illustrate what archival resources are available for scholars wishing to pursue research on film retranslation and the specific problems that arise in dealing with redubs when considered from a historical and archival perspective. A case study is presented, focusing on For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), a classic Hollywood romance-at-war tale which was dubbed at least three times for distribution in Italy.

Retranslation as Resubtitling. The Case Study of Federico Fellini’s La Strada by Francesca Raffi

Abstract: While retranslation in the literary domain is “usually regarded as a positive phenomenon” (Tahir-Gür.ağlar 2009: 233), retranslation within the context of audiovisual products tends to be either negatively received (Zanotti 2015: 110) or neglected (O’Sullivan 2018: 269). Retranslation in the form of resubtitling, in particular, (i.e. the production of a new subtitled version of the same audiovisual text) has not attracted considerable attention in audiovisual translation studies, since “resubtitling is seen as inevitable and is hardly ever noticed or remarked upon” (Zanotti 2015: 111). Indeed, very little research has been conducted from a diachronic perspective “to see how subtitling was done in the past, and how it is done nowadays” (Díaz Cintas 2004:65). The present paper aims to address the issue of resubtitling in the audiovisual field from a diachronic perspective using the case study of an Italian film as an empirical basis: two sets of retranslated English subtitles produced for re-releases of Fellini’s La Strada (1954), 37 years apart, will be analysed according to a two-level analytical framework, technical and translational. The study will show that, while major improvements can be observed on a technical level, the more modern retranslation departs farther from the original, with respect to the older subtitles. Thus, the notion of ‘retranslation as improvement’ is questioned.

Orange Is the New Black. Popularizing gender and sexual identities by Angela Zottola

Abstract: The Netflix series Orange is the New Black (OITNB) was released in 2013, and its seventh season is now in production. It narrates the story of Litchfield Women’s Penitentiary and of its new inmate Piper Chapman. The storytelling goes beyond the main protagonist, presenting a variety of characters and thus a variety of female gender and sexual identities. This paper aims at investigating the series at the level of remediation and translation and explores the importance of these practices as forms of popularization. The first part of the analysis will look at the way in which the original memoir is remediated into the TV series. Secondly, it will focus on the linguistic choices of the original English dialogues and their Italian dubbed and subtitled versions. Lastly, starting from the central role that gender and sexual identities play in the TV series, the investigation will discuss the function of translation as a form of popularization of issues related to the phenomena.

(Re)Translating Culture-Bound Elements in Gomorrah – The Series: A Corpus-Based Investigation into Relocated Identities by Antonio Fruttaldo

Abstract: The following investigation analyses the way in which Gomorrah – The Series has been adapted for an international audience. In particular, some of the processes that have brought a local reality into a glocal context will be analysed, focusing on how culturebound elements are rendered in (re)translation. More specifically, the following study uses Corpus Linguistics methodologies in order to look at the specific linguistic patterns that can be highlighted in the construction through subtitling of a given representation of the reality in which the TV series is set and the characters are immersed. The following contribution, therefore, wants to investigate to what extent (in the subtitles) the translation into Italian of the Neapolitan script of Gomorrah – The Series and its (re)translation into English contribute to the transcultural remediation of the reality construction process enacted in the translation of this AVT product. This will confirm some of the observations made in previous studies on other forms of the transmediation of the original exposé by Roberto Saviano (2006).

An Italian Crime Series in English. The Dubbing and Subtitling of Suburra by Annalisa Sandrelli

Abstract: In recent years, the European AVT landscape has changed dramatically, as a result of technological innovations that have made it possible for viewers to select the language version they prefer (dubbed or subtitled) when watching audiovisual products on TV or on web-based streaming services. This has led to greater demand for subtitles in dubbing countries and increasing curiosity for dubbing in subtitling countries. The present paper presents a small-scale experiment on the reception of the Italian crime TV series Suburra in an English dubbed and a subtitled version. A questionnaire was developed in order to elicit information from 19 subjects on both their comprehension and enjoyment of 4 clips taken from the series. Although a preference for the subtitled version has emerged in our results, the English dubbed version was appreciated for its quality, for allowing viewers more time to watch the images and for providing an ‘easier’, more relaxed viewing mode. This small-scale case study seems to indicate that there might be a niche in the English-speaking audiovisual market for dubbed foreign language TV series.

About the journal:

Status Quaestions is a Journal of the Department of European, American, and Intercultural Studies. The Department, a leading teaching and research institution which represents a broad range of Linguistic and Literary disciplines, is a space of interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange. 

The mission of SQ is to stimulate and enhance this exchange. A biannual journal that includes a Literature and a Linguistics issue – both of which are monographic – SQ is especially interested in intercultural and interlinguistic phenomena, and in questions of methodology. We believe that fields can advance only through a sustained conversation with other fields. 

Literature issues welcome contributions based on comparative approaches or emergent theoretical models. We regard “theory” as a dialogical field, unconstrained by national or disciplinary borders. We value approaches as diverse as thematic criticism and post-classical narratology, as well as the application of established models and methods to unexplored fields. 

We are interested, in particular, in the relation between culture and narrative or poetic forms, in the anthropological underpinnings of the literary imagination, in the reception of antiquity in modern cultures, in the debate on world literature, and in literature and myth, both historically and theoretically.

Linguistic issues welcome contributions on language and translation. We are especially interested in pragmatics, stylistics, history of language, dialectology, literary and audiovisual translation, translation studies, as well as studies from other areas such as intersemiotic and adaptation studies, film and television studies, in their intersections with linguistic topics. Our thematic issues will have a strong lingua-cultural approach and will primarily work in applied linguistics.