[New Publication] Translating the translated

Translating the translated: the applicability of translated literary texts to the subtitling of their film adaptations

The present paper describes a study into the applicability of literary translations of books and plays in the subtitles of their film adaptations. The study involved 16 adaptations subtitled into Polish to be screened at a cultural event. The subtitlers were asked to read the literary translations before subtitling their films, and complete a questionnaire investigating how the literary rendition was useful in the subtitling process. The results were varied and depended on the material. On the one hand, reading the target-language original turned out to be unnecessary when it was descriptive, and even confusing for the translators when the changes introduced in the adaptation were radical. On the other hand, if the adaptation was more in line with the original, the subtitlers could greatly benefit from it by ensuring consistency in the proper names, adopting the same style, word choice or character relations, mimicking the approach to problematic areas of translation (e.g. the treatment of the third language). They could also copy the translation of recurrent sayings that the viewers familiar with the book may recognise, and even incorporate the literary translation of entire dialogue lines and scenes into the subtitles.