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Dubbing into English.

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Presentation on theme: "Dubbing into English."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dubbing into English

2 Translation process Subject Spoken dialogue
treatment screenplay script [written dialogues] Spoken dialogue Continuity script (transcription and postsynchronization) Translation adaptation dubbing mixage translated spoken dialogue subtitles

the language of translation has been shown to have its own specificities (explicitation, simplification, normalisation, levelling, etc. - see Baker, Laviosa, Olohan, Ulrych).

4 Italian film texts Brunetta (1977) explains that original (Italian) film texts already use a simplified, normalised and levelled language. For example when based on a book, story, etc. word order is usually normalised eg. ‘sempre li guardavo/li guardavo sempre’; ‘si chiama essa’/’essa si chiama’ Cf. Antonioni, Visconti

5 So where does this leave us with regard to translating films into English?
Well, very few films and television programmes are translated into English, due to the predominance of English language products in the media.

6 Subtitling But those few films that are translated are generally SUBTITLED. This is regarded as a good thing by language students, language enthusiasts, film buffs, the deaf and indeed by the general public, who are not used to any other form of film translation.

7 BUT it is known that written language differs considerably from spoken language (even as heard on a film); that there are some differences between film language and genuine spoken language and these are accentuated in translation; and that written translation differs from original texts of a similar nature.

8 So what about subtitling?
Series of constraints Script (written to be spoken as if not written) >transcription (more spoken style) > translation (further deviation) >adaptation (partial remodifying) > composition (written)

9 England is not a dubbing country cf. Germany, Italy, Spain, France?
Dubbing into English? England is not a dubbing country cf. Germany, Italy, Spain, France?

10 New (PRIN) project Survey to test British (and American) attitudes to dubbing. It has always been assumed that British audiences would not take to dubbing. But it has never been investigated, let alone proved.

11 But is dubbing better? Definition
“create, add or replace the soundtrack of a film, esp in a different language” (OALD) Series of constraints: Lip synchronisation Supralinguistic elements Timing Coordination with visual (multimodal text)

12 Ladri di biciclette 1948 The dubbed version contains: factual errors
false characterisation total normalisation stereotyping

13 Errors tanto me to faccio accompagnà da lui a Porta Portese, noi rimaniamo qui damo una guardata ancora Anto, go with him to Porta Portese, might have better luck

14 False characterisation …
Alfredo the thief’s mother is aggressive and will stop at nothing to protect her criminal offspring. In the dubbed version she is the classic ‘mamma italiana’.

15 … and stereotyping Mamma: ma che vo’ sto gran farabutto? Alfre’ vie’ su!! Mamma: Oh mio Dio! What’s he doing, Alfredo, what’s he doing?

16 Conversation The conversational behaviours of (the) participants express dimensions of their social identities. As they take turns at talking, (the) conversationalists are enacting who they are.

17 Cinema Paradiso (Italian)
Non venire più. Non pensare mai a noi, non ti voltare, non scrivere. Non ti fare fottere dalla nostalgia. Se non resisti e torni indietro non venirmi a trovare. Non ti faccio entrare a casa mia,‘o capisci?’ Qualsiasi cosa farai, amala come amavi la cabina dello ‘paradiso’ quann’eri picciriddu.

18 Cinema Paradiso (English)
Don’t come back. Don’t think about us. Don’t look back, don’t write. Forget us all. If you don’t and come back, don’t come see me. I won’t let you in my house, understand? Whatever you end up doing, love it the way you loved the projection booth when you were a little squirt.

19 Cf. The Godfather picciriddu = little kid picciuttazzi = young punks;
a cafone like that (Italian word used in original English) = un cafone come chiddu;

20 Trieste dubbing project
Students had to produce subtitled and dubbed versions of ‘Il Commissario Montalbano’ and ‘Prime Suspect’ In the case of ‘Montalbano’, no dubbed version had yet been attempted.

21 Montalbano Culture-bound problems – Sicilian variety
Stephen Sartirelli, author of the English translations of the Camilleri novels, explained that he just made it as colloquial as possible. But he had more room for manoeuvre – explanations, footnotes, etc.

22 Student versions In the students’ dubbed versions we find syntactic and lexical intervention. Syntax - simple, elided, repeated and use of phatic devices. Lexis - colourful, colloquial, idiomatic, metaphorical, slang, taboo.

23 However … … the skill lies in calibrating these features to the individual characters. For example, the lawyer uses a high, formal register but also grammatically incorrect sentences apparently typical of the South

24 Non-linguistic constraints
Commissario = Superintendent (cf. translation into Italian of Detective Superintendent Tennison in Prime Suspect as Commissario Tennison. BUT in the books the term had always been translated as ‘Inspector’ and so he had to remain Inspector Montalbano (cf. Inspector Morse, etc.)

25 Intonation Anna: Ma mi sembrava importante.
Anna: But maybe it’s important, isn’t it? Two reasons the frequency and naturalness of question tags in English (cf. use in similar series through parallel texts): from the intonation of the speaker it is clear that she aimed to involve Montalbano.

26 Character quirks Lawyer Palillo says:
Peccato che questa persona senza occhiali non riesca a distinguere una gemma da una patata. (he wants to say ‘he can’t see very well’). Pity, isn’t it? ..this person without glasses can’t separate the wheat from the chaff.

27 To leave and not leave Nicolò: Mi sono imparato a fare la scaccia coi broccoli. Nicolò: I’ve learnt a new recipe: scaccia coi broccoli. (Sicilian food is an important ‘character’ in the Montalbano series, so leave it, adding ‘a new recipe’) The incorrect ‘mi sono imparato’ is normalised as the person speaking is an educated journalist. Regionalisms are more frequent across all classes in Italy.

28 Comparative grammar … va a passeggiare il cane … when walking his dog
The verb ‘passeggiare’ is intransitive in Italian, but ironically the literal translation is correct in English. There is no point in forcing the issue.

29 Lip synch Lip-sync or Lip-synch (short for lip synchronization) is a technical term for matching lip movements with voice. The term refers both to a technique often used during musical performances and the production of film and Television programs, and to the problem of maintaining video and audio signals synchronized during post-production and transmission. It is also used to match lip movements of animated characters (including computer facial animation).

30 Lip synch . classics Yeah/Già Fucking/fottuto

31 Lip synchronisation Mi sembra davvero improbabile.
That’s very unlikely. helps anchor stress patterns, but imposes modifications. good dubbing actors recreate suprasegmental items

32 Lip synch – Indiana Jones
You know it, I know it!... Io lo so, tu lo sai! … (inversion for the ‘j’ sound) … five minutes … fra cinque minuti Hang on, Dad! Resisti, dai! s

33 Lip synch and timing Giacomo: Io, non ho ucciso mio fratello!
Giacomo: Me, I didn’t kill my brother (length of enunciation and lip synchronisation) Montalbano: Perchè? Montalbano: What happened? (translating with ‘Why?’ has only one lip movement. ‘What happened?’ respects the alternation open/half closed – open/half closed.

34 Line length and delivery speed
Non voleva essere di peso alla famiglia He didn’t want to be a burden. L’ho accompagnato adesso in prigione a Vigata. I have just taken him to prison. Greater timing synch gives impression that characters are speaking Italian (or whatever) but there is enforced loss of some details.

35 Coordination with visual
Il signor La Russa questa notte si è spogliato nudo, si è applicato ai polsi e alle caviglie questi, la fascia grande se l’è legata al petto, ha indossato la cuffia, si è coperto il corpo, con la maschera il viso. Sembra tutta roba che si è fabbricato lui cu’ santa pacienza. Mister La Russa, last night, stripped himself naked, applied these things on his wrists and ankles, tied the large strap to his chest, put on the cap, covered his body, and his face with the mask. It seemed like he made all the stuff himself with saintly patience. Verbal and non-verbal more aligned but can impose strained syntax

36 General considerations
1. Lip synch helps anchor stess patterns, etc. but imposes modifications; 2. Greater timing synch gives impression that actors are speaking English, Italian or whatever, but there is enforced loss of some details; 3. Coordination with the visual can impose strained syntax.



39 But of course, if dubbing into English takes off…
we are going to be dealing with a use of language that is different from any hitherto studied in terms of information structure, cohesion, transitivity patterns, lexical choice, register, etc. When I first said this, I also said that I hoped by next time to have some examples to show and discuss.

40 A Case Study Tutto brilla

41 Tutto Brilla Mario Paolinelli and Eleonora Di Fortunato, established film translators in Italy and members of AIDAC, organised, at The Casa del Cinema in Rome the viewing of two Italian products, Bbobbolone (Daniele Cascella, 2003, Italy) and Tutto brilla (Massimo Cappelli, 2005, Italy)[1], both dubbed into English by a team headed by Gregory Snegoff, an American screen translator based in Rome.

42 Gregory Snegoff Various dignitaries from the world of politics and film distribution were invited to the showing in an attempt to convince them of the value of marketing dubbed products in the English-speaking world. Snegoff is one of the very few accredited dubbers working into English and his versions of the two shorts were generally considered to be of a high quality.

43 Film dialogue characters can be rendered more individual and realistic when defined by language, their actions and gestures are shaped by words and what is being said becomes more central than what is being seen (Vassé 2006).

44 Shorts The power of the word emerges even more clearly in shorts.
The shorter the film, the tighter the dialogues. Even the dramatic narrative structure (Exposition, Development, Climax and Denouement) referring to the original form of the well-made play (Remael 2004) is instantly recognizable.

45 The three ladies Lady 1 sarcastic
E allora vediamolo in funzione questo nostro futuro! Lady 2 naive Scusate, io non ho capito bene, cosa sarebbe? Un aspirapolvere? Lady 3 bossy Là, là, là, nell’angolino!

46 Lip synch Il futuro che bussa alla porta is translated with
The future is more affordable today which at first glance seems inaccurate, until it is noted that the professional translator has taken lip synchronisation into consideration and provided a corresponding bilabial plosive.

47 Tricks Signore, fate bene attenzione! is left out and replaced by Now
in order to catch the nasal /n/ sound. Snegoff (p.c.) refers to these strategies as ‘tricks’ that the adaptor learns.

48 Opening scenes Language is not creative at this stage, but it draws heavily on established formulae which are maintained in the dubbed version. The dialogue pace is slow and interaction almost lacking.

49 Development scene a progressive advance to a more complex scenario.
Each nucleus in the conversation, that is Mr Rolli on the one hand, and the three ladies on the other, act as if they were alone.

50 “Polylogue” Uninterested in the peculiarities of the vacuum-cleaner, the women keep on chatting in the background; decentered speech “naturalistic verbal chaos”, “verbal wallpaper” (Kozloff 2000),

51 Polylogue 2 Language-wise, the polylogue analyzed consists of fast but clear-cut turn taking, disconnected topics ranging from pregnant nannies to going to the gym, and various unintelligible turns uttered very quickly.

52 Example Lady: La mia tata è incinta.
Lady: My daughter’s nanny has gotten herself pregnant again. the extra, and potentially more scandalous, information provided in the English version is swallowed up in the general chit-chat.

53 A (risqué) play on words
Noi la scopa elettrica non la vogliamo. Già si scopa poco, figuriamoci se c’è anche il rischio di prendersi la scossa.

54 The (even more risqué) solution
Around here sex is becoming so rare that the handle of the broom is starting to give us ideas but not at the risk of electrocution. He creates a different sexual reference, the play on the word scopa not being transferrable, but maintaining the context of the implement, and then the ending is the same. The length of the utterance, as can be seen, is almost exactly equal.

55 The (long) climax Short sentences, simple lexicon and taxis, convincing statements and a rhetorical question characterize the monologue, which does not include any elements resembling natural speech.

56 Salesman Guardatevi! Guardatevi! È mezzogiorno è siete già ubriache fradice. Non ce la fate neanche a stare in piedi. E scommetto che non è neanche la prima volta. Ne facciamo un’altra di scommessa? Chi scoppia a piangere per prima, eh? Borse sotto gli occhi, capillari che esplodono… Bang! Come botti di capodanno. Signore, voi non ce la fate più e si vede!

57 Translation Take a good look at yourselves! Go on have a look! It’s barely noon and you’re almost shit-faced. You can’t even stand up. And I bet big money it isn’t the first time either. How about another little bet? Who’ll be the first starting blubbering, eh? Wrinkles around the nose, capillars exploding, BANG! Like the 4th of July in Ohio. Ladies, you just can’t take it anymore and it is showing!

58 Tricks Come botti di capodanno Like the 4th of July in Ohio
matching lip movements and vowel sounds and still a day of celebration.

59 the repeated /n/ . Senta è Natale. Nessuno può permettersi di essere così spietato. Listen , it’s not nice! Nobody should be this heartless at Christmas time.

60 Calque psico-tossico-dipendenti psycho-toxic-dependent
(cf. Eng. drug addict).

61 Visual assistance he just fell over cos’è, morto?
is justified not only by lip synch considerations but also by the visuals, as Rolli can be seen falling.

62 Culture-bound terms, Io volevo un torrone I wanted a chocolate log.

63 Reservations Speriamo che questo si sbrighi perché io c’ho la palestra. I hope he is quick. I’ll be late for the gym again. Cf. La fuori ci sta la mia famiglia/My family is outside in the car.

64 Word order Va beh. Tutto qui quello che sa fare? Forza, ci stupisca per davvero, dia una pulitina alle tende, non so, sotto i divani, sotto le scarpe, improvvisi! Siamo nelle sue mani ragazzo mio. Che cos’è? non glielo hanno detto al corso di vendita? Che era? Un corso serale?

65 Translation That’s it. You’ve already exhausted your repertoire? Do something surprising for us. Wash the curtains, clean under the sofa, vacuum under our shoes, you know, improvise! Come on, you have us hanging on your every word or didn’t they tell you that at your local vending class?

66 Rhythm The translator maintains the prosody though he rearranges the order of the utterances, again for synchronisation reasons and to keep the same rhythm. the beginning vowel sound /a/ in Va beh and That’s it the final alliterative matching of improvvisi and improvise moving Come on to the beginning of the translated version of the second lady’s speech neatly captures the /m/ sound in Siamo vending class, a fortuitously American-English term, covers the (corso di) vendita.

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