Multilingualism in films refers to the switch between different languages, dialects and slang that strongly define the local identity of characters. Furthermore, the presence of dialect signals the centrality of the act of translation as embedded in the nature of communication itself, not only for interlingual understanding but also as an intralingual form of language transfer. The aim of the paper is to identify the sociocultural function and effect played by the use of Sicilian dialects in the Italian TV-series Inspector Montalbano and its more recent prequel The Young Montalbano. Both series were broadcasted in more than 10 countries and are based on Camilleri’s novels that have achieved worldwide recognition. The strong sense of identity and cultural belonging, deeply embedded in the Sicilian culture, is mainly conveyed through the use of constant code-switching and code-mixing between dialect and standard Italian generating an inventive hybrid of language codes. The paper will present a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the English subtitles and of the subtitling strategies used, in particular, to translate Extra-linguistic Cultural References, specific dialectal lexicon, figurative language and register, in order to consider the effects produced by subtitling on character portrayal and on the representation of local identity in relation to foreign stereotypes of Sicily. Does the general concern for readability and simplification of subtitles completely sanitize the linguistic interplay and the multi-layered nuances of the source language? It will be argued that, if, on the one hand, subtitles guarantee contact with the original sound and musicality of the vernacular language, on the other, they often tend towards unnecessary domestication affecting character representation more to comply to standardizing norms than to reach deeper understanding through the choice of more effective and creative translation solutions.

Subtitling dialect in Inspector Montalbano and Young Montalbano

Mariagrazia De Meo
2020

Abstract

Multilingualism in films refers to the switch between different languages, dialects and slang that strongly define the local identity of characters. Furthermore, the presence of dialect signals the centrality of the act of translation as embedded in the nature of communication itself, not only for interlingual understanding but also as an intralingual form of language transfer. The aim of the paper is to identify the sociocultural function and effect played by the use of Sicilian dialects in the Italian TV-series Inspector Montalbano and its more recent prequel The Young Montalbano. Both series were broadcasted in more than 10 countries and are based on Camilleri’s novels that have achieved worldwide recognition. The strong sense of identity and cultural belonging, deeply embedded in the Sicilian culture, is mainly conveyed through the use of constant code-switching and code-mixing between dialect and standard Italian generating an inventive hybrid of language codes. The paper will present a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the English subtitles and of the subtitling strategies used, in particular, to translate Extra-linguistic Cultural References, specific dialectal lexicon, figurative language and register, in order to consider the effects produced by subtitling on character portrayal and on the representation of local identity in relation to foreign stereotypes of Sicily. Does the general concern for readability and simplification of subtitles completely sanitize the linguistic interplay and the multi-layered nuances of the source language? It will be argued that, if, on the one hand, subtitles guarantee contact with the original sound and musicality of the vernacular language, on the other, they often tend towards unnecessary domestication affecting character representation more to comply to standardizing norms than to reach deeper understanding through the choice of more effective and creative translation solutions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4745819
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