Many of the most penetrating thinkers over time have focused their attention on the issue of translation and highlighted how translating “may very probably be the most complex type of event yet produced in the evolution of the cosmos” (Richards 1953) and even maintained that “translations prove to be untranslatable” (Benjamin in Venuti 2004). Such intricacy may basically be because translation “brings into play not only two languages but also two cultures” (Eco 2001). Therefore, the extent to which a text is (un)translatable may both depend on the socio-cultural distance between the Source and Target Languages and also on how deeply the text is rooted in its own Source Culture. Additionally, as in Cavaliere (2019), “the cultural implications for translation vary from lexical content and syntax to ideologies and modes of living in a given culture, including genre expectations/constraints”. Accordingly, the problems inherent in all translations are at their most evident when translating and adapting a text for the screen. In AVT, in contrast to other static written modes of communication, the medium prevents both the audience from back-tracking in the text in order to retrieve meaning and, more importantly, the provision of a “thick translation” (Appiah 2021). Drawing on the works of well-known translation/AVT scholars, my study investigates qualitative examples from English audio scripts of well-known films/TV series and their subtitled/dubbed Italian version and aims to highlight how their untranslatability may variously result from differences between linguistic structures and socio-cultural motivations. One of the important functions of translation is to inform about a foreign culture (Levý 2011), therefore my analysis leads to a renewed emphasis on connections among translation, linguistics, philology, philosophy, and socio-cultural issues through easy-to-grasp examples which may offer (under)graduate students stimulating (cross)curricular initiatives.

Coping with untranslatability in AVT

Flavia Cavaliere
2022

Abstract

Many of the most penetrating thinkers over time have focused their attention on the issue of translation and highlighted how translating “may very probably be the most complex type of event yet produced in the evolution of the cosmos” (Richards 1953) and even maintained that “translations prove to be untranslatable” (Benjamin in Venuti 2004). Such intricacy may basically be because translation “brings into play not only two languages but also two cultures” (Eco 2001). Therefore, the extent to which a text is (un)translatable may both depend on the socio-cultural distance between the Source and Target Languages and also on how deeply the text is rooted in its own Source Culture. Additionally, as in Cavaliere (2019), “the cultural implications for translation vary from lexical content and syntax to ideologies and modes of living in a given culture, including genre expectations/constraints”. Accordingly, the problems inherent in all translations are at their most evident when translating and adapting a text for the screen. In AVT, in contrast to other static written modes of communication, the medium prevents both the audience from back-tracking in the text in order to retrieve meaning and, more importantly, the provision of a “thick translation” (Appiah 2021). Drawing on the works of well-known translation/AVT scholars, my study investigates qualitative examples from English audio scripts of well-known films/TV series and their subtitled/dubbed Italian version and aims to highlight how their untranslatability may variously result from differences between linguistic structures and socio-cultural motivations. One of the important functions of translation is to inform about a foreign culture (Levý 2011), therefore my analysis leads to a renewed emphasis on connections among translation, linguistics, philology, philosophy, and socio-cultural issues through easy-to-grasp examples which may offer (under)graduate students stimulating (cross)curricular initiatives.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/905848
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