New Trends, Challenges and Discoveries in the Translation of Multilingualism in Fiction

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2023) | Viewed by 21993

Special Issue Editor

Department of Translation and Language Sciences, University Pompeu Fabra, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: multilingualism in scripts and fiction; audiovisual translation; translation theory; humour translation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past decade has seen a substantial rise in research publications focused more and more on the issue of translation tasks and projects having to tackle with texts that are not limited to a single language, dialect, or sociolect (Beseghi 2017, Ranzato and Zanotti 2018, Pérez and de Higes 2019, Rebane and Junkerjürgen 2019, to mention but a few). In other words, they display, and play with, the inclusion of words or phrases that do not belong to the standard language norm of the main language the text is composed in. The decade(s) before that required that such studies be introduced by a justification of the importance or relevance of language variation within texts (e.g., Sternberg 1981, Delabastita and Grutman 2005, Bleichenbacher 2008, Corrius and Zabalbeascoa 2011). This is no longer necessary nor is it accurate to claim that there is a woeful lack of studies on this topic. So, the question now is how far have we come exactly in our progress towards including this kind of sensitivity in the mainstream of translation studies, both theoretically and in the applied domain of professional practice and academic training?

How is (yet another) dichotomy—of foreign vs. non-foreign—called into question by translingualism and multilingual phenomena, such as creoles and code-switching, which are not necessarily based on the same factors as national borders, especially if we take into account multilingual communities and co-official languages within a given country? 

This Special Issue aims to address this question by accepting submissions that deal with it from different angles such as the ones suggested here but not limited to them:

  • Are translators proficient in all the languages of a multilingual fictional text (e.g., a novel or television series), and do they need to be?
  • How is translingualism and multilingualism in fiction an element of an author’s style and how are they dealt with accordingly?
  • What strategies are used by translators in rendering scripted translingualism or multilingualism and how such instances are affected by the habitual strategies involved in translation practices?
  • How have stereotypes (of character portrayal, conversational patterns or topics, or situations or events) developed and changed regarding the strategic use of foreign languages, dialects and non-native use of languages?
  • What are the practices and trends of using and rendering invented languages (e.g., as spoken by aliens from other planets or fantasy worlds)?
  • Are translations becoming more multilingual or linguistically diverse and, if so, by what means?
  • What genres and text-types are more affected by multilingualism, more problematic or innovative in translation?
  • In what aspects can / must we revise traditional theoretical approaches in the light of discoveries made in the area of multilingual translation? What about less traditional approaches, such as taking LGBTiQ+ studies/factors into account, or racial discourse, etc.?
  • To what extent is lingua franca a factor, and directionality, as in the distinction between from English vs. into English, for instance, or between languages that are not widespread on a global level?
  • Are there significant differences depending on whether the texts are written or audiovisual, i.e., mode and multimodality?
  • What are the relations between translation, multilingualism, pseudotranslations, creoles, code-switching, slang, non-native speech and other manifestations of sociolinguistic variation?
  • What historical periods can be meaningfully sketched both in the use of multilingualism in film, television, and video on demand, and the way they were and have been translated? What are the key characteristics of each period and the key factors of change from one period to another?
  • How have the researchers’ interests in the field of translation studies been sparked, what is the focus of their research and how has it evolved? What other aspects of translation has multilingualism been related to?
  • How is multilingualism tackled in machine translation, artificial intelligence, templates for translators, and post-editing practices?

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editor ([email protected]) or to Languages editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editor for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

Abstract submission deadline: 12th October 2022

Notification of abstract acceptance: 20th November 2022

Full manuscript deadline: 20th January 2023

References

Beseghi, M. 2017. Multilingual Films in Translation. A Sociolingusitic and Intercultural Study of Diasporic Films. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Bleichenbacher, L. 2008. Multilingualism in the Movies: Hollywood Characters and Their Language Choices. Tübingen: Francke.

Corrius, M. & Zabalbeascoa, P. 2011. “Language variation in source texts and their translations. The case of L3 in film translation”. In: Target 23 (1), 113—130.

Delabastita, D. & Grutman, R. (eds.) 2005. Linguistica Antverpiensa 4, 11—34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.52034/lanstts.v4i

Pérez L. de Heredia, M. & de Higes, I. 2019. Revistas - MonTI - 2019, Special Issue 4. Multilingualism and Representation of Identities in Audiovisual Texts. University of Alicante.

Ranzato, I. & Zanotti, S. 2018. Linguistic and Cultural Representations in Audiovisual Translation. New York: Routledge.

Rebane, G. & Junkerjürgen, R. 2019. Multilingualism in Film. Peter Lang.

Sternberg, M. 1981. Polylingualism as reality and translation as mimesis. In: Poetics Today 2 (2), 221—239.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Zabalbeascoa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • multilingualism in scripts and fiction
  • audiovisual translation
  • translator’s styles and solution-types, research trends, language variation, code-switching

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 3769 KiB  
Article
Multilingualism as a Functional Element, a Useful Category for the Study of the Construction and Translation of Linguistically Diverse Discourse
Languages 2023, 8(3), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8030198 - 23 Aug 2023
Viewed by 984
Abstract
This article is a discursive and equivalence-generating study of the use of the multilingual property as a narrative transmission mechanism in audiovisual texts. Specific functions can be constructed and different events and aspects of the plot can be presented through the introduction of [...] Read more.
This article is a discursive and equivalence-generating study of the use of the multilingual property as a narrative transmission mechanism in audiovisual texts. Specific functions can be constructed and different events and aspects of the plot can be presented through the introduction of linguistic variation and its deliberate application to achieve defined purposes. The analysis is based on functionalist approaches to the study of fiction and translation and on the binary branching classification model of solution types for determining textual problems in translation based on the form these adopt. This article presents the findings of multilingual property identification and translation related to the application of this forms- and functions-based approach. Several classifications of solution types are also developed with representative examples extracted from film and series. Full article
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13 pages, 392 KiB  
Article
Stereotypes in a Multilingual Film: A Case Study on Issues of Social Injustice
Languages 2023, 8(3), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8030174 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 4368
Abstract
Films serve to (re-)create a ‘world’ within the mind of the audience. Additionally, they introduce or reinforce stereotypes portrayed as a reality of the modern world through multiplexity and the strategic use of foreign languages, dialects, and non-native language use, among others. Various [...] Read more.
Films serve to (re-)create a ‘world’ within the mind of the audience. Additionally, they introduce or reinforce stereotypes portrayed as a reality of the modern world through multiplexity and the strategic use of foreign languages, dialects, and non-native language use, among others. Various concepts of stereotypes can be explored in fiction feature films, especially as film characters are often based on different kinds of stereotypes. Audiovisual texts tend to operate as cultural constructs that reflect and convey certain ideologies within an industry that holds the power to marginalize or belittle voices. Multilingual films highlight the contrasts among and within cultures; hence, they can further exacerbate the marginalization and stereotyping of different cultures and nations, ultimately having damaging effects on society’s perception of different stereotypes, such as race and gender groups, which is shown with the examples from a multilingual film. This article analyzes the marginalization and stereotypes in a Hollywoodian multilingual film through film analysis and critical theory. By doing so, this study aims to provide insight into the stereotypes that have been depicted, covering various clichés and stereotypes, including cultural, gender, political, and religious stereotypes. Furthermore, it seeks to dissect the societal consequences that arise from detrimental portrayals of stereotyping in a purposeful selection of an American multilingual film. Full article
16 pages, 1134 KiB  
Article
Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Family Guy: Challenges in Dubbing and Subtitling L3 Varieties of Spanish
Languages 2023, 8(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020143 - 30 May 2023
Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Multilingualism and multiculturalism are verbally and visually recurrent in the sitcom Family Guy (1999-in production) through a combination of a main language of communication (L1) and other languages (L3) in the source language (SL) or source text (ST). The use of L3 is [...] Read more.
Multilingualism and multiculturalism are verbally and visually recurrent in the sitcom Family Guy (1999-in production) through a combination of a main language of communication (L1) and other languages (L3) in the source language (SL) or source text (ST). The use of L3 is tantamount to tokenism and stereotyping characters, especially those whose recurrence is incidental and part of jokes. This paper compares two versions of the episode “Road to Rhode Island” (American and Spanish DVDs) and addresses a scene to analyze the linguistic challenges and lexical choices in dubbing and subtitling L1 and L3 in two geographical varieties of Spanish: Latin American Spanish and Peninsular Spanish. In this regard, this study focuses on the role and function of L3 in translation, the techniques to represent L3 in translation, L1 and L3 translation techniques, and which techniques are used in translation. Overall, this paper explores how the Spanish DVD adds a new L3 in the target text (TT) to maintain its original function in subtitling and dubbing, and the differences in the American DVD: L3TT omission in subtitling and L3TT change of function and meaning in dubbing, which ultimately accentuates linguistic and cultural misrepresentation and stereotypes. Full article
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18 pages, 432 KiB  
Article
Multilingualism as a Mirror of Strangeness in the Translation of Contemporary Literary Texts
Languages 2023, 8(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020140 - 30 May 2023
Viewed by 1433
Abstract
This paper focuses on the issue of multilingualism in contemporary literary texts, which contain examples of code-switching or words and expressions in different languages, which contribute to placing emphasis on the foreignness and strangeness of the characters or narrators of the stories. This [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the issue of multilingualism in contemporary literary texts, which contain examples of code-switching or words and expressions in different languages, which contribute to placing emphasis on the foreignness and strangeness of the characters or narrators of the stories. This study stems from the edition of a compilation of short narrative and dramatic texts translated into Spanish by authors who build up stories from a position of in-betweenness, rejection, or displacement. In this context, the presence of different languages contributes to revealing the multilingual and multicultural reality that provides the background for the different stories. They are all concerned about manifesting their vital experiences of (un)belonging to a certain labelled culture or identifiable group, often from a diasporic point of view. Some real examples of translation processes will be provided to show the strategies employed to preserve an effect of strangeness on readers, to reveal feelings of (un)belonging, to manifest a variety of identities, or to make explicit culturally marked terms. Translation is then approached from the perspectives of cosmopolitism, diversity, and postcolonial studies, which rely on multilingualism as a signal of a diversified and multicultural identity. Full article
14 pages, 414 KiB  
Article
Translating Multilingualism in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding
Languages 2023, 8(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020129 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Linguistic diversity is present in many audiovisual productions and has given rise to fruitful research on translation of multilingualism and language variation. Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) is a prototypical film for translation analysis, since multilingualism is a recurrent feature, as the film [...] Read more.
Linguistic diversity is present in many audiovisual productions and has given rise to fruitful research on translation of multilingualism and language variation. Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) is a prototypical film for translation analysis, since multilingualism is a recurrent feature, as the film dialogue combines English (L1) with Hindi and Punjabi (L3), which creates an effect of code-switching. This article analyses how the multilingualism and the cultural elements present in the source text (ST) have been transferred to the Spanish translated text (TT) La boda del monzón. The results show that in the Spanish dubbed and subtitled versions, few Indian cultural elements are left, and little language variation is preserved. Thus, L3 does not play a central role as it does in the source text. In the translation, only a few loan words from Hindi or Punjabi are kept, mainly from the domains of food and cooking, as well as terms of address and greetings, or words related to the wedding ceremony. The results also show that when L3 is not fully rendered in translation, otherness is still conveyed through image and music, thus (re)creating a different atmosphere for Spanish audiences. Full article
22 pages, 420 KiB  
Article
Hola, Señorita. Do You Like Gazpacho?” Challenges and Trends in the Audiovisual Translation of Linguacultural Otherness in American Multilingual Animated Films and Their Italian Dubbed Version
Languages 2023, 8(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020116 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2196
Abstract
In the last decades, ethnolinguistic Otherness has assumed an increasingly prominent position in many audiovisual products focusing on non-mainstream cultures otherwise quite voiceless in audiovisual media and giving voice to multilingual discourse practices where code-switching stands out as a key conversational strategy in [...] Read more.
In the last decades, ethnolinguistic Otherness has assumed an increasingly prominent position in many audiovisual products focusing on non-mainstream cultures otherwise quite voiceless in audiovisual media and giving voice to multilingual discourse practices where code-switching stands out as a key conversational strategy in expressing linguacultural diverse identities. This ties issues of on-screen multilingualism to the field of audiovisual translation and raises new challenges as far as the screen representation/translation of linguacultural specificities is concerned. All this is interestingly to be observed in animated films; indeed, since the early 1990s, such important animation production companies as Walt Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks began to produce ethnically diverse films offering deep sociolinguistic insights into non-dominant countries and populations whose richness is conveyed on the screen by dialogues interspersed with their native languages, acting as vital symbols of their ethnocultural identity. Starting from these observations, this paper aims at looking contrastively and diachronically at how L3s, i.e., languages different from both the language of the original film and the language of the film’s dubbed version, used in instances of turn-specific, intersentential and intra-sentential code-switching, have been dealt with in the original version and in the Italian dubbed version of thirty American multilingual animated films, released between 1991 and 2022. The main objectives of this study are: to verify to what extent the original ethnolinguistic Otherness is either retained for the Italian audience or manipulated in dubbing; to observe whether and how the screen translation studies’ approach in conveying linguistic diversity in animation has possibly changed over the last thirty years; and to point out what can be achieved by audiovisual translation in terms of intercultural/interlingual transmission when autochthonous linguacultures are represented in animated films. Full article
23 pages, 676 KiB  
Article
The Rendering of Multilingual Occurrences in Netflix’s Italian Dub Streams: Evolving Trends and Norms on Streaming Platforms
Languages 2023, 8(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020113 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Given the vast scholarly attention paid to multilingualism on traditional media over the years, it seems timely to focus on streaming platforms. This paper sets out to identify potential norms for the rendering of multilingual occurrences in the localised content of Netflix series. [...] Read more.
Given the vast scholarly attention paid to multilingualism on traditional media over the years, it seems timely to focus on streaming platforms. This paper sets out to identify potential norms for the rendering of multilingual occurrences in the localised content of Netflix series. It also seeks to explore whether streaming translation practices related to multilingualism differ from the consolidated norms and practices for TV and cinema content. The chosen data sample consists of the Italian dub streams of five TV Netflix-produced shows featuring multilingualism as a main characteristic. The strategies and techniques adopted in each series are singled out, quantified, and labelled according to a combination of taxonomies. These include dubbing, revoicing, subtitling, part-subtitling, diegetic interpreting, unchanged speech transfer, and no translation. A wider analysis is also carried out across all the data sample to draw patterns on a macro level. The findings reveal a strong tendency to mark and preserve multilingualism, in line with Netflix’s own policies and dubbing specifications. Transfer unchanged combined with subtitles emerges as the most recurrent strategy, while the dub-over strategy accounts for 13% of the multilingual occurrences in the data sample. Extensive neutralisation is therefore not encountered. That said, a certain degree of overlap between multilingual translation norms on Netflix and conventional Italian dubbing practices (which tend to neutralise) can still be observed. Full article
17 pages, 399 KiB  
Article
Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Audio Description and Audio Subtitling in Multilingual TV Shows
Languages 2023, 8(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020109 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2371
Abstract
Multilingualism in audiovisual productions has substantially increased in recent years as a reflection of today’s globalised world. While the number of publications looking at the phenomenon from the perspective of audiovisual translation (AVT)—especially interlingual subtitling and dubbing—has grown considerably in the last decade, [...] Read more.
Multilingualism in audiovisual productions has substantially increased in recent years as a reflection of today’s globalised world. While the number of publications looking at the phenomenon from the perspective of audiovisual translation (AVT)—especially interlingual subtitling and dubbing—has grown considerably in the last decade, there seems to be relatively little research on the rendering of multilingualism from the perspective of accessibility modes, namely subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) and audio description (AD). This article aims to investigate how multilingualism is rendered for deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as blind and partially sighted audiences, focusing on SDH and AD, as well as audio subtitling (AST). The study analyses a small corpus of TV shows available on Netflix and aims to highlight how multilingualism is made accessible both in SDH and AD. The products selected for the study had to satisfy three main criteria: they had to be a recent production, include the presence of an L1 (English) and one or more third languages and offer both intralingual SDH (closed captions) and AD. The results show that, even within the context of a single streaming platform, the strategies applied to deal with multilingualism seem to vary quite significantly both in SDH and AD/AST, ranging from neutralisation to L3 visibility. Full article
14 pages, 879 KiB  
Article
Audiovisual Translation, Multilingual Desire, and the Construction of the Intersectional Gay Male Body
Languages 2023, 8(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020105 - 10 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1761
Abstract
This study focuses on the HBO series Looking, whose two seasons and film make up a critical telecinematic artifact that reveals how authorial vision integrates ideologies on class, race, and desire that are identifiable in visual modes and language use—particularly multilingual dialogues. [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the HBO series Looking, whose two seasons and film make up a critical telecinematic artifact that reveals how authorial vision integrates ideologies on class, race, and desire that are identifiable in visual modes and language use—particularly multilingual dialogues. The analysis begins with the assumption that Looking is a relevant case of complex television and centers on the narrative structure of the series and the way that language, translation, and visual semiotic resources interact in the construction of a gay Latino character in the source version of the series and two Spanish dubbed versions—one for Latin America and the other for Spain. The findings reveal that Looking, as a televisual and aesthetic artifact, proposes a post-gay discourse of homoerotic relationships while also constructing racialized objects of desire, particularly the Latinx (male) body. A comparative linguistic analysis shows that both the dubbed versions highlight the boundaries of the so-called globalized gay identity. The data gathered demonstrate that the representation of ethnic, racial, and erotic difference changes according to the language system used. Moreover, new interactions between dubbed dialogues and visual resources result in a greater degree of semiotic layering of ideological discourses throughout the series. Full article
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