Dubbing multilingual films

La terra del ritornoand the Italian-Canadian immigrant experience

By Michela Baldo (Manchester, Uk)


This paper addresses the challenges to the dubbing industry posed by films which are characterised by multilingualism. The TV film Lives of the Saints, which is based on the best-selling, award-winning trilogy by Italian-Canadian author Nino Ricci, is a multilingual Canadian-Italian co-production involving Capri Films of Toronto and RTI of Italy in association with CTV (Canadian TV). The English version, which was shown in Canada in January 2005 on the CTV Network, employs various languages: Canadian and British English, standard and regional varieties of Italian, and a variety of Southern Italian dialects from the Molise region. The film was dubbed into Italian with the title La terra del ritorno and this version was televised in Italy in September 2004 on Canale 5.
Multilingual films are a relatively recent phenomenon. It was during the 1980s and 1990s that the number of film productions requiring the audience to deal with communication in more than one language increased (Heiss: 2004). Films reflect or sometimes anticipate current realities, and the presence of multiple languages on the screen is clearly a response to worldwide changes brought about by mass immigration and to its linguistic consequences. Immigration has influenced political and cultural theory: politicians have become interested in discussions of cultural diversity and ethnic pluralism as a means of reconsidering language rights and language policy, and cultural studies have introduced concepts such as mobility, hybridity and creolisation, all of which bring aspects of language plurality to the fore (Meylaerts 2006: 2-3).
Lives of the Saints is inevitably influenced by this interest in the linguistic aspects of migration. According to the Italian-Canadian director and producer Jerry Ciccoritti and Gabriella Martinelli, the film aims to depict the specificity of the Italian-Canadian immigrant experience and to distinguish it from the Italian-American one, with which the former is often confused, because of the dominance of American films in the cinema and TV. If a more accurate account of the Italian-Canadian post-immigrant condition is the compelling desire of many Canadians of Italian background living in Canada, for Italians living in Italy the interest in such a film comes from the changes brought about by immigration in the last two decades to their own country. Italian emigration is now a popular theme in movies, TV serials, exhibitions, conferences, popular festivals and newspapers. Today politicians, sociologists and journalists refer to the Italian migratory experience in order to deal with contemporary migrations into Italy. The interest, as far as Italian-Canadian immigration is concerned, has been sharpened by the recent translation of Nino Ricci’s trilogy of novels from which the title of the dubbed version of the film, La terra del ritorno, is taken[url=#n1][1][/url]
The multilingualism of the TV film Lives of the Saints is thus a product of migration and an aspect of the formation of migrant identity. Understanding its role within the context of the Italian-Canadian migratory experience becomes crucial to an informed analysis of the translation. The script of the Italian version is complicated by the fact that national languages in their standard form coexist with regional variants and dialects, a coexistence which involves both ideological and actual elements of subordination (Meylaerts 2006: 3).
The aim of this paper is to determine, starting from a discussion of cinematic multilingualism, the compromises which are evident in the dubbed version of La terra del ritorno and how Italian-Canadian identity is interpreted and reconstructed for the Italian audience.

Keywords/Parole chiave

ENG: Translation, dubbing, codeswitching and focalisation, migration


©inTRAlinea & Michela Baldo (2009).
"Dubbing multilingual films La terra del ritornoand the Italian-Canadian immigrant experience"
inTRAlinea Special Issue: The Translation of Dialects in Multimedia
Edited by: M. Giorgio Marrano, G. Nadiani & C. Rundle
This article can be freely reproduced under Creative Commons License.
Stable URL: https://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/1716

1. Multilingualism as a tool of focalisation and translation

Ricci’s trilogy of novels (on which the film is based), like Italian-Canadian writing in general[url=#n2][2][/url], explores a doubleness of identity experienced by second generation Italian immigrants. This duality arises from a split of the self into opposing loyalties: one faithful to Canadian values inculcated through formal education in English (self promotion and individualism), and the other to Italian values (patriarchal roles and attachment to family, for example) which are taught at home through dialect or Italian. Italian-Canadian writing thus inevitably becomes an attempt to translate the Italian language of emotion into the Canadian-English sphere of consciousness in order to resolve and negotiate a linguistic and cultural conflict (Pivato 1994: 121-122).

Translation is consequently viewed as a tool which enables the act of writing; it becomes a metaphorical tool of representation and is signalled through the use of two or more languages (Pivato 1994). Issues of multilingualism and language variation are thus inherently tied to the concept of translation, since the interplay of languages expresses the linguistic and cultural negotiations at work in a post-immigrant society. Instead of multilingualism I would use specifically the word codeswitching, a term in linguistics which describes the phenomenon of a bi- or multilingual speaker in communities in which two or more languages are in contact, shifting from one language to another in the course of a conversation (Milroy and Muysken 1995: 7). In literature this device is not arbitrary, not simply a mimetic device used to give the reader a flavour of the author’s heritage language, but has a more symbolic function. In the case of Lives of the Saints it contributes to the portrayal of a group identity, since it can signal a character’s perspective, in terms of his emotions and attitudes (Martins 2005). This signalling is possible because codeswitching is linked to focalisation, and indeed “reflects and creates focalisation” (Genette 1972; Määttä 2004). Focalisation is a concept of film studies [url=#n3][3][/url], and refers to the lens through which we see characters and events in narrative.
Codeswitching in Lives of the Saints, by juxtaposing two different cultural worlds, Italy and Canada, produces constant changes in focalisation, contributing not only to the polyphonic structure of the film but to its competing ideologies.

2. Dubbing and subtitling strategies

In Lives of the Saints translation is not only a metaphorical concept which describes the creative process at work in the construction of a migrant identity; it is also a necessity in order to allow the average Canadian viewer to understand non-official languages such Italian and Southern Italian dialects. Lives of the Saints uses various translating strategies [url=#n4][4][/url] one of which is intralingual subtitling [url=#n5][5][/url]. Translation is also an integral part of the film because it is an international TV co-production, and co-production generally involves translation, since what is produced is intended for audiences in at least two countries. In our specific case the English version of the film has been dubbed into Italian to be shown on Italian TV with the title La terra del ritorno. Dubbing involves a process whereby “the foreign dialogue is adjusted to the mouth and movements of the actor in the film” (Dries 1995: 95) in order to give the audience the impression that they are listening to actors speaking in the target language. Dubbing thus makes the source text familiar to the target audience through domestication. Venuti’s term “domestication” (1995) signifies a translation strategy which adopts a fluent, transparent style in order to minimise the strangeness and foreignness of a source product for target text consumers. This term is the opposite of foreignisation, represented usually by the strategy of subtitling and involves an emancipation from total obedience to target linguistic and textual constraints (Ulrych 2000: 130). By supplying a written translation of the spoken source language dialogue into the target language in the form of synchronised captions, subtitling alters the source text to the least possible extent and enables the target audience to experience its foreignness. In countries such as Italy, Spain and Germany, dubbing represents an overt government policy in order to strengthen linguistic or political unity, to protect the purity of the home language (Ulrych 2000: 132). Although this seems a defensive attitude, a form of resistance to hegemonic cultures and languages, it can constitute an appropriation which domesticates the original. Italian dubbing policy is in general one of local standardisation, explicitation and naturalisation (Ulrych 2000: 132). The most common goal of a dubbed version is to be absolutely convincing to the audience, so that there is no sign of the presence or interference of the translator.

The aim of this paper it to look at how the multilingualism of the film is treated in the process of dubbing. I will analyse specifically those dubbed scenes of the film La terra del ritorno which correspond to the Lives of the Saints’ subtitled ones. The analysis of these parts shows how the most foreignising scenes of the English version of the film are treated by a domesticating dubbing strategy. In addition, subtitling is closely linked to multilingualism, since it appears alongside codeswitching in the passages which involve a shift from English into Standard Italian or dialects and viceversa in the English version of the film, signalling the switch in focalisation and the conflict of values between the two cultural worlds of Canada and Italy. Although it seems designed to allow the average Anglophone viewer to understand only some scenes, its impact is much more complex. In subtitling, as we know, the spoken dialogue “has to be reduced to meet the technical conditions of the medium and the reading capacities of the viewers” (De Linde and Key 1999) [url=#n6][6][/url]. This reduction does not simply involve omitting elements of dialogue, but also a reconstitution of information through paraphrasing (De Linde and Key 1999). Such condensing is, however, not simply the result of technical constraints, but also of ideological/cultural factors, namely the moral, political and legal concerns of the translator and/or the translation commissioner (Fawcett 2003: 145-146). Subtitles can enhance the underlying ideology of the films, “while censoring a few critical voices in the process” (Remael 2003: 225).
Subtitles are therefore linked to the ideological stand of the film, in terms of their phrasing and their position. The decision to subtitle some dialogue while leaving other speeches untranslated often constitutes an ideological intervention in order to transmit a piece of dialogue in the foreign language, and to clarify meanings which would otherwise not be understood. Subtitling has the effect of compounding the already complex focalisation of the film by adding an external focalised perspective which signals to the viewer the crucial events of the story which are fundamental to an understanding of the plot.

What exactly does all this mean for the reception by an Italian audience of such a film, where codeswitching, focalisation and translation represent an integral part of its deeper meaning? How are the subtitled scenes treated in the Italian dubbed version? In the world of film the treatment of culture specific material, including dialect, has always been contentious, and the strategy of translating, for example, dialect with dialect, can clash with the gestures and facial expressions of the actors (Baker and Hochel 1998: 76). Practice has shown that modifications might be introduced at various levels to help maintain the illusion of authenticity, for example changing the names of characters and places by replacing them with those of the target culture (Baker and Hochel 1998: 76). With such an approach the presence of codeswitching in the source film might be totally abolished. In other cases, instead, less drastic strategies can be used in order to preserve the linguistic interplay of the original, such as subtitles (Diadori 2003) or similar language varieties (Salmon Kovarski 2000), as the analysis of excerpts from the film will show.

3. Dubbing La terra del ritorno

La terra del ritorno narrates the experiences of an Italian family before and after they immigrate to Canada. The protagonist of the story is Vittorio, whose childhood revolves around his mother, Cristina, (whose husband Mario has emigrated to Canada) and his Aunt Teresa (Sophia Loren) also the village schoolteacher, who gives him a book called Lives of the Saints as a gift before he leaves Valle De Sole and emigrates to Canada in search of a better life with his family. However, a twist of fate intervenes and Cristina sadly dies on the boat during the trip to Canada while giving birth to Vittorio’s stepsister Rita, who is the outcome of an illicit affair. The children join their father, Mario, who works on a farm in Ontario and who cannot accept Rita, as she is a constant reminder of his wife’s infidelity. By the time Rita is eight, tensions in the house reach a breaking point, culminating with Mario shooting Rita’s dog for raiding the chicken coop, at which point he allows an English family to adopt Rita. Vittorio becomes more alienated from his father, fleeing to the far north, but eventually returns home upon hearing of his father’s suicide. At the funeral he is reunited with his stepsister Rita and forced to come to terms with their problems and with other family secrets when he finally returns to Valle De Sole.

In the film we encounter interlingual subtitling in seven scenes. In some scenes codeswitching is used to indicate a major change in setting or an introduction in the scene of a character from abroad, while in others it is employed in crucial moments of the story. These moments deal with the discussion and reassessment of important values such as shame, honour, fidelity, respect, and gratefulness. They are usually moments of great emotional impact and are pivotal in grasping the deeper message of the film. The language spoken in these scenes is either standard Italian, a dialect from the region of Molise in Southern Italy or a Molisan regiolect, which confirms the idea of Italian writer Pirandello that dialect or regiolect are linked to the sphere of emotions and feelings. Regiolect specifically is defined as the language spoken in a certain region in Italy and is characterized by the mixture of local dialect and regional varieties of standard Italian (Heiss and Leporati 2000: 44).

In the dubbed version of the film this language interplay ‘is to a certain extent’ maintained since the target culture offers the possibility to use the same dialect of the source culture. Lives of the Saints is indeed about Southern Italian peasants who have emigrated to the Ontario region in Canada in the 50s and 60s of the last century (Perin and Sturino 1989). They certainly spoke a variety of Molisan dialects not too different from the ones spoken now in the same region (Raso 1994). Given these premises, the dubbed version of the film can preserve the interplay between Canadian or British English, Standard Italian and dialect by employing codeswitching between standard Italian and dialect (or regiolect). However, the English version of the film also witnesses the presence of another language, an Italian-Canadian ‘ethnolect’. This word refers to the ethnic belonging of a speaker born in a place where the language he/she speaks is not his/her mother tongue (Salmon Kovarski 2000: 68). This is the English language spoken by Italian immigrants in Canada and is characterized by prosody, intonation and phraseology which differ from other varieties of English spoken in the country and can be defined as English with a Southern Italian accent. The language situation in Canada is even more complicated by the presence of another language defined as italiese [url=#n7][7][/url] by philologist Lorenzo Clivio (1985). Although in the scenes analysed we cannot properly talk ofitaliese in terms of lexicon employed, certainly the Italian-Canadian ethnolect shares some prosodic features of italiese. In the next section I will provide an example of a scene form Lives of the Saints (which I call scene A) along with its dubbed version (scene B) from La terra del ritorno, in order to discuss in more detail the dubbing strategies used.

3.1 Excerpts from Lives of the Saints


The setting of scene A is at the house of the adult Vittorio. He, his half-sister Rita, aunt Teresa and uncle Alfredo with his wife are gathered together to discuss Mario’s (Vittorio’s father) will with a lawyer. Alfredo, who was the working partner of Mario and held half of the shares of the corporation farm, is not happy with the will since Mario has left his entire fortune to his son Vittorio. Consequently, he has an argument with Vittorio and switches from an Italian-Canadian English ethnolect to a Molisan regiolect and a dialect (this speech is represented in italics in the extract). This switch signals the shift towards Alfredo’s Southern-Italian point of view on the events and is stressed (at the end of the discussion) with the use of subtitles. 

Scene A

(Sub stands for subtitles while italics is used to signal codeswitching into Italian, Molisan regiolect or dialect).

AlfredoSi, si, si avvocato… you are charging us to tell us what we already know..em! Please, make us the point, em?
Gesù, Giuseppe e Maria! We have a new boss.
Teresa - Be quiet Alfredo!
Alfredo - Someone has to speak out for what is right.
Teresa - He earned every cent of this money. He had to live in this house.
AlfredoOh, ma no, ma che scherziamo qui?
Teresa - Sta zitto!
Alfredo - Now I know Mario was out of his mind. Ha lavorato 25 anni, perché? For what? To leave his son everything who lives in a igloo e..e questa specie di puttana..questa disgraziata…
Is not true..? is not true?
This is just as crazy as when your father killed himself, eh…hai capito?
AlfredoTu me cacci fuori a me?
Sub: You’re throwing me out?
Dopo vint’anni.
Sub: After twenty years?
Sub: You should be ashamed!
Anche tu vergognati!
Sub: and you too!

The shame invoked by Alfredo in relation to Vittorio and Teresa’s behaviour (in the parts subtitled) is the shame of not being grateful and respectful towards a member of the family, which is considered to be a sacred institution, hence the strong feeling of betrayal (similar to the one of Cristina towards her husband Mario). Alfredo in this film speaks both Italian-Canadian ethnolect (with an heavy Southern Italian accent), a regiolect and a Molisan Italian dialect which characterises him as an unsophisticated man, prone to raising his voice but still remaining more friendly and light-hearted than Mario. This scene gains particular meaning if compared with many others in which Alfredo’s speech in dialect is not translated or interpreted at all (when for example he talks to his wife and children around the dinner table) since these are probably moments not considered important in the understanding of the story. The prosodic effects of dialect are lost in the subtitles, except from the first instance where there is an attempt to preserve meaning by stressing the word ‘me’ using italics in the expression ‘you are throwing me out’ which reproduces the illocutionary force that this term has a spoken sentence in dialect. The other characters of the scenes speak either Canadian-English (the lawyer, Vittorio and Rita) or standard Italian and ethnolect with a mild Southern Italian accent (Teresa). 

3.2 Excerpts from La terra del ritorno

In the dubbing (scene B) the subtitles used to translate dialect in the original disappear since the Italian audience in general is supposed to grasp the meaning of the three short sentences. As regards to the treatment of multilingualism, all the varieties of languages spoken in Lives of the Saints are reduced in La terra del ritorno to standard Italian, Molisan regiolect and dialect. More specifically, the strategy used in the Italian dubbing is that of maintaining the dialect and the regiolect when they are used in the English version of the film, and transforming the ethnolect into a regiolect. 

Scene B
(The letters are inserted to facilitate the reader in following the text analysis and are indicated in the analysis within brackets).

a Alfredo - Si, si, si avvocato.. lei si fa paga’ per dirci quello che sappiamo già da un pezzo, va boh? Per favore veniamo al punto.
Gesú, Giuseppe e Maria! Teniamo un nuovo padrone, ti rendi conto?
b Teresa - Sta un po’ zitto Alfredo!
c Alfredo -) Oh, io mi chiamo Innocente. I soldi che ha fatto Mario so’ pure soldi miei.
d Teresa - Lui se li è guadagnati fino all’ultimo centesimo. Ha dovuto abitare in questa casa.
(Alfredo) Oh, ma no, ma che scherziamo qua?!
e Teresa - E statte zitto!
f Alfredo - Adesso tengo le prove che Mario era diventato pazzo. Ha lavorato 25 anni, perché? Ha lasciato tutto a suo figlio che abita in un igloo e a questa specie di sgualdrina..questa disgraziata..
E non è vero..? non è vero?
Tuo padre era pazzo quando ha fatto testamento così come quando si è ammazzato. Eh….hai capito?
g Alfredo - Tu me cacci fuori a me?
Dopo vint’anni
Anche tu vergognati!

The difficulty of reproducing codeswitching in the dubbed version of the film is dealt with by stressing some linguistic features of the Molisan regiolect around the codeswitched material. For example, following Salmon Kovarski’s (2000) classification, in dubbing we need to take into account the ortoepic, lexical, pragmatic and morpho syntactic features of the English version of the film along with intonation. In scene B (like in many other parts of La terra del ritorno) the overall intonation of the speech is that of the Molisan regiolect. We witness the presence of the ortoepic features [url=#n8][8][/url] of the Molisan regiolect such as the atone vowel at the end of words, like avvocatә instead of avvocato (a), and pazzә (f) instead of pazzo, or the stretched pronunciation of the last vowel of some words such as paga’ (a) so’ (c) which are truncated forms of the standard Italian pagare and sono. With regards to the lexical features we have the use of regiolect or dialect terms instead of their more common equivalent standard Italian form, like teniamo (a) and tengo (f) instead of abbiamo, and ho, pure (c) instead of anche, ammazzato (f) instead of ucciso, cacciare fuori (g) instead of mandare via. We notice also the substitution of the gross term puttana in the English version with a less crude form such as sgualdrina, since the language of TV series, at least the ones broadcast on national TV, tend to restrict the use of swearwords (Gatta 2000). Pragmatically speaking, we have the insertion of the phrases ti rendi conto? (a) (translation: can you believe it?) which does not exist in the original version, and constitutes a sort of addition, an expansion, using Gottlieb’s (1992) terminology, which gives an extra pragmatic emphasis to the talk. At the morpho syntactic level in the English version of the film the ethnolect of the character Alfredo is characterised by interferences with the Italian syntax, like in the grammatically incorrect phrase ‘make us the point’ (second line in scene A) (that could be the translation of a possible ci faccia il punto). In this dubbed extract, the non-standard Italian morpho syntactic constructions belong to this dialect, for example tu me cacci fuori a mewith the indirect stressed pronoun me used with the preposition a and in an emphatic position after the verb, as opposed to an object pronoun in standard Italian preceding the verb (tu mi mandi via).

The presence of non-standard Italian, morpho syntactic constructions in dialect or regiolect are found along with subtitled dialogue in other parts of the original film in very dramatic and emotional moments of the story. An example of this is when Mario discovers that his sister Teresa has hidden Cristina’s betrayal to him. He becomes furious and bursts out at Teresa, expressing his belief that women are ‘damned betrayers’ (traditrici maledette). This utterance is kept intact within the dubbing; however, the rest of Mario’s talk is in regiolect, for example the Italian non-standard, morpho syntactic expression is avessi amazzato a lei e a quell’altra bastarda instead of avrei ucciso lei e quell’altra bastarda, with the same grammatical rule analysed for scene B, which uses an indirect object instead of a direct one, and the use of the subjunctive mood (regiolect feature) instead of the conditional (Standard Italian feature). In another scene, which is subtitled in English Mario orders his son to take Rita to bed, while using the general dialect word, contrara [url=#n9][9][/url], which dismisses the child’s identity as a person. The dubbed version of the film translates that word in Italian (probably because most Italians would not understand this specific dialect word) but it also extends the use of Molisan dialect to the rest of the scenes in order to substitute Italian-Canadian ethnolect.

The strategy used to dub codeswitching is to apply some linguistic features of Molisan regiolect or Molisan dialect around the codeswitched material and to substitute Italian-Canadian ethnolect (with a strong Molisan accent) with either Molisan regiolect or dialect. Canadian-English or British-English instead are translated with Standard Italian, and Standard Italian with a slight regional accent is sometimes translated into dialect. This is the case of Teresa in this extract (scene B) whose ‘be quiet Alfredo’ (b) is translated with standard Italian sta un po’ zitto, and Italian sta zitto (e) is translated with dialect statte zitto.

To conclude, the language interplay of the original dialogue is maintained in the dubbing for TV and thus this language deviates, at least in part, from the phonetic neutrality and the stereotypical language choices of Italian doppiaggese[url=#n10][10][/url] (Gatta 2000: 88).

4. Final remarks

This paper set out to investigate the dubbing strategies used to dub the multilingual film Lives of the Saints into Italian.  Multilingualism constitutes a fundamental part of what can be labelled Italian-Canadian identity. The constant passage from one language to another in the course of a conversation represents an everyday reality for many Italian-Canadians, and the constant shifting between the often opposing values of two (or three) different languages and cultures is often an attempt to reconcile the sense of splitting brought about by emigration (Pivato 1994: 124). This movement or translation from one language to another in a continuous search for the proper expression or word destabilises the English language by hinting at something foreign and other than itself; it often contributes to multiplying the ambiguity of words, signalling the contaminations of Italian or dialects in the exposure to Canadian-English and viceversa (Verdicchio 1997: 99-100). Codeswitching, therefore, shows the contradictions inherent in any pretence of portraying a fixed and stereotypical idea of Italianess or Canadianess.

The comparative analysis of two excerpts from the films has concentrated on those scenes that in the English version were subtitled since they contain fundamental ideas for an understanding of the film. Such analysis has confirmed that dubbing into Italian tries to preserve the language variety of the English version despite this being an exception for television dubbing. However, because of the specific topic of the film, which involves migrants to Canada from the Molise region in Italy, the dialogue’s switches between Italian and Molisan regiolect or dialects can be still considered part of a domesticating strategy which draws on resources present in the Italian literary and cinematic tradition, such as regiolects or dialects (Brugnolo and Orioles 2002: 10-11).

The product of such a strategy is the depiction of an Italian-Canadian immigrant who does not bear any linguistic sign of his/her diasporic experience (a part from the cinematic setting). Italian-Canadian identity is the hybrid product of migration, represented by the use of Italian-Canadian ethnolect. In dubbing into Italian (or dialect), the lack of foreignisation or contamination signs by English-Canadian reduces the nuances of the original film which aimed (according to director and producer) at opposing misperceptions and stereotypes regarding Italians in Canada. Italian dubbing fails partly to reproduce the dynamicity and hybridity of the migrant experience, changed by the encounter with North American values and take home Molisan emigrants as though they had never left their homeland.



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[1]Nino Ricci novels are: Lives of the Saints (1990), In a Glass House (1993) and Where She Has Gone (1997). They were translated into Italian by Gabriella Iacobucci in 2004 with publishing house Fazi Editore.

[2]Italian-Canadian writing is a body of literature produced by writers of Italian descent living in Canada. This writing exists in English, in French, in Italian and in some Italian dialects and shares many thematic similarities with reference to the discourse of ethnicity, since it mainly explores the dilemmas of the Italian-Canadian identity formation. Italian Canadian literature began in about 1975 with the work of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, who was also one of the founders, in 1986, of the Association of Italian-Canadian writers. To date, this genre has received very little attention, in spite of the fact that it offers a rich body of texts for the study of language and identity (Pivato 1994).

[3]Focalisation refers to “the point behind the lens where the light rays from a point being photographed converge to form an image” and by extension also “to the location from which a subject will record sharply on film”. It can also refer to “the degree of sharpness and definition of the image” (Konisberg 1988: 133).

[4]The other strategies used are either non-translation or interpretation performed by a character to another. In the first case the meaning is achieved through devices such as cushioning and embedded translation by the help of the images which point at what’s going on.

Subtitling can be both intralingual when the target language is the same as the source language, and interlingual (the case of our film) when the target language is different from the source language (Gottlieb 1992: 247).

[6]Subtitling is subjected to technical constraints such as spatial restrictions (subtitling takes up a maximum of two lines) and temporal restrictions which derive from the need for synchronicity and the reading speed of viewers (De Linde and Key 1999).
[7]According to Clivio (1985: 73) “Italiese, or Italo-Canadian, must not be regarded as a language separate from Italian; rather, it may be considered as a new dialect of Italian, or, better still, a continuum of idiolects, all of which share a common core and are mutually intelligible, but which reveal the influence of English in an uneven manner, especially, but not exclusively, in the lexicon”.

[8]Ortoepic features of the language are those related to how consonantic and vocalic groups are pronounced.

[9]In the regiolect of Molise the word ‘contrara’ means ‘girl’ and derives from the Indoeuropean ‘kwatrara’, a girl who carries ‘kwatrar’ (water). For the general features of Molise regiolect see Raso (1994) and Iannacito-Provenzano (2006).

[10]Doppiaggese, literally ‘dubbed Italian’, the language used in Italy to dub foreign films, has not been thoroughly studied yet. Doppiaggese of TV series is believed to be different either from the common language of TV or from cinematic doppiaggese (Gatta 2000: 88).

About the author(s)

Michela Baldo graduated at the University of Padova (Italy) in Classics and Italian in 2000 and has a Masters degree (2004) and PhD (2009) in Translation studies from the University of Manchester.
Her PhD, supervised by Professor Mona Baker and Doctor Francesca Billiani, focused on migrant literature (Italian-Canadian writing) translated into Italian and her research interests extend to language contact, narrative, queer studies and film studies. During her studies she taught Italian language and culture at the University of Manchester, where she is currently employed as research assistant on a project which aims to study online language comprehension in English-Italian and Spanish-Italian bilingual school-age children. She works occasionally as a freelance translator.

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©inTRAlinea & Michela Baldo (2009).
"Dubbing multilingual films La terra del ritornoand the Italian-Canadian immigrant experience"
inTRAlinea Special Issue: The Translation of Dialects in Multimedia
Edited by: M. Giorgio Marrano, G. Nadiani & C. Rundle
This article can be freely reproduced under Creative Commons License.
Stable URL: https://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/1716

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