OR TRANSLATING SUBTITLES – DUBBING – VOICEOVER
OR SOME-MAY-THINK-CRAZY CRITERIA WHEN TRANSLATING FOR ENTERTAINMENT
The entertainment industry translation needs a specific method with various particularities to consider, and the key is that language is used to be said and not to be read.
In this situation, we can find two scenarios in which we:
- Receive a written script to translate and adapt regarding the film
- Don’t receive the script and have to transcribe the dialogue or voiceovers
In any case – and getting to the point! Although the text is already written and said in dialogues by actors or voice talents, do you think we could interpret it differently?
I mean, could we? Or should we respect 100% the original script?
In any translation, the overall approach is always adhering to the original script – while avoiding a literal translation.
But. Here comes the but.
Regarding audiovisual translation aimed at the entertainment industry or stage productions, my friends, we can go beyond that.
I’m mainly referring to entertainment because there’s character creation. If the character is consistent with the dialogue, then okay, no problem with that—let’s go home and watch a movie!
But. Right, another but. We can deal with it.
It may happen that the dialogue doesn’t accurately show the characters’ reality. So, I dare to throw an awkward question here. C’mon, let’s do it:
Within the entertainment industry translation, should we correct the original?
The average/regular/polite/professional answer is NO. The correct answer here is that the scriptwriters, producers, directors, and other members of the production team’s choices must be respected.
But – again.
If there’s the possibility of agreeing with them on possible adaptations, let’s take advantage of it!
You might ask yourself, why?
Well, because we’re discussing a translation.
You need more info? Right!
This means it’s positive for the target audience to receive more insights since they’ll take in the production in a language different from the original in which it was written.
More info? No problem!
In turn, a translation implies that we’ll almost always lose information, details, nuances, spirit, points of view, and other elements.
And here comes the bottom line
The pretty good news is that adapting the dialogue can solve these elements lost in translation!
Yeah! Hooray! Yay!
As you know, the characters use a different dialogue according to a vast number of parameters, and as translators – if there’s a need for it, we can intervene in the choice of:
Okay, don’t panic; always with the production and creators’ team’s approval!
And I have more great news!
These decisions will:
- Bulk up the show
- Bring it closer to the target audiences
Because these audiences don’t speak the same language as the original actors, of course!
We could say that it is a form of localization.
You don’t remember what’s that? Let’s refresh your memory on SIGNEWORDS‘ localization page.
Here’s an end notion: if we don’t have contact with the creators, we can adapt more subtly.
All I’m saying is, please, always look for a balance between upholding the original work and optimizing the approach to the final audience’s outreach. Thanks!