A qualitative analysis of the impact of template files in multilingual subtitling Irene Artegiani and Dionysios Kapsaskis University of Roehampton Subtitling as a form of representation • • • • From the oral to the written mode From language A to language B From a foreign to a familiar reality From a dominant to a peripheral culture Subtitling quality a function of… • Translational choices (linguistic, narrative, stylistic) • Technical constraints • Cultural, political and aesthetic considerations Subtitling and the industry • • • Multilingual subtitling Standardisation of the subtitling process Centralisation of project management Template files: time-cued subtitles in the original language (usually English) that are to be used by all translators working on the same multilingual subtitling project Example of template file FILM DIALOGUE TEMPLATE FILE - So, what do you think it is going to happen with this infusion of new blood? What do you think is gonna happen with this new blood? - We could be looking at a period of potentially violent power struggle. There could be a violent struggle. - They gotta paint us the worst, these - They gotta paint us the worst. TV news people. - How long till dinner? - How long till dinner? - Any familiar names? - In New York, the old style boss still in place is Carmine Lupertazzi. - Any familiar names? - In New York, Carmine Lupertazzi. Our research • What are the main techniques used for the production of template files? • Are translators constrained by the presence of template files? • Do translators tend to copy the linguistic, cultural, aesthetic, political choices of the template makers? • Do translators tend to translate from the template file rather than directly from the audiovisual material? • What are the qualitative effects on language, semantic transfer, narrative coherence, intertextuality? The language of The Sopranos • It is a mix of Italian expressions, Mafia-related slang and swearing. • Cultural and intertextual references • Requires “active viewing” (Yacowar, 2007) Subtitling the series • General reduction (due to spatial and temporal constraints) • Targeted reduction • Italian expression Swearwords Information • • Italian expressions Source dialogue We’ll have a party for him. Dio ti English template FR Yeah, we'll Ouais, on have a fêtera ça. party for benedica. I him. love you, ok? EL ES Θα του οργανώσουμε πάρτι. Sí, le daremos una fiesta. [Yeah, we'll [We'll have [Yes we'll have a a party for have a party party for him .] for him . ] him .] Swearing Source dialogue English template FR EL ES We lead him through the snow. This We lead him through the snow. He's shivering. On le fait avancer dans la neige. Il grelotte. Τον αφήνουμε στο χιόνι. Έτρεμε. Le sacamos a la nieve. Estaba temblando. He's wearin' pyjamas and slippers in eightdegree weather. Il est en pyjama et il fait moins 13 dehors. Φορούσε πιτζάμες και παντόφλες με μείον δεκατρείς βαθμούς. Llevaba el pijama y las pantuflas y hacía un frío que pelaba. asshole's shiverin'... he's wearin' fuckin' pajamas and slippers in like 8 degrees weather. Omission of information Source dialogue English template FR EL ES - "Chrissy, don't leave me out here." -You little cocksucker! - "Chrissy, don't leave me out here." - You cocksucker! - "Chrissy, ne me laisse pas." - Enfoiré ! - "Κρίσι, μη μ' αφήνεις μόνο εδώ". -Παλιομαλάκα! -“Chrissy, no me dejes aquí”. -Serás chupapollas. - Always playin' that bloodrelation card. Tony's little favourite. Always playin' that bloodrelation card. Tony's favourite Toujours la carte de la famille. Le préféré de Tony. Πάντα ρίχνεις το χαρτί της συγγένειας. Ο αγαπημένος του Τόνι! Siempre mencionas que sois parientes. El niño bonito de Tony. Quality issues Targeted reduction at template level (Italian words, swearing, information) Effect on quality : Loss of characterisation Narrative inconsistencies Conclusions • Strategies of text reduction were on many occasions blindly reproduced in the French, Greek and Spanish subtitles • Translators generally tended to translate from the template file rather than from the audiovisual material • However, template files also provide correct technical guidance, prevent mishearings and other consistency errors Suggestions • Template files should contain the full transcribed dialogue and on-screen text. • Template files should provide broader background information and guidance.