Traduire l´oral en une ou deux lignes : Étude traductologique du sous-titrage français de films suédois contemporains

by Eng, Thérèse

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation is a comparative investigation of the work of two subtitlers of Swedish films translated into French in the last decade of 20th century. It is a look at how they try to render the illusion of spoken language in the written line that is a subtitle. This effect has to be created despite the constraints of time, synchronisation, readability, and the limited number of characters available to work with.We have shown that the subtitles examined in this work include many of the characteristics typical of spoken French. These characteristics can be classified as belonging to the Phonetic, the Lexical or the Syntactic level. At the lexical level we can see that the translators use expressions with a lower style-level than the originals but manage to avoid being too shocking, innovative or destabilizing for the audience. We have also shown diastratic language differences in translation: our subtitlers strengthen characters of social differences by using a different language style depending on the status that the person in question has.Because of the polysemiotic nature of film it is not the primary purpose of a subtitler to translate everything. Typically verbal speech characteristics such as repetition, hesitation, incomplete phrases and non-informational expressions that are often seen as less acceptable in the written word are normally sacrificed in subtitles.On the other hand, we could not show that the original language (Swedish) had a sizable impact on the style and construction of the subtitles.We also looked at possible stylistic differences between the two subtitlers translations and tried to find out if the “voice” of the subtitler shone through. If so, we were interested in attempting to see if a difference could be caused by the fact that one of the subtitlers has French as her native language while the other translates from his second language. We were not able to relate the cause of the difference of style we observed to anything other than the original dialogue’s changing style-levels.In which direction the verbal content in subtitles will develop is an interesting and relevant question. In this work we have identified a development of style that has taken place during recent years in French subtitles to Swedish films. This development goes from a previous situation where the style of the spoken word was practically unused compared to today’s more frequent and systematic use.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Languages and linguistics; Romance languages; French language; subtitler; subtitle; translation strategies; language level; style; diastratique variation; diaphasique variation; diatopique variation; readability


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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