Movies… We all happen to watch at least one now and then. They are a big part of culture and, of course, they are a great way to relax and entertain ourselves. Indeed, cinema is an art.
Furthermore, the role of languages in this industry is quite important. We don’t only watch movies from our own country, we also enjoy foreign ones (most of the time, from the United States, but not only). If you’re a language lover, you might want to watch these foreign movies in their original version (it is a great way to improve your skills). After all, it’s always better to enjoy a movie as it was shot to appreciate the actors’ lines, the humor and the message. But sometimes, when you don’t have a choice and when you don’t live in an English-speaking country, you end up watching a movie dubbed or subtitled in your language. This is when you realize that this really is a huge work of translation, and even if we often criticize the result, we certainly can feel some sympathy towards the translators.
However, the mistakes of translations are always numerous. Indeed, it is sometimes very difficult, if quite impossible, to translate a phrase from one language to another. Sometimes, you may laugh hearing a line when spoken in the original version, and stay completely composed when hearing the dubbed version because you did not understand what exactly was funny because it may refer to a cultural fact or a pun that could not be translated into your language.
Another thing is that the titles of movies are often translated according to the country, and you may have noticed that sometimes the translators got it completely wrong. The English title can be translated… with another English title or can be translated into the language of the country and lose its meaning or logic entirely!
If you want to know more about what our international writers have to say about cinema and the role of languages in the movie industry, take a look at these interesting articles!