The use of dialects and regiolects in films is a long established practice that manipulates language as a tool in the construction of character. As Lippi-Green notes, ‘film uses language variation and accent to draw character quickly, building on established preconceived notions associated with specific national loyalties, ethnic, racial, or economic alliances’ (1997:81). This is even more evident in animated films, where language is used as a quick way to build character and reaffirm stereotype (ibid. 85). Disney feature films have often relied on language variation in order to convey specific characteristics of the characters (see Lippi-Green 1997; Di Giovanni 2003), and recent releases of animated films produced and distributed by other companies have shown to follow this tendency as well. Shark Tale is a Computer-Generated Imagery comedy produced in 2004 by DreamWorks Animation. It tells the story of Oscar, a young fish who claims to have killed the son of a shark mob boss in order to advance his own community standing. The characters of the film actually speak different variations of American English, which are used to attribute different features to them. Some characters speak a distinguishable African American hip-hop variety, whereas others speak Caribbean English. However, it is the use of the Italian American ethnolect which has become quite an issue for the distributors and producers of the film. Indeed, the film underwent many critiques by various associations of Italian Americans concerned about the perpetuation of negative stereotypes related to their ethnic group. The variety in question is actually spoken in the film by a group of sharks that are a clear parody of the Italian American gangsters portrayed in films such as The Godfather trilogy and Goodfellas, and TV series such as The Sopranos. The film is extremely rich in references to the mafia genre, both at a visual and a verbal level. The linguistic cultural metonymies (Bollettieri Bosinelli et al. 2005: 405-427) that are used in order to quickly draw character are identifiable at various levels. First of all, the voices themselves are familiar to the American audience and are used as a tool to associate the characters with Italian American gangsters. The mobsters are played by Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, and The Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore. Still at a phonological level, the pronunciation and intonation are definitely characteristic of the Italian American ethnolect. Moreover, at a lexical level, the dialogues are rich in slang and phrases that are clearly associated with the Italian American variety spoken by mobsters in mafia films. As far as Italian dubbing is concerned, the analysis confirms the results of previous studies (Parini 2009b, 2009c). The Italian industry has an established practice related to the dubbing of mafia movies, so that it uses certain strategies in order to maintain the original verbal characterisation of the characters; strategies which are even more evident in the case of mafia comedies, and seem to be exaggerated in animation too. Such strategies consist in conferring to the target language specific characteristics which allow the audience to associate the speakers to the group of Italian American gangsters. Again, such verbal cultural metonymies are observable at various levels: phonological, lexical, and syntactic.

The translation of ethnolects and sociolects in animation. Case study : the Italian dubbing of ItalianAmerican gangsterspeak in DreamWorks’ Shark Tale / I. Parini. ((Intervento presentato al 4. convegno MultiMeDialec Translation : International Conference on the Translation of Dialects in Multimedia tenutosi a Forlì nel 2010.

The translation of ethnolects and sociolects in animation. Case study : the Italian dubbing of ItalianAmerican gangsterspeak in DreamWorks’ Shark Tale

I. Parini
Primo
2010

Abstract

The use of dialects and regiolects in films is a long established practice that manipulates language as a tool in the construction of character. As Lippi-Green notes, ‘film uses language variation and accent to draw character quickly, building on established preconceived notions associated with specific national loyalties, ethnic, racial, or economic alliances’ (1997:81). This is even more evident in animated films, where language is used as a quick way to build character and reaffirm stereotype (ibid. 85). Disney feature films have often relied on language variation in order to convey specific characteristics of the characters (see Lippi-Green 1997; Di Giovanni 2003), and recent releases of animated films produced and distributed by other companies have shown to follow this tendency as well. Shark Tale is a Computer-Generated Imagery comedy produced in 2004 by DreamWorks Animation. It tells the story of Oscar, a young fish who claims to have killed the son of a shark mob boss in order to advance his own community standing. The characters of the film actually speak different variations of American English, which are used to attribute different features to them. Some characters speak a distinguishable African American hip-hop variety, whereas others speak Caribbean English. However, it is the use of the Italian American ethnolect which has become quite an issue for the distributors and producers of the film. Indeed, the film underwent many critiques by various associations of Italian Americans concerned about the perpetuation of negative stereotypes related to their ethnic group. The variety in question is actually spoken in the film by a group of sharks that are a clear parody of the Italian American gangsters portrayed in films such as The Godfather trilogy and Goodfellas, and TV series such as The Sopranos. The film is extremely rich in references to the mafia genre, both at a visual and a verbal level. The linguistic cultural metonymies (Bollettieri Bosinelli et al. 2005: 405-427) that are used in order to quickly draw character are identifiable at various levels. First of all, the voices themselves are familiar to the American audience and are used as a tool to associate the characters with Italian American gangsters. The mobsters are played by Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, and The Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore. Still at a phonological level, the pronunciation and intonation are definitely characteristic of the Italian American ethnolect. Moreover, at a lexical level, the dialogues are rich in slang and phrases that are clearly associated with the Italian American variety spoken by mobsters in mafia films. As far as Italian dubbing is concerned, the analysis confirms the results of previous studies (Parini 2009b, 2009c). The Italian industry has an established practice related to the dubbing of mafia movies, so that it uses certain strategies in order to maintain the original verbal characterisation of the characters; strategies which are even more evident in the case of mafia comedies, and seem to be exaggerated in animation too. Such strategies consist in conferring to the target language specific characteristics which allow the audience to associate the speakers to the group of Italian American gangsters. Again, such verbal cultural metonymies are observable at various levels: phonological, lexical, and syntactic.
English
13-mag-2010
dubbing ; ethnolect ; sociolect; cartoons ; gangsterspeak
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
Presentazione
Intervento inviato
Nessuno
MultiMeDialec Translation : International Conference on the Translation of Dialects in Multimedia
Forlì
2010
4
ESIST European Association for Studies in Screen Translation
Convegno internazionale
I. Parini
The translation of ethnolects and sociolects in animation. Case study : the Italian dubbing of ItalianAmerican gangsterspeak in DreamWorks’ Shark Tale / I. Parini. ((Intervento presentato al 4. convegno MultiMeDialec Translation : International Conference on the Translation of Dialects in Multimedia tenutosi a Forlì nel 2010.
Prodotti della ricerca::14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato
info:eu-repo/semantics/conferenceObject
none
Conference Object
1
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/153922
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact