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Negotiating social meanings from Italian to Dutch: the translation of honorifics in film subtitles

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Abstract
This paper analyses the translation of honorifics from Italian into Dutch in subtitles. Honorifics are largely used in the Italian culture. They are polite terms of address required in many formal social encounters. They express respect and professional recognition, carry legal value and denote social hierarchy. In the same way, honorifics in Italian films are used to convey these social meanings. Recent research (Caniato, Crocco, Marzo 2015) has however shown the difficulty of translating these social meanings in subtitles. We will argue that – as subtitling can be considered a cultural process, involving the re-negotiation of meanings – the social meanings of honorifics are also renegotiated in the subtitle. When crossing borders, some meanings of a film are accepted, while others are resisted. Acceptance and resistance influence the subtitling process and, consequently, the translation of honorifics. We will focus on the films La meglio gioventù (Giordana 2003), Malena (Tornatore 2000), Pane e Tulipani (Soldini 2000) and Non ti muovere (Castellitto 2004) and we will study how the indexical meanings of honorifics in the Italian films are rendered in the Dutch subtitles and hence, how this social meaning is renegotiated into the Dutch (Flemish) culture. To this end, we will analyse honorifics as ‘realia’ bearing particular – culturally loaded – indexical meaning which can be re-interpreted according to the target culture and language, but also depending on other film-related (or technical) criteria. We will perform a corpus-driven analysis of the films, based on a bilingual parallel corpus, duly aligned and annotated (70.910 Italian words; 58.987 Dutch words). The result will show that when honorifics are used to express social respect and recognition the translators tend to render them in the target language. When honorifics express also meanings such as derision, scorn, disrespect, they can more often be omitted in the target language.
Keywords
film, indexical meaning, Dutch, Italian, Subtitles

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MLA
Caniato, Manuela, Stefania Marzo, and Claudia Crocco. “Negotiating Social Meanings from Italian to Dutch: The Translation of Honorifics in Film Subtitles.” 14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts. 2015. Print.
APA
Caniato, M., Marzo, S., & Crocco, C. (2015). Negotiating social meanings from Italian to Dutch: the translation of honorifics in film subtitles. 14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts. Presented at the 14th Conference (IPRA 2015).
Chicago author-date
Caniato, Manuela, Stefania Marzo, and Claudia Crocco. 2015. “Negotiating Social Meanings from Italian to Dutch: The Translation of Honorifics in Film Subtitles.” In 14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Caniato, Manuela, Stefania Marzo, and Claudia Crocco. 2015. “Negotiating Social Meanings from Italian to Dutch: The Translation of Honorifics in Film Subtitles.” In 14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Caniato M, Marzo S, Crocco C. Negotiating social meanings from Italian to Dutch: the translation of honorifics in film subtitles. 14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts. 2015.
IEEE
[1]
M. Caniato, S. Marzo, and C. Crocco, “Negotiating social meanings from Italian to Dutch: the translation of honorifics in film subtitles,” in 14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts, Antwerp, Belgium, 2015.
@inproceedings{6885292,
  abstract     = {This paper analyses the translation of honorifics from Italian into Dutch in subtitles. 
Honorifics are largely used in the Italian culture. They are polite terms of address required in many formal social encounters. They express respect and professional recognition, carry legal value and denote social hierarchy. In the same way, honorifics in Italian films are used to convey these social meanings. Recent research (Caniato, Crocco, Marzo 2015) has however shown the difficulty of translating these social meanings in subtitles. 

We will argue that – as subtitling can be considered a cultural process, involving the re-negotiation of meanings – the social meanings of honorifics are also renegotiated in the subtitle. When crossing borders, some meanings of a film are accepted, while others are resisted. Acceptance and resistance influence the subtitling process and, consequently, the translation of honorifics. 

We will focus on the films La meglio gioventù (Giordana 2003), Malena (Tornatore 2000), Pane e Tulipani (Soldini 2000) and Non ti muovere (Castellitto 2004) and we will study how the indexical meanings of honorifics in the Italian films are rendered in the Dutch subtitles and hence, how this social meaning is renegotiated into the Dutch (Flemish) culture. To this end, we will analyse honorifics as ‘realia’ bearing particular – culturally loaded – indexical meaning which can be re-interpreted according to the target culture and language, but also depending on other film-related (or technical) criteria.  
We will perform a corpus-driven analysis of the films, based on a bilingual parallel corpus, duly aligned and annotated (70.910 Italian words; 58.987 Dutch words).

The result will show that when honorifics are used to express social respect and recognition the translators tend to render them in the target language. When honorifics express also meanings such as derision, scorn, disrespect, they can more often be omitted in the target language.},
  author       = {Caniato, Manuela and Marzo, Stefania and Crocco, Claudia},
  booktitle    = {14th Conference (IPRA 2015), Abstracts},
  keywords     = {film,indexical meaning,Dutch,Italian,Subtitles},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Antwerp, Belgium},
  title        = {Negotiating social meanings from Italian to Dutch: the translation of honorifics in film subtitles},
  year         = {2015},
}