Why Film Translation is Very Challenging?

Why Film Translation is Very Challenging?

Why Film Translation is Very Challenging?

The best quality movies are often being translated from one language to another. That’s because people in all parts of the world are interested in enjoying such quality productions. In order to make a movie available to people in a different language, film translators will have to do a massive job. It is never an easy job to do be done. They come across numerous challenges while trying to get a movie translated from one language to another.

Following are some of the reasons available to showcase how challenging movie translations are.

Translating the slangs 

You can find how a large number of slangs are being used within a movie. It is important to make sure that these slangs are translated to the target language without creating any change in the meaning. Some of the slangs can easily be translated. However, not all slangs can be translated like that. A translator who works on this job should have a strong understanding of how the slang is being represented in the target language.

At the time of translating the slangs, it is important to pay special attention to the cultural differences as well. That’s because the cultural norms should be adhered at all times while translating a slang. Otherwise, it will not provide any sense at all. 

Translating the nicknames 

The plot that you can see in a movie is extremely casual. As a result, you will be able to see how nicknames are being used in order to call the characters. These nicknames often have a hidden meaning behind them. The hidden meaning is closely associated with the character as well. Therefore, it is important for the film translator to be aware of the character and the relationship that it has with the nickname, before moving forward with the translation process. 

In most of the instances, the film translator will have to go through the plot of the movie to get to know more about the character. Then it is possible to analyze the nickname and provide it with a reasonable translation. This will consume a considerable amount of time and effort. Hence, it is possible to call this a challenge in film translation as well.

Use of profanity 

Use of profanity in film translation is an exciting area to analyze and figure out more information. It is a well-known fact that the words and first expressions are usually picked up from the locals who are living in a foreign country. However, we doubt whether this really happens or not. 

Profanity and swearing is something that you can find in all parts of the world. Therefore, it cannot be ignored at the time of translating content. However, appropriate wordings have to be used at the time of translating, so that the translation adheres to the target language’s culture.

For example, the word “Dumbo” in English is called as “Dombo” in Dutch. Both these words are associated with the same meaning. Hence, there aren’t any major challenges when using the two words in the translations accordingly. But it would become a challenge during the film translation process. That’s because profanity is being used during the film making process and the translator will need to adhere to it and respect it. This is where the translator will be provided with a challenge to deal with.

The primary job of a film translator is to ensure that the same level of offensiveness is delivered with the new word that is being used. In the meantime, it is important to remain faithful to the word that was used in the original film. 

Translating the gestures 

Even some of the best film translators come across challenges when they are trying to translate the gestures that are available in the movies. This is because gestures are associated with different meanings in different countries out there in the world. Therefore, the exact meaning of what is indicated by the gesture should be analyzed before translating the gesture. The translator needs to have a strong understanding of this before proceeding with the work. 

This will not become a major issue when a person is translating the subtitles. That’s because the person who goes through subtitles will be able to see the actual movements of the character and get a better understanding of it. But if you are translating the plot of the movie, this will become a real challenge. 

For example, there is a gesture followed by people who live in Western India called Indian Chinwag. This is a nod of the head that is accompanied with a shake. But in real-world, this gesture doesn’t represent the true meaning. It provides the meaning “okay” in the real world. This is a clear example available to showcase how the gestures are making the life difficult for the film translators to go ahead with their translation work.

Final words

Now you are aware of the true challenges that are associated with the film translating process. People who work as professional film translators are going through this challenge every single day. They have also come up with their own measures to deal with the challenges in a better way and end up with positive results. However, becoming such a skilled film translator requires a lot of time and effort. If you have a film to be translated, you need to make sure that you are seeking the assistance of such a translator. That’s because you will be guaranteed to receive impressive results out of the film translation process by working along with such a translator. 

This article first appeared on Agato Translation Dubai blog


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