Translating film titles
Quentin Tarantino, on difference and globalisation
In Spain, as in the rest of the non-Anglophone Western world, English-language film titles have become texts (or paratexts) of great cultural importance. The titles of the films that one may encounter in Western cinema can be considered, on the one hand ephemeral, elusive, and inconsequential. However, on the other hand, despite their clear irrelevance, film titles are considered to be the genuine contemporary cultural texts, for their continued presence in the media and for their evocative nature: an important marketing tool. Moreover, the result of what happens when film titles are translated into other languages and cultures has always intrigued the audience: this is perhaps indicative of the vast universe of translation studies. The differences between languages are palpable, not only from a linguistic point of view but also from a pragmatic, historical or cultural standpoint. In this paper, we deal with the translation of Quentin Tarantino’s film titles into a number of European languages, including Spanish, Catalan, French and German. Quentin Tarantino’s films are controversial, self-reflexive and have acquired a significant recognition within popular culture. Most of the typologies employed so far have revolved around the notion of ‘fidelity” in the translation of film titles, and involving such strategies as literal translation, transposition, addition, etc. We wish to propose here another avenue for investigation: that of film-title translation as a complex (and globalised) rewriting phenomenon that benefits the commercial and ideological interests of the film industry.
Cited by 2 other publications
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