Alienation techniques in screen translation
The role of culture specifics in the reconstruction of target-culture discourse
This paper presents a critical approach to the translation of cultural items in the Spanish dubbed version of the American sitcom Will & Grace. The paper starts with a presentation of domestication and foreignization (Venuti 1995). The former is discussed in connection with the choices made in the target texts. I, then, introduce the term “alienation” as another strategy used to render culture specificities. In the second section I examine the key comical elements present in the scripts, in which cultural allusions also play a significant role. Section three explores how these culturally anchored lexical items are rendered in the Spanish version, establishing a taxonomy that includes preservation of international items, preservation of culture-specific items, substitution with a different source-culture item, substitution with an international item, substitution with a target-culture item, substitution with corrupted forms of target-culture items and substitution with a superordinate. The use and translation of expletives as elements unique to a language and culture are also covered. The final section discusses the transition from domestication to alienation.
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