Tuesday 23rd of July 2024


Dubbing is the New Black? Exploring the notion of voice

Delia Chiaro – Università di Bologna pdf_icon_30x30


Abstract: The extensive literature that is available on dubbing mainly focuses on the comparison of translational choices in specific language pairs, one of which will typically be English. While many studies are concerned with the issue of translating language variation, sociolects, ethnolects and accent, none focus on the notion of voice itself. Yet, the issue of “translated” voices is key because these voices seem to irritate audiences. This article explores the notion of voice in the three major turning points in screen translation, the birth and international flow of Hollywood movies in the 1920s and 30s, the prime of US movies and television series from the 1970s to the 1990s and the present-day expansion of non-linear platforms such as Netflix and Prime Video. These eras demanded the translation of innumerable products for ever-more demanding audiences. The latest turn in audio-visual translation involves products in languages other than English that are now available dubbed into “translated” English voices. Furthermore, the impact of artificial intelligence on the dubbing industry is revolutionizing not only the concept of “translation proper” but also voices.


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