Gender portrayal in dubbed and subtitled comedies

De Marco, Marcella (2009) Gender portrayal in dubbed and subtitled comedies. In: New Trends in Audiovisual Translation. Topics in Translation . Multilingual Matters, Bristol (UK), pp. 176-194. ISBN 9781847691545


Most of the studies on Audiovisual Translation (AVT) deal with technical aspects such as the different types of AVT, the characteristics of the audiovisual text, the kinds of synchrony, space and time constraints, and so on (Díaz Cintas & Remael, 2007). Interest in this field has been growing in recent decades, showing that film, translation and sociological studies have a lot in common, and indicating that the way in which images are portrayed and dialogue dubbed or subtitled acquires social and ideological connotations because of their impact on the audience’s feelings and their perception of reality. This is the context in which this study on the cinematic portrayal of gender is placed. Special attention is paid to whether, and if so how, dubbing and subtitling transmit gender stereotypes from one culture to another.
For this purpose, four US films are analysed: Working Girl (Mike Nichols,
1988), Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh, 2000), Sister Act (Emile Ardolino,1992) and Mrs Doubtfire (Chris Columbus, 1993). Their content, dialogue and characters provide clues about how gender is portrayed on screen, whether images and dialogue mirror unpleasant stereotypes, and whether this stereotypical perspective is transferred linguistically in the Spanishand Italian dubbed and subtitled versions of the fi lms that have been distributed on DVD.

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