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Is something lost in translation?

The conference The English Dialogue of British Characters will analyse the challenges of dubbing films such as The Queen and Ae Fond Kiss into Italian.The conference The English Dialogue of British Characters will analyse the challenges of dubbing films such as The Queen and Ae Fond Kiss into Italian.

The difficulties in dubbing English or American films into Italian due to cultural and linguistic aspects is the theme of a conference to be held at the Italian Institute of Culture, Valletta, today.

During the conference, entitled The English Dialogue of British Characters, Joseph Brincat, professor of Italian Linguistics at the University of Malta and correspondent member of the Academy of Crusca, will examine two British films that represent very different realities – geographically, socially and linguistically – Ae Fond Kiss (Ken Loach, 2004) and The Queen (2006). He will question whether after being dubbed into Italian the films transmit the same feelings as the films originally intended.

Giselle Spiteri Miggiani, a translator and adapter of dialogues for television dubbing broadcast on RAI, Mediaset and Sky channels, will take a look behind the scenes of Italian dubbing.

Annalisa Galea, whose Master’s thesis was on the use of dialect in Italian cinema, will talk about realism in cinema, which reaches its peak when the dialogues are in the dialect of the place where the film is set. However, this entails the risk that jokes are not understood by most Italian audiences.

Olivia Debrincat, whose Master’s was on the language of cinema in the 20th century, will provide a sociolinguistic view on the evolution of Italian cinema of the 20th century with special references to three films produced over 50 years.

The conference, which will be conducted in Italian, will be held at the Italian Institute of Culture, St George’s Square, Valletta, today at 6.30pm. Admission is free. It forms part of a programme of activities organised by the Italian Embassy and the Institute to mark the 17th edition of the Week of Italian Language in the World. For more information call the Institute on 2122 1462.

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