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on audiovisual translation, subtitling, and the French & American film industries

Marriagea-who?

still photo from the  Piccolo Teatro di Milano and Teatri Uniti di Napoli's production of Goldoni's "Trilogia della villeggiatura"

still photo from the Piccolo Teatro di Milano and Teatri Uniti di Napoli's production of Goldoni's "Trilogia della villeggiatura"

My second theatrical supertitle encounter within less than a week was in Italian, via a production of Trilogia della villeggiatura, also presented by Lincoln Center Festival.

The rapid fire nature of the original dialogue, mentioned in one review I saw, sounded much more attractive than what I was reading though, the translation written as it was in a formal, stuff English register.

One instance stopped me cold, “marriagable”.  I didn’t note the context or complete phrase on the spot, but researching the word afterwards, I think the actual meaning had little to do with the original source.

Because I immediately remember thinking, why not just say “marrying” something more readily understood and used by Anglophones?  Perhaps the translator wasn’t one, or worse neither Italian nor native English speaking?

Other translation choices only made my departure at intermission that much easier, e.g. the non-translation of several Italian card games (which is understandable), and whose exact meaning and definition seemed that much more interesting than the production hélàs.

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