chapter  1
20 Pages

Translational Routines in Dubbing

Taking Stock and Moving Forwards
ByMaria Pavesi

Routinization in translation is the process by which systematic and repetitive correspondences are established between source and target language. In dubbing, the results of such routinization processes have been called translational routines, defined as “recurrent solutions to translation problems which tend to become overextended” in time (Pavesi 2008: 94). By concentrating on features of represented orality, attention will be paid to such repeated and intertextual discourse that characterizes translated audiovisual dialogue. After introducing formulaicity in film dialogue and routinization in translation, translational routines such as the Italian Fantastico ‘fantastic’ and Spanish Veamos ‘let’s see’ will be examined with a view to clarifying their nature, origin and evolution in dubbed languages. In spite of the obvious link between calques and translational routines, a few limitations can be envisaged in current treatments of the topic. Three main issues can be identified: translational routines may include expressions that strictly speaking are not calques, although they are inspired by the source language/source text; translational routines may originate from the same trigger and yet they are not identical but show patterned variability; translational routines may translate different source language/source text units and evolve over time. As a redefinition of the phenomenon is called for, a series of criteria will be proposed to detect translational routines, including sameness or similarity of form between translation solutions, register- and translation-specificity. We will argue that although many translational routines are straightforward calques that through reiteration become endemic in the language of dubbing, the phenomenon is much wider and includes overextensions that depart from one-to-one, source language and target language correspondences. The conclusions will place routinization within the space of dubbing while discussing what the implications are for dubbing agents and audiences with reference to both the naturalness and the creativity of the dubbed product.