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The Absence of English

21stcentury[1]

Les coupures

Earlier this year I reported on French television’s decision to cut back on the high costs associated with dubbing UK and American film soundtracks into French and using French language subtitles instead. One translator with a shooting script and a subtitle machine compared to a dozen actors in a studio for several days is a no-brainer for any accountant, even if it does slightly chip away at the Francophone integrity. But it was a big gain for the multitude of native English speakers living in France who can now enjoy the big Sunday night movie without it having to be a language lesson as well. Daniel Craig saving the world speaking English? Bliss.

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Subtitles and Subtexts.

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If you were a teenager in London in the early 1960s and had a black polo neck pullover and a three-quarter length black PVC jacket, (I did,) you, your pullover and your PVC jacket had no place to be other than inside the Academy Cinema on London’s Oxford Street watching foreign films. Black and white foreign films, with subtitles. I saw everything by Alain Renais, Roberto Rossellini, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Goddard, Chris Marker and, a private passion, Claude Lelouche. (‘A Man and a Woman’ 1966, in colour, watch it and weep.) Exotic foreign stories. Read more

An interview with Roger James Elsgood, Today Translation’s creative advisor, and Indian writer, critic and acclaimed musician Amit Chaudhuri

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Today Translations presents the first in a series of audio interviews with international writers about their experience of translation. We begin with a conversation between Roger James Elsgood, Today Translation’s creative advisor, and Indian writer, critic and acclaimed musician Amit Chaudhuri. Amit Chaudhuri, amongst much else, is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. His new novel, Odysseus Abroad will be published by Oneworld Books in February 2015.

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Dirty Money Disguised in Translation: Experts describe the vital steps to stop criminals hiding behind language

Holding Slide

Poverty, anarchy, terrorism and organised crime are threats that will come much closer to home if we allow criminals to launder their ill-gotten gains through UK banks, bogus companies and real estate warned David Clarke, the former head of the City Police Fraud Squad. His grim forecast came as he opened a breakfast briefing last week in Whitehall, where experts from BAE Systems, DWF LLP, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Today Advisory explained how to identify and manage serious risks that are hidden in foreign languages.

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Awful subtitle translations mar Guardians of the Galaxy release in China

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How much damage can some lazy translation work to a film franchise. For Marvel, whose summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy opened in China earlier this month, the damage levels may be, well, intergalactic.

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