Theatre translation into Italian dialects raises important theoretical problems, and it shows the oral character of dialect even when dialect is employed as written language. Translations from the national languages into Italian dialects are usually described as adaptations, imitations or, at least, free versions, as though dialect poets could choose those stylistic approaches rather than literal translation. A comparison between different versions, in dialect and Italian, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will show that literal translation in not an option in dialect. In other words, the outcome of a literal translation into dialect is radically different from a literal translation into Italian. The concept of literal translation – i.e., word by word – as is normally understood implies the existence of a national, written language and a long-standing literary tradition, whose development is the result of a constant interaction with other major, national cultures. In many cases where Italian offers two options – i.e., literal and idiomatic translation –, dialect offers only one, that is, idiomatic translation, which normally shifts the original tone towards a lower stylistic register. The result of literal translation into dialect is not a calque on the source language, as happens with rigorously literal versions into Italian, but a calque on Italian. Since no dialect poet in Italy has ever been monolingual, literal translation naturally merges into Italian, that is, the literary language closest to dialect. In fact, the concepts of “literary language” and “tradition” have a radically different meaning in dialect and Italian. Despite the written use of dialect, its dominant character remains orality, as a comparison between the Bildung of dialect and Italian poets makes evident. Dialect poets never begin their career in dialect. They are schooled in Italian or they develop their literary talent elsewhere ― for example, in popular theatre. Conversely, poets who write in Italian always start from the desire to imitate models they meet at school, which is a canonical place where tradition perpetuates itself. On the contrary, dialect poets are spurred by sentiments which demand to be uttered in dialect. This is the reason why each dialect poet must take again the first step from orality to writing; only later he or she finds out about their poetic ancestry. The conclusion is that the concept of literal translation should be used more carefully than critics usually do, since it is not a principle which can be applied to any language regardless of its cultural context.
|Titolo:||The stage of orality: theatre and translation in Italian dialects|
|Rivista:||INTRALINEA ON LINE TRANSLATION JOURNAL|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Nome editore:||Università di Bologna|
|Citazione:||The stage of orality: theatre and translation in Italian dialects, 2009.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|