The Subtle Art of the Subtitle


An example from Blanc:

Actual Line: Dites-moi quelque choses.
Translation: Say something (or several things) to me.
Subtitle: Say anything.

Actual line: N'importe quoi.
Translation: It doesn't matter what.
Subtitle: Anything.

The art of the subtitle is to try to get across the essence of a spoken passage without tiring the viewer by having him or her read the entire script/spoken part of the film. But sometimes the compression goes too far, and something is lost. Fortunately, in French films, I am less reliant on the subtitles than I am in other foreign language films. Blanc, however, is in French and Polish, so I'm only halfway home.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 4, 2006 6:37 AM.

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