As more and more entertainment tries to reach
maximum audience possible, translation of dialogues are much in demand. These
dialogues are either heard (dubbed in target language) or seen (in subtitles).
It’s great fun but requires caution to translate dialogues.
As compared to the
written word – a book or a document – dialogues have two interesting features: Dialogues
are always expressive and condensed.
In the original piece
of work, say a documentary, a web series, TV serial, short film, advertisement
or a feature film, they are always ‘heard’. This is a distinct feature of
dialogues. They are meant to be spoken and heard. This also means that there
is a tone and emotions attached to words in dialogue.
Dialogues are always
supportive in expressing the content. In a scene, images are very impactful.
They are the main carriers of content. They carry emotions, actions, drama,
story. Words or dialogue play a supportive role. This is very natural, as they
are being used in an audio-visual medium. The sentences “Where is it?” “On
your forehead, honey” will mean nothing on a piece of paper. However, once
they are spoken, in a scene, with context, it can be hilarious, scary, or plain
factual; depending on the scene.
The translator has to
very aware of the weight of words in both the languages, the load of context
they carry along, the various styles of talking while choosing the right
equivalent. Often, the translation is entirely different from the original
words, but conveys the exact meaning! And that’s perfectly ok, because what we
are translating, is not the words, but ‘the screen’!