Movies are one of the cultural goods that are possible to export to other nations, along with fashion and music. Not every movie that is successful in its country is going to cross over and become a success in another nation, particularly one with a very different history and culture. This is something that translators perform a massive part in, as they can make a movie natural and understandable in a new language or make it difficult and written off as one of those eerie foreign movies.
The fact is, translating movies is one of the toughest jobs any translator will ever get on in their profession. There are two significant types of film translation: dubbing and subtitling; each of them interfere with the original text to a different extent. Before one can even start, a decision has to be arrived between using subtitles or dubbing the movie to reach the target public. Both types have their benefits and limitations, with subtitles being more accessible to change in some forms but difficult due to the short number of words that can appear on the screen at any assigned time. Dubbing can be noted if the movie would be best communicated through audio rather than text, but it can be challenging to balance what the original artist is saying to what the sound artist must say.
Moving on from the subtitling versus dubbing problem, there is the problem of how different the target public may be linguistically and culturally from the original public. For instance, a movie that needs an English to Norwegian translation would require much effort regarding making certain expressions, slang, and another local language was perfectly conveyed in the target language. This is because English and Norwegian are very different languages.
It takes loads of hard work and commitment to be a translator for movies. When doing dubbing work, the translators usually make a script that is based on the script practiced in the source language, which should also be synchronized with the actions of the actors’ lips. Furthermore, the translators have to take into the study the culture of the target markets to assure that no customs and laws are broken, that slang and idioms are observed and that the conversation is performed accurately in the target language(s).
Translating an English movie into Norwegian is a daunting task, and much of the success a movie could have abroad is in the hands of the translator. Any translator can translate a movie, but the true nature of what the director was seeking to get the public to feel may be lost entirely. A great movie translator understands just how to change the language to make it say what the original movie was trying to convey.
Movies can be a remarkably influential and compelling medium for transferring values, opinions, and message. Different cultures are displayed not only orally but also visually, as the film is a medium that transfers purpose in several ways, such as dialogue, picture, and music.