"Montalbano sono!" Conveying the identity of Sicily through subtitles. The case of "Inspector Montalbano"
TranslatoLogica: A Journal of Translation, Language, and Literature
Year of publication
The dialogue found in the Montalbano saga (an Italian television series produced and broadcast by RAI since 1999, based on the detective novels of Andrea Camilleri) is rich in register variation, from the "macaronic language" of Catarella, with its linguistic jokes and grammatical errors, to the use of the local dialect (adopted by peasants and lower classes), to Montalbano’s mixed interlanguage used with a phatic function, to Livia’s perfectly sounding Italian. The code-switching and code-mixing used by Camilleri represent a great challenge for the translator who has to make specific choices in order to render the translation intelligible to the target audience. Starting from Taylor’s (2000, p.153) definition of subtitles as "conveyors of meaning and guardians of culture, "the aim of this paper is to analyze the subtitling strategies adopted to translate into English the dialect and regionalisms in two episodes of "Inspector Montalbano" broadcast on BBC4 in 2008 and 2012, focusing on the factors of transculturality and extratextuality (where the former refers to how familiar the source and target cultures are and the latter has to do with whether the concept to be translated exists outside the source culture) that affect the choices of a translator when it comes to the transposition of a spoken, sociolinguistically marked dialogue into a subtitle that should convey the meaning of the source text.