Publication Title
"Mr Treehorn treats objects like women, man". A map of drug-induced language variation in cinema and its translation
Publication Type
Journal article
Year of publication
no pages


Much research has been conducted on the translation of language variation and marked speech in its various forms, as proved by this 4th special issue on the translation of dialects in multimedia. There is one variety, however, which seems to have been broadly overlooked in translation studies so far, which I have previously referred to as disorderly speech or DIS (Parra López 2016): drug-induced language variation. This concept arises from the need to account for a particular, though widespread phenomenon in audiovisual fiction, that is, the portrayal of the effects of intoxication on a character’s linguistic output.

The present article relies on L3 theory (Corrius and Zabalbeascoa 2011; Zabalbeascoa 2012) to analyse instances of DIS found in English-language films including Almost Famous (Bryce, Crowe, and Crowe 2000), Blazing Saddles (Hertzberg and Brooks 1974), and Leaving Las Vegas (Figgis 1995) and their dubbed and subtitled versions in Spanish. A detailed study of these instances shows that intoxication can have a broad range of effects on characters depending on its stylistic, narrative, or characterising functions and that the translation of DIS is far from straightforward.

Further research on this new realisation and its interplay with other semiotic modes in audiovisual texts would be useful to both film and translation studies. While the former could explore the different resources film offers t0 portray intoxication, the latter could benefit from the depiction of DIS to understand how it can be recreated in other languages.
Submitted by Irina Ruiz Friginal on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 15:41