Heterolingualism in Second World War Films: "The Longest Day" and "Saving Private Ryan"

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This paper deals with the treatment of foreign languages in the Second World War films "The Longest Day" (1962) and "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). Through quantitative and qualitative analyses, it describes how heterolingualism (i.e. language difference) is used and how it influences characterization and plot, in both the original and French-dubbed versions. The study shows that "The Longest Day" features a sizeable amount of scenes featuring French and German due to the narrative structure of the film as it gives a comprehensive overview of the parties involved in D-Day operations, while "Saving Private Ryan" contains fewer passages in foreign languages because it adopts a narrower perspective by focusing on a group of American soldiers. Most of the heterolingualism disappears in the French-dubbed version of "The Longest Day", although it is sometimes signalled by accents, whereas "Saving Private Ryan"’s French version generally leaves foreign languages as such, illustrating a recent tendency in audiovisual translation to respect the original difference.
Translated title of the contributionL'Hétérolinguisme dans les films sur la Seconde Guerre mondiale: "Le Jour le plus long" et "Il faut sauver le soldat Ryan"
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Research in Translation Studies
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Papers of the CETRA Research Summer School 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Event24th CETRA Summer School - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 20 Aug 201231 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameCETRA Summer School Papers
PublisherKU Leuven


Education24th CETRA Summer School

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