Film Title Translation into French, a few Methods and Strategies





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UNIVERSITE DE NICE-SOFIA ANTIPOLIS

Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines

Département d’Anglais



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Master 1


mémoire

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Film Title Translation into French, a few Methods and Strategies

Benoît Mora


Directeur de Recherches : Madame le Professeur M. Monacelli-Faraut
Juin 2010



Table of contents




I.1. Faithful translation 5

I.2. Lengthening out (Etoffement) 8

I.3. Alternative titles 12

I.3.1. Alfred Hitchcock’s films: 13

I.3.2. Other examples: 16

II.1. Unchanged or truncated titles (deletion) 21

II.1.1. Unchanged titles: 21

II.1.2. Truncated titles: 23

II.2. Lengthening out (two titles in juxtaposition, English and French) 25

II.2.1. Faithful translation: 26

II.2.2. Lengthening out: 26

II.2.3. Alternative French title: 27

II.2.4. Alternative English title: 30

II.3. Alternative titles (modification) 31

II.3.1. Addition (Etoffement): 31

II.3.2. A word substitution: 32

II.3.3. Two words out of one (space insertion): 33

II.3.4. Minor modification: 33

II.3.5. Full modification: 34

III.1. Faithful translation versus unchanged title 36

III.2. Faithful translation versus modified title 38

IV.1. 42

IV.2. 42

IV.3. 42

FOREWORD
Only a selection of those titles will be studied. I’ve watched each movie studied.

Tables

Tous les tableaux du dossier sont similaires à celui qui suit : l'ordre chronologique est la norme dans la présentation de films, ensuite le titre original et le ou les titre(s) choisi(s), enfin, le réalisateur.

INTRODUCTION
This dissertation deals with film title translation and adaptation from English to French. Numerous techniques are used when it comes to the selection of a title for the intended audience, and they have been since the very beginnings of the Seventh Art. However, some titles are not translated, that is the reason why I will speak about title "choices".

I will try to show that a good understanding and assimilation are essential in order to attract the most people possible in the film theatres.

When a movie is in production, it has one or several working titles, which are temporary titles. Most of the time, it is the producers’ decision to select the official title for the release of the film. In France, the distributors are the ones that select the official French title. They are also in charge of the distribution, the programming (French cinemas) and the promotion of the film.

My problematic is focused on how to translate or choose a film title (from English to French), what are the methods and strategies used and what are the reasons of these choices?

A few methods:

This part will focus on translatology. I will state the different translation and adaptation processes. First, I will study French title choices (CHAPTER I). Subsequently, English title choices (CHAPTER II). These chapters are divided in three subparts.

A few strategies:

I will compare the differences between France and Quebec through some examples (CHAPTER III). Finally, I will study the evolution of film titles selection in France through the chronological aspect (notably with the help of Alfred Hitchcock’s films). I will highlight certain translation processes according to the periods (CHAPTER IV).

I will try to show the causes and the reasons of the title selections depending on the movie genre or the target audience, mostly based on lengthened or alternative titles and I will provide my propositions of titles throughout the analysis, highlighting irrelevant choices according to the problematic of the dissertation.

CHAPTER I. French titles
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