2024-05-22 06:01:17
Slashings and Subtitles: Romanian Media Piracy, Censorship, and Translation market data/movies/reading/Scrapbook

Friday nights in Romania under the Communist regime which came to an end in December 1989, friends and family would gather in front of their television sets, trying to guess what they were actually watching. Telephone calls would be made, film reference and theory books consulted. Such detective skills were required due to the government’s censorship tactics, which included screening foreign films both on television and in cinemas with their titles altered beyond recognition, their credit sequences removed, entire scenes eliminated, and dialogue ideologically “cleansed” through the subtitling process. 1 Coauthor and Romanian national Ioana Uricaru recalls that “God” was invariably translated as Cel-de-Sus, or “the one above,” and “church” as edificiu, or “edifice.” 2 Sometimes films playing in cinemas would differ dramatically at the beginning and end of their run as elements requiring excision came to the attention of officials. 3Subtitling was the translation method associated with government media channels. As such, it was considered official, professional, and proper—both “ideologically correct” and the industry standard. With subtitles, interference of the “original” is kept at a minimum. 4 As lines of text superimposed onto the film image, subtitles neither erase nor noisily intrude upon the foreign soundtrack. Consequently, they are often viewed as a clean technique that respects the source material by enabling it to remain intact. However, in Romania the identification of subtitling with “quality” translation was compromised by its close link to adjacent practices of content deletion and paraphrasing for the sake of ideological alteration. The role that subtitling played in making meaning palatable for the “party line” meant that this technique was, concurrently, subject to suspicion and distrust

via Project MUSE – The Velvet Light Trap – Slashings and Subtitles: Romanian Media Piracy, Censorship, and Translation.

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