"Translating British Dialects: The Interplay Between Cockney and Cockney Rhyming Slang in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch and their Italian Dubbed Version"

Silvia Monti


Considering screen translation as a transcoding process focused not merely on language transfer but also, and primarily, on socio-cultural transfer, language use and translation processes in films prove to be important vehicles in defining sociolinguistic identities and in conveying them to the audience. From this perspective, it is interesting to notice that, especially in the last decades, the varied stock of non-standard language that can be identified by geographical region as well as by social class has been increasingly exploited by film industry (Taylor 1998), proving to be particularly well-represented in contemporary British films, realistically depicting a society where the social stratification of dialects is still crucially relevant in defining linguistic and cultural selves (Cronin 2006).

Starting from these observations, this paper sets out to investigate the translation strategies relevant to Cockney and Cockney Rhyming Slang in the Italian dubbed version of Guy Ritchie’s films Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), verifying whether such non-standard varieties are either maintained, thus ascertaining that a certain degree of linguistic realism matches the target audience’s expectations of standards of fluency (Baker 2004), or standardized and levelled out, thus overshadowing the importance Cockney and Cockney Rhyming Slang have as revealing indexes of the characters’ socio-cultural identity. 

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