The Effects of the English Language and Culture in Translating a nonEnglish Text into Film

Meaning in one language must be carefully translated so that not only the verbal language but the visual language makes sense. The film is unique in that the cultural meanings that are implied through one language must be translated as well as the literature of the original language.

Due in large part to colonialism and then to the Westernization of consumerism, the English language has become a part of most languages, English-isms emerging throughout the cultures as they become part of the globalized world. Homogenization creeps into cultures that had previously been very ‘other’ through interactions with the dominance of the English language in business, media, and in presence in the world as English speaking, travelers have a dominant position in world travel. Creating English versions of pieces of work that are written in another language often means that the work itself becomes transformed by the differences between cultures. In dominance, sometimes, comes the arrogance of transformation rather than mere translation. Transforming a literary work takes the meaning from it that was specific to a culture and re-creating it to have meaning for another culture that may no longer hold the same key symbols or meanings that it did in its original form.

In translating a piece of fiction into a second language visual experience there are a great many aspects of the work that must be taken into consideration. Coding the translated work so that it reflects both the audience and the language of origin is a difficult achievement. The nature of coding in a language supports the cultural meanings of symbols, but in translations that are both visual and verbal that are trying to capture meaning from one cultural language into another, the task can be daunting. In the example of the result of colonialism is the key to how to undertake a project that involves translation. Where in colonialism entire cultures were translated into new cultural&nbsp.patterns through the coercive influence of the colonizer, so to can a text be butchered by misunderstanding the meanings that are culturally relevant and stand apart from the Western mind and the English construction of a text to prepare it for a film.