As our choices for films and television shows made around the world increase in the streaming era, so do the challenges of translation. Rafael Motamayor explores the art — and complicated process — of translating foreign content for international viewers.
We are far removed from the days of flagrant cultural erasure through dubbing — Pokémon once tried to pass off a Japanese rice ball as a “jelly donut” — but high-profile releases like Squid Game can still reignite yearslong debates about how best to adapt international titles for Stateside consumption.
“You could view it as a story of female empowerment or as the opposite — the titillating tale of a woman in leather pants who is brutalized by monsters.”
“But mild she is not. (Ruth) Ozeki, now 65, lived at least four lives before she even started writing. She published her first book when she was 42. From that novel, 1998’s My Year of Meats, through All Over Creation, the Booker Prize–shortlisted A Tale for the Time Being, and a memoir called The Face: A Time Code, she has shifted her readers’ way of perceiving what is ‘normal’ through a sort of slow, capillary action.”
“Rare is the actor who can locate the specific in the universal and vice versa. Michael K. Williams was that actor.”
“His father, a broke music promoter, had convinced him they could turn their lives around by arranging a complicated but lucrative hip-hop concert on New Year’s Eve in Angola. It was more complicated than they’d imagined.” The first installment of a three-part story, in partnership with Epic Magazine.
“For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release. Is it espionage? Revenge? Or a complete waste of time?”
“On the set of Minari, she was an old Korean lady.” E. Alex Jung interviews Oscar nominee Youn Yuh-jung.
“Recent onscreen depictions of autistic adults reflect our growing understanding of a lifelong condition.”
“Nothing made sense this year — unless you were on the internet.”
“What I am evidence of is: You can dismiss a Black person. If you’re a young Black girl and you get raped, in the film business, no one’s going to fucking care. You can tell whoever the fuck you want, and they’ll call it an affair. Until people start taking this seriously, I can’t fully heal.”