Bilingual performance and surtitles: translating linguistic and cultural duality in Canada

Louise Ladouceur

Abstract


In Canada, theatre artists living in a linguistic minority context, such as Francophones in Western Canada and Anglophones in Quebec, are bilingual out of necessity. They have recently explored their bilingualism in playwriting and in performing plays that display various degrees of heterolingualism. This article focuses on the emergence of a bilingual theatre in Canada and the challenges it poses for translation. Surtitles are an asset for these heterolingual plays, allowing them to reach a wider audience without erasing the linguistic and cultural specificity of the original production. The use of surtitles has led to experiments in which translation exceeds its primary function and takes on a creative role within the performance. This opens the way to the exploration of new theatrical aesthetics that showcase the linguistic duality at the heart of the Canadian reality.


Keywords


surtitles; bilingual; theater; Canada; Quebec

Full Text:

PDF

References


Carlson, M. (2006). Speaking in tongues: Language at play in the theatre. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Casanova, P. (2004). The world republic of letters. M.B. DeBevoise (Translated into English. French original La république mondiale des lettres, 1999). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Dalpé, J. M. (1987). Le chien. Sudbury: Prise de parole.

Dalpé, J. M. (1988). Le Chien, M. Labonté & J. M. Dalpé (translated into English, French original Le chien, 1987). Manuscript at Centre des auteurs dramatiques, Montreal, QC.

Gobard, H. (1976). L’aliénation linguistique: Analyse tétraglossique. Paris: Flammarion.

Griesel, Y. (2005). Surtitles and translation towards an integrative view of theatre translation. In H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast & S. Nauert (Eds.), MuTra 2005 - Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings. Saarbrücken, http://www.euroconferences.info/proceedings/2005_Proceedings/2005_proceedings.html (visited on June 26, 2011).

Heller, M. & Labrie, N. (2003). Discours et identité: La francité canadienne entre modernité et mondialisation. Fernelmont: Éditions modulaires européennes.

Hotte, L. (2013). Artiste, animateur culturel ou médiateur culturel?: Le rôle des artistes dans les communautés francophones du Canada. Minorités linguistiques et société / Linguistic Minorities and Society, 3, 7–18.

Ladouceur, L. (2005). Making the scene: La traduction du théâtre d’une langue officielle à l’autre au Canada. Quebec, QC: Nota bene.

Ladouceur, L. (2012a). Dramatic licence: Translating theatre from one official language to the other in Canada. R. Lebeau (Translated into English. French original Making the Scene: La traduction du théâtre d’une langue officielle à l’autre au Canada, 2005). Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta Press.

Ladouceur, L. (2012b). Personal interview with Annabel Soutar, Montreal, February 10.

Lévesque, S. (2006). Chercher la réalité au coeur de la fiction: Entretien avec Annabel Soutar, JEU, revue de théâtre, 119(2), 158–162.

L’UniThéâtre (2013), Célébré par ses pairs anglophones, Press release, June 25.

Louder, D. (June 2010). Carnet de Dean Louder, http://www.septentrion.qc.ca/deanlouder/2010/06/le_fransaskois_joey_ tremblay_s.php (visited on November 23, 2012).

Nolette, N. (2012). Monodrame, récit de vie et théâtre post-identitaire de l’Ouest canadien, Recherches théâtrales au Canada, 33(2), 207–223.

Prescott, M. (2001). Big; Bullshit; Sex, Lies et les Franco-Manitobains. Saint-Boniface, MB: Les Éditions du Blé.

Prescott, M. (2009a). Sex, Lies et les Franco-Manitobains, revised manuscript version. Produced by Les Chiens de Soleil, Saint-Boniface, October 28-31, and Le Théâtre au Pluriel, Edmonton, November 5–6.

Prescott, M. (2009b). Sex, Lies et les Franco-Manitobains, S. Liss & L. Ladouceur (English surtitles. French original Sex, Lies et les Franco-Manitobains, 2001). Produced by Théâtre au Pluriel, Edmonton, November 5–6.

Prescott, M. (2013). Sex, Lies et les Franco-Manitobains, revised version, Saint-Boniface, MB: Les Éditions du Blé.

Soutar, A. (2011). Sexy béton, A. Soutar (Partially translated into French with French surtitles. English original Sexy Béton, 2009).

Statistics Canada, 2011 Census, Government of Canada, “Population by knowledge of official language, by province and territory”, www.statcan.gc.ca (visited on April 19, 2013).

Tessier, J. (2001). Américanité et francité: Essais critiques sur les littératures d’expression française en Amérique du Nord. Ottawa, ON: Le Nordir.

Tremblay, J. (1999). Elephant wake. In A. Nothof (Ed.) Ethnicities (pp. 170–198). Edmonton, AB: NeWest.

Tremblay, J. (2007) Elephant wake. Online revised version, http://globetheatrelive.com/+pub/tours/elephant-wake/Elephant%20 Wake%20-%20Script.pdf (visited on November 23, 2012).

Walker, D. C. (2005). Le français dans l’Ouest canadien. In A.Valdman, J. Auger & D. Piston-Hatlen (Eds.). Le français en Amérique du Nord: État présent (pp. 187–205). Quebec, QC: Les Presses de l’Université Laval.