19.10.2021 - 10:15
On 19 October at 10:15 Tiina Hoffmann will defend her doctoral thesis “La traduction cinématographique dans l'Estonie soviétique: contextes, pratiques et acteurs” (“Filmitõlge Eesti NSVs: kontekstid, praktikad, inimesed”; “Film translation in Soviet Estonia: contexts, practices and actors”) in the field of semiotics and culture studies.
Associate Professor Elin Sütiste, University of Tartu
Professor Antoine Chalvin, INALCO (France)
Professor Martin Barnier, Université Lyon 2 (France)
Senior Researcher Valérie Pozner, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France)
Based on a wide range of primary material and interviews to examine film translation practices in the Estonian SSR, the first interdisciplinary monography of its kind is exploring an uncharted chapter in Estonian translation history – the practices of dubbing and subtitling, involved persons and related cinema and censorship institutions in Soviet Estonia. By the time of regaining independence, Estonia had become an expert hub of subtitling, for both national use and as commissioned work for the USSR (producing also Russian-language subtitles for the hearing impaired). By exploring the film translation practices of the first Republic of Estonia in the given socio-political context, an overview of film translation and censorship practice is analyzed and compared with those of the Soviet period. After the final annexation of Estonia in 1944, the tradition of subtitling foreign films began in Estonia in the early 1950s at Olga Lauristin’s initiative, organized during 1970-1991 by Ahto Vesmes who lead the Film Rental and Advertising Bureau of the State Cinematography Committee of the Estonian SSR Council of Ministers (ENSV MN Riikliku Kinematograafia Komitee Filmilaenutuse ja Reklaami Valitsus, 1971-1991, in Estonian known as filmikontor). Foreign films that received screening permission in the official cinemas of the Soviet Union, the so-called first screen, were dubbed into Russian in an ideologically legitimized way, creating for sensitive and taboo topics new accepted narratives. The practice of Estonian subtitling via Russian dubbing was as a peculiar indirect translation that created unique multicultural, multinational and discursive audiovisual translation products. A comparison of the original translations of French New Wave films and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Conformist reveals a number of discursive translation shifts. It is interesting to note that the Estonian subtitles were not censored, neither were the cartoons for children nor the interpretation of films shown in the Estonian cinema clubs where foreign films were often shown in their original versions and translated directly from the source language, also popularizing semi-banned French New Wave films. This gives ground to claim that Soviet Estonian film translation was a completely uncensored type of translation. By analyzing the role and agency of the subtitlers and the profession of film translators as an emerging institution, peculiar working conditions and translation strategies are revealed, mostly on the basis of the interviews and works of the Estonian grand old subtitler and translator Uno Liivaku (b. 1926) whose mission was mediating foreign films to Estonians.
The defence will be held in Zoom: https://ut-ee.zoom.us/j/94498868492?pwd=OFVpZklQdVhobHdOdkRWdEo1NDc4UT09.