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This presentation starts by describing the features of the North-South contrast in imagology, one of the most powerful oppositional constants in cultural representation. Particularly within a European framework, this dualist perspective usually represents the North as more rational, cerebral, moral, responsible and individualist, whereas the South is associated with characteristics such as emotionality, amorality, collectiveness and irresponsible behavior. The intertextual feature of such representation of Northern and Southern ethnotypes invokes oppositional thinking and schematization. Recent research has shown that such an imagological perspective can also be very productive for approaches dealing with translation as one of many text-modifying practices. Modern views on translation inevitably put change, rewriting, reframing and recontextualizing more central. Drawing on an imagological perspective, this presentation compares the French movie Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis with its Italian adaptations, including the remake Benvenuti al Sud. The relocalization of the original French movie’s North-South opposition is remarkable and shows the power of translational discourse in the transfer of ethnotyping.


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Luc van Doorslaer is Chair Professor for Translation Studies at the University of Tartu, also affiliated with KU Leuven and Stellenbosch University. He is Vice President of EST, the European Society for Translation Studies and the former Director of CETRA, the Centre for Translation Studies at KU Leuven. He is the co-editor of the online Translation Studies Bibliography and the Handbook of Translation Studies (4 vol., 2010-13). Recent publications: Interconnecting Translation Studies and Imagology (2016), Border Crossings. Translation Studies and other Disciplines (2016) and Methods in News Translation, a special issue of ‘Across Languages and Cultures’ (2018). Main research interests: journalism and translation, ideology and translation, imagology and translation, institutionalization of Translation Studies.

Luc van Doorslaer, KU Leuven : The flexibility of the North-South image: translating the movie Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis
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