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The Translation of Films, 1900-1950$
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Carol O'Sullivan and Jean-François Cornu

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266434

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266434.001.0001

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Titles and translation in the field of film restoration

Titles and translation in the field of film restoration

(p.25) 2 Titles and translation in the field of film restoration
The Translation of Films, 1900-1950

Bryony Dixon

British Academy

Between the last years of the 1890s and roughly 1929 when full talkies arrived, films were generally a combination of picture and title cards, or intertitles, which began to be used in the early 1900s. As the film trade was international in nature from its earliest days, intertitles needed to be translated. This chapter offers a brief chronology of the intertitle in film, highlighting the difficulties of translating and adapting title cards with decorative backgrounds and sophisticated animated sequences, either at the time the films were made or today for restoration. It also provides three case studies based on restoration projects conducted at the British Film Institute, showing how language and translation issues play their part in the complex reconstruction process.

Keywords:   animated titles, film trade, history of intertitles, multilingual intertitles, silent cinema, silent film, film restoration

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