Vulgarity and Allocution in the Italian Dubbed Version of Taxi Driver

Anna Colombi


Abstract: This article outlines problems that pertain to the dubbing of the film Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976) into Italian. Aside from the various constraints of audiovisual translation, such as lip synchronization, it focuses on the extensive omission of vulgarity and on the problem of allocution. Despite the importance of the link between vulgarity and violence in Taxi Driver, much of the vulgarity of the original has been completely suppressed in the Italian. At the same time, in the Italian dubbed version there is frequent inappropriate use of the Italian formal mode of address “lei”, but no lexical items that would justify this use are present in the original. Consequently, the Italian audience’s perception of the main character and ultimately of the entire film is completely different from that of the Anglophone audience.

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