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Alastair Cole - International Translation Day 2017 (Colours of the Alphabet Film)

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    Hi, my name is Alastair Cole,
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    I'm a documentary filmmaker
    based here in Scotland.
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    It's a pleasure to be here today
    to celebrate
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    International Translation Day 2017,
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    and to talk here on Amara's blog
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    which is, of course, a wonderful platform
    for subtitling and translation.
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    As part of my role as a filmmaker,
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    subtitling and translation
    is such a pivotal part to what I do.
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    Specially as I make films,
    and at the moment,
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    I'm making a film about languages,
    about the subject of language,
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    including a recent project,
    a feature documentary project
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    called, "The Colours of the Alphabet",
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    which I'm going to talk
    a little bit about now,
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    because subtitling and translation
    have been so pivotal and so fundamental
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    to how this film is made.
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    Those in it, those with me on it,
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    without them I wouldn't be able
    to have made the film.
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    The film is a feature documentary,
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    it released last year
    at the Glasglow Film Festival,
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    and it's been turned around
    festivals and cinemas around the UK,
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    and in Europe and Africa, since then.
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    It's the story of three children
    in a village in Zambia,
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    in a village called Lwimba.
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    It's a story of language and politics
    in education, if you want, and childhood.
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    It follows the children for 12 months
    at their first year of school.
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    And there's a school in the community,
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    where the community speaks
    one language, called Soli,
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    the region and the teacher speak
    another language, called Nyanja,
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    and they all must learn English,
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    because English is the only
    official language of Zambia,
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    despite there being
    72 different languages,
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    and only less than 2% of the population
    speak English at home.
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    So, of course, it's a film about
    this political dynamic,
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    but at the same time, it's a film
    about childhood, and it's funny,
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    and it'a film that, hopefully,
    we can all relate to at times,
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    remembering those first days
    at school and their difficulty
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    but of course,
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    for someone that is going to school
    in a different language completely,
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    these difficulties are really highlighted
    and exasperated, if you want.
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    But within the filmmaking process,
    subtitling and translation is fundamental.
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    We used multicolored subtitles in the film
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    to represent the changes
    in the different languages
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    that are going on in the classroom,
    and in somewhere like Zambia.
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    This multilingualism is incredible,
    it's very impressive, but of course,
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    conveying it to a non-indigenous
    African-language-speaking-audience
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    is often difficult, and it's often
    not taken as a priority.
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    But for us it was a priority,
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    so we used a creative approach
    to subtitling, if you want, in the film,
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    that you can see in the teaser
    at the end of this video.
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    Soli, one of the languages, is orange,
    has orange subtitling,
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    Nyanja has green subtitling,
    Bemba has pink subtitling,
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    and English has white subtitling.
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    And this technique has been able to foster
    more conversation, and hopefully,
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    a greater understanding
    about this multilingualism that exists,
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    this beautiful multilingualism that exists
    and the complexities and the skills
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    which so many people
    across the continent embrace this.
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    And I suppose,
    within the documentary more broadly,
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    subtitling and translation
    is so important, and my team --
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    and is my team for this film
    that I talk about.
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    My team of subtitlers
    and translators in Zambia,
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    Suwilanji Ngambi, Peter Lupiya,
    and Brighton Lubasi were so important,
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    and without them
    I wouldn't be able to make the film.
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    And also my team in the UK,
    Elena Zini and those in Screen Language,
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    who helped to bring the film
    to international audiences,
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    and creating
    foreign language versions of the film.
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    But more generally,
    a documentary film having translation
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    and translators that work seriously
    on a project,
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    to understand the importance
    of representing someone,
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    that language can be misconstrued
    and misunderstood in translation
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    isn't taken seriously, is so important.
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    I think documentary filmmaking
    provides a specific case, sometimes,
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    because people and the film
    that an audience can see and hear
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    are real people before and after the film,
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    and so, their accurate representation
    is so important,
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    and their understanding of them
    as people is so important.
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    I think translation and subtitling
    can do a wonderful job there
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    to help audiences around the world
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    experience different culture
    and languages, but also, at the same time,
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    understand people
    in the best way possible.
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    I suppose I also want to mention
    a new project that we're working on
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    around "The Colours of the Alphabet",
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    but the release of
    "The Colours of the Alphabet"
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    in early next year across Africa,
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    where it'll be broadcasted into
    49 different countries with Afridocs.
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    And as part of the broadcast
    we're working with Amara
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    to create 25 indigenous language versions
    of the film.
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    It's a really exciting project for us
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    because, of course, we want the film
    to travel across Africa,
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    is where the film is made,
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    is where, hopefully,
    the film speaks to a lot of audiences.
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    But, at the same time,
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    it's important that the film is seen
    in the languages of the audience,
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    that is the end goal of the film,
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    but we also want people to be able
    to understand it in their terms.
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    So, we're going to be working
    in the next months
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    with indigenous language
    subtitlers and translators
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    to create 25 different language versions.
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    We're going to be offering them
    the opportunity to train and work with us,
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    and at the end of the day,
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    for people to be able
    to subtitle and translate this film,
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    and hopefully, foster what can be
    one of the first
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    Africa-wide-film-translation-network.
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    So, keep an eye on that,
    keep an eye on the website below,
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    coloursofthealphabet.com
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    but also on our Facebook page,
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    and you'll see more announcement
    about this exciting project.
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    And before we go, you can watch
    a teaser at the end this film
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    and finally, another big, happy
    International Translation Day!
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    And a message of thumbs up
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    to all the ones who are subtitlers
    and translators working out there.
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    Thanks!
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    [music]
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    [music]
Title:
Alastair Cole - International Translation Day 2017 (Colours of the Alphabet Film)
Description:

Colours of the Alphabet Film Website: http://coloursofthealphabet.com
Film Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColoursOfTheAlphabetFilm/
Film Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlphabetFilm

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Video Language:
English
Team:
International Translation Day
Duration:
06:48

English subtitles

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