The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 9, No 4 (2021)

Multilingual humour in audiovisual translation: 'Modern Family’ dubbed in Spanish

Noelia Marqués Cobeta


This commentary aims to take up the gauntlet thrown down by Dore (2019) with her article about multilingual humour in the Italian dubbed version of the series Modern Family. She suggested that the scenes included in the article could be analysed in other languages, so it was an interesting proposal to carry out the analysis of the Spanish dubbed version, since the L2 in the source text coincides with the target text language. Thus, this fact makes the translation process an arduous activity in these language combinations. Multilingualism is therefore considered the central element in this study. It is a reflection of the current social movement and the increase of multi-ethnic communities worldwide. This fact leads to citizens who use their knowledge to assert their own identity; as a consequence, audiovisual producers are also aware of this situation and exploit this phenomenon. Modern Family is an example of this reality and introduces characters, like Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, as a role model to show an increasingly common tendency, the use of multilingual and multi-ethnic characters that reflect this new social situation. Thanks to the selected examples, we will see whether the use of multilingualism as a source of humour is also transmitted to the Spanish dubbed version, as it did in the Italian dubbed version studied by the abovementioned scholar.


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