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Polyglot Telephone


EL Pobre Profe Filmanthropist

  • Added 5 years ago to tips & tutorials

    Polyglot Telephone / dir.

    Valeria Lopez / investigates the way meaning is transformed through language translation.

    Language is a logos that imposes itself on us but at the same time, can only live through us and is modified and transformed by us.

    Thus, the interpreter functions as a human conduit of meaning since the interpreter must find the play of words that constitute the original. The original story is told in Spanish by my father and describes an incident that took place in Mexico City in 1962.

    The story is then translated successively, with each interpreter only allowed to see the previous translation on a computer with headphones.

    With each consecutive narrative, the story changes since the intention of translation becomes not in summing up the story, but rather in recreating the same system of correspondences of the language the translator is listening to. The second part of the video attempts to translate the story visually.

    The visual interpretation is comprised of a reenactment of the original story and “behind the scenes footage” of my father attempting to direct this reenactment.

    Two voiceovers can be heard: the male narration is the intended outcome, as the male voice tries to impart an experience rooted in memory; on the other hand, the female narrator presents the final iteration of the 12 translations and conveys the same experience through language that has been passed down through the multiple translations.