Translating short films – Incentives to Speak and Write

Translating short films – Incentives to Speak and Write

You can see a face of a horse in profile. Behind her the face of a person who puts his hand around the muzzle.

A short -film programme for foreign language lessons and beyond

Many steps are needed until the dialogues of a given film have been translated into another language: from the first viewing of the film to the compilation of a dialogue list and from the distribution of the translation passages to the shortening of the texts to fit the length of the pictures being subtitled. And then there’s the whole technical subtitling process still to come. Not only that: the copyright issue is equally important since it is not allowed to translate a film and show it anew without due concern.
Long before the start of the festival week, students in an Advanced French group at the Kaiserin Augusta School in Cologne signed up for this experiment and set about writing the subtitles to the film Du soleil en hiver (aka „The Sun in Winter“). As such, the translation project was carried out in association with the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival and with the NRW Film Education Forum. Gaby Gehlen, a professional translator, helped supervise the high-school students in the course of their work.
The films Hjältar and Dicen – They Say demonstrate that the original language version of a film with simple subtitles is preferable to a dubbed version and more stimulating in foreign language lessons.

They Say

Alauda Ruiz de Azúa

Short film

Dana and Griffin are outsiders at their school in New Jersey. Griffin would like to be friends with Dana and […]

Du soleil en hiver

Samuel Collardey

Short film

Winter on a farm somewhere in East France: the cows don’t want to go out into the cold, wells freeze […]


Carolina Hellsgård

Short film

Linnea yearns for something, though she doesn’t really know what exactly. She often goes to the stables on the edge […]