Language and Translation in Science Fiction Movies and Beyond

As Comic-Con takes over the city of San Diego, California, San Diego based Language Service Provider Interpreters Unlimited explores language and translation in some of the films and television shows that have helped make the convention what it is.
By: Interpreters Unlimited
SAN DIEGO - July 20, 2023 - PRLog -- Comic-Con just made its way back to San Diego, California for another exciting weekend full of panels, exhibits, special events, and of course the costumes. As one of the biggest entertainment and pop culture events in the country, it's where science fiction and superhero movies, television and comics collide, bringing fans together in celebration of imaginative worlds and iconic characters. Within these captivating stories, language, of course, plays one of the most pivotal roles in bridging communication gaps, unraveling mysteries, and forging connections across diverse cultures and universes.

Interpreters Unlimited, a Language Service Provider headquartered in San Diego, put out a story during Comic-Con 2022 looking at a brief history of foreign language in comics. For 2023, since the event takes place in their backyard, they put together another story, this time exploring language and translation in the movies and television shows that have been such a big part of the event over the years.

Some of the biggest franchises including Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Star Trek and Star Wars, for a few examples, have multilingual characters speaking various human languages and countless alien languages. Multiple characters like Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, Natasha Romanoff in The Avengers and Black Widow films, and Neytiri in Avatar highlight foreign languages in their stories. A very interesting and comedic example comes from Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, who speaks one of the most unique languages comprised solely of different enunciation and emphasis of the only three words he can speak, "I am Groot".

Foreign and alien languages are never in short supply when it comes to Science Fiction. With all of the different languages in these fictional worlds, much like in our real world, language translation is necessary and plays an important role in many of the stories. There are endless examples of characters using their multilingualism to translate for other characters, whether it is just one seemingly insignificant line or major story-driving scenes.

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