Rosanna Masiola
"Canzoni in traduzione: stereotipizzazione etnica negli anni 50" in

Gentes. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences - Year 2 n. 2

This work is part of a broader study on the theme of cultural and linguistic filters conditioning the dynamics of translation and translatability of musical texts. The analysis focuses on the ethnic diversity represented in manipulation and distortion in the translation of lyrics. The covers of records up to the late 1950s also feature racist vignettes. A diachronic approach highlights stigma from strong racism to mockery and caricature. The cases examined include adaptation, transformation and manipulation (Papaveri e Pavere) from Italian into English, and from English into Italian (Sugarbush,    Bingo Bongo). The period examined is that of the post-colonial decades from 1930s to 1950s. The lyrics highlight an imitative continuum in the development of ethnic and racist stereotypes as a form of entertainment(Zikipaki, Negro Zumbon). The conclusions are that these stereotypes and ethnic markings are reflected also in English and American pop culture and the discography market, especially the exoticization of Latinos and the Afro-Caribbean, where for Hollywood and Broadway everything was combined in the Tropicana cliché,             regardless of culture-specific identity (Minnie from Trinidad).


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