Playing With / Translation Convention

Basic Trope: A show's setting implies that a certain language is being spoken, but the characters speak a different one for the convenience of the audience.
  • Straight: Tropers is an American movie set in France, but all of the main characters speak English.
  • Exaggerated: Even terms that the audience would understand and given names are translated into the audience's language.
  • Downplayed: Only languages that the viewpoint character speaks are translated and terms that the audience would understand are left untranslated.
  • Justified:
    • The setting uses either a magical or technological translation device that renders everything spoken into a language that the viewpoint character (and the audience) understands.
    • To make communication between nations easier, France has made English a second official language. Everyone starts speaking English.
  • Inverted: Tropers, an American movie set in France, has Bob the Tourist's English lines rendered in gibberish so the audience won't understand them.
  • Subverted:
    • The setting implies that the characters would be speaking a different language, only for one of the characters who the audience would expect to speak their language to comment on how well the others speak his language...
    • The characters actually speak English alongside the language of their setting.
  • Double Subverted: ...but it turns out he's not speaking the language the audience does either.
  • Parodied: The actors speak the audience's language... But the characters speak just as hilariously poorly as they speak the language they're actually speaking in the story. (For example: Officer Crabtree)
  • Zig Zagged: The French characters' lines alternate between plain English, French-accented English, French with English subtitles, French without English subtitles and back to plain English.
  • Averted: Tropers is an American movie set in France, and all of the main characters (or at least all the locals) speak French.
  • Enforced:
    • The movie is released in America and needs to bring a large audience in order for the director to keep working. Therefore, everyone speaks English, despite being set in France.
    • The director couldn't find enough (or good enough) French-speaking actors.
  • Lampshaded: Alice complains about everyone speaking English in France.
  • Exploited: Alice is moving to France and doesn't bother learning the language, because she knows everyone will speak English.
  • Defied: "Stop speaking English! We are in France, we all know French, lets speak French, for heavens sake!"
  • Discussed: Alice, an American, arrives in France. When she doesn't understand anything, Bob explains that in Real Life, the French speak French.
  • Conversed: "Why do characters in French movies always speak English with a French accent?"
  • Deconstructed: English is the international language. All other languages are dead, and with them many cultures.
  • Reconstructed: English is the official language. The other language(s) are used like Latin is in Real Life.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice decides to travel to France to improve her French. She is furious when everyone keeps speaking English.
  • Played For Drama: French is becoming a dead language, so people have turned to speaking English. Alice tries to make people realise the importance of their cultural heritage.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: If the protagonist the action is currently focused on is fluent in the language the characters speak, it will be translated as accented English. If not, it simply will stay in the language they are actually speaking as a Bilingual Bonus.

Back to Translation Convention