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.
  • Inverted: Tropers, an American movie set in France, has Bob the Tourists 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.
  • 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?"

Back to Translation Convention