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Title:Inserting voice: foreign language film translation as a local phenomenon in Tanzania
Authors:Englert, BirgitISNI
Moreto, Nginjai PaulISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic term:Tanzania
Swahili language
Abstract:This article focuses on a phenomenon of technical innovation that has spread quickly in Tanzania in the past couple of years: the translation of films in languages such as English or Hindi/Urdu into Swahili, the official language of Tanzania. The article discusses this phenomenon through the life and work of Hemed Musa from Masasi, a young man who acquired his skills in autodidactic ways through experimenting with new technologies and software that he accessed primarily via the Internet. His work is a good example of the decentralization of cultural output in Tanzania, as he does not work for companies that distribute films at the national level, but rather works independently and disseminates his films at the local level. The demand for films translated into Swahili has grown considerably in recent years, making films without translation increasingly difficult to sell. This reflects an increasing eagerness on the part of Tanzanian audiences to understand and not just to see what is going on in other parts of the world. The rising popularity of translated films raises the question of how this transforms the film-viewing culture in Tanzania and in what ways it might contribute to the empowerment of the younger generation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]