Multilingual and Multi-Generational Italian Identity in a Netflix Series: Subtitling Generazione 56k (2021) into English




AVT, English subtitling, Netflix, Linguistic Variation, Italian identity, Representations of Italianness, Multilingualism, multigenerational language, Italian series


This paper reports an investigation into the representation of “Italianness” in the recent Netflix Italian series Generazione 56k, which was exported to English-speaking countries. This series deals with characters from different generations and displays regional varieties. This qualitative study examined the macro- and micro-strategies used in the creation of English subtitles for the first season. The focus is on key functions of telecinematic discourse, i.e., characterisation, realism, and humour, realised through the use of (a) multilingualism in the broadest sense, including geographical dialects, and (b) multi-generational language (colloquialisms, “unconventional language”, particularly, teenage and youth language, and taboo). Findings reveal a tendency towards neutralisation strategies in the English subtitles. Even considering the constraints inherent in the subtitling mode, these strategies do not successfully represent “Italianness” with its local geographical diversity, and only partially convey the representation of multi-generational language, also affecting humour. The themes engaging millennials, however, are expressed and might be appreciated by an international audience. In the light of our analysis and conclusions, it may be interesting to understand whether younger generations, increasingly accustomed to “multilingualism” especially in Netflix programmes, would also envisage a different subtitling experience.

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Author Biographies

Marina Manfredi, University of Bologna

Associate Professor in English Language and Translation at the University of Bologna, Italy, in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Her main research interests lie in the field of Translation Studies, investigated through linguistic-cultural approaches. Her most recent publications focus on media translation (news and popular science), audiovisual translation (especially of multicultural television series), and museum translation.

Chiara Bartolini, University of Bologna, Italy

Postdoc Researcher and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the University of Bologna, Italy. She holds a PhD in Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies. Her current research project, entitled “Ways of Seeing: museum audio description for all”, sits at the intersection of museum translation, audiovisual translation and media accessibility.


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How to Cite

Manfredi, M., & Bartolini, C. (2023). Multilingual and Multi-Generational Italian Identity in a Netflix Series: Subtitling Generazione 56k (2021) into English. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 28(2), 1–20.

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