https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomas258654

Question about an Italian movie susbtitles

There's an old movie by director Mario Bava called Black Sabbath.

One of segments is titled "I Wurdalak." I know "Wurdalak" means a vampire/monster, and all the translations show "The Wurdalak."

But Wurdalak is singular, and so I thought it should be Il, not I. Any help please?

September 8, 2019, 11:07 PM

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Perhaps there was a segment talking about several Wurdalek, in which case it would be I Wurdalek. "The Wurdalek" could be referring to more than one, The Vampires. Perhaps a madrelingua will follow up.

September 8, 2019, 11:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MT.italy

Perché si riferisce a "La famiglia Wurdalak", un racconto del 1839 di Aleksej K. Tolstoj,

I Wurdalak = I membri (i componenti) della famiglia Wurdalak.

September 8, 2019, 11:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

Good point, if it's a family name (not referring to just a sort of creature) you could have the plural article and the last name in the singular in Italian. So "the Smiths" would be "i Smith." Still doesn't explain the mismatch between the original and the subtitles, though. In that case, you would definitely use the plural in English (the Wurdalaks).

September 8, 2019, 11:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MT.italy

Still doesn't explain the mismatch between the original and the subtitles, though.

Black Sabbath (I tre volti della paura titolo originale) è una trilogia che trasforma,in tre vicende dell'orrore,tre racconti di illustri autori :
- Il telefono di Maupassant ,
- I Wurdalak di Tolstoj e
- La goccia d'acqua di Cechov .

September 8, 2019, 11:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomas258654

The original Italian on the screen (it's part of the move itself) shows I Wurdalak. I believe the director's intent was plural, so the I is correct. In the original Tolstoy book, it is a whole family of Wurdalaks, not just one. So that furthers shows that I (plural) is correct. My guess is who ever added the English subtitles, simply wrote The without digging into it as much as we have this evening!

September 9, 2019, 12:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MT.italy

Non so... Il titolo del libro in inglese è : "The Family of the Vourdalak"

September 9, 2019, 12:11 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

Words that don't end with O, A, or E are generally invariable (meaning they don't change with gender or number), so you could have il wurdalak (singular) or i wurdalak (plural). Most foreign loan-words in Italian work like this. As to how the word should work in English in the subtitles, I don't know.

September 8, 2019, 11:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Perbacco, tonight I have learnt about I Wurdalak and the Kakapo owl-parrot. Grazie Duo.

September 8, 2019, 11:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomas258654

Thank you all. The English translation could be wrong, in which case it could be The Wurdalaks (plural).

September 8, 2019, 11:42 PM
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.