THE Nigerian movie industry has come a long way in cinematographic rejuvenation. It is without doubt occupying a centre stage as it has, over the years, taken different dimensions of showcasing what the industry knows how best to do. The gamut of inanities that have been crippling the industry, both on moral grounds and otherwise, for some, is not the exclusive preserve of the nation’s movie industry.
Unfortunately, many of these movies are produced without any modicum of professionalism in the business of the theatrical.It is no longer bizzarre to observe that it is only in Nollywood that there is no clearly defined space for specialisation. An individual actor can be a producer, director, and scriptwriter. This is usually done so as to cut the unavoidable costs of production. When this short-cut is sustained, what the Nigerian audience is fed with is usually a body of junks. The spate at which Nigeria movies, which are unarguably substandard, are produced, is preposterous.
Yoruba movies are those which are essentially sourced from the Yoruba cosmological space with the Yoruba Language as the linguistic choice, and in order to assist the non-speakers of the language, subtitles are done in English. This was introduced so as to fill the void, that non-native speakers of the language may be participatory in the whole discourse of the movies. Welcomed as the gesture might have been at its inception, it will be stating the obvious that these subtitles are full with avoidable errors. These subtitles with all their blunders, which are done in English Language, affect the linguistic sensibilities of those viewers who have some appreciable level of mastery in both languages (in this case, the Yoruba Language, which is the primary medium through which the characters interact and the English Language by which the subtitle is done).
It is not enough that the industry should only be concerned with the visual quality and thematic thrust of the movies but with the grammar and semantic appropriateness of what is subtitled. These blunders in the subtitles of so many Yoruba movies range from outright disregard for the basic rules of concord, semantic misapplication, spelling errors, wrong lexical choice, malapropism, to stylistic infelicities, among others.
If truth be told, the Yoruba movie titled, Ayo, produced this year, has a high quality of audio-visual performance. The thematic foci of the movie are strongly portrayed and the techniques of the dramatic are fully utilised. Unfortunately and perhaps ‘expectedly,’ the subtitle, done in English, is redolent of grammatical errors and unpardonable errors in spellings. From the opening scene to the last, errors of all sorts inundate the subtitling.
Such spelling errors occur in expressions as (i) *I have stomarch pain.” The appropriate spelling of the word stomarch as used should be stomach. This error is repeated in another scene during the subtitling. In English grammar, whatever verbal element comes after the primary auxiliary verb should be in its bare infinitive. This rule in English syntax is not followed in the movie under discourse. (ii) *Did you told me you will rent a house? The expression should read: ‘Did you tell me you will rent a house?’ Others include: (iii) *I will loose my life/ I will lose my life (iv) *What did you just said?/ What did you just say? (v) *What do you know about the gentle beside you?/What do you know about the gentleman beside you?(vi) *What are these nonsence you’re holding?/What is this nonsense that you’re holding?(vii) *Let go inside the office/Let’s go inside the office (viii) *I’ve explain to her more than this/ I’ve explained more than this to her (ix) *That my brother.../That brother of mine...(x) *I delibtrately did not inform you before hand/ I deliberately did not inform you beforehand (xi) *You abandone me/ You abandoned me here (xii) *The way you talk to me makes me fell proud/ The way you address me makes me feel proud (xiii) *Things is getting out of hand/ Things are getting out of hand (xiv) *Why did all these happened between us?/ Why did all these happen between us? (xv) *I’m soory/ I’m sorry. (xvi) *Don’t ben offended/ Don’t be offended.
The lack of priority, which subtitling has been given, is equally displayed in another Yoruba movie titled: Ile Oko. The errors among others include the following: (i) *Some people say am wiser than Solomon/ Some people say I’m wiser than Solomon (ii) *Can you imagine the trouble you’ve cause?/ Can you imagine the trouble that you’ve caused? (iii) *We even tried to advise his as his relatives/ We even tried to advise him as his relatives (iv) *To be a friend to elders is not the same as taking to their advise/ To be a friend to elders is not the same as taking to their pieces of advice (v)*That’s how she behave/ That’s how she behaves (vi) *You did not even asked.../ You did not even ask... (vii) *You are right but fate as chosen for you/ You are right but fate has chosen for you (viii) *Do not go on your kneels anymore/ Do not go on your knees anymore (vix) *Are you genuine wife?/ Are you a genuine wife?
In Apaadi, one of the many movies in Yoruba language, errors in subtitle are also obvious. They include the following: (i) *The oracle also assure that your staff of office which symbolises your authority shall not be broken/ The oracle also assured that your staff of office, which symbolises your authority, shall not be broken (ii)*If a forty years old man loses his teeth, hardly will he grow another/ If a forty-year-old man loses his teeth, hardly will he grow another (iii)*He enlogises the prince/ He eulogises the prince (iv)*They’ve all ran away/ They’ve all run away (v)*I’ll invites each of them and counsel them privately/ I’ll invite each of them and counsel them privately.
While the movie Jagba possesses all the ingredients akin with proper film making, it is nonetheless riddled with grammatical shortcomings in subtitling. These include (i)*Now I am rich than my friends.../Now I am richer than my friends (ii)*Soji, when it’s your flight?/ Soji, when is your flight? (iii)*It’s 10.00pm tonight/ It’s 10.00pm (iv)*That’s my responsibily/ That’s my responsibility (v)*Would be happy if I treat you like this?/ Would you be happy if I treated you like this?
Kulende, another movie bears no difference from the others which have little or no preference for syntactic adherence in subtitling. Some of the gaffe in the subtitle suggests that there is serious mother tongue interference. The grammatical blunders include: (i) *It doesn’t give one the opportunity to bid farewell before taken one away/ It doesn’t give one the opportunity to bid farewell before taking one away (ii) *It shouldn’t be two much/ It shouldn’t be too much (iii) *Whoevre does not know the way to success will die in his struggle/ Whoever does not know the way to success will die in his struggle (iv) *The Ifa panygeries/ The Ifa panegyric (v) *She’s my kid sister and I’ve scared/ She’s my kid sister and I’m scared (vi) *He said we shouldn’t do things saparately becaus it couldn’t yield good fruit/ He said we shouldn’t do things separately because it wouldn’t yield any good fruit (vii) *Besides I want he to be in charge of my new shop/ Besides I want her to be in charge of my new shop (viii) *He promiseds to speak with Lolade/ He promised to speak with Lolade. (ix) *It’s said that bllood is thick than water/ It’s said that blood is thicker than water (x) *May you not die when things are rousy/ May you not die when things are rosy (xi) *Lolade case is like that of a widow/ Lolade’s case is like that of a widow (xii) *I’ll everyone you’re the fly in the oitment/ I’ll tell everyone that you are the fly in the ointment (xiii) *My father insist on love but you refused/ My father insisted on love but you refused (xiv) *An advice given, is to enabel you attain your goal/ A piece of advice given is to enable you attain your goal (xv) *We presently has two plots of land/ We have two plots of land.
Esin, a Yoruba movie with a didactic thrust, has so many grammatical flaws. (i) *Whoever must have take it should come out/Whoever must have taken it should come out. (ii) *You’re spent a log while searching for the number/You’ve spent a long while searching for the number.(iii) *Afterall you are tendered an apology/Afterall you have tendered an apology.(iv) *I observed I’m love so I’ve decided to make it know to you/ I observed I’m in love with you, so I decided to make it known to you.(v) *Doctor has confirm that I’m pregnant/ The doctor has confirmed that I’m pregnant. (vi) *I’m too months pregnant/ I’m two months pregnant. (vii) *You should have asked the doctor to about it./You should have asked the doctor to abort it.(viii) *I’ll counsed you/ I’ll counsel you.(ix) *You’re rejected my offer/You’ve rejected my offer. (x) *I’ve spoken with my friend and she also told me how she fell about you/ I’ve spoken with my friend and she told me how she felt about you. (xi) *Do you embsrrass him./Do you want to embarrass him? (xii) *I felt she’ll feel hurt during those period./I felt she would feel hurt during that period. (xiii) *I need to beg you not to betroy me./I need to beg you not to betray me.(xiv) *You want to middle things up./You want to muddle things up.(xv) *I bag your pardon./I beg your pardon.(xvi) *I’m your elder brither/ I’m your elder brother.(xvii) *Exchanging pleasentries/ Exchanging pleasantries. (xviii) *I will only tell you not to disapport us/ I will only tell you not to disappoint us.(xix) *We know it’s done in serecy/ We know it’s done in secrecy./We know it’s done in secrecy.
The blunders that mar the subtitling of Ogidi Omo are no less damaging.(i) *Doyinsola, lets get married/ Doyinsola, let’s get married.(ii) *...Its been three years since I graduated from the university./...It’s three years since I graduated from the university.(iii) *I have heared./I have heard.(iv) *You just want to waste there lives./ You just want to waste their lives.
The list is endless. A parent, Mrs. Yetunde Sanyaolu said, “the Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners (ANTP) should wake up to its responsibilities. The Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board equally has a role to perform in this malaise. Children are already becoming victims of this inadequacy and except something drastic is done, the rot will persist and degenerate into something more petrifying.”