Language and translation in film

Authored by: Rocío Baños , Jorge Díaz-Cintas

The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138911260
eBook ISBN: 9781315692845
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter defines the professional practices that are usually considered part of audiovisual translation (AVT), including accessibility to the media for audiences with sensory disabilities. After a brief historical overview, it focuses on the main characteristics of AVT, in particular the semiotic nature of the source text and the technical constraints on the translation solutions that can be adopted in subtitling and dubbing. Special attention is paid to the prefabricated nature of the dialogue found in audiovisual texts and to the asymmetrical transition that takes place from the oral to written mode in the case of subtitling. Interdisciplinarity is a distinctive trademark of AVT and the chapter discusses the main research methods traditionally used to investigate this area, emphasising the Descriptive Translation Studies paradigm and the use of corpora to identify the features and patterns of translated films. The chapter explores the efforts made by AVT scholars to test the validity of their theories experimentally, to explore the cognitive effort involved in the translational process and to measure human behaviour by means of instruments such as eye trackers, in order to acquire better understanding of their target audience. The final section of the chapter focuses on the automation of subtitling through the application of statistical machine translation technology, the potential of AVT for foreign language teaching and learning, and the proliferation of amateur practices like fansubbing and fandubbing on the net.

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