Audiovisual Translation

Theories, Methods and Issues

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Chapter 1 - Mapping an evolving conceptual network

The article recommended for Chapter 1 focuses on an emerging forms of audiovisual transfer.

Title: ‘Respeaking in Translator Training Curricula. Present and Future Prospects’

Author: Pablo Romero Fresco

Journal: The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 6(1): 91–112 (2012)

This article places respeaking within the wider context of audiovisual translation, outlining the most distinctive features of this form of audiovisual transfer and examining the main professional competences that respeaking demands.

Chapter 2 - Audiovisual translation as a site of representational practice

The article recommended for this chapter provides essential contextualization for the study of audiovisual translation as yet one more milestone in the long history of the interplay between translation and evolving media contexts.

Title: ‘First Steps Towards a Media History of Translation’

Author: Karin Littau

Journal: Translation Studies 4(3): 261–81 (2011)

This article examines the implications that shifts across the oral, scribal, print and screen cultures, driven by a range of technological innovations, have had in media contexts over the centuries. It argues that practices of writing and reading in each of these contexts have varied historically in accordance with the material carriers available for the storage and retrieval of information. Against this backdrop, the author explores what kinds of practices of translation can be associated with specific media cultures.

Chapter 3 - Audiovisual translation as a site of interventionist practice

The article recommended for Chapter 3 provides further insight into the evolution of the fansubbing cyber-culture.

Title: ‘Fansub Dreaming on ViKi: “Don’t Just Watch but Help when You Are Free”’

Author: Tessa Dwyer

Journal: The Translator 18(2): 217–43 (2012) | Special issue on ‘Non-professionals Translating and Interpreting: Participatory and Engaged Perspectives’, coedited by Sebnem Susam-Saraeva and Luis Pérez-González

This article broadens research on fansubbing by examining this phenomenon beyond the boundaries of anime subculture alone, focusing on the Internet start-up company ViKi as a counter-example. While Viki volunteer translators favour a largely conservative ‘look and feel’ and signs of increasing commercialization, they have made an important contribution to the internationalization of audiovisual translation practices.

Chapter 4 - Audiovisual translation models

The article recommended for Chapter 4 illustrates the potential of cognitive approaches to the study of audiovisual translation.

Title: ‘What Meets the Eye: Cognitive Narratology for Audio Description’

Author: Jeroen Vandaele

Journal: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 20(1): 87–102 (2012)

In narrating films for visually impaired audiences, audio describers select those discourse elements which produce narrative force – hoping to attain a degree of narrative equivalence between the source film and their audio described version. The difficulty of this task lies in the fact that narrative force is not just the realized action on screen. It is also cognitively construed by the receivers’ state of mind and their assumptions as to what could have been potentially realized through visual modes.

Chapter 5 - Research methods in audiovisual translation

The article recommended for Chapter 5 zooms in on a key and fast-developing research methods in audiovisual translation studies, i.e. eye tracking.

Title: ‘Making Meaning in AVT: Eye Tracking and Viewer Construction of Narrative’

Author: Jan-Louis Kruger

Journal: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 20(1): 67–86 (2012)

Eye-tracking is becoming a major research method in audiovisual translation studies. In this article, results from an eye-tracking experiment are correlated with viewer constructions of the narrative they have been asked to watch as part of the study.

Chapter 6 - Multimodality

The article recommended for Chapter 6 examines key issues pertaining to the multimodal dimension of audiovisual translation.

Title: ‘In Support of Creative Subtitling: Contemporary Context and Theoretical Framework’

Author: Rebecca McClarty

Journal: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, DOI: 10.1080/0907676X.2013.842258 (2013)

Creative subtitling is being used to great creative effect in the context of contemporary digital media. This paper argues that creative subtitling should be accepted as a viable alternative to conventional subtitling practice – one that transforms the film text into an enhanced filmic experience for the target audience through the exploitation of verbal and non-verbal semiotics.

Chapter 7 - Self-mediation

The article recommended for this chapter revolves around amateur subtitling as a form of self-mediation in the era of the digital culture.

Title: ‘Amateur Subtitling and the Pragmatics of Spectatorial Subjectivity’

Author: Luis Pérez-González

Journal: Language and Intercultural Communication 12(4): 335-353 (2012)

This article focuses on participatory subtitling practices and the role that affectivity plays in the work of amateur subtitlers. Rather than aiming to deliver ‘accurate’ representations of the source text meaning, amateur subtitles seek to intervene in the articulation and reception of audiovisual texts. The discussion draws on selected examples of aesthetic and political subtitling activism.

Chapter 8 - Lead the way

The article recommended for this chapter addresses the methodological foundations of research projects in audiovisual translation.

Title: ‘The Case Study Research Method in Translation Studies’

Author: Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva

Journal: The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 3(1): 37–56 (2009) | Special issue on ‘Training for Doctoral Research’, edited by Ian Mason

The article looks at the uses of the case study method within translation studies. It emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between case and context and delivers an overview of the differences between single- and multiple-case studies. It also examines the relationships between case studies and generalizations as a means to achieve valid and useful conclusions out of case studies.