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Chapter 1 Padlet
The padlet below highlights a range of materials and resources that complement Chapter 1.
Chapter 1 Links
This section provides you with direct access to websites referred to in Chapter 1.
Díaz Cintas, Jorge and Aline Remael (2007) Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling, Manchester: St Jerome.
Chaume Varela (2012) Audiovisual Translation: Dubbing, Manchester: St Jerome.
Franco, Eliana, Anna Matamala and Pilar Orero (2010) Voice-over Translation: An Overview, Bern: Peter Lang.
Pérez-González, Luis (2009) ‘Audiovisual Translation’, in Mona Baker and Gabriela Saldanha (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, 2nd edition, London & New York: Routledge, 13-20.
Romero Fresco, Pablo (2011) Subtitling Through Speech Recognition: Respeaking, Manchester: St. Jerome.
Research project suggestions
- What terms are used to designate the field of audiovisual translation in the languages that you work with? Are any of these terms a literal translation of ‘audiovisual translation’? Compare the set of terms you have collected with the terms outlined in Section 1.1. Can you find correspondences in your working languages for each of the English terms? If not, what do you think might be the reason for those differences? Do the terms that you have found in your working languages foreground the types of text that fall within the remit of audiovisual translation? Alternatively, do they signal the medial constraints that apply in the production and reception of audiovisual texts?
- How dominant/important is each of the modalities of audiovisual translation surveyed in this chapter in the media marketplaces that you have knowledge of? Are there relatively stable associations between audiovisual text types and audiovisual translation modalities? To what extent have assistive forms of audiovisual translation penetrated the audiovisual markets that you are familiar with? What is the regulatory framework in place regarding the need to meet minimum quotas in the provision of subtitles for the hard of hearing and audio described narrations? Are these assistive modalities confined to the public sector, or have they been embraced by private broadcasters, cinemas and translation services providers?
- How institutionalized is audiovisual translation in your country of residence and any other country you may know enough about? Are audiovisual translation course units available at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level? Are they mandatory or optative? What is their credit load vis-à-vis those of other specialized translation modules? Are there any specialized postgraduate programmes, both MA and PhD courses, available in those contexts? What is their disciplinary affiliation? Are they run by modern languages schools, translation schools or media studies schools, to give some examples
- Are you familiar with audiovisual translation literature in languages other than English? Is the conceptualization of audiovisual texts in those academic traditions consistent with the changing scenario outlined in Section 1.3? If possible, consult Gambier’s (2008) overview of the main milestones and stages in the academization of audiovisual translation in Europe. Could you develop his account further, perhaps adding to the list of major conferences in the field? How would you rate the social recognition of audiovisual translation in the countries you live or have lived in? Are
- Section 1.2 has referred to the growing popularity of amateur audiovisual translation subcultures such as fansubbing and fandubbing. Are you familiar with these developments? Have you come across any sample of fansubbing or fandubbing practices? What is, in principle, your stance on the existence of these communities and their impact on audiovisual marketplaces? What are the pros and cons of their intervention in the media landscape? Keep a record of your thoughts and consult it again once you have read Chapters 3 and 7. Has your opinion changed significantly?
Chapter 2 Padlet
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Chapter 2 Links
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Cronin, Michael (2009) Translation Goes to the Movies, London & New York: Routledge.
Ellis, Jack C. (1995) A History of Film, 4th edition, Boston & London: Allyn and Bacon.
Nornes, Abé M. (2007) Cinema Babel: Translating Global Cinema, Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press.
Research project suggestions
- The expansion of Hollywood’s cinematic apparatus has been challenged at different points in time by resistant practices. Shohat and Stam (2006), for instance, report on activist films (e.g. La hora de los hornos [The Hour of the Furnaces] 1968) that ‘incorporate[d] into the text programmed interruptions of the projections to allow for debate concerning the central political issues raised by the film’, thus opening the cinematic apparatus ‘to person-to-person dialogue in a provocative amalgam of cinema/theatre/political rally’ (2006: 111). Naficy (2003), on the other hand, reflects on his own experience as a young film viewer in Iran, where Western talkies were introduced in the 1930s. As Naficy explains, film viewing was a communal experience, often punctuated by vocal expressions of enthusiasm or disappointment; during the projection, ‘screen readers and student translators’ translated ‘the intertitles, the subtitles of the foreign language dialogue in real time’, often making use of ‘colourful Persian stock expressions, which indigenized and enriched the film experience’ (2003: 189).
What points of connection can be drawn between these two contexts of reception, considering that the example provided by Shohat and Stam does not actually involve translation across languages? Consider the ways in which each of these contexts of reception deviates from the individualized viewing experience promoted by commercial cinema, where both the duration and preferred reception of films are controlled by the industry. Can you identify similar contexts of reception in other cultures/regions you are familiar with? What role does audiovisual translation play in those contexts? To what extent can their existence be accounted for only on the basis of artistic considerations? Are there any other constraints, whether political, religious or ideological, that may shape those sets of representational practices?
- Section 2.3 explains how the American industry put in place a self-regulatory framework to ensure that the representations of other nationalities or ethnic groups in Hollywood films did not cause offence in their most lucrative markets. In The Collaboration (2013), for example, Urward draws on extensive documentary evidence to show that ‘once Hitler ascended to power in 1933 the major Hollywood studios tacitly agreed not to portray Germany in an unfavourable light or to mention its persecution of the Jews’, in what reviewers have presented as ‘a shameful policy of compromise and kowtowing on the part of the studio bosses’. Against this backdrop, consider the following case reported in Cronin (2009: 11), concerning the censorship by colonial powers of films watched by viewers in Northern Rhodesia:
One of the paradoxical effects of paranoid censorship in imperial settings was that the narrative or storyline was continually disrupted by the anxious cuts of colonizers. Vulnerable natives were thus unlikely to be affected by the meanings of narratives that the censors’ shears had rendered illegible […] [T]he vast majority of showings of films in the Copperbelt were out of doors and the noise levels were such that the soundtrack was not often audible. Even if it had been, this would have made little difference as the miners and their families with limited access to formal education would not have been able to follow extended dialogue in British English or colloquial American English.
How can the distributors’ decision to remove sensitive material (e.g. scenes depicting riots or sexual encounters, to give but a few examples) while retaining the dialogue in English be interpreted in terms of Hollywood’s representational priorities?
Chapter 3 Padlet
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Chapter 3 Images
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On co-creative and participatory media practices
Banks, John and Mark Deuze (2009) ‘Co-creative Labour’, International Journal of Cultural Studies 12(5): 419–431.
Chouliaraki, Lilie (2010) ‘Self-mediation: New Media and Citizenship’, Critical Discourse Studies, 7(4): 227-232.
Jenkins, Henry (2004) ‘The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(1): 33–43.
On co-creation and participatory audiovisual translation
Barra, Luca (2009) ‘The Mediation is the Message: Italian Regionalization of US TV Series as Co-creational Work’, International Journal of Cultural Studies 12(5): 509-525.
Denison, Rayna (2011). ‘Anime Fandom and the Liminal Spaces between Fan Creativity and Piracy’, International Journal of Cultural Studies. DOI: 10.1177/1367877910391865.
Dwyer, Tessa (2012) ‘Fansub Dreaming on ViKi: “Don’t just watch but help when you are free”’, in Sebnem Susam-Saraeva and Luis Pérez-González (eds) Non-professionals Translating and Interpreting: Participatory and Engaged Perspectives, special issue of The Translator, 18(2), 217-243.
O’Hagan, Minako (2012) ‘From Fan Translation to Crowdsourcing: Consequences of Web 2.0 User Empowerment in Audiovisual Translation’, in Aline Remael, Pilar Orero and Mary Carroll (eds) Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility at the Crossroads, Amterdam & New York: Rodopi, 25-41.
Pérez González, Luis (2006) ‘Fansubbing Anime: Insights into the “Butterfly Effect” of Globalisation on Audiovisual Translation’, Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 14(4): 260-277.
Research project suggestions
- Engagemedia is ‘a non- profit media, technology and culture organisation’ that uses ‘the power of video, the Internet and free software technologies to create social and environmental change’. Engagemedia believes that ‘independent media and free and open technologies are fundamental to building the movements needed to challenge social injustice and environmental damage, as well as to provide and present solutions’. Familiarize yourself with their volunteer subtitling initiative and consult their 7 Tips on Best Practices for Subtitling. To what extent do the recommended subtitling practices abide by or deviate from mainstream commercial conventions? One of the sources for Engagemedia’s subtitling tutorial is a guide on fansubbing. How can the use of conventions developed by fans to subtitle drama be justified in the case of Engagemedia’s videos? Is Engagemedia’s subtitling initiative an example of democratization of technologies? Alternatively, does it instantiate the context of production known as technologization of democracy? Before you make a final decision, note that Engagemedia’s subtitling initiative is powered by Amara, ‘the largest, most powerful captioning and translation platform in the world’ that provides corporate solutions and relies on volunteers to translate its own website.
- Against the current expansion of postgraduate courses on audiovisual translation worldwide, consider the following excerpt from the introduction to a special issue of a leading translation studies journal on the phenomenon of non-professional translation:
[O]ver the last four decades large sections of translation scholars have thus tried to establish the importance of professional translation/interpreting expertise in the public consciousness by focusing on issues pertaining to translation pedagogy, translation quality assessment and criticism, as well as the observance of professional ethics and norms ... The public perception that translators and interpreters lack a systematic body of ‘exclusive’ knowledge remains a major obstacle for the social recognition of these occupations as professions.
(Pérez-González and Susam-Saraeva 2012: 150)
Does the exponential growth of amateur subtitling threaten to undermine the social recognition of professional audiovisual translators even further? Alternatively, may this new development complement and enrich the work of professionals? In articulating your response, you may want to consider Dwyer’s (2012) and Denison’s (2011) accounts of the ways in which amateur subtitlers are beginning to enjoy commercial success and, in some cases, place professional translators out of the market.
- According to Nornes (2007), abusive subtitles manage to maintain the visibility of the original and encourage viewers to ‘work off’ the original semiotic ensemble (dialogue and image) while they process a profusion of titling elements all over the frame. To what extent do these proposed reading practices resemble those described by Cazdyn (2004) in relation to running subtitles on television? In his paper, Cazdyn (ibid.: 405) argues that running subtitles are necessary to process the ‘unmanageable surplus of meaning’ conveyed by media texts. Can abusive subtitling practices be conceptualized as forms of conveying an unmanageable surplus of meaning? What similarities and differences can you find between Nornes’ and Cazdyn’s accounts of modern subtitling practices?
Chapter 4 Padlet
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On translation models
Díaz Cintas, Jorge (2004), ‘In Search of a Theoretical Framework for the Study of Audiovisual Translation’, in Pilar Orero (ed.) Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 21–34.
Chesterman, Andrew (2001) ‘A Causal Model for Translation Studies’, in Maeve Olohan (ed.) Intercultural Faultlines: Research Models in Translation Studies I: Textual and Cognitive Aspects, Manchester: St Jerome, 15–28.
Munday, Jeremy (2012) Introducing Translation Studies, 3rd edition, London and New York: Routledge.
Examples of different audiovisual translation models
Remael, Aline (2004) ‘A Place for Film Dialogue Analysis in Subtitling Courses’, in Pilar Orero (ed.) Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 103–26.
Yau, Wai-Ping (2012) ‘Power, Identity and Subtitling in a Diglossic Society’, Meta 57(3): 564–73.
Delabastita, Dirk (1990) ‘Translation and the Mass Media’, in Susan Bassnett and André Lefèvre (eds) Translation, History and Culture, London and New York: Pinter Publishers, 97–109.
Pavesi, Maria (2009a) ‘Dubbing English into Italian: A Closer Look at the Translation of Spoken Language’, in Díaz Cintas, Jorge (ed.) New Trends in Audiovisual Translation, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 197–209.
Orero, Pilar (2008) ‘Three Different Receptions of the Same Film’, European Journal of English Studies 12: 179–93.
Vercauteren, Gert (2012) ‘A Narratological Approach to Content Selection in Audio Description. Towards a Strategy for the Description of Narratological Time’, in MONTI 4(special issue on Multidisciplinarity in Audiovisual Translation): 207–31.
Research project suggestions
- In her monograph on the history of Japanese cinema, McDonald (2006) discusses the impact of the country’s strong theatrical tradition on the narrative structure of early Japanese films. Keiko contends that such influences were responsible for the delay in the formation of a specifically cinematic grammar and in the development of distinctive narrative conventions in films. As McDonald explains,
[t]he center-front long shot was a natural outcome of cinema’s first view of itself as a camera-eye spectator of ongoing stage performance. Most early footage showed what theater audiences saw: entire scenes shot in one long take showing actors full-length. This fixed approach to camera work remained a defining characteristic of Japanese cinema even after the long shot and long take were joined by other more specifically cinematic devices.
But as Japanese directors became increasingly attracted to Western editing techniques, old conventions lost popularity and were replaced by imported practices.
Similarly, in her overview of the evolution of Korean cinema, Chung (2007: 1) makes the point that the Korean film tradition has no indigenous genres: the emergence and development of the latter were influenced by Western and other Asian film genres. Significantly, one of the biggest hindrances to the construction of Korea’s own cinematic conventions and modes of representation had to do with timing: the advent of cinema as an art form in Korea coincided with Japan’s colonization of its Asian neighbours. As a result of Japan’s control,
the Korean melodrama was an exact copy of Japanese shinpa films to the extent that they were called ‘namida (tears, なみだ)’ films, adopting the Japanese term for a tearjerker. Even after liberation, when Japanese films were strictly forbidden in Korea, plagiarism paradoxically persisted until the government allowed Japanese films back in 1998.
How useful is polysystem theory in examining the role that Western techniques and genres played in driving early developments in the Japanese film industry? Can the logic of your response to this question be extended to account for the triangular relationship between Western, Japanese and Korean traditions? Consider the list of research questions proposed by Delabastita (1990) (see Box 4.8) and discuss their relevance to the evolution of Japanese and Korean cinematic conventions. Is the technical and rhetorical influence of Western practices justified in terms of America’s and Asia’s respective positions in the international context at the turn of the 20th century? In addressing this question, you may want to give some thought to the interaction between the different systems that make up each of these cultures. On the basis of the findings of studies surveyed in Section 4.5.1, how might the dynamics of the relationship between Western and Asian film traditions have shaped the audiovisual translation industry in Japan and Korea? As a result of this relationship, are Japanese and Korean translators more likely to aim at source- or target-text oriented film translations?
- Written and directed by Dany Boon in 2008, Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis [Welcome to the Sticks] tells the story of Philippe Abrams, a postal worker transferred from Southern France to the Northern town of Bergues. Upon arrival, Philippe is initially confounded by the dialect of his local co-workers. Speakers of the Ch’ti dialect pronounce the French [s] sound as [∫]. For example, in the line ‘Bah ici c’est pas les spécialités qui manquent’ (‘Well, there are lots of delicacies here’), ‘c’est’ (/sɛ/) would be pronounced as ‘ch’est’ (∫sɛ/). But Philippe is also troubled by his negative stereotypes of the townspeople. Indeed, the ch’timi dialect is often regarded as a language of farmers and coal miners rarely used in school or heard on the television (Harrod 2012). Gradually, Philippe is won over by the town as he learns the dialect and forgets his false preconceptions about his hosts.
When subtitling or dubbing this film, opting for a standard variety of the target language, i.e. following a conservative approach, would be easier than relying on a dialectal one (see section 4.5.2). However, this conservative approach would be hardly feasible in this case. In the first encounter between Philippe and Antoine, for example, the former – who is not familiar with the ch’ti dialect being spoken by Antoine – assumes that Antonie’s pronunciation in French is the result of a jaw injury. Insofar as it is central to the plot of Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, omitting the dialectal variation in the target text would necessitate a quite dramatic change to the plot of the film.
A more experimental approach to the translation of dialect in this film would involve finding an equivalent dialect in the target language. By translating into an existing target culture dialect, viewers would be able to draw on their pre-conceived notions of speakers of this dialect. Further, this strategy of localization may appeal to certain viewers who find the familiarity of a local dialect renders the film less obscure and as such more relatable. Finding a suitable dialect, though, would present a major difficulty to translators.
A third option open to a translator would be to translate the ch’ti into an invented variety. Under this strategy, more specific features of the source text dialect could be relayed into the target text. Lexical, phonological and grammatical characteristics could thus be replicated in the target language, allowing similar puns and language humour to be conveyed from the original to the target text. But while this strategy also aids in the individualization of characters, marking their divergent geographical or social origins, it have some drawbacks. An invented dialect, for instance, does not carry any authentic sociolinguistic meaning. Consequently, it would not trigger any preconceived notions of class or cultural stereotypes in the target audience. Language variation is a valuable tool used in films to draw characters quickly (Lippi-Green 1997: 81) and this would have to be compensated for through plot lines and dialogue.
Consider these options from the perspective of your own language pair. Which would be the most suitable approach? You may want to give some consideration to the way in which other films featuring a conspicuous dialectal variety have been subtitled or dubbed into your target language. Which type of translation models is more likely to assist you in accounting for your decision: comparative or causal ones?
- As explained in section 4.3.3, neurolinguistic approaches to the study of audio description suggest that the perception of combined visual and acoustic stimuli may be influenced by culture-specific factors. The argument goes as follows: if differences in perception among cultures are confirmed by future research, new versions would have to be developed from scratch for audio described narrations to be effective in different linguacultures.
The following example allows for further reflection on this argument. According to Shafik (2007), Arab cinema is dominated by language. As she notes, ‘many Arab directors and authors trust the signifying power of words more than the visual arrangements. Consequently, they prefer to fix the meaning of symbols by giving clear linguistic indications. Some even ‘translate’ literary metaphors, images and expressions without further ado into the visual (e.g. ‘working like a donkey’)(ibid.: 87). For Shafik, this emphasis on language arises from the Arab tradition of state-produced films aimed at largely illiterate audiences who are primarily used to oral narrative forms. This fixation on verbal meaning minimizes the presence of ambiguous subtexts in audiovisual narratives, which facilitates their use for the purposes of political indoctrination.
Consider the idiosyncratic features of Arab film semiotics against the core premises of neurolinguistic research, pertaining to potential differences in perception between cultures. How may neurolinguistic translation models contribute to researching audio description from and into Arabic? In trying to address this question, you may want to familiarize yourself further with this research strand, and the way in which it is systematizing the impact of different semiotic configurations on culture-specific perceptual habits. Also, how would causal models complement neurolinguistic insights? Finally, note Shafik’s causal reading of the tendency for Arab films to rely primarily on verbal signs: films are instrumentalized as platforms for the circulation of political and ideological propaganda. Against this backdrop, what could be the forces responsible for the emergence and consolidation of other narrative conventions and practices, possibly more reliant on non-verbal semiotics?
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) was a TV series following Buffy Summers, the latest in a line of young women known as ‘Slayers’ who fight the supernatural evil that plagues her alternate reality. This show has long been considered a feminist series: it defies patriarchal stereotypes by empowering women, offering them independence, agency, and active roles to attack gender assumptions (Byers 2003). ‘Although the traditional hero of mythology is inarguably male, with Buffy the heroic becomes not just reconciled with the feminine but ruled by it’ (ibid.: 171). Wilcox makes the important point that the creative use of language in the show is itself ‘symbolic’ (2005: 18) and contributes to uphold the feminist principles underpinning the series. Indeed, ‘Buffyspeak’ has been defined as a kind of slang, with characters using the English language in an innovative fashion. Through a combination of neologisms and jargon, affixation, changing parts of speech, truncation, syntactic change, semantic shift and pop-culture references (Kirchner 2006), users of Buffyspeak deviate morphologically, lexically and syntactically from standard usage (Adams 2003). Overall, this experimentation is considered to underline Buffy’s ‘violence against language’ as a feminist counter-attack against male domination (Craigo-Snell 2006).
What similarities can you find between the strategy deployed to articulate language-driven feminism, as manifested in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Asimakoulas’ account of the construction of transsexual identities in audiovisual texts (as outlined in section 4.5.2)? Which translation models would be more useful to identify the linguistic features of Buffy’s subversive idiolect? Consider the relevance of polysystem and norm theories to the analysis of subtitled and dubbed versions of Buffy. To what extent can the interplay between the systems of translation, religion and education within different recipient polysystems, for example, affect the way Buffyspeak is recreated in the relevant target languages?
Chapter 5 Padlet
The padlet below highlights a range of materials and resources that complement Chapter 5.
Chapter 5 Links
This section provides you with direct access to websites referred to in Chapter 5.
Tymoczko, Maria (2007) Enlarging Translations, Empowering Translators, Manchester: St. Jerome. Chapter 4: ‘Research Methods in Translation Studies’.
Saldanha, Gabriela and Sharon O’Brien (2013) Research Methodologies in Translation Studies, Manchester: St Jerome.
Section 5.2.1: Eye-tracking methods
- Jensema et al. (2000a, 2000b)
- Lång et al. (2013)
- Orero and Vilaró (2012)
- Vercauteren and Orero (2013)
Section 5.2.2: Questionnaires and interviews
- Antonini (2005)
- Antonini and Chiaro (2005, 2009)
- Bucaria and Chiaro (2007)
- Chiaro (2004, 2007a)
- Fresno (2012)
- Fuentes Luque (2000, 2003)
- Gottlieb (1995)
- Jensema (1998)
Section 5.2.3: Archival methods
- Lindgren (2013)
Section 5.2.4: Corpus-based methods
- Baños, Bruti and Zanotti (2013)
- Freddi (2012)
- Freddi and Pavesi (2009)
- Jiménez Hurtado and Seibel (2012)
Research project suggestions
- According to the literature, there are a number of features pertaining to research design and execution that cut across individual methodologies. These include: sensitivity (research should aim to reveal subtle differences through the analysis of data), objectivity (the chosen methods should ensure that researchers’ biases are minimized), validity (research undertaken should be credible to participants in the situation under scrutiny), falsifiability (research should aim to test and challenge established theories), replicability (research conditions should be accurately reported and allow for the repetition of previous research), generalizability (findings should be useful to scholars and participants investigating or operating in similar situations) and reliability (research design should be such that participants give the same answer given the same thing to measure or describe).
Take one or more of the studies surveyed earlier in this chapter and try to evaluate the extent to which it/they address(es) this set of features. Do researchers discuss some or all of these features explicitly or implicitly? In your opinion, are there specific features that would appear to be more suited to each kind of research? If you are about to embark on your own project, what steps will you take to ensure that you show awareness of these research features?
- Although my overview of observational research methods in this chapter has focused on the use of eye-tracking technology, observation can be done in simpler ways. Fuentes Luque’s (2003) study of the reception of verbal and allusive humour in dubbed and subtitled films is a case in point. Drawing on a number of hypotheses pertaining to the likely reception of these forms of humour by Spanish viewers, he observed viewers’ reactions while watching selected film fragments. Sitting outside the participants’ field of vision to avoid conditioning their reception of the film, he encoded their reactions as ‘no reaction’, ‘smile’, ‘laughter’, ‘puzzlement’.
After reading Fuentes Luque’s detailed account of his experiment, consider the extent to which his observation addresses the research features listed in the previous question. How necessary is it to triangulate these observational findings with the participants’ declared perception of these instances of humour, as expressed in their responses to questionnaires and interviews? How useful is it to cross-check input elicited through questionnaires with participants’ responses to interviews? What other aspects of viewers’ reception could be usefully investigated using a systematic observation scheme?
- Section 5.2.4 has critiqued Salway’s (2007) claim that insights derived from the analysis of corpora of audio description scripts could facilitate the semi-automated production of new narrations. Consider this view against Kruger’s (2012) claim that we do not yet fully understand how visually impaired viewers make sense of narrative content in audiovisual texts. Given that audio descriptions are conveyed exclusively through the spoken word, how likely are semi-automated narrations to succeed in providing a satisfactory and meaningful viewing experience? To what extent is it possible to reconcile these two authors’ outlook on the future development of audio description as a field of professional activity? How could multimodal corpora help to enhance awareness of the interplay between visual/narrative salience and the wording of audio narration scripts?
Chapter 6 Padlet
The padlet below highlights a range of materials and resources that complement Chapter 6.
Chapter 6 Links
This section provides you with direct access to websites referred to in Chapter 6.
Chapter 6 Images
This section provides you with the images used in Chapter 6.
Baldry, Anthony and Paul. J. Thibault (2006) Multimodal Transcription and Text Analysis. London/Oakville: Equinox.
Kress, Gunther and Theo van Leeuwen (2006) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design, 2nd edition, London & New York: Routledge.
Van Leeuwen, Theo (2011) The Language of Colour, London & New York: Routledge.
On multimodality and audiovisual translation
Desilla, Louisa (2012) ‘Implicatures in film: Construal and functions in Bridget Jones romantic Comedies’, Journal of Pragmatics 44: 30–53.
Pérez-González, Luis (2007b) ‘Intervention in New Amateur Subtitling Cultures: A Multimodal Account’, Linguistica Antverpiensia 6: 67-80.
Pérez-González, Luis (2013) ‘Multimodality in Translation Studies: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives’, in Sandra Bermann and Catherine Porter (eds) A Companion to Translation Studies, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 119-131.
Research project suggestions
- Ortabasi (2006) examines the English subtitled version of the Japanese anime feature film Millennium Actress/Sennen joyû (Kon Satoshi 2001) where ‘cinematic imagery becomes the primary medium of communication’ and ‘narrative action and dialogue, considered the main components of cinema by many viewers, take a back seat’ (2006: 278). According to Ortabasi’s analysis of her examples, the subtitler responsible for the English version of the film focused almost exclusively on translating textual information, leaving most of the visual richness and the intertextual meaning conveyed through the visual channel ‘mostly “untranslated” and therefore misunderstood’ (ibid.: 280). Consider Ortabasi’s examples critically in the light of this chapter’s overview of multimodal resources. To what extent did the translator show awareness of the basic mechanisms of mode integration and processing examined in section 5 above?
- French historical drama Jean de Florette (1986) revolves around a bizarre battle to control access to a valuable natural spring in a remote French farming community shortly after the First World War. At one point in the film, one of the protagonists (Ugolin) announces that he has stopped the clock pendulum (‘je vient d’arrêter le pendule’) at somebody else’s house. The subtitler’s decision to translate Ugolin’s announcement as ‘I´ve just come from … He’s dead’ assumes his/her English-speaking viewers will be unfamiliar with the old French custom of reaching into the household clock and respectfully stopping the pendulum to mark the stopping of time in the life of the loved may one when someone dies. Could the subtitler have opted for an alternative strategy that would convey the culture-specific connotations of this ritual? Consider the use of ‘headnotes’ by fansubbers, as described by Pérez González (2006: 271, 2007: 76)? Could a similar strategy have been used here? How could any of these two strategies be accounted for and appraised from a multimodal perspective?
- Goodbye Lenin (2003) is a German tragicomedy film set mainly in East Berlin. There is a scene in the film where images of newspapers flash across the screen with headlines detailing the collapse of the Wall, with an off-screen voice announcing that ‘Der Mauer is offen’ [‘The wall is open’]. As this is coupled with images of the wall being destroyed, it could be argued that there is no apparent need for a subtitle: it would intrude in the viewer’s enjoyment of this unique event in German history. Similarly, the welcome Helmut Kohl (former Chancellor of West Germany) receives upon arriving in Berlin in another scene is not subtitled either. The chanting of ‘Helmut, heb auf!’ from the crowds could have been easily translated, for example, as ´Rise up, Helmut’. The translator deems instead that subtitling the shouts (even though the German is clearly heard) would be unnecessary. How do the concepts of intersemiotic cohesion and inter-modal connections help you make sense of this decision?
- Desjardins (2008: 51) theorizes the production of newscasts or television news programmes as a translation process. According to Desjardins, television news programmes originally draw on public discourse – whether this is circulating in a given community in the form of government policies, written/broadcast journalistic reportage, legislation, electoral manifestos, or virtual debate on social networking platforms – as their source texts. To construct their televised news stories (target texts), the verbal narration must incorporate a multimodal dimension. For example, footage of veiled Muslim women would appear to be routinely used to ‘illustrate’ news reports on multicultural models of social organization:
What is particularly interesting with the newscast format is that it appropriates discourses occurring in the public and political spheres and represents them on a multimodal, multisemiotic interface. When the nightly news appears on the TV screen, the viewer is not just confronted with a verbal discourse pertaining to current affairs [the source text], but also a visual discourse that fuels the overall message [the target text].
The process whereby visual semiotics are deployed contemporaneously with the verbal narrative of the newscaster or journalist is, in Desjardins’ view, a form of ‘inter-semiotic translation’. Drawing on a small corpus of televised news narrations: (i) examine the relevance of Desjardins’ argument to your own data set; (ii) reflect on the extent to which the conceptual framework presented in this chapter can inform your critique of the selection and deployment of visual and aural sub-modes in your chosen audiovisual narratives.
Chapter 7 Padlet
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Chapter 7 Images
This section provides you with the images used in Chapter 7.
On self-mediation in the digital culture
Chouliaraki, Lilie (2012) ‘Re-mediation, Inter-mediation, Trans-mediation’, Journalism Studies, 14 (2): 267–83.
Deuze, Mark (2006) ‘Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture’, The Information Society 22: 63–75.
On emergent audiovisual translation practices
Cazdyn, Eric (2004) ‘A New Line in the Geometry’, in Atom Egoyan and Ian Balfour (eds) Subtitles. On theForeignness of Film, Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 403–19.
Curti, Giorgio Hadi (2009) ‘Beating Words to Life: Subtitles, Assemblage(s)capes, Expression’, GeoJournal 74: 201–8.
O’Sullivan, Carol (2011) Translating Popular Film, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 5: ‘Where Are the Subtitles? Metalepsis, Subtitling and Narration’, 143–75.
Pérez-González, Luis (2012) ‘Amateur Subtitling and the Pragmatics of Spectatorial Subjectivity’, Language and Intercultural Communication 12(4): 335–53.
Pérez-González, Luis (2013) ‘Translation and New(s) Media: Participatory Subtitling Practices in Networked Mediascapes’, in Juliane House (ed.) Advances in Translation, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
RESEARCH PROJECT SUGGESTIONS
- In recent years, the Palestinian village of Bil’in – located near Ramallah in the central West Bank – has felt increasingly threatened by Israel. Of particular concern for villagers is the construction of Israel’s Apartheid Wall, against which they demonstrate on a weekly basis. In 2010, one such demonstration involved a re-enactment of James Cameron’s Avatar. As reported by CNN, ‘[i]n the James Cameron movie, […] the Na’vi defend themselves against a corporation that has occupied their land to mine it for resources. The Bil’in protesters say the Israelis are occupying their land in a similar manner by constructing the barrier’. As part of this reenactment, a number of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists dressed like Na’vi aboriginals and marched towards the Wall. A video montage of the demonstration is available here.
After watching the clip, consider the extent to which the concept of self-mediation (including practices such as remediation and bricolage) can help you articulate the rationale for the assembly of audiovisual material included in this montage. Compare the ways in which Bil’in activists and Sony Islam (Featured Example 7.1) appropriate and re-deploy fragments of Avatar and draw on its political subtexts. Finally, explain the differences between the ways in which both montages make use of subtitling for the purposes of collective reconstitution.
- Iranian film studies scholar Hamid Naficy (2004: 132) has theorized the idiosyncrasies of films produced by ‘postcolonial, third world and displaced native filmmakers’. ‘Accented’ films, as Naficy calls them, ‘signify and signify upon cinematic traditions by means of their artisanal and collective production modes, their aesthetics and politics of smallness and imperfection, and narrative strategies that cross generic boundaries and undermine cinematic realism’ (ibid.: 134). One of the ways in which directors of accented cinema foster subjective spectatorial experiences is, according to Naficy, through the extensive use of titling: ‘in some epistolary films, words are either superimposed over the images or the flow of images is interrupted to display intertitles […] These titles are treated in the tradition of the best silent-era films, as essential to the narrative (ibid.: 134). Read Naficy’s paper in full and consider the similarities that may exist between experimental subtitling (e.g. in fansubbing), authorial titling (as illustrated by Featured Example 7.3) and the centrality of calligraphy in accented cinema. According to Naficy, accented films are ‘interstitial’ because they are produced by exilic and diasporic directors. To what extent is it necessary to re-theorize the concept of accented cinema in terms of the ongoing deterritorialization of media producers and audiences in the digital culture?
- Eric Cazdyn (2004) reflects on the impact of recent advances in subtitling technologies and focuses on the innovative ways in which running subtitles interplay with audiovisual broadcasts. Whereas traditional subtitles traditionally acknowledged the presumed ontological status of the original text, new forms of subtitling (including running subtitles) are in a dynamic relation with it. As a result, emergent subtitles disrupt the assimilation of subtitles into the visual mode, challenging their marginalization within conventional audiovisual texts. Consider Cazdyn’s stance critically in the light of the self-mediation practices surveyed in this chapter. To what extent does the orientation of amateur prosumers towards mutual recognition and the performative dimension of their subtitles resemble the function and effects of running subtitles, as described by Cazdyn?
- On 14 January 2012, Nobel peace prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei declared he would not run for the Presidency of Egypt. In post-Mubarak’s Egypt, he claimed, a fair vote would be impossible during a muddled transition period dominated by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and the popular ultraconservative Salafi groups. His pull-out represented a blow to liberal and leftist groups behind the 2011 uprising, who regarded ElBaradei as a rallying figure in their struggle for democracy. Three months later, ElBaradei returned to public life to launch the Constitution Party, which aimed to unite Egyptians and save the country’s revolution. Although the Constitution Party would be unable to field a candidate in the May 2012 presidential election, ElBaradei said its aim was ‘to unite Egyptians behind democracy, and to take power in four years time’.
Sony Islam’s remediation of the Kung Fu Panda montage(see transcript and translation in the book) – based on the homonymous Dreamworks blockbuster released in 2008 – relates to these events. After watching the clip, compare the source dialogue with its Arabic version (or its back-translation into English) provided in Box 7.9. Consider the reasons why this particular clip of Kung Fu Panda has been chosen as the basis for this instance of self-mediation. Can you find similar examples in other languages and/or political contexts?
Chapter 8 Padlet
The padlet below highlights a range of materials and resources that complement Chapter 8.
Chapter 8 Links
This section provides you with direct access to websites referred to in Chapter 8.
Chapter 8 Images
This section provides you with the images used in Chapter 8.
Munday, Jeremy (2012) Introducing Translation Studies, 3rd edition, London and New York: Routledge (Chapter 12: 'Research and Commentary Projects').
Saldanha, Gabriela and Sharon O'Brien (2013) Research Methodologies in Translation Studies, Manchester: St Jerome.
Susam-Sarajeva, Şebnem (2009) 'The Case Study Research Method in Translation Studies', in Ian Mason (ed.) Training for Doctoral Research, special issue of The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 3(1): 37–56.
Williams, Jenny and Andrew Chesterman (2002) The Map: A Beginner's Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies, Manchester: St. Jerome.
Click to view/download the following file.
This section consists of a selection of online resources of interest to audiovisual translation students and researchers.
The journals listed below provide (full or partial) open access to content on audiovisual translation, among other areas of translation studies, on a regular basis:
- Across Languages and Cultures
- Cadernos de Tradução
- inTRAlinea – Online Translation Journal
- JoSTrans – The Journal of Specialised Translation
- L'Écran Traduit – Revue sur la Traduction et l'Adaptation Audiovisuelles
- Linguistica Antverpiensia – New Series: Themes in Translation Studies
- Meta : Journal des traducteurs/Meta: Translators' Journal
- MonTI – Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación
- Mutatis Mutandis
- New Voices in Translation Studies – The IATIS Online Journal
- Quaderns – Revista de Traducció
- TRANS – Revista de Traductología
- Transformative Works and Cultures
- Translation Journal
The following list of academic and professional associations run projects/organize activities that are relevant to the study of audiovisual translation:
- AIDAC – Associazione Italiana Dialoghisti Adattatori Cinetelevisivi (Italy)
- ATAA – Association des Traducteurs/Adaptateurs de l'Audiovisuel (France)
- ATAA's Facebook Page
- ATRAE – Asociación de Traducción y Adaptación Audiovisual de España
- AVTE – Audiovisual Translators Europe
- BZO –Beroepsvereniging van Zelfstandige Ondertitelaars (Netherlands)
- DHAP – Društvo Hrvatskih Audiovizualnih Prevoditelja (Croatia)
- ESIST – European Association for Studies of Screen Translation
- ESIST's Facebook page
- European Society for Translation Studies
- FIT (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs – Audiovisual Translation Committee
- FBO – Forum for Billedmedieoversættere (Denmark)
- IATIS – International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies
- NAViO – Norsk Audiovisuell Oversetterforenings (Norway)
- STAW – Stowarzyszenie Tłumaczy Audiowizualnych (Poland)
- STAW's Facebook Page
- SUBTLE – Subtitlers for Excellence (UK)
- Suomen Av-kääntäjien Sivustolle (Finland)
- EU's Audiovisual and Media Policies
- Inttranews – Daily news of interest to translators and interpreters
- Ofcom – ITC Guidance on Standards for Subtitling
- Subtitling and Translation – Jan Ivarsson's website
- Study on Dubbing and Subtitling Needs and Practices in the European Audiovisual Industry (2007) Final Report, Media Consulting Group, Paris/Peacefulfish, London.
- The Subtitle Project – Resources on subtitling and audiovisual translation, with special focus on the Italian subtitling industry
- Audio Description: The Visual Made Verbal
- BBC's Audio Description Policy
- BBC's Subtitling Policy
- CESyA – Centro Español del Subtitulado y la Audiodescripción
- Competencias profesionales del subtitulador y el audiodescriptor, by Jorge Díaz-Cintas – CESyA Report
- The Audio Description Project – An Initiative of the American Council of the Blind