Download Audiovisual Translation - Theories, Methods and Issues PDF

TitleAudiovisual Translation - Theories, Methods and Issues
File Size7.7 MB
Total Pages38
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Audiovisual Translation

Audiovisual translation is the fastest growing strand within translation
studies.

This book addresses the need for more robust theoretical frameworks to
investigate emerging text- types, address new methodological challenges
(including the compilation, analysis and reproduction of audiovisual data),
and understand new discourse communities bound together by the
production and consumption of audiovisual texts.

In this clear, user- friendly book, Luis Pérez-González introduces and
explores the fi eld, presenting and critiquing key concepts, research
models and methodological approaches.

Features include:

• introductory overviews at the beginning of each chapter, outlining
aims and relevant connections with other chapters;

• breakout boxes showcasing key concepts, research case studies or
any other relevant links to the wider fi eld of translation studies;

• examples of audiovisual texts in a range of languages with back-
translation support when required;

• summaries reinforcing key issues dealt with in each chapter;
• follow- up questions for further study;
• core references and suggestions for further reading;
• additional online resources on an extensive companion website,

found at www.routledge.com/cw/perezgonzalez.

This will be an essential text for all students studying audiovisual or
screen translation at postgraduate or advanced undergraduate level and
key reading for all researchers working in the area.

Luis Pérez-González is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at
the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of
Manchester, UK, where he teaches screen translation, translation theory
and intercultural pragmatics.

Page 19

PERMISSIONS

Every effort has been made to obtain permission to reproduce copyright
material. Any omissions brought to our attention will be remedied in future
editions.

The author and the publisher would like to thank the following copyright
holders for their permission to reproduce a number of images and fi gures:

EuroparlTV for a screen shot of Daniel Cohn-Bendit’s speech, as circulated via
YouTube ( www.youtube.com/user/zorbec68?feature=plcp ) (Figure 3.1);
Cuaderno de Campo: Esclavos del Software Libre for a screen shot ( www.trebol- a.
com/2006/09/01/galloway- en- youtube ) of their website (Figure 3.2); Al
Jazeera for a screen shot ( www.universalsubtitles.org/en/teams/al- jazeera ) of
their website section on participatory subtitling (Figure 3.3); Viki ( www.viki.
com ) for a screen shot of Swallow the Sun , episode 25 (Figure 3.6); Dr Fotios
Karamitroglou (Athens University of Economics & Business) for the fi gure
published in his 1998 online article ‘A Proposed Set of Subtitling Standards in
Europe’ ( www.bokorlang.com/journal/04stndrd.htm ), reproduced in Box
4.1 of this book; Dr Jan-Louis Kruger (North-West University) for four
samples of his analysis of The Pear Stories fi lm published in his 2012 article
‘Making Meaning in AVT: Eye Tracking and Viewer Construction of Narrative’,
Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 20(1): 67–86 (Figure 5.3); Dr Mary S. Erbaugh
for four screen shots of The Pear Stories fi lm, available via her website The Chinese
Pear Stories – Narratives Across Seven Chinese Dialects ( www.pearstories.org/docu/
research.htm ) (Figure 5.3); Dr Maria Freddi (Università di Pavia) for the

http://www.youtube.com/user/zorbec68?feature=plcp
http://www.trebol-a.com/2006/09/01/galloway-en-youtube
http://www.trebol-a.com/2006/09/01/galloway-en-youtube
http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/teams/al-jazeera
http://www.viki.com
http://www.viki.com
http://www.bokorlang.com/journal/04stndrd.htm
http://www.pearstories.org/docu/research.htm
http://www.pearstories.org/docu/research.htm

Page 20

xixPERMISSIONS

fi gure published on page 496 of her 2013 article ‘Constructing a Corpus of
Translated fi lms: A Corpus View of Dubbing’, Perspectives: Studies in Translatology
21(4): 491–503 (Figure 5.7); A-fi lm for a screen shot of Joram Lürsen’s Alles
is Liefde (Figure 6.1); Warner Brothers/Hawk Films for a screen shot of Stanley
Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (Figure 6.9); Working Title Films/Universal
Pictures for a screen shot of Beeban Kidron’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
(Figure 6.12); Stop The Wall and the itisapartheid.org collective for a screen
shot of Israeli Apartheid 5 ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-wFyQg32Y )
(Figure 7.2); BBC for four screen shots of Human Planet (episodes 1 and 4)
(Figures 7.3 and 7.4); Buena Vista International for two screen shots of Ola
Simonsson’s and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson’s Sound of Noise (Figure 7.5); and
Hartswoodfi lms for two screen shots of Sherlock (episode 1, season 1)
(Figures 7.6 and 7.7).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-wFyQg32Y

Page 37

DISCIPLINARY AND INDUSTRIAL FOUNDATIONS16

footage that convey a target language version of the source speech.
Conventionally, each of the snippets into which the original speech –
whether in the form of dialogue or narration – is divided for the purposes
of translation has to be delivered in synchrony with the corresponding
fragment of spoken language. In communities where several linguistic
constituencies co- exist, ‘bilingual subtitles’ convey two language versions
of the same source fragment, one in each line of the subtitle (Gambier
2003).

Subtitling has been defi ned as a ‘diasemiotic’ or ‘intermodal’ form of audio-
visual translation (Gottlieb 1997: 95), as it involves the shift from a spoken to
a written medium. Given that ‘people generally speak much faster than they
read’ (O’Connell 1998: 67), this shift has important consequences for
viewers’ experience of translated audiovisual texts. The empirical observation
that, in order to match the temporalities of speaking and reading, subtitles can
only accommodate 60 per cent of the source spoken text (de Linde and Kay
1999: 51) explains why they are normally worded as condensed, streamlined
versions of the original dialogue (Karamitroglou 1998). These medial restric-
tions, that were fi rst articulated in the 1930s (Section 2.3), dictate that the
number of characters used in each subtitle should be commensurate with the
duration of the corresponding speech unit and the reading speed of the target
audience (Díaz Cintas and Remael 2007).

As discussed in Sections 2.4 and 4.5.2, the subtitlers’ adherence
to industry validated standards – notably, the condensation and synthesis
of the original spoken dialogue – has been shown to compromise the
interpersonal pragmatics of subtitled dialogue. For example, audiovisual
translators tend to disambiguate instances of conversational ambiguity or
indirectness that may have played an important narrative role in the original
text (Hatim and Mason 1997, Mason 2001). It has also been suggested
that conforming to these constraints often proves detrimental to the
dynamics of dramatic characterization envisaged by the creator of the orig-
inal audiovisual text, particularly in the case of fi lms or TV drama (Remael
2003). As a result, characters’ personalities may not be perceived by viewers
as the fi lm director had intended. It is therefore not surprising that
independent fi lm directors have raised criticisms against the creative limita-
tions derived from these constraints (see Section 2.4). As illustrated in
Box 1.2, deconstructing commercial subtitling standards represents
an effective strategy for creators to signal their resistance to mainstream
subtitling practices.

Page 38

17MAPPING AN EVOLVING CONCEPTUAL NETWORK

Box 1.2

As part of his study on ‘accented’ or diasporic fi lms, Nafi cy (2004: 145–46)
reviews the creative use of subtitles by Vietnamese fi lm director Trinh T. Minh- ha.

Trinh’s Surname Viêt Given Name Nam uses superimposed titles and sub-
titles extensively, graphically, and critically. Their large numbers and varied
contents and layout give this fi lm a truly calligraphic accent. Throughout,
subtitles consisting of the translation of the fi lm’s dialogue and voice- over
and of Vietnamese poetry and proverbs are displayed, as is customary, in the
lower third of the screen. However, on many occasions, what the diegetic
women say in Vietnamese or in heavily accented English is superimposed in
different layouts, as blocks of English text on various regions of the fi lm
frame, including over the characters’ faces. These graphic titles, or what
Trinh calls ‘visualized speech’, act as traditional subtitles by aiding spectator
comprehension. However, they also serve other graphic, critical, and decon-
structive functions . . . To these text- based complexities must be added
Trinh’s fi lming style that in Surname Viêt Given Name Nam , like in her other
fi lms, violates many of the norms of cinematic realism as a critique of those
norms. For example, in some sequences she places the subjects on the
margins of the frame or decentres them by panning away from them.
Close- up shots that would normally show the subjects’ full- face end up
cutting off part of their faces. The fi lm also subverts the accepted practices
of lip- synching and title synchronization. Extra long or short duration titles
draw attention to themselves and to the spectatorial readerly activities that
are involved.

But the capacity to develop new subtitling conventions is not the sole
privilege of text producers. Recent changes in the audiovisual landscape,
notably the development of digitization techniques and new models of
distribution and consumption of audiovisual products, have provided the
impetus for the spread of transformational practices. Generally speaking,
these new subtitling cultures aim to expose the expressive limitations
of mainstream subtitling conventions. Fansubbing, namely the subtitling
of television drama and fi lms by networked fan communities, seeks to
redress the shortage and cultural insensitivity of commercial translations
(Section 3.3). Using a range of daring formal conventions, fansubbers
produce and distribute their own subtitled versions through Internet- based
channels and, in so doing, provide their fellow fans with a more ‘authentic’
and meaningful spectatorial experience. Subtitling is also being increasingly
appropriated by groups of politically engaged amateurs to undermine the
socio- economic structures that sustain global capitalism and/or to effect

Box 1.2

As part of his study on ‘accented’ or diasporic fi lms, Nafi cy (2004: 145–46)
reviews the creative use of subtitles by Vietnamese fi lm director Trinh T. Minh- ha.

Trinh’s Surname Viêt Given Name Nam uses superimposed titles and sub-
titles extensively, graphically, and critically. Their large numbers and varied
contents and layout give this fi lm a truly calligraphic accent. Throughout,
subtitles consisting of the translation of the fi lm’s dialogue and voice- over
and of Vietnamese poetry and proverbs are displayed, as is customary, in the
lower third of the screen. However, on many occasions, what the diegetic
women say in Vietnamese or in heavily accented English is superimposed in
different layouts, as blocks of English text on various regions of the fi lm
frame, including over the characters’ faces. These graphic titles, or what
Trinh calls ‘visualized speech’, act as traditional subtitles by aiding spectator
comprehension. However, they also serve other graphic, critical, and decon-
structive functions . . . To these text- based complexities must be added
Trinh’s fi lming style that in Surname Viêt Given Name Nam , like in her other
fi lms, violates many of the norms of cinematic realism as a critique of those
norms. For example, in some sequences she places the subjects on the
margins of the frame or decentres them by panning away from them.
Close- up shots that would normally show the subjects’ full- face end up
cutting off part of their faces. The fi lm also subverts the accepted practices
of lip- synching and title synchronization. Extra long or short duration titles
draw attention to themselves and to the spectatorial readerly activities that
are involved.

Similer Documents