Audiovisual Translation

Teachers: Sosoni Vilelmini
Code: SOT227
Category: Specialization
Type: Elective
Level: Postgraduate
Language: Greek
Delivery Method: Lectures
Semester: 2nd
ECTS: 10
Teaching Units: 10
Teaching Hours: 3
E Class Webpage:
Short Description:

The aim of the module is to introduce Audiovisual Translation (AVT) to the students and familiarise them with this type of multimedia translation which poses various restrictions to translators and differs greatly from traditional interlingual translation. Dubbing, Audio Description, subtitling for the D/deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) are all covered, but emphasis is placed on interlingual subtitling which constitutes the prime type of AVT in Greece. Students use the free software Subtitle Edit, while other key subtitling programs (Ζοο ανδ ΟΟΟΝΑ) are also introduced, and the use of templates is explained. Meanwhile, students learn to work with the spatiotemporal and technical constraints of subtitling, the challenges posed by the various genres and those posed by the use of humour, slang and cultural-specific elements.

Objectives - Learning Results:

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • understand the complex semiotic nature of audiovisual texts and analyze them for the purpose of subtitling
  • identify the characteristics of the main types of AVT.
  • understand the technical parameters of subtitling
  • create subtitles with the help of special software (Subtitle Edit) and use templates
  • translate subtitles respecting spatiotemporal constraints and genre conventions.
  • effectively address challenges related to the translation of dialects, verbal humor, and cultural indicators, by applying appropriate theories. In particular, they will be able to choose the most appropriate techniques and justify their translation options.
  • understand the needs of people with disabilities and the AVT types that provide accessibility to culture and the media.

Week 1: Introduction to Audiovisual Translation. Types of AVT and multimodality. Accessibility issues in art and media for people with disabilities.

Week 2: Interlingual subtitling: special features. Spatiotemporal constraints.  Introduction to dubbing: key features and challenges. Analysis of a dubbed children's film in Greek.

Week 3: Technical parameters of subtitling: spotting and text condensation.

Week 4: Introduction to the subtitling programmes Subtitle Edit and Zoo.

Week 5: The template and its revolutionary effect on subtitling. Translation of subtitles from a template: from theory to practice.  Introduction to the subtitling programme OOONA.

Week 6: Translation and linguistic diversity: geographical dialects, social dialects, slang, idiolect.

Week 7: LSP and subtitling: challenges and strategies to effectively address them. Hands-on-session (subtitling of a judicial drama, a medical drama, a documentary).

Week 8: Translation of cultural indicators/culture-specific items. Hands-on-session (subtitling of a Greek drama film). Translating Verbal Humor. Strategies to address the problems that arise and hands-on-session (subtitling of a British comedy).

Week 9: Introduction to subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing. Problems and strategies. Practical application.

Week 10: Describing music and sounds. Problems and strategies for dealing with them. Practical application.

Week 11: Introduction to audio description for the blind and the partially sighted. Conveying visual infimration in a verbal form or turning images into narrative. Problems and strategies. Practical application.

Week 12: Creative audio description.Temporal constraints. Practical Application. Incusive film-making.

Week 13: Audio description for museums, art galleries and heritage sites: bringing arts and heritage to life for blind and visually impaired people. Multi-sensory approach to audio description.

Recommended Bibliography:

Abend-David, D. (ed.) (2014) Media and Translation. An Interdisciplinary Approach. London and New York: Bloomsbury.

Araújo, V. (2004) “To be or not to be natural: clichés of emotion in screen translation”. Meta 49(1): 161-171.

Asimakoulas, D. (2004) “Towards a Model of Describing Humour Translation. A Case Study of the Greek Subtitled Versions of Airplane! and Naked Gun.Meta 49(4): 822-842.

Bogucki, L. (2004) “The constraint of relevance in subtitling”. The Journal of Specialised Translation 1. [last accessed 22 August 2016].

Carroll, M. (2004) “Subtitling: changing standards for new media”. Lisa XIII, 3.3.

Chaume, F. (2012) Audiovisual Translation: Dubbing. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing.

Desilla, L. (2014) “Reading between the lines, seeing beyond the images: An empirical study on the comprehension of implicit film dialogue meaning across cultures”. The Translator 20(2): 194-214.

Díaz Cintas, J. & A. Remael (2007) Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.

Díaz-Cintas, J., P. Orero and A. Remael (eds) (2007) Media for All: Subtitling for the Deaf, Audio Description and Sign Language. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Fryer, L. An Introduction to Audio Description: A Practical Guide. London & New York: Routledge.

Georgakopoulou P. (2012). “Challenges for the audiovisual industry in the digital age: the ever-changing needs of subtitle production”, The Journal of Specialised Translation, Issue 17, January 2012, pp. 78-103 [last accessed 12 August 2016]

Georgakopoulou P. (2008). “Subtitling for the DVD Industry”, in J Díaz-Cintas & G Anderman (eds) Audiovisual Translation: Language Transfer on Screen, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 21-35.

Karamitroglou, F. (2000) Towards a Methodology for the Investigation of Norms in Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Λαζαράτος, Γ. (2007) Umberto Eco: Διασημειωτική Μετάφραση & Μετάφραση και Επιστημολογία. Αθήνα, Παπαζήσης.

Neves, J. (2009) “Interlingual subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing”. In J. Díaz-Cintas and G. Anderman (eds) Audiovisual Translation: Language Transfer on Screen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 151-169.

Pérez-González, L. (2014) Audiovisual Translation. Theories, Methods and Issues. London and New York: Routledge.

Pettit, Zoe. 2005. "Translating register, style and tone in dubbing and subtitling" JoSTrans 4: 49- 65. [last accessed 12 August 2016].

Ramière, N. (2006) “Reaching a foreign audience: cultural transfers in audiovisual translation", JoSTrans 6: 152-166. Available at: [last accessed 12 August 2016].

Σόκολη, Σ., (2006) “Υποτιτλιστικές νόρμες στην Ελλάδα και στην Ισπανία”, 1η Συνάντηση Νέων Μεταφρασεολόγων, 1-3 Νοέμβρη 2006, Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης.

Σωσώνη, Β. & Καραντζή, Ι. (2016) “Η Οπτικοακουστική Μετάφραση και η προσβασιμότητα στο οπτικοακουστικό υλικό ατόμων με αναπηρία: Υποτιτλισμός για κωφούς και βαρήκοους και ακουστική περιγραφή”. [last accessed 12 July 2016].

Σωσώνη, Β. (2014) “Από την πρώτη Talkie στη Μηχανική Μετάφραση: Οπτικοακουστική Μετάφραση και Τεχνολογικές Εξελίξεις ”. Dictio 2014.

Zabalbeascoa, P. (2008) ‘The nature of the audiovisual text and its parameters’. In J. Díaz-Cintas (ed.) The Didactics of Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 21-37.

Teaching and Learning Methods:

The lesson has a hybrid lecture-workshop format. It is largely based on the interaction with students and classroom discussion. Invited speakers cover several aspects of AVT (e.g. videogame localization, description of music, etc.). Hands-on-sessions focus on practical aspects of the issues covered and described during the lectures. The use of video material is complemented with the use of technology (i.e. Subtitle Edit) and in-class group work (translation and comments on subtitling). The class material is made available on the Open eClass platform.

ICT Usage:

Subtitle Edit, Zoo and OOONA subtitling programmes/platforms.

Open eClass plattform.

Grading and Evaluation Methods:

A final written assignment is used to assess the students. It consists of interlingual subtitling or SDH or audio description and commentary on the problems faced and the strategies used to resolve them, backed by the theory taught during the semester. A research-based assignment is also possible. Weekly individual and group assignments are also assigned to students.



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