Translation Today: Audiovisual Translation in Focus

by Michał Organ (Volume editor)
©2019 Edited Collection 164 Pages


The book offers a comprehensive collection of carefully selected studies covering some of the most intriguing aspects within the field of audiovisual translation. The presented contributions delivered by authors representing different academic institutions seek to discuss theoretical and practical implications arising from the application of audiovisual materials in the process of foreign language teaching, the aspects of interlingual subtitling of news programmes, analysis of closed captions, the study of traditional folktales, rewriting and censoring of iconic series, the rendition of wordplays in audiovisual productions and the translation of video games.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Introduction
  • The Potential of Audiovisual Translation Modalities in Teaching Foreign Languages
  • Interlingual Subtitling in Romanian TV News Programmes
  • Do We Still Need the Term ‘Closed Captions’?
  • Folktales from Jordan: Identity and Translation
  • Rewriting Communist Microcosmos: Translating Alternatywy 4 by Stanisław Bareja
  • Respecting the Art of Punning: Translating Puns in the Sitcom Two and a Half Men
  • Audiovisual Translation in Video Games. A Case Study of Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables

List of Contributors

Anna Rędzioch-Korkuz

University of Warsaw, Poland

Raluca Sinu

Transilvania University of Braşov, Romania

Lucyna Harmon

University of Rzeszów, Poland

Margarita Isabel Asensio Pastor

Universidad De Almería, Spain

Michał Organ

University of Rzeszów, Poland

Karolina Puchała-Ladzińska

University of Rzeszów, Poland

Przemysław Drzystek

University of Rzeszów, Poland


The volume Translation Today: Audiovisual Translation in Focus provides a discussion of selected issues within the fastest growing field of translation studies – audiovisual translation. The presented collection of seven specially selected chapters is intended for researchers, scholars, academics, professional audiovisual translators and other specialists interested in the areas connected with the field of audiovisual translation. The authors, representing different academic centres and institutions, propose a platform for discussion on the broad spectrum of the current theoretical and methodological perspectives encompassing the application of audiovisual materials in the process of foreign language teaching, the aspects of interlingual subtitling of news programmes, practical and functional realizations of closed captions, the study of traditional folktales, rewriting and censoring iconic series, rendition of wordplays in audiovisual productions and the translation of video games.

The book opens with Anna Rędzioch-Korkuz who provides in-depth research on the application of audiovisual translation for the purposes of foreign language teaching. Due to the omnipresent nature of image- and technology-dominated reality the application of modern information and communication technologies for the needs of teaching foreign languages seems to be suitable and somehow natural for contemporary learners. To capture students’ attention and stimulate interest in the material covered, teachers should employ audiovisual means to make the learning process more attractive and engaging. This mission may be achieved by the application of genuine audiovisual materials presenting some real contexts taken from a given foreign culture. Selected movie extracts representing different audiovisual modalities may meet the needs of the mission, and the study conducted by the author enlists the advantages of such a strategy and proposes some useful examples and ideas that may be applied during a foreign language lesson.

The next contribution, authored by Raluca Sinu, takes into its scope the intralingual subtitling in Romanian television news. The proposed study aims to fill the niche of the under-studied area; in spite of the fact that news reports presented on Romanian television are frequently translated, contributing to the audience’s exposure to this form of translation, the issue has not gained much attention in contemporary research. The author provides an introductory depiction of the investigated mode within the scope of the sphere of audiovisual translation, defines the notion of subtitling and discusses the characteristic ←9 | 10→features of news subtitling. The conducted analysis encompass a corpus of subtitles extracted from several news programmes broadcasted by Romanian television stations to discuss the subtitles’ technical and linguistic features such as the number of displayed lines of dialogue and their placement on the screen, the number of characters per line, the economy of text and textual cohesion as well as segmentation and line breaks.

Lucyna Harmon proposes an interesting study devoted to closed captions; the chapter investigates their actual application and usefulness for the originally designated target users, namely the hearing-impaired members of the audience. The author analyses a corpus encompassing 50 movies in different languages available on Netflix, a video on demand media-services provider, and correlated with them texts categorized as closed captions. Three basic functions of closed captions are distinguished and, in the course of the analysis, their implementation exposes considerable divergences in terms of their functional and practical realisations. Some of the movies investigated are offered with closed captions providing necessary assistance to the viewer by informing him or her about the speakers, music and other sounds which would normally not be accessible to the hearing-impaired viewers. On the other hand, the analysis indicates that the remaining part of the corpus only occasionally provides some additional information concerning the audio layer, and as such, it does not fully convey its main function, namely to provide assistance for the members of the target audience who suffer from hearing difficulties.

The next chapter, written by Margarita Isabel Asensio Pastor offers a profound study of traditional folktales collected in Jordan and their translation. The unique nature of the discursive material related to ethnography affects the translation and brings into its scope the orality and the context in which the material was actually collected. The author depicts a socio-cultural framework in Jordan entailing the convergence of diverse speech communities and the presence of a multiglossic continuum of Arabic within the territory described. The depicted context influences the translation to take into consideration linguistic as well as paralinguistic and pragmatic dimensions to represent the diverse identities stored in the analysed ethnomaterial.

Michał Organ takes into scope the iconic Polish series Alternatywy 4 directed by Stanisław Bareja. Its English translation conducted nearly 30 years after the original production of the series was proposed in a completely divergent socio-economic, ideological and political context, which partially decided on various intricacies determining the form and content of the translation. The series is a ‘victim’ of double censorship, the first intentionally imposed in communist Poland, and the second a direct consequence of the translator’s decisions aimed ←10 | 11→at meeting the standards governing in the target audiovisual market and the preferences of the target audience. The chapter briefly introduces the issue of censorship in communist Poland, Bareja’s fight with the enforced censoring measures as well as depicting the importance of the series for the original audience. The following research focuses on the translation of the series proposed by Marcin Wichary and his translatory decisions affecting the final outcome.

In her chapter, Karolina Puchała-Ladzińska observes that humorous dialogues held between sitcom characters are aimed at attracting the attention of the audience. Therefore, the humour in such productions is not only limited to the situational context but also the use of different stylistic and linguistic devices is skilfully applied to amuse the audience. Such entertaining devices are predominantly based on play on words in the form of puns constructed by the ambiguity of their constituents. The proposed study analyses the puns found in the Two and a Half Men sitcom as well as their rendition into Polish to indicate the preferred translation techniques and their impact on the humorous effect established in the target version.

Finally, Przemysław Drzystek focuses his attention on the employment of subtitles as a means of translation of modern high budget video games – a constantly growing audiovisual market niche. The conducted study is based on the analysis of Mass Effect: Andromeda to assess the quality of the translation, the governing standards and its faithfulness to the source version of the game. The author provides a theoretical overview of audiovisual translation, with special emphasis placed on subtitling and its conventional standards predominating in other types of audiovisual productions, to propose an illustrative study of the solutions applied in the localization of the game. The juxtaposition of the source and target dialogue excerpts indicates that the established standards governing subtitling have to be adjusted or modified to meet the needs of the video game sector in which a faithful translation is prioritized over the more artistic approach.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (April)
Audiovisual Translation Screen Translation Applied Translation Studies Translator Training Translation Studies
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019. 164 pp., 2 fig. b/w, 13 tables

Biographical notes

Michał Organ (Volume editor)

Michał Organ, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Department of Translation Theory in the Institute of English Studies, University of Rzeszów (Poland). His main research interests include audiovisual translation, humour translation, censorship and manipulation in translation, unofficial translation, translation of tourist information texts and CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools.


Title: Translation Today: Audiovisual Translation in Focus
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165 pages