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New Points of View on Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility

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Edited By Anna Jankowska and Agnieszka Szarkowska

This collection of articles offers a comprehensive overview of some of the most current research approaches found in the field of audiovisual translation (AVT) and media accessibility across Europe. The authors, well-known experts in the field of AVT, reflect on new challenges and look into potential avenues for investigation in professional practices like subtitling, surtitling, dubbing and voiceover as well as audio description (AD), subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing (SDH) and audio subtitling.
The book is divided into four sections. The first part discusses some of the cultural challenges encountered by professionals when dubbing and subtitling audiovisual productions and when surtitling live events. The second part focuses on AVT training, particularly on the teaching and learning of voiceover and subtitling. The third section is dedicated to AD and provides a detailed overview of some of the latest developments taking place in this area. The last section examines some of the most prevalent issues in SDH.
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Towards Translation Proficiency: Transcription and Subtitling

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1.  Introduction

The arrival of Translation Studies in the latter part of the twentieth century heralds an era in which translation leaves the exclusive realms of linguistics and comparative literatures and enters that of interdisciplinary studies, with the translator becoming a cultural mediator, a link between two cultures. Translating is no longer a sort of mechanical transfer of a text from one language into another, but a creative process, a complex task which requires a set of inter-related and dynamic competences. As we move further into the twenty-first century, the role of the translator requires more and more a range of very different skills – from IT skills, to problem solving, team work and flexibility – which complement the five parameters of translational competence identified by Neubert (2000: 6): ‘(1) language competence, (2) textual competence, (3) subject competence, (4) cultural competence, and, last but not least, (5) transfer competence’. Academic training of translators has responded to the challenges of the new environment by incorporating a variety of innovative proposals, from modules on specialist subject areas (legal, financial, medical and so on), to others on intercultural awareness, terminology management, research skills, training in the use of dedicated software and translation memory tools, and analysis and translation of different text types: written and audiovisual.

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