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Translation and Meaning. New Series, Vol. 2, Pt. 2

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Edited By Łukasz Bogucki, Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Marcel Thelen

The volume contains a selection of articles on current theoretical issues in audiovisual translation, translator training and domain-specific issues. The authors are experts in their fields from renowned universities in the world. The book will be an indispensable aid for trainers and researchers, but may be of interest to anyone interested or active in translation and interpreting. A companion volume in this series contains articles on Translation Studies and literary translation.

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Content simplification in Polish subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

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Abstract: The main dilemma a subtitler faces when subtitling audiovisual material for the deaf and hard of hearing is whether to simplify the content or not. The dilemma stems from the fact that the deaf are not a homogenous audience and expect conflicting types of output from the subtitler. On the one hand, there is the audience who was born deaf and whose lexis is poor – devoid of numerous synonyms and abstract nouns. For them, the linguistic input should be simplified in subtitling in order to facilitate comprehension and avoid confusion. The obvious downside of this approach is the loss or alteration of the content, which may be detrimental to the original. On the other hand, there are the hard of hearing and the deaf who lost hearing at some point in their lives. Their lexis resembles the lexis of hearing people, and this audience can often fully profit from any linguistic intricacies – e.g. wordplay – contained in the original. Moreover, many of them can read lips, which is crucial for intralingual adaptations. When the mouth of the speaker is clearly visible on the screen, the subtitles should express the spoken words faithfully. If the messages conveyed by the lips and by the subtitles diverge, it may confuse such an audience.

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