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Meaning in Subtitling

Toward a Contrastive Cognitive Semantic Model


Mikolaj Deckert

The book’s principal argument is that the concepts of Cognitive Linguistics offer considerable explanatory potential which can be systematically used in accounts of translation, and especially of subtitling as its more specifically constrained audiovisual mode. Authentic English-to-Polish subtitling data are explored to uncover patterns of construal reconfiguration which can be categorised with the use of cognitive semantic constructs. The author also examines other hypotheses: spatio-temporal constraints, for example, do not always directly account for the reductionist alterations of the source text in subtitling. Also, target construals need not display lower granularity levels than original construals and granularity can de facto be boosted via subtitling. And last, but not least, the conventionalisation of language structures used in subtitles can be higher than that of the original expressions.


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Chapter 2 Subtitling – a mode of Audiovisual Translation


2.1. “Audiovisual Translation”� To discuss the status of Audiovisual Translation (AVT), it first has to be noted that the very name of the field has not been uniformly applied. In her overview Orero (2004: VI) brings up notions like Traducción subordinada or Constrained Translation (Titford 1982: 113, Mayoral et al. 1988: 97, 1993, Rabadán 1991: 172, Díaz-Cintas 1998, Lorenzo and Pereira 2000 and 2001), Film Translation (Snell-Hornby 1988), Film and TV Translation (Delabastita 1989), Screen Translation (Mason 1989), Media Translation (Eguiluz 1994), Film Communication (Lecuona 1994), Traducción Fílmica (Díaz-Cintas 1997), Audiovisual Translation (Luyken 1991, Dries 1995, Shuttleworth and Cowie 1997, Baker 1998), or (Multi)Media Translation (Gambier and Gottlieb 2001). Gambier (2003: 171-172) mentions another term – audiovisual versioning – which appears intended to mark the division between this type of transfer and translation in a more traditional sense. The term that seems to have been winning popularity is “Audiovisual Translation” as it successfully covers the many forms of translation activity such as translation for individuals with disabilities (cf. Section 2.6.), also in the theatrical and radio contexts. The least controversial Polish term – “przekład audiowizualny” (cf. Tomaszkiewicz 2006, Szarkowska 2008: 9-10) – literally renders “audiovisual translation”. While the term is rather broad, I will use it to refer primarily to film translation since examples from filmic material will be the subject of investigation herein. 2.2. The field of Audiovisual Translation� What could be referred to as AVT has been practised in Europe since early 1930s as...

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