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Accessing Audiovisual Translation

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Edited By Lukasz Bogucki and Mikolaj Deckert

Audiovisual translation continues to be a dynamically developing genre, stimulated by interdisciplinary research and technological advances. This volume presents recent developments in the area. Renowned scholars in the field discuss aspects of captioning, revoicing and accessibility, as well as research methods such as eyetracking. The discussion occasionally departs from the confines of audiovisual translation proper, to tackle related areas such as translation for advertising purposes.
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Translating the unsaid and not translating the said: Janusz Wróblewski

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Janusz Wróblewski

University of Łódź

If, on hearing the Japanese sentence Kinoo eigakanni ikimashita, a Pole thinks that the sentence has something to do with the cinema (Polish kino), this Pole will be right, because the sentence does indeed mean “Yesterday I went to the cinema”, but if he or she thinks that it is the word kinoo that means “the cinema”, he or she is wrong, because kinoo means “yesterday” and it is the word eigakan that means “the cinema”. Obviously, we cannot predict what a word means just from hearing it, because languages are arbitrary; oddly enough, so are gestures, but while film dialogue gets translated for foreign viewers, gestures are normally left untranslated and unexplained, which can lead to foreign viewers failing to understand certain scenes and details of the plot.

The phenomenon is actually far more complex – it is not only gestures but also all sorts of non-verbal or semi-verbal elements that get ignored by audiovisual translators, and the problem is that in many of such cases the translator really has no choice but to leave the element unexplained, leaving foreign viewers either simply unaware that the given non-verbal element has a special meaning, or potentially baffled, when the non-verbal or semi-verbal element is somehow foregrounded by the film makers.

Let us try, however, to be a bit more systematic. As is commonly known, films and television programmes involve four channels: the verbal auditory channel, which includes...

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