Conference Description

The conference Image, Sound, Language Transfer intends to promote the academic discourse among experts from the field of audiovisual translation. This field has received increasing attention in academic research since the beginning of the 1990s; it is, however, in constant evolution due to rapid changing trends in media consumption behaviour. At this two-day conference, we will approach and discuss new forms and current trends in the field. The topics presented by participants will focus on various central topics described below.

From a semiotic perspective, film and television formats are among the most complex forms of communication, as elements of different sign systems – spoken and written language, music and sounds, moving images (camera angles, camera work, colour, etc.) – interact in many ways and contribute to a coherent whole. The co-presence of different types of signs is researched in a variety of disciplines and has been given different names: In literary and cultural studies we find the terms 'pluri-', 'multi-' or 'intermediality', while linguistics and especially English-language semiotics prefer to speak of ‘multimodality’. In translation studies, the term 'polysemioticity', which is compatible with traditional semiotic terminology, is also used (cf. Gottlieb 1997, 2005; Agnetta 2019). However, the modelling of a uniform grid to describe the interrelations of polysemioticity and translation with clear reference to television formats still remains a desideratum.

During the transfer of films and TV series, changes are made to these holistic forms in order to increase accessibility in the target culture. In the case of cultural transfer across linguistic boundaries, which normally attempts to preserve source culture features, only the source language elements are replaced (dubbing) or supplemented by target language elements (subtitling). However, this does not happen without consequences for the other sign resources involved, which might be reallocated, changed, deleted and expanded. The intercultural transfer of television products can thus be conceived as the breaking of a holistic form and the composition of some original and some additional elements into a new whole. In this way, a new space is created, which is characterised by potential losses, but also new potential possibilities. These issues are central to research in the field of Audiovisual Translation Studies (AVTS), which has seen an increased activity with approaches linked to literary, cultural, media, linguistic and translation studies since the 1990s. However, dialogue between these different approaches has been rather scarce up to now. This conference also intends to promote an inter- and transdisciplinary dialogue on the issues described above.

The two best-known modalities, dubbing and subtitling, are only two of many forms of audiovisual translation or 'screen translation' (Chiaro/Heiss/Bucaria 2008). At present, other forms of audiovisual translation are receiving more and more attention in research, like voice-over, which is mainly used in documentary formats, but also known as the most widespread transfer strategy in some countries such as Poland, as well as new and inclusive forms of audiovisual translation (for an introduction to the topic cf Diaz Cintas/Orero/Remael 2007; Romero Fresco 2013). This last category comprises, among others, subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (cf. Mälzer/Schulz/Wünsche in preparation), live subtitling (cf. Romero Fresco 2016), audio-description for the visually impaired and blind (Hammer/Mälzer/Wünsche 2015) and film interpretation in sign language. Despite the publication of several relevant studies in this field in the last decade and a half, contributions to inclusive film and television translation as well as approaches from the field of accessible communication research have not yet been firmly established within the discourse of audiovisual translation studies.

References: Agnetta, Marco (2019): Ästhetische Polysemiotizität und Translation. Glucks Orfeo ed Euridice (1762) im interkulturellen Transfer (= Crossing Semiotic Borders, Bd. 2). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. | Agnetta, Marco (i. V.): „Kompensation und Redundanz. Zwei Prinzipien der Text-Bild-Beziehung in leicht verständlichen Kom­munikaten“. In: trans-kom. | Chiaro, Delia / Heiss, Christine / Bucaria, Chiara [Hrsg.] (2008): Between Text and Image. Updating Research in Screen Trans­lation. Amsterdam: Benjamins. | Diaz Cintas, Jorge / Orero, Pilar / Remael, Aline [Hrsg.] (2007): Media for All. Subtitling for the Deaf, Audio Description, and Sign Language. Amsterdam: Rodopi. | Gottlieb, Henrik (1997): „Quality Revisted: The Rendering of English Idioms in Danish Television Subtitles vs. Printed Transla­tions“. In: Trosborg, Anna [Hrsg.] (1997): Text Typology and Trans­la­tion (= Benjamins Translation Library, Bd. 26). Am­sterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins. S. 309–338. | ders. (2005): „Multidimensional Translation: Semantics turned Semiotics“. In: Proce­eding of the Marie Curie Con­ference Series Multidimensional Translation – MuTra: First Con­ference: ‘Challenges in Multidimensional Translation’. 2.–6. Mai 2005, Saarbrücken. URL: < proceedings/2005_Proceedings/2005_Gottlieb_Henrik.pdf> (20.02.2021). | Hammer, Philipp / Mälzer, Nathalie / Wünsche, Maria (2015): „Audioeinführungen als Zusatzangebot zur Au­diodeskription“. In: trans-kom 8/1. S. 164–178. URL: http://www.trans‑‑kom_0 8_01_08_Hammer_Maelzer_Wuensche_Audioeinfuehrung.20150717.pdf (20.02.2021). | Jakobson, Roman (1959/1974): „Linguistische Aspekte der Übersetzung”. In: ders. [Hrsg.]: Form und Sinn. München: Will­helm Fink Verlag. S. 154–161. | Mälzer, Nathalie / Schulz, Saskia / Wünsche, Maria (i. V.): Standards für die TV-Untertitelung gehörloser und schwerhöriger Kin­der. Ergebnisse aus zwei empirischen Studien. Berlin: Frank & Timme. | Pavesi, Maria (2005/2014): La traduzione filmica. Aspetti del parlato doppiato dall’inglese all’italiano (= Lingue e letterature Ca­rocci, Bd. 56). Roma: Carocci editore. | Perego, Elisa (2005/2020): La traduzione adiovisiva (= Bussole, Bd. 184). Roma: Carocci editore. | Romero Fresco, Pablo (2013): „Accessible filmmaking: Joining the dots between audiovisual translation, accessibility and film­making“. In: The Journal of Specialised Translation 20. S. 201–223. | ders. (2016): „Accessing communication: The quality of live subtitles in the UK“. In: Language Communication 49. S. 56–69. | Rutelli, Romana (2004): Dal libro allo schermo. Sulle traduzioni intersemiotiche dal testo verbale al cinema (= La Piazza Uni­ver­sale, Bd. 1). Pisa: Edizioni ETS.

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