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Introduction: Prousts Grandmother and the Thousand and One Nights: The cultural Turn

in Translation Studies
In 1990 the two theoretical Bassnett and Lefevere suggested a breakthrough in the field of
translation studies , the so-called cultural turn or cultural change that characterizes from this
moment, the approach to the translation, seen as a negotiation between two cultures , that of the
source text and that of the target text .
The book where the cultural turn is presented is Translation, History and Culture. As the book's
title announces, it is a collection of texts concerning literary translation, tracing its historical and
cultural genealogy from about 106 BC to 1931 AD.
It is possible to visualize the basic thread that links all papers: a culturally oriented approach to
translation and its role in the shaping of society. In light of this new approach, the object of
Translation Studies has been redefined: it reflects a shift from a mere descriptive form of translation
into the understanding of the manipulative processes that operate in both oral and written texts to
function in a given culture, in a given way.
In Sodome et Gomorrhe, Marcel Proust talks about his grandmothers attitude towards translations
and especially, translation she has been familiar with all her life. She doesnt like them at all, above
all the translation of the Odyssey in Thousand and One Nights, already deformed on the title.
She accepts the existence of translation as such and she thinks that translation is possible, but she
distinguishes between what are, to her, good and bad translations. The Odyssey for her is a
translation in which the hero is still called by his Latinized name: Ulysses and in which the goddess
Athena is still called Minerva. Other Odysseys or other texts deemed to represent Homers
Odissey, simply they are impostors, as are the translations of The Thousands and One Nights that
change the very names of the protagonists. Prousts grandmother does not really like or dislike a
translation, rather she trusts or distrusts a translator. The translator is to her a faithful translator.
Mary Snell-Hornby suggests to use the tertium compartions which guarantees that every word
used in a translation is equivalent to every word used in the original. The original is literature, the
translation a crib. There is no way it can guarantee that the translation will have an effect on readers
of the target text that could be the same on readers of the source text. But for example every word in
the Loeb Classical Librarys translation of the Odyssey is no doubt equivalent to every word in
Homers original.
At the end of her contribution, Mary Snell Hornby exhorts linguists to abandon their scientific
attitude and to move from text as a translation unit, to culture a momentous step that would go
far beyond the move from the word as a unit to the text. Moreover she argues that neither the
word, nor the text, but the culture must be the operational unit of translation, an idea which has
become known as the cultural turn in Translation studies, a concept that permeates all papers in
this book (cultural turn: to make culture the focus of contemporary debates).
Mette Hjort states that norms, rules and appropriateness conditions are liable to change.
Translations made at different times, under different conditions, will inevitably turn out differently,
not because they are good or bad, but because they have been made to satisfy different
demands. For example, in the nineteenth century, one of the conditions to be satisfied in the
translations of poetry was that translation had to rhyme even if the original did not.
Andre Lefeveres Translation: Its Genealogy in the West, as its title suggests, attempts a sketch
of a genealogy of translation by documenting, through empirical historical research, the changes he

points out. To explain these changes he goes into the exercise of power in society, and what it
means in terms of the production of culture, of which translation is a part.
Both Barbara Godard and Mahasweta Sengupta deal with the category of power as a constraint
on the pduction of translations. Barbara Godadrd documents how feminist writing uses translations
to subvert dominant male discourse. The feminist writers she mentions manipulate with the aim od
advancing their own ideology, while Piotr Kuhiwczak sees translation as the manipulation of the
source text to make it serve a certain purpose. The translators he mentions manipulate mainly to
protect the reader not from an ideology, but from a poetics, as exemplified by the simplification of
Kunderas The Joke which had to be made more to read like an average reader is used to.
Translation as mimicricy of the dominant discourse is the topic of Mahasweta Sengupta. Studying
Tagores auto-translations, Sengupta demonstrates that the poet wrote in a totally different style in
English and Bengali, as he shaped his own translations according to the models of imperialist
Europe.This is the time to introduce the category of function in translation studies.
Sherry Simon asserts that translations are made to respond to the demands of a culture, and a
various groups within that culture. Analizing French/English translation prefaces in Quebec, the
author claims that these have taken on very specific roles, evidencing the different ideological
interests of these two groups. Cultures make various demand on translations, and those demands
also have to do with the status of the text to be translated (if the status is metanarrative, the
culture will demand the most literal translation possible). Faithfulness does not enter into
translation in the guise of equivalence between words or texts but in the guise of an attempt to
make the target text function in the target culture the way the source text functioned in the source
culture. A culture assigns different functions to translations of different texts, it also depends on the
audience they are intended for (there are very few translations of Gullivers Travels for children)
and on the status of the source text they are supposed to represent in their own culture. In some
cases, translation constitutes a culture. Macura in his culture as Translation shows, based on
the Czech-German example, how one culture virtually cloned itself on the other during the 19 th
century. According to Macura, the function of translation has very little to do with the transfer of
information from one language to another, has it has been so often claimed. As Macura points out to
prove his argument, the Czech readers of the translation did not need it at all, as they were perfectly
able to read the german originals. Through translation, a language and a nation, shows that is
capable of rendering what is rendered in more prestigious languages (Shakespeare translates into
Swaili).
If nether the word, nor the text, but the culture becomes the operational unit of translation, it
might be wise to distinguish between intracultural or rewriting and intercultural translation.
Translation is one of the many forms in wich works of literature are rewritten. Nowadays, these
rewriting allow the survival of a work of literature. This state of affairs invests a non-negligible
power in the rewriters: translators, critics, historians, professors, journalists. If we study rewritings,
anything that contributes to constructin the image of a writer and/or a work of literature, there is, as
Dirk Delabatista remind us, no reason why we should stop at rewritings in the written medium as
we usually understand it. His contribution to this volume takes the whole concept into the rewriting
of film, the most powerful medium today. It represents one pole of a future translation/rewriting
studies. The other pole could be represented by the contribution of Palma Zlateva and Elzbieta
Tabakowska. Zlatevas concept of pre-text, i.e. the cultural assumptions that largely determine
the success or failure of translated texts in the target culture, and which have nothing to do with the
quality of the translation itself, seems destined for a fruitful career in translation/rewriting studies.

Finally, Tabakowska, contrary to the idea that source text is a monolithic production manner, she
demonstrates the much larger extent to which culture shows in both, text and translation. Since
languages express cultures, translators should be bicultural, not bilingual. What the development of
Translation Studies shows is that translation, like all rewritings is never innocent. There is always a
context in which the translation takes place, a history from which a text emerges. So, translation is
not a simple engagement of an individual with a printed page and a bilingual dictionary. Moreover
the dictionary creates frustration because a range of term offers them a series of choices. For
example, tourist brochures often show a range of errors because of an inadequate translation
practice.
The papers testifies the fact that translation is an activity that it would be always doubly
contextualized, since the text has a place in two cultures. For example Maria Tymozcko remind us
that cultural appropriation via translation is not confined to the 20th century.

Antoine Berman: Translation and the trials of the foreign


The general theme of this essay is the translation as the trial of the foreign, but in a double sense:

In the first place, its aims is open up the foreign work to us in its utter foreigness;
In the second place, the foreign language is uprooted (sradicato).

Focault distinguishes two methods of translation:

Literary translation: works bound to their language; manipulation of signifier; collision of


languages;
Non literary translation: language as an instrument; focus on transfer of meaning.

Antoine Berman criticizes the strategy of "naturalization," i.e. bringing the translated text as close
as possible to the receiving culture. The properly ethical aim of the translating act is receiving the
foreign as foreign.
Moreover, Berman proposes to examine the system of textual deformation that operates in every
translation and prevents it from being a trial of the foreign. He call this examination the analytic
of translation. It should be negative analytic and positive analytic.
Berman's "negative analytic" studies the system of textual deformation in translation, which
"naturalizes" the text into the receiving culture at the expense of its "foreign" qualities.
The negative analytic is primarily concerned with ethnocentric, annexationist translations and
hyper-textual translations (pastiche, imitation, adaptation, free writing), where the play of
deforming forces is freely exercised.
If one of the principal problems of poetic translation is to respect the polysemy of the poem, then
the principal problem of translating the novel is to respect its shapeless polylogic and avoid an
arbitrary homogenisation. Insofar as the novel is considered a lower form of literature than poetry,
the deformations of translation are more accepted in prose.
Positive analytic is an intuitive and unsystematic operations limiting deformation. These operations
constitute a sort of counter-system destined to neutralize, or attenuate, the negative tendencies.
There are twelve deformation tendencies (what not to do in translation- deconstruction of the letter
in favour of meaning):

Rationalization: It recomposes punctuation, sentences and sequences according to a certain


idea of discursive order; It destroys proses imperfection and polylogism and another
element of prose: rationalization makes the prose lose its concreteness by reordering the
sentence structure, by translating verbs to nouns etc. The prose passes to abstract. To sum
up: rationalization deforms the original;
Clarification: clarification is connected to rationalization. The literary language of the target
culture attempts to define, to elucidate the element in question. Nevertheless, by clarification
Berman meant two other phenomena:
-Negative: clarification of what doesnt wish to be clear in the source text.
-Positive: clarification renders clear (for instance by paraphrases) what the author desired to
remain concealed or repressed.
The movement from polysemy to monosemy, indefinite to definite, implicit to explicit and
the use of paraphrasis or explication are a part of clarification.
Expansion: Its a consequence of rationalization and clarification. They require expansion.
Every translation shows a tendency to be longer than the original. The purpose of
explicitation is to render the text more clear, but in truth it reduces clarity of the works
voice. Expansion flattens deep layers of the original, and destroys the rhythm of the work. It
is often referred to as overtranslation.
Ennoblement: it means improving the original by rewriting it in a more elegant style. In
poetry, it is poetization, in prose, it is a rhetorization. This tendency is particularly
visible within the scientific area, where the texts become more direct and the sense easier to
grasp.. Equally destructive is a translation that tends to be too popular by deliberate use of
pseudo-slang.
Qualitative impoverishment: This is the replacement of words and expressions in the
original with its imperfect equivalents in target text. Those equivalents are defective as they
are either deprived of the originals sonorous richness or its iconic features. By iconicity,
Berman means terms whose shape and sound are somehow associated with their sense. A
term is iconic when it creates an image, just like the word butterfly does. When the
replacement takes place, it brings about the annihilation of a great deal of the works own
mode of expression.
Quantitative impoverishment: This relates to lexical loss, or loss of ambiguity. A signified
may possess a multitude of signifiers, as in the example cited by Berman, where the
signified face has three signifiers in Spanish: semblante, rostro and cara. If the translation
contains fewer signifiers than the original, then the quantitative impoverishment starts
operating.
The destruction of rhythms: Translation destroys rhythms, however novels rhytm is harder
to destroy. The addition of punctuation alters rhythm. Poetry and theater are more
vulnerable.
The destruction of underlying networks of signification: The translator should bear in mind
that literary texts contain all sorts of networks beneath the surface, which should be
obliquely rendered in translation. Treated individually, those networks may appear as
unessential and insignificant, but as a whole they are responsible for rhythm and uniformity
of the text. If the translator ignores it, the underlying texture of the translation will be wiped
out.
The deconstruction of linguistic patternings: Introduction of elements that are exluded in the
sorce text. It alters the type of sentences and sentence construction that make up the authors
style. It is a common occurrence that the source text is a systematic one, while translation

tends to be asystematic. The techniques such as rationalisation, clarification etc. annihilate


the systematic nature of the text by introducing some elements that were not visible and
overt in the original. Hence, the strange situation - the target text is more homogenous than
the original but at the same time the former is more incoherent and more inconsistent than
the latter. Berman describes the phenomenon as patchwork.
The deconstruction of vernacular networks on their exotization: This tendency refers
particularly to elements of vernacular language which are essential for creating the mood of
the novel. However it is not easy to render them through translation. If these elements are
effaced, the novel becomes painfully impoverished. To solve this dilemma, translators resort
to exotization (isolation) or over-emphasizing (relying stereotypes) or even worse,
popularizing (using a local vernacular to render a foreign one- ridiculization).
The deconstruction of expressions and idioms: Berman believes that the technique of
replacing a proverb or an idiom by its equivalent in target language is an emanation of
ethnocentrism. It often happens that this move results in absurdity of target text. Berman
describes this tendency as an assault on the discourse of the foreign work. He also
emphasises that to translate does not mean to search for equivalencies.
The effacement of the superimposition of languages: This tendency relates to the erosion of
the relation between dialect and common language, between vernacular and literary
language. The co-existence of these elements within the original, creating a sort of tension in
the text, happens to be lost in the target language. The preservation of the relation is a vital
problem in the translation of novels. None of those elements should be dropped out
throughout the process. (Aspiration of translators of making the superimposition visible.

Yves Gambier: Introduction Screen Transadaptation: Perception and Reception


Before 1995 anybody talked about screen translation but since that year the situation has changed
considerably because of four reason:

1995 was the 100 year anniversary of the cinema and the Council of Europe wanted to
celebrate it, hosting a forum on audiovisual communication and language transfer. From that
year on, there were a number of seminars and the publications has risen;
New technology, offering on-line and off-lines products and services;
Language policy and language awareness (consapevolezza) especially in Europe. Minority
groups realize that media could be useful to promote their language and cultural identity;
Translation practice changes rapidly, from analogue to digital.

This changing situation is also reflected in the terminology used in the discussion audiovisual
translation:

Film translation: before that TV and video became popular;


Language transfer: it focuses on language, even though the verbal content is supplemented
by other elements (pictures and sounds);
Audiovisual translation (AVT): although audiovisual means film, radio, television and video
media, is now used for other programmes. It is sometimes preferred as a term that
encompasses subtitling, dubbing, etc.

Screen translation: covering all products distributed via a screen (television, cinema or
computer screen);
Multimedia translation: this leads to confusion because sometimes it implies theatre,
comics, films, TV, cinema, video and on-line and off-line products and services (Web pages,
CD-Roms).

There are three fundamental issues in the AV field:

The relationship between verbal output and pictures and soundtrack;


The relationship between a foreign language/culture and the target language/culture;
The relationship between the spoken code and the written one.

Today, there are different types of screen translation and they can be categorized in two groups:
dominant and challenging.
Dominant types are:

Interlingual subtitling: involves moving from the oral dialogue to one/two written lines
and from one language to another, sometimes two two other languages (bilingual subtitling.
Belgium). Subtitling does not follow the same process or division of labour everywhere.
Interlingual subtitling can be offered to any audience, including the deaf and heard of
hearing;
Dubbing: involves adapting a text for on-camera characters. Although it is limited to film
translation, sometimes the face of the speaker is visible in a medium shot;
Intralingual dubbing: an example to explain it could be the Italian movie Lamore
molesto made in the south of Italy and it has been dubbed for the North of the country.
Today, multilingual distribution can be offered with several technical possibilities. We can
select a certain language. With DVD there is the possibility to choose to view dubbed and
subtitled versions either in the same language or in any language. Moreover there is a long
debate between dubbing and subtitling. DVD is also blurring the hierarchy between cinema
and TV, since some television series are now distributed on DVD. The division of Europe
into dubbing countries (France, Italy, Spain) and subtitling countries (Belgium,
Norway) has become too simplistic, because today every country can find and buy dubbed
video;
Consecutive interpreting: can be done in three possible modes: live (the radio, when a
person is interviewed); pre-recorded (then close to voice over), and link up (for longdistance communication);
Simultaneous interpreting: is using during a debate in a studio. What is important is the
ability to keep talking. We could add also sign language interpreting;
Voice over or half dubbing: occurs when a documentary or an interview is
translated/adapted and broadcast approximately in synchrony by a journalist or an actor;
Both in simultaneous interpreting and voice over, the original voice is reduced for a few
seconds and the target voice is superimposed on top of the source voice;
Free commentary: it is an adaptation for a new audience, with additions, omissions,
clarifications and comments, Synchronization is done with on-screen images and it is used
especially for childrens programmes or documentaries;
Simultaneous or sight translation: It is used during film festivals. It is done for a script
(copione) or another set of subtitles available in a foreign language or from a dialogue list;

Multilingual production: there are double versions when each actor plays in his own
language and the film is dubbed in another language. The remakes were at first American
films adapted for the European market, today they are mostly European films remade for the
American audience. A remake is done in accordance with the values, ideology of the new
target culture. Intralingual dibbing like remakes focuse more on cultural matters than on
language.

Challenging types:

Scenario/script translation: is needed in order to grants financial support for a coproduction;


Intralingual subtitling: is done for the benefit of the deaf and hard of hearing or sometimes
to help migrants. We can differentiate between deafness in one ear and in both ears,
temporary deafness, profound deafness and partial deafness, deafness by birth, by accident,
etc. This explains why the deaf and hard of hearing dont have the same command of
language, the same development of speech. Some people become deaf after they have
acquired an understanding of spoken language; some had tolerant how to read before they
became deaf or hard of hearing. Some of them can not tolerate complex background noise,
like applause; some stated that signing distracted them from reading subtitles. However,
having access to subtitles today was thought to be a considerable improvement and
technology allows changes and better services adapted to specif audiences;
Live or real-time subtitling: is used in various types of interviews. Live subtitling is
sifferent from live subtitles which are prepared in advance;
Surtitling: is on-line subtitling place above a theatre stage or in the back of the seats and
displayed non-stop throughout a performance;
Audio Description is a kind of double dubbing in interlingual transfer for the blind and
visually impaired: it involves the reading of information describing what is going on the
screen. Audio Description can be intralingual. People who have lost the vision can benefit of
audio description. It depends on muscular degeneration to tunnel vision due to glaucoma,
diabetes etc. Most forms of visual disability occur through a progressive degeneration of
sight; in this case, the blind have a visual memory. People born blind have no such visual
memory and have no interest in the colors. Elderly people can find that audio description
helps them to better understand the plot. Some genres such as drama, movies, documentaries
benefit more of audio description than news and game shows. Moreover, some people often
watch TV just for the noise, while theyre doing other things (cooking). Again, technology
allows us to offer a better and more versatile range of services.

Transadaptation:
Subtitling is a kind of written simultaneous interpreting, both are constrained by temporal factors;
both are conditioned by a considerable density of information; both are caught in the relationship
between the written and the oral; both have to be conscious of special issues of reception. From this
perspective, the language transfer that takes place in films, video and television, could be
considered a new genre. In different Associations of Translators and Interpreters, screen translators
are sometimes placed in the same category as literary translators, sometimes with interpreters.
Screen translation can also be called transadaptation, a term which might allow us to go beyond the
usual dichotomy (literal/free translation, translation/adaptation, etc.) and take target audiences into
consideration more directly.

Screen texts have short life in contrast of static texts that can used again and again. The key word in
screen translation is now accessibility, a concept that covers a variety of features:

Acceptability, related to language norm, stylistic choice, etc;


Legibility, defined in terms of fonts, subtitle rates;
Readability, defined for subtitling in terms of reading speed rates, text complexity etc;
Synchronicity, defined for dubbing, voice over and commentary, of what is said to what is
shown;
Relevance, in terms of what information is to be conveyed, deleted, added or clarified;
Domestication strategies, defined in cultural terms. Sometimes changing part of a plot to
conform to target culture norms.

The changing audiovisual landscape


A range of other factors influences the multilingual AV landscape: distribution, digitization and
supply of programmes. The rapid internationalization of distribution is changing the trade
strategies relating to films and TV programmes. The major American film companies have a
stronger hold over distribution circuits in every country. A feature-length film generally follows a
rather linear chronology in terms of distribution: it is paid for in advance by a television channel,
released in cinemas, marketed as a video, broadcast on scrambled-TV then on pay-per-view TV and
finally on general TV channels. This chronology in various distribution circuits is still the subject of
negotiations between producers, distributors, TV owners and European authorities. Digitization is
changing production and broadcasting and speeding up convergence between media,
telecommunication and Information and Communication Technology. There are a few other
technological innovations that are changing the relationship between cinema, TV and viewers. The
Internet has a huge capacities for storing and showing films and TV programmes. Dubbing could
also take advantage of digitization in two ways: to improve the quality of sound and to make use of
the potential manipulation of original images, especially the lips. Translators also need to consider
how to deal the fact that even though viewers might accept their deafness when they do not
understand a foreign language, they are reluctant to admit their blindness when they watch a
foreign film. In a website, we can change the icon as well as in TV we can change the slogan, but
for a film it is not possible. Not every genres admit manipulation. Censorship is only one aspect of
manipulation. The creation of virtually characters, nowadays is possible with 3D digitization. It can
help in producing special effects.
The volume of programmes has increased with the increase in the number of channels: general and
thematic channels, as well as public and commercial channels. Broadcast programmes have to be
designed for target audiences: their success depends on it. The development toward more precise
targets has consequences for language transfer. When we watch a channel on history, sports,
cartoons, we expect to hear a certain register and terminology. This development may simply
indicate a centralized model. AV media seem to be both a factor of differentiation and a factor of
homogenization.
The effects of distribution, digitization and volume of programmes, reveal the tensions and
contradictions operating in the audiovisual market, in terms of the challenge represented by
linguistic and cultural diversity.
A field yet to be explored
Many question remained unanswered:

The relationship between language and identity;


The issue related to the handling of language in production and distribution;
Translation strategies: language and register variation, strategies of reduction, omission,
neutralization and expansion, conventions of subtitling, the impact of specific voices in
dubbing;
Implications of research done on screen translation:

-In terms of translation studies, scholars must question concepts like text, original,
meaning, manipulation and acceptability in the context of translating for the screen;
-In terms of training, the profile of the translator is changing radically. Screen translators must
have the same competences of any other type of translator. However they also have to be able to
work under pressure, they have to develop special competence in writing for the media; they
have to adapt to new technology;
-In terms of language learning and reading skills, the relevance of subtitling is recognized. Some
communities have to watch and read television because more than 80% of their programmes are
subtitled.
The need for reception studies
Many studies dealt with the issue of reception in screen translation, and even fewer have looked
at empirically, we continually make reference to readers, viewers, consumers, users, etc. As we
already know the volume of programmes has increased with the increase in the number of
channels. Broadcast programmes have to be designed for target audiences; their success
depends on it. But there is a pardox, audiovisual communication is like any other type of
communication that aims to convey a series of idea,opinions, but because it is realized in
complex, formatted products it has to be highly efficient. Morevore it is ambiguous because its
aimed both immediate addresses, the characters on the screen, and to viewers. The translator
must maintain the coherence of the dialogue between the characters and seek to transmit this
coherence to the audience. The translator mediates between the source text and performance
text, in the form of subtitling, dubbing, voice over.
Screen translation is associated with the context of a particular act of transfer rather than a
precise type of text. Many movie-goers (appassionati di cinema) are mostly rather young, used
to computers, while TV viewers might include young children learning how to read, students,
elderly people with sight and hearing problems, etc.
Programme time is an important parameter. Reception is also related to genres (comics, science
fiction, documentaries, etc.). There is not the same audience for a Woody Allen film and a
documentary about Alaska.
According to Kovaeie, reception (for subtitling) can be interpreted in several ways. It can be:

The socio-cultural issue of non-TV context influencing the process of receiving


subtitles;
The attitudinal isse of the viewers preference for subtitling over dubbing or vice versa;
The perceptual issue of subtitle decoding (reading and viewing) strategies;
The psychological or cognitive issue of the impact of cognitive environment on
understanding subititles.

These four aspects could be use to inform a model of research on subtitle reception.

The primary interest in reception in the context of literary studies is the functioning of individual
minds and defining the role of contextual factors in guiding the reading process and interpretation.
In the media, interest in audience-related research has been motivated by the need to support
programme planners and to attract advertisers. But the activity of watching translated films and TV
programmes remains unresearched. Under such conditions, translators can only aim at potential
target audience whose profile they inevitably construct on the basis of their own stereotypes and
prejudices. What is certain is that the reception of AV output is not only about cultural assumptions,
allusion, but also about expectations.
What kind of research and methodology could we use for response and reaction? Different variables
must be taken into account:

Sociological variables: age, level of education, reading aptitudes, command of foreign


languages, hearing /sight difficulties;
AV variables: broadcasting time, types of TV channels (public/commercial), film genre,
interplay images/dialogue.

These variables could be correlated with a range of features, such as:

Spacio-temporal characteristics of subtitles: lead times (in/out time), exposure time, subtitle
rate, lagging or delay between speech and subtitles, position (left/centre justification),
length, type and size of font;
Information density, in relation to the visibility of the speakers, on or off screen;
Textual and paratextual features: semantic coherence, syntactic complexity, text
segmentation, lexical density, punctuation.

Comprehension is the assessed in terms of both scripto-visual legibility and psycholinguistic


readability.
An experimental method can also be used to better control the medium variables (by manipulating
the subtitles), in order to obtain data on the effects of particular subtitling features (speed, time lag,
etc.). Experimental procedures, might enable us to analyze optical pauses, pace of reading, rereading, number of words per eye-fixation etc. Some viewers prefer to focus on images, others on
the plot, or on the dialogue and/or the subtitles. Attention can be active or passive, partial/selective
or global, linear or synthetic etc.
An invitation
Multimodal transcription has always been a serious problem in audiovisual analysis. Christopher
Taylor, offers a methodological tool to address this difficulty, taking into account different screen
genres. This methodology can be adopted and adapted to formulate strategies for subtitling.
Elena Di Giovanni attempts to analyze the description and reception of cultural otherness in Disney
animated films produced in the 90s. She focuses on the linguistic code and its role within such
cultural representations (especially in Aladdin and Hercules and their dubbed Italian versions). The
main difficult is translating the narrating rather than the narrated.
Aline Remael demonstrates how subtitles in Flanders enhance the characteristics of the films and
their underlying ideology. Moreover she demonstrates that interaction analysis taken from social
psychology can led to our comprehension of film dialogue.

The contribution by Eliana Franco and Vera Lucia Santiago Araujo reports on a pilot scheme for
reception research, putting the intralingual subtitling model of one of Brazils TV channels to the
test, using a small group of deaf and non-deaf viewers. This analysis reveals that the Globo model
fails to take into account the target audiences preferences, expectations and reading ability.
Lourdes Lorenzo, Ana Pereira and Maria Xoubanova analyze the pragmatic, semiotic and
communicative dimensions of a number of puns (giochi di parole) and plays on words in The
Simpsons. This TV series, dubbed into Spanish is embedded in the American dominant culture.
Adrian Fuentes Luque, has used the film Duck Soup as a case study. He describes an empirical
study of the translation of allusions, puns and songs. This study consisted in two phases:
observations of the reactions of three groups of viewers and a questionnaire about general and
specific aspects of various screen translation modes. These two papers demonstrate two different
approaches to AVT, one focusing on the product and the other on receivers.
Riitta Jaaskelainen addresses the issue of interpreting in the media. She reports on a pilot study of
live interviews involving non-Finnish speaking guests on a breakfast television show in Finland.
She is interested in the quality of interpreter performance.
Jorge Dias Cintas and Pilar Orero offer a profile of two post graduate courses of the Universitat
Autonoma de Barcelona.
Screen translation is still young, so this essay promote constructive dialogue and encouraging
further investigations.