The rapid globalisation of media and entertainment relies heavily on the efficiency of audiovisual translation and, in particular, the versatility of subtitling. This module provides students with an understanding of audiovisual translation in the context of global media flows and creates a space for them to critically reflect on the evolving role of professional audiovisual translators.
The module introduces key topics in audiovisual translation, media and subtitling within the broader framework of the language industry and the translation profession. Through a series of lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops, the course combines theoretical, practical, and industry-related aspects of subtitling to help students become aware of the challenges, issues, ethical questions, and possibilities in this field of specialisation.
The module will equip students with essential translation, technical and technological skills to face challenges they are likely to encounter when working on audiovisual translation assignments. On top of fostering these essential skills needed to produce successful audiovisual translations, the module will prompt students to contextualise audiovisual translation practices within the broader globalisation and professional realities of the language industry. Further, the activities will emphasise the transferrable nature of these skills, supporting students in tailoring a flexible and sustainable professional career.
This module will run in term two.
There are no specific language requirements for this module.
Aims and Objectives
This module aims at making students reflect critically on the role of translation and translators in the international distribution of audiovisual content. It aims at providing students with the knowledge to understand the translation needs of audiovisual products in the context of global media and the skills to create high-quality audiovisual translations.
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Analyse the translation needs of audiovisual products and determine suitable subtitling solutions.
- Produce high-quality subtitles that are technically, linguistically, and culturally adequate for their purposes.
- Use different types of subtitling software to translate video files.
- Reflect critically on the influence of technologies, automation, and globalisation on the media localisation industry.
This module will be taught by the module convenor in Term 2. After an introductory seminar on audiovisual translation, media distribution and audiovisual products, the module will focus on specific, practical and critical aspects of audiovisual translation and subtitling.
Students will be provided with guiding questions and tasks to prepare for class discussions and activities. The sessions will integrate technical and technological aspects, as well as language-independent guidance.
In addition to introducing key theoretical concepts of subtitling, the module will draw connections with the application of the different practices and the realities of the profession. An invited speaker from the industry (from companies like Netflix, Nimdzi or associations such as the ITI or CIOL) will provide additional insights for students to access first-hand information and reflect on the relevance of the skills, abilities and knowledge enhanced in the module.
The module consists of 12 teaching hours.
Session 1: Introduction to audiovisual translation, subtitling and global audiences
- Audiovisual translation landscape
- Global, trans-national and international audiences
- The ideal viewer and the audiovisual product
Session 2: Subtitling and text-on-screen techniques
- Technical and technological aspects of subtitling
- Intralingual and interlingual subtitling
Session 3: Student-led translation technology clinic (1 hour)
- Technical support
- 1-2-1 feedback
Session 4: Linguistic and cultural aspects in subtitling
- Culture and humour in subtitling
- Language-specific guidelines
Session 5: Subtitling and automation
- Automation in the subtitling workflow: automatic transcriptions and machine translation
- Post-editing in subtitling
Session 6: Student-led translation technology clinic (1 hour)
- Technical support
- 1-2-1 feedback
Session 7: The media localisation industry
- Digital culture and globalisation
- Professional agency and working conditions
- Subtitling and audiovisual translation in the wider media localisation market
- Invited speaker
*This is an indicative list of topics and is subject to changes depending on the languages in the group, the students' interests and the feedback.
100% Translation Project
Practical translation project (3000 words) including the analysis of a source product (about 5 minutes) and its audiovisual translation needs, the tailoring of a realistic translation situation and the translation of the product. Excludes footnotes and bibliography.