Chapter 15 | Narratology and Audiovisual Translation


Back to Publications   Back to The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation




Publication date: 13 September 2018
Copyright date 2019
Hardback ISBN: 9781138859524
E-book ISBN 9781315717166
You can order this volume on the Routledge website






This chapter focuses on the production and translation of narrativity in audiovisual texts. Action (in the story) should always be analysed as the narration of action; and the narration of action (and action situations) produce narrative clarity (coherence) as well as degrees of opacity (conspicuous and hidden information gaps). As for clarity, narrativity of course depends on comprehensible scene construction, so the identification of setting, participants, action and interaction is basic. As for opacity, the chapter focuses on ‘the big three’ narrative effects — suspense, curiosity and surprise (Bordwell 2008: 101). These narrative effects are produced through character-oriented focalization as well as the narrating instance’s decision to tell things selectively and in a certain order. This is possible across media but each medium of narration does have special possibilities and constraints. Audiovisual translators, moreover, often have to cope with additional constraints of space and time. Their translation solutions, however, can at the very least be grounded in a profound understanding of narrativity, its mechanisms and devices, and the extent to which it depends on medium-specific narration.



Jeroen Vandaele, previously Professor of Spanish at the University of Oslo, now teaches Literary Translation, Hispanic Literatures, and Theory of Style in Translation at Ghent University. His research focuses on translation, ideology, censorship, and comedy. In 2015 he published Estados de gracia: Billy Wilder y la censura franquista.



The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation Studies provides an authoritative and straightforward overview of the field through thirty-two specially commissioned chapters written by leading scholars in the field.

This state-of-the-art reference work is divided in four sections. The first part focuses on established and emerging audiovisual translation modalities, explores the changing contexts in which they have been and continue to be used, and examine how cultural and technological changes are directing their future trajectories. The second part explores the interface between audiovisual translation and a range of theoretical models that have proved particularly productive in steering research in audiovisual translation studies. Some of these models are associated with disciplines that have long intersected with audiovisual translation, while others are drawn from areas of knowledge that are only now beginning to make their presence felt in the audiovisual translation literature. The third part surveys a range of methodological approaches supporting traditional and innovative ways of interrogating audiovisual translation data. The final part addresses a range of themes pertaining to the place of audiovisual translation in society: these include the institutionalization, academization and technologization of audiovisual translation, as well as its role as a force for social change, both within and outside the industry. This Handbook gives audiovisual translation studies the voice it needs to make its presence felt within the Humanities research landscape.


Back to Publications   Back to The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation