Chapter 20 | Corpus-based Audiovisual Translation Studies: Ample Room for Development


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






A corpus is a principled collection of texts stored electronically to be analysed quantitatively and qualitatively by using computer-assisted techniques. In this chapter we show that Corpus-based Audiovisual Translation Studies belong to the wider approach of Corpus-based Translation Studies whose premises and methodological tools they share. There are sound reasons to create and exploit corpora in Audiovisual Translation research deriving from the need to provide reliable generalisations and overcome the limitations of introspection, intuition and single case studies. Corpus-based Translation Studies have identified various issues in corpus building: representativeness, size, comparability, transcription conventions, annotation, corpus alignment and copyright issues. By illustrating these principles and constraints, the chapter presents the major types of Audiovisual Translation corpora, including monolingual comparable corpora, bilingual comparable corpora and parallel corpora. These databases can be monomodal written or spoken corpora, the latter comprising transcriptions of spoken dialogues at different levels of detail and inclusion of paralinguistic and nonverbal information. At best, corpus-based research draws on a combination of corpus resources and employs comparable, parallel and reference corpora to formulate more accurate and reliable hypotheses within large-scale, empirically-validated investigations.

Corpora of Audiovisual Translation can be systematically searched to study the make-up of translated texts, the linguistic configurations of AV dialogues and the process of translation by examining frequencies, recurrent word combinations and collocations, along with cross-linguistic and cross-cultural correspondences. Corpus-based Audiovisual Translation studies have allowed scholars and analysts to address several important research questions. These include the naturalness and the register-specificity of audio described and translated AV language, translation strategies and general tendencies in translational behaviour for a number of key structures involved in the discourse, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and ideology of screen dialogue. Owing to the exciting and promising results of Corpus-based Audiovisual Translation research in bringing to the surface what would otherwise escape the researcher’s naked eye while substantiating revealing patterns in translated texts, the approach has proved to be a powerful epistemological resource in Audiovisual Translation and is worth of continual development and refinement.



Maria Pavesi is Professor of English Language and Translation at the Department of Humanities, Section of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, of the University of Pavia. Her current research interests include audiovisual translation with a focus on the language of dubbing and audiovisual input in second language acquisition.



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