Chapter 3 | Subtitling on the Cusp of its Futures


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







Subtitling today is facing considerable opportunities and considerable challenges, in practice and theory. This applies with particular acuteness to interlingual film subtitling, the written target language rendition(s) of source text speech in films that is the focus in this chapter.  

Since the mid-90s, subtitling as a discipline has been busy identifying domains of concern, evolving methodologies, developing greater rigour in research, finding interdisciplinary partners to help it come to terms effectively with the multimodal nature of subtitling. In the midst of all that came the onset of fansubbing, and with it the ‘butterfly effect’ that has underpinned the explosion of amateur practices generally – subtitling by the people for the people. Together with its catalyst, the spectacular technological developments ongoing since then on a global scale, this explosion has radically changed what is at stake in subtitling.

The aim of this chapter is to locate film subtitling at this crucial juncture between its recent past as a maturing practice and a young discipline, and the unchartered territories of its future, with the questions that it compels the field to revisit and the new ones that it raises. Technological development is a main drive in the review of aspects and issues of subtitling in this perspective, as a platform to project in what lies ahead, but also to revisit the past and reassess its achievements, and its oversights.



Marie-Noëlle Guillot is Professor of Intercultural Communication and Translation Studies at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK). Her research has two strands, cross- cultural pragmatics and translation studies, and two domains of application: FL interactional pragmatic development, and cross-cultural representation through translation, in subtitling/ dubbing and museum translation specifically.



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.


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