Chapter 4 | Investigating Dubbing: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future


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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






Reading audiovisual products is a complex task as visual and acoustic elements combine to generate meaning and there are many modalities to consider. Moreover, meaning is not fixed and can – and often will – vary from one audience to the next.  Indeed, when audiovisual products travel in translation it is hard to know how they will be received or perceived and it would be unrealistic to expect the same effect to take place with a different audience.  This chapter is concerned with the AVT mode of dubbing, the process of re-recording the soundtrack of an original audiovisual (AV) text with a new one in the Target Language, which has been practised for many years all over the world.  The chapter specifically considers dubbing research by providing an overview of how this AVT mode has developed since it was first used when sound was introduced in cinema. We first start with a history of dubbing, then its main current issues are discussed with an indication of the research methods used by scholars and a consideration of the influence of technology on dubbing practice and research. The third section focuses on future trajectories of dubbing research and its new debates. This chapter primarily aims to show that the various agents and aspects of dubbing make it a rich and complex process. I also emphasise that even if there is a vast amount of studies on dubbing there is still room for further investigation with a focus on interdisciplinarity, multimodality, and more communication between researchers and practitioners. The chapter ends with a call to scholars researching dubbing outside of Western Europe to make sure dubbing research is not seen as Eurocentric.



Charlotte Bosseaux is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked on literary translation and point of view, and her current focus is on voice, performance and characterization in audiovisual material. She is the author of How does it Feel: Point of View in Translation (2007) and Dubbing, Film and Performance: Uncanny Encounters (2015).



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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