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Unit information: Theory and Practice of audio-visual Translation and Subtitling for Students of Portuguese in 2017/18

Unit name Theory and Practice of audio-visual Translation and Subtitling for Students of Portuguese
Unit code HISP30055
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Perkins de Oliveira
Open unit status Not open

HISP20302 or HISP21011



School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will cover theories and practices of translation for audio-visual subtitling, with students working from Portuguese into English. The classes will cover: theoretical approaches to various translation problems and challenges; texts and possible translations; use of software for audio-visual subtitling; and practical approaches to translation and subtitling. Unit aims: To facilitate and deepen students’ knowledge of both the source and target languages; To develop and improve skills in using relevant technologies for translation and subtitling; To enhance students’ abilities to think critically and analyse carefully their approaches to translation; To enable students to engage critically with scholarly apparatuses in the discipline of translation studies.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to: Produce subtitled translations of audio-visual texts with accuracy and competence in the target language; Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the source language; Demonstrate an ability to analyse and interpret the specificities of audio-visual texts and relate the image to the translated content; Demonstrate a thorough awareness of potential issues and challenges in translation and subtitling; Understand how theoretical approaches to translation may facilitate and inform translation decisions in subtitling;

Teaching details

The unit will be taught in a combination of tutor- and student-led teaching, predominantly in seminar format but with a small number of introductory lectures.

Assessment Details

One 3000-word essay (25%) and one 3-hour exam (75%). Essay: students will be asked to present an analysis of the subtitling into English of a Portuguese-language film of their choice. They will comment on the translation and subtitling, analyse the translation decisions made, and explain how they might approach the subtitling differently, and how scholarly work on the discipline of translation and subtitling would inform their alternative suggestions. Students will therefore demonstrate: 1) detailed knowledge and understanding of the source text; 2) detailed knowledge and understanding of the target text; 3) a thorough awareness of potential issues and challenges in subtitling and translation; 4) an understanding of, and engagement with, theoretical approaches to translation and subtitling. Exam: students will be choose a short A/V clip form a selection of Brazilian and European clips. They will: 1) transcribe the A/V clip - this will test their aural comprehension of the source language; 2) translate their transcription - this will test their detailed knowledge and understanding of the ST, and their abilities to produce a translation in the target language with accuracy and competence; 3) write an analysis of the ST and commentary on the student’s approach to the subtitling, to include demonstration of the specificities of translating for A/V texts, appropriate reference to theoretical approaches and explanations of key translation decisions; and 4) produce a subtitled version of the ST, with annotations relating to problems around timing, other channels such as image and non-dialogue and non-diegetic sound, and condensation of language, as appropriate. Each of the four sections will be given equal weighting.

Reading and References

• Jorge Díaz Cintas & Aline Remael, Audiovisual translation : subtitling (Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 2007) • Jeremy Munday, Introducing translation studies : theories and applications, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 2008) • Anthony Pym, Exploring Translation Theories (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010: available as electronic book) Adriana Serban, Anna Matamala & Jean-Marc Lavaur, Audio-visual translation in close-up: practical and theoretical approaches, 2nd edn (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012) • Magdalena Panek, Subtitling Humor: The Analysis of Selected Translation Techniques in Subtitling Elements Containing Humor (GRIN Verlag, 2010)