Special Issue: Building Bridges between Film Studies and Translation Studies

Film Studies and Translation Studies

A Necessary Mutual Understanding

By Juan José Martínez Sierra & Beatriz Cerezo Merchan (Universitat de València, Spain)

©inTRAlinea & Juan José Martínez Sierra & Beatriz Cerezo Merchan (2017).
"Film Studies and Translation Studies A Necessary Mutual Understanding"
inTRAlinea Special Issue: Building Bridges between Film Studies and Translation Studies
Edited by: Juan José Martínez Sierra & Beatriz Cerezo Merchán
This article can be freely reproduced under Creative Commons License.
Stable URL: http://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/2253

In the past two decades, the field of audiovisual translation, which is part of the Translation Studies discipline, has gained increasing interest from researchers. In fact, it is an academic field that has experienced a rapid development in a certainly short period of time. Nowadays the publications —articles and books— devoted to this field are countless. Similarly, numerous doctoral dissertations are presented every year, not to mention the growing number of international conferences that address audiovisual translation not tangentially, but exclusively. On the other hand, the origin of Film Studies dates back to almost a century ago. Their main purpose is to explore films via theoretical, historical and critical approaches.

Still, it is possible —and also necessary, as Chaume (2004) already pointed out— to continue promoting new interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary avenues of research that lead to new breakthroughs in the two aforementioned fields. As he expresses, “[a]udiovisual texts are usually built according to the conventions of film language, a complex language that overcomes linguistic communication and has its own rules and conventions” (2004: 12). These are multimodal, multisemiotic texts that transmit information simultaneously through two different channels —acoustic and visual— and “several signifying codes which complement and frame words and linguistic meaning” (2004: 12). The links between audiovisual texts and film language are undeniable. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to bring together the fields of Translation Studies and Film Studies, so a deeper understanding of those connections can be reached. This special issue hopes to promote an innovative perspective, in which Translation Studies and Film Studies come together.

However, although some researchers have attempted to tackle this issue (such as Chaume, 2004; Remael, 2004 and 2008; Cattrysse and Gambier, 2008; Martínez-Sierra, 2012; and some articles from the 2012 special issue of MonTI edited by Agost, Orero and di Giovanni), work of this nature is scarce, especially from a sheer cinematographic standpoint. Thus, it seems both relevant and necessary to promote further insights into the relationship between Translation Studies and Film Studies.

Once we agree that a bridge between Translation Studies and Film Studies can be built and that it creates a whole new array of research possibilities, we may foresee multiple topics to be explored —some of which are tackled in this special issue— such as audiovisual translation and film history; the influence of script writing on audiovisual translation; the influence of the technical aspects of film (i.e. camera angles, shots, camera movements…) on audiovisual translation; the influence of the signifying codes of film (i.e. linguistic, paralinguistic, musical, special effects, photographic or iconographic codes) on audiovisual translation; the film industry and audiovisual translation; technological changes on the film industry and their influence on audiovisual translation; the application of film studies to the development of creative subtitling strategies; experimental research and reception studies (that is, the impact of audiovisual translation on the audiovisual product); the inclusion of film language concepts (script writing, signifying codes, technical aspects) in audiovisual translation teaching and practice; accessible filmmaking and the integration of audiovisual translation and accessibility during the filmmaking process; remakes as a form of translation (the creation of new audiovisual texts based on the adaptation of foreign products); translating from the page to the screen (the adaptation of comics into films); cinema, identity and translation; cinema, ideology and translation; or cinema, politics and translation.

This special issue gathers a series of contributions, both theoretical and applied, that bridge the gap between these two disciplinary areas and explore the links between them. Academics and professionals from the fields of Translation and Film Studies have contributed to it with articles covering a wide range of audiovisual translation modes (dubbing, interlingual subtitling, subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, audio description, video games, etc.), film genres (films, cartoons, documentaries, video games, etc.) and audiences (adults and children with or without special needs). This variety is intentionally motivated by the desire and the need to offer a panoramic view of the research that is being carried out on the intersection between audiovisual translation and Film Studies. All articles also reveal a clear interdisciplinary nature in their methodological approaches and are representative of a wide range of new avenues of research. For example, some of them use and/or propose descriptive models that combine translation aspects and cinematographic elements to analyse audiovisual products and that could be extremely useful for professionals, researchers, teachers or students of both disciplines. Similarly, some others present exploratory approaches that include alternative proposals to create audiovisual products and translations that are more creative and inclusive, and that could improve the overall experience of audiences in the present and near future.

To sum up, we consider this is an innovative volume that hopes to encourage a line of research that can certainly continue to be followed in future contributions. We need more studies that carry on bridging the gap between Translation Studies and Film Studies, and that also take into account other disciplines to help build broader and more comprehensive and interdisciplinary approaches. In addition, we should join individual and collective efforts and interests if we want to make our disciplines evolve.

References

Agost, Rosa, Pilar Orero and Elena di Giovanni (eds.) MonTI, vol. 4, special issue on Multidisciplinarity in Audiovisual Translation.

Cattrysse, Patrick and Yves Gambier (2008) “Screenwriting and translating screenplays” in The Didactics of Audiovisual Translation, Jorge Díaz-Cintas (ed.), Amsterdam & Philadelphia, John Benjamins: 39-55.

Chaume, Frederic (2004) “Film Studies and Translation Studies: Two Disciplines at Stake in Audiovisual Translation”, Meta: Translators' Journal, vol. 49, no. 1: 12-24.

Martínez Sierra, Juan José (2012) “On the Relevance of Script Writing Basics in Audiovisual Translation Practice and Training”, Cadernos de Tradução, vol. 29, no. 1: 145-163.

Remael, Aline (2004) “A place for film dialogue analysis in subtitling courses” in Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Pilar Orero (ed.), Amsterdam & Philadelphia, John Benjamins: 103-126.

--- (2008) “Screenwriting, scripted and unscripted language. What do subtitlers need to know?” in The Didactics of Audiovisual Translation, Jorge Díaz-Cintas (ed.),  Amsterdam & Philadelphia, John Benjamins: 57-67.

About the author(s)

Dr. Juan José Martínez Sierra works as an Associate Professor in the Department of English and German Languages and Cultures at the Universitat de València, where he teaches Written and Audiovisual Translation, Intercultural Communitation, and English Language (undergraduate and graduate). In addition to a doctorate in Translation Studies (UJI, 2004), he holds a degree in English Language and Culture (UJI, 1995) and an MA in Intercultural Communication (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA, 2001). He is specialized in Audiovisual Translation, a field to which he devotes both part of his teaching work and his research activity, which has mainly been focused on the study of audiovisual translation from an intercultural perspective. To date, this activity has been generously fruitful in the form of lectures, seminars, invited talks and papers at conferences, both national and international. Besides, he has published numerous works, including five books, several book chapters, reviews, and many other pieces of research in the form of articles in prestigious scientific journals. He coordinates CiTrans, and also collaborates with the research groups TRAMA (Universitat Jaume I) and SILVA (Universitat de València).

Beatriz Cerezo Merchán Holds a BA and a PhD in Translation and Interpreting. At present she is a lecturer of translation and English language at the Universitat de València. She is a member of the research groups CiTrans (http://citrans.uv.es/) and TRAMA (http://www.trama.uji.es/), and her main areas of research are the didactics of translation, and audiovisual translation and accessibility.

Email: [please login or register to view author's email address]

©inTRAlinea & Juan José Martínez Sierra & Beatriz Cerezo Merchan (2017).
"Film Studies and Translation Studies A Necessary Mutual Understanding"
inTRAlinea Special Issue: Building Bridges between Film Studies and Translation Studies
Edited by: Juan José Martínez Sierra & Beatriz Cerezo Merchán
This article can be freely reproduced under Creative Commons License.
Stable URL: http://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/2253

Go to top of page