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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Language & Translation Studies Short Name: LIT558
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: ASIMAKOULAS D Dr (Lang & Trans)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Semesters 1 and 2
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting towards Module Mark (%)
Translation of 10 minutes of film using a subtitle master file
Subtitling and translation of 10 minutes of film
Subtitling and translation of 15-20 minutes of film
10-minute oral presentation outlining problems encountered and reasons for choices made in third subtitling project

Qualifying Condition(s)
: A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Module Overview

In this module students will learn how to produce subtitles for foreign-language films, TV series, documentaries etc. The focus will be on acquiring skills for analysing the various components of audiovisual materials (speech, sound, text), developing strategies for translating film dialogue into written-language subtitles and learning to create subtitle files, using professional subtitle software. A range of languages of languages will be offered, according to demand: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

First degree in an appropriate language or equivalent. Near native or native competency in English.
Module Aims

The module introduces students to subtitling a variety of audiovisual genres, a range of translation strategies for subtitling, and techniques for producing technically accurate subtitles including time-cueing. Students will focus on one language pair.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • assess and analyse the complexity of audiovisual components and their interactions as the basis for creating interlingual subtitles which function appropriately in the given context;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the cross-cultural aspects at play in multimedia communication;
  • compare and contrast written translation and audiovisual interlingual translation;
  • produce interlingual subtitles approaching a professional standard for a range of genres including feature films, documentaries, news broadcasts, popular TV dramas and shows;
  • evaluate software according to specific purposes;
  • justify and explain their subtitling choices by analysing the decision process.
Module Content
The following topics will be covered:
  • functionality and operation of professional-level software;
  • analysis of various audiovisual components (speech, sound, image) in the source language material;
  • audience-specific needs with respect to reading speeds and vocabulary in the target language;
  • the time-cueing process in the context of spoken, written, visual, and acoustic features in the source material;
  • the role of significant linguistic features such as dialect, sociolect, and idiolect in the audio source/script and possible translation solutions;
  • the cross-cultural translation of humour, irony, proper nouns, word plays, strong and taboo language, etc.;
  • spatial and temporal constraints set by the subtitling task (e.g. placement, distribution of subtitles) with respect to the target language conventions;
  • methods of adapting and editing the translation through a range of strategies including omission, reduction, neutralisation, generalisation, paraphrase, and expansion;
  • synergies of rhythm and pace between audiovisual material and translated subtitles;
  • the concept of 'artistic intent' in relation to decision-making in the subtitling process;
  • orthographic standards and conventions in the target language;
  • the use of master files ('templates').
Methods of Teaching/Learning
To introduce students to the functionality and operation of the software, the first few weeks of teaching will be shared by all language groups.

The class will consist of hands-on practice, supported by demonstrations and discussions of translating for subtitles. The demonstrations will include: subtitled material of different qualities; the use of various strategies to solve time/space problems; medium-specific differences (e.g. cinema, DVD, TV). Hands-on exercises will include the editing of existing subtitles as well as the creation of new ones. In addition to learning to use subtitling and other software, students will be introduced to manual techniques where appropriate. Students will be expected to comment on their work with respect to problems and chosen solutions. Teamwork exercises will also be used in order to encourage co-operative working methods and reflection on practice. Regular homework will be set, as well as assessed assignments.

The module will involve twenty four hours class contact per semester.
Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading
Bartoll, E. (2004). Parameters for the classification of subtitles. Topics in Audiovisual Translation. P. Orero. Amsterdam, Benjamins: 53-60. Online:
Bogucki, L. (2004). "The Constraint of Relevance in Subtitling." The Journal of Specialised Translation 1: 71-88. Online:
Diaz Cintas, J and A Ramael (2207) Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling Manchester: St Jerome Publishing
Dries, J. (1995). Dubbing and Subtitling. Guidelines for Production and Distribution. European Institute for the Media, Düsseldorf.
Gambier, Y., Ed. (1997). Language Transfer and Audiovisual Communication. A Bibliography. Centre for Translation and Interpretation, University of Turku.
Gambier, Y. (2003). "Screen Transadaptation: Perception and Reception." The Translator 9(2): 171-189.
Georgakopoulou, P. (2006). "Subtitling and Globalisation." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 115-120. Online:
Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun. (2004). "Subtitling and Information Structuring". Translation Studies in the New Millennium: An International Journal of Translation and Interpreting 2: 85-103.
Gottlieb, Henrik. (2004). "Language-political implications of subtitling". In Orero, Pilar (ed.) Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 83-100
Guardini, P. (1998). "Decision-making in subtitling." Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. 6(1): 91-112.
Hajmohammadi, A. (2004). "The Viewer as the Focus of Subtitling: Towards a Viewer-oriented Approach." Translation Journal 8(4). Online:
Ivarsson, J. and M. Carroll (1998). Subtitling. TransEdit., Simrishamn.
Karamitroglou, F. (1998). "A Proposed Set of Subtitling Standards in Europe." Translation Journal 2(2). Online:
Karamitroglou, F. (2000). Towards a methodology for the investigation of norms in audiovisual translation. Rodopi, Amsterdam.
Kovacic, I. (1994). Relevance as a Factor in Subtitling Reduction. Teaching Translation and Interpretation 2: Insights, Aims, Visions. C. Dollerup and A. Lindegaard. Amsterdam, Benjamins: 245-251.
de Linde, Z. and N. Kay (1999). The Semiotics of Subtitling. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing.
Lomheim, S. (1999). The Writing on the Screen. Word, Text, Translation. Liber Amicorum for Peter Newmark. G. Anderman and M. Rogers. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters: 190-207.
Nadiani, G. and C. Heiss. (1996). "Repertorio bibliografico sulla traduzione multimediale per il cinema, la televisione e la scena” (Bibliography of multimedia translation for cinema, TV and theatre). Online:
Nedergaard-Larsen, B. (1993). "Culture-Bound Problems in Subtitling." Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 1(2): 207-241.
Pavlovic, Nataša. (2004). "Addressing Power and Solidarity in TV subtitling". Across Languages and Cultures 5(2): 211-233.
Perego, Elisa. (2004). "Subtitling “Culture” by Means of Explicitation: Different Ways of Facing Otherness". In Sidiropoulou, Maria and Anastasia Papaconstantinou (eds.) Choice and Difference in Translation: The Specifics of Transfer, Athens: The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 145-168.
Pérez González, Luis. (2006). "Fansubbing anime: Insights into the ‘Butterfly Effect’ of Globalisation on Audiovisual Translation". Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 14(4): 260-277.
Ramière, N. (2006). "Reaching a Foreign Audience: Cultural Transfers in Audiovisual Translation." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 152-166. Online:
Remael, A. (2004). A place for film dialogue analysis in subtitling courses. Topics in Audiovisual Translation. P. Orero. Amsterdam, Benjamins: 103-126. Online:
Sánchez, D. (2004). Subtitling methods and team-translation. Topics in Audiovisual Translation. P. Orero. Amsterdam, Benjamins: 9-17. Online:
Scandura, G. L. (2004). "Sex, Lies and TV: Censorship and Subtitling." Meta 49(1): 125-134.
Pettit, Zoë. (2005). "Translating register, style and tone in dubbing and subtitling". JoSTrans- The Journal of Specialised Translation04 Online:
A Modern Chinese-English Dictionary (2001). The Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing.
The New Century Grand Chinese-English Dictionary (2004). The Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing.
Chen, C. (2004). "On the Hong Kong Chinese Subtitling of English Swearwords." Meta 49(1): 135-147. Online:
Chen, C. (2005). "On the Hong Kong Chinese Subtitling of the Erotic Dialogue in Kaufman's Quills." Quaderns: revista de traducció 12: 205-224. Online:
Chen, S.-J. (2004). "Linguistic Dimensions of Subtitling. Perspectives from Taiwan." Meta 49(1): 115-124. Online:
Qian, S. (2004). "The Present Status of Screen Translation in China." Meta 49(1): 52-58.
Kaufmann, F. (2004). "Un exemple d’effet pervers de l’uniformisation linguistique dans la traduction d’un documentaire: de l’hébreu des immigrants de «Saint-Jean» au français normatif d'ARTE." Meta 49(1): 148-160.
Pettit, Z. (2004). "The Audio-Visual Text: Subtitling and Dubbing Different Genres." Meta 49(1): 25-38. Online:
Pettit, Z. (2005). "Translating register, style and tone in dubbing and subtitling." The Journal of Specialised Translation 4: 49-65. Online:
Ramière, N. (2004). "Comment le sous-titrage et le doublage peuvent modifier la perception d’un film: Analyse contrastive des versions sous-titrées et doublées en français du film d’Elia Kazan, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)." Meta 49(1): 102-114. Online:
Heiss, C. (2004). "Dubbing Multilingual Films: A New Challenge?" Meta 49(1): 208-220.
Schwarz, B. (2002). "Translation in a Confined Space - Film Sub-titling with special reference to Dennis Potter’s “Lipstick on Your Collar” Part 1." Translation Journal 6(4).
Schwarz, B. (2003). "Translation in a Confined Space - Film Sub-titling with special reference to Dennis Potter’s “Lipstick on Your Collar” Part 2." Translation Journal 7(1). Online:
Widler, B. (2004). "A Survey Among Audiences of Subtitled Films in Viennese Cinemas." Meta 49(1): 98-101. Online:
Asimakoulas, D. (2004). "Towards a Model of Describing Humour Translation. A Case Study of the Greek Subtitled Versions of Airplane! and Naked Gun." Meta 49(4): 822-842.
Georgakopoulou, P. (2003). Screen Translation Techniques – Greece: a Case Study. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Guildford: University of Surrey.
Karamitroglou, F. (2001). "The Choice Between Subtitling and Revoicing in Greece: Norms in Action." Target 13(2): 305-315.
Karamitroglou, F. (2001). "Ο υποτιτλιστς κι ο μγειρας, μην πυροβολετε τον υποτιτλιστ"Translatum 1
Roussou, María. (2005). "La subtitulación de tres filmes de Almodóvar al griego: Estudio descriptivo". Puentes 6: 61-68.
Bruti, S. (2006). "Cross-cultural Pragmatics: The Translation of Implicit Compliments in Subtitles." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 185-197. Online:
De Marco, M. (2006). "Audiovisual Translation from a Gender Perspective." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 167-184. Online:
Low, P. (2002). "Surtitles for Opera: A Specialised Translating Task". Babel 48(2): 97-110.
Perego, Elisa. (2004). "Subtitling “Culture” by Means of Explicitation: Different Ways of Facing Otherness". In Sidiropoulou, Maria and Anastasia Papaconstantinou (eds.) Choice and Difference in Translation: The Specifics of Transfer, Athens: The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 145-168.
Taylor, Christopher. (2003). "Multimodal Transcription in the Analysis, Translation and Subtitling of Italian Films". The Translator 9(2): 191-205.
Tortoriello, A. (2006). "Funny and Educational across Cultures: Subtitling Winnie The Pooh into Italian." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 53-67. Online:
Lomheim, S. (2000). Skrifta på skjermen. Høyskoleforlaget.
Tveit, J. E. (2004). Translating for television: A Handbook in Screen Translation. Bergen: JK Publishing.
Alves Veiga, Maria José. (2006). "Subtitling reading practices". In Duarte, João Ferreira, Alexandra Assis Rosa and Teresa Seruya (eds.) Translation Studies at the Interface of Disciplines, Amsterdam & Philadephia: John Benjamins, 161-168.
Assis Rosa, Alexandra. (1999). "The Centre and the Edges: Linguistic Variation and Subtitling Pygmalion into Portuguese.". In Vandaele, Jeroen (ed.) Translation and the (Re)location of Meaning. Selected Papers of the CETRA Research Seminars in Translation Studies 1994-1996, Leuven: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 317-338.
Santiago Araújo, V. L. (2004). "To Be or Not to Be Natural: Clichés of Emotion in Screen Translation." Meta 49(1): 161-171. Online:
Chaume, F. (2003). Doblatge i subtitulació per a la TV. Vic: EUMO.
Chaume Varela, F. (2004). "Film Studies and Translation Studies: Two Disciplines at Stake in Audiovisual Translation." Meta 49(1): 12-14. Online:
De Marco, M. (2006). "Audiovisual Translation from a Gender Perspective." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 167-184. Online:
Díaz Cintas, J. (2003). Teoría y práctica de la subtitulación: inglés/español.Ariel, Barcelona.
Fuentes L. A. (2003). "An Empirical Approach to the Reception of AV Translated Humour: A Case Study of the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup". The Translator 9(2): 293-306.
Orero, P. (2006). "Real-time subtitling in Spain. An overview". IntralineaOnline: 
Scheer, M. (1998). "Translator - a Lovely Profession." Translation Journal 2(4).
Schröter, T. (2003). "Quantity and Quality in Screen Translation." Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 11(2): 105-124.
Last Updated

1 September 2009