University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Language & Translation Studies Short Name: TRAM176
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: DESILLA L Dr (Lang & Trans)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Semester 1

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Guided commentary
3000 word essay
Qualifying Condition(s) 
A mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Module Overview

In this module students will learn about the various forms of audiovisual translation such as subtitling, dubbing, voice-over and audio description, their development, their major challenges as well as their overall relationship to translation.


First degree in English, an appropriate language or equivalent.

Module Aims

The module will help students to develop an understanding of the characteristics of audiovisual materials in the context of translation. It will provide a framework for analysing audiovisual materials and making informed choices of appropriate audiovisual translation strategies.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • interpret and compare the characteristics of audiovisual translation methods;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the broader social, legal and technological contexts of audiovisual translation;
  • describe and interpret the historical development of audiovisual translation methods;
  • appraise audiovisual 'texts' holistically in a semiotic framework;
  • apply theoretical approaches to the solution of translation problems;
  • use the knowledge acquired as a theoretical framework for the MA dissertation.
Module Content
Introduction and basics
  • typology of audiovisual translation
  • terms/concepts: 'film translation', audiovisual translation', 'screen translation', 'multimodal translation', 'multimedia translation';
  • translation and semiotics: intralingual, interlingual translation and intersemiotic translation
  • historical development of audiovisual translation;
  • more recent developments in relation to social and legal change (intralingual subtitling and audio description);
  • technology and audiovisual translation
The different forms of audiovisual translation today ('transfer'), including e.g.
  • interlingual and intralingual subtitling, surtitling
  • lip-synch dubbing
  • voice-over, revoicing, narration, commentary
  • audio description
Issues in Audiovisual Translation
  • screenwriting and audiovisual translation (transfer); the grammar of film; analysis and adaptation
  • characteristic problems of translation (transfer) in different types of audiovisual translation;
  • genre and situation in audiovisual translation – implications;
  • from practice to research: recent developments, topics and findings
Methods of Teaching/Learning

The class will consist of a combination of lectures and tutorials. There is an opportunity for discussion during and at the end of lectures. Guidance on researching and writing essay assignments will be given in tutorials.
This module will involve twenty four hours class contact over the semester.

Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading:
Díaz Cintas, J. (2003). “Audiovisual Translation in the Third Millennium.” In G. Anderman and M. Rogers (eds) Translation Today. Trends and Perspectives. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters: 192-204.
Díaz Cintas, J. (2004). “In search of a theoretical framework for the study of audiovisual translation “. In P. Orero (ed.) Topics in Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 21-34.
Díaz Cintas, J & Remael, A (2007) Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.
Gambier, Y. (2003). "Screen Transadaptation: Perception and Reception." The Translator 9(2): 171-189.
Gambier, Y. (2004). "La traduction audiovisuelle: un genre en expansion." Meta 49(1): 1-11.
Gambier, Y. and H. Gottlieb, Eds. (2001). (Multi)Media Translation. Benjamins, Amsterdam.
Gottlieb, H. (2002). Titles on Subtitling 1929-1999. Cinema: Paradiso delle lingue. I sottotitoli nell'apprendimento linguistico, (Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata, Anno XXXIV, 1/2-2002). A. Caimi. Roma, Bulzoni Editore.
Graddol, D. and O. Boyd-Barett, Eds. (1994). Media Texts: Authors and Readers. Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.
Ivarsson, J. and M. Carroll (1998). Subtitling. TransEdit., Simrishamn.
Jakobson, R. (1959/1989). On Linguistic Aspects of Translation. In A. Chesterman (ed.) Readings in Translation Theory. Helsinki, Finn Lectura, 53-60.
de Linde, Z. and N. Kay (1999). The Semiotics of Subtitling. St. Jerome: Manchester.
Lomheim, S. (1999). “The Writing on the Screen.” In G. Anderman and M. Rogers (eds) Word, Text, Translation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 190-207.
Luyken, G. M., T. Herbst, et al. (1991). . Manchester: European Institute for the Media.  
Orero, P., Ed. (2004). Topics in Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Pettit, Z. (2004). "The Audio-Visual Text: Subtitling and Dubbing Different Genres." Meta 49(1): 25-38.
Tveit, J. E. (2004). Translating for Television. A Handbook in Screen Translation. Bergen: Kolofon AS.
Recommended reading:
Bruti, S. (2006). "Cross-cultural Pragmatics: The Translation of Implicit Compliments in Subtitles." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 185-197. Online:
Chandler, D (2007²). The Basics of Semiotics. London: Routledge.
Chaume Varela, F. (2004). "Film Studies and Translation Studies: Two Disciplines at Stake in Audiovisual Translation." Meta 49(1): 12-14. Online:
Doloughan, F. (2005). "Reading Images, Telling Tales: meaning-making and the culture of narrativity." International Journal of Learning 11: 1697-1701.
Fawcett, P. (2003). “The manipulation of language and culture in film translation.” In M. Calzada Pérez (ed.) Apropos of ideology. Manchester: St. Jerome, 145-163.
Kapsakis, D. (2008) “Translation and Film: On the Defamiliarzing Effect of Subtitles.” New Voices in Translation 4: 42-52. Online:
Pettit, Z. (2005). "Translating register, style and tone in dubbing and subtitling." The Journal of Specialised Translation 4: 49-65.
Ramière, N. (2006). "Reaching a Foreign Audience: Cultural Transfers in Audiovisual Translation." The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 152-166. Online:
Readman, M. (2003). Teaching Scriptwriting, Screenplays and Storyboards for Film and TV Production. British Film Institute, London.
Background reading:
Baker, M. and G. Saldanha (eds) (2008). The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. London: Routledge.
Eco, U. (2003). Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the New Media Age. London and New York: Routledge.
Kress, G. and T. van Leeuwen (2001). Multimodal Discourse. London: Arnold.
Gambier, Y., Ed. (1997). Language Transfer and Audiovisual Communication. A Bibliography. Turku: University of Turku.
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:

Venuti, L., Ed. (2000). The Translation Studies Reader. Routledge, London.

Last Updated

17 December 2010