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Trafilm news: heterolingualism

Posts tagged with heterolingualism

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Introduction to project Trafilm

6/5/2016 - Admin

A large number of films and television series, and written literature portray more than one (type of) language (than just standard British English, for instance), because they include different languages or significant linguistic variations. The translation of such texts poses certain challenges, since language variation can fulfil certain functions (stylistic, pragmatic or discursive). These texts are often referred to as multilingual (or polylingual, plurilingual or even heterolingual).

The TRAFILM project aims to describe the reality of the translation of multilingual audiovisual texts. We aim to discover professional and social practices along with the norms and criteria of this specific translation challenge. We will analyse films translated in Spain from the beginning of the new millennium onward, in order to compare the norms and tendencies when rendering linguistic diversity for dubbing and subtitling. We will deal with translations from English (because of its prevalence in the audiovisual markets), and into Spanish and Catalan (the target languages of the academic, professional and social context of the research team). The project pays special attention to gathering a representative number of samples of how the phenomenon of multilingualism has been dealt with in 21st-century films. We do not restrict the number of language varieties that constitute the “third language,” i. e. the variety that is not the source or target language, since this research intends to analyse the functions of this variety in order to deal with the related criteria for its translation. We will also study the case whereby the presence of the “other” language happens to be exactly the same language as the main target language for the translation (for example, American English-language films which include scenes in Spanish, and their dubbed or subtitled versions for Spain). Thus, we intend to provide reliable data for refining existing theoretical models of multilingualism in audiovisual translation, and to compare tendencies across translation types. 

The TRAFILM project also aims to create a consultable database, where excerpts from multilingual films will be spotted and transcribed, allowing the user to search languages and language variations with a range of translation options. This database will offer quantitative and qualitative data for research. It will also provide audiovisual materials for translation training and foreign language acquisition. Finally, it will provide a set of guidelines for translating multilingualism, including diverse translation options.

The project aims to validate and refine the theoretical models on audiovisual translation and multilingualism by describing and analysing a rich collection of data. It also intends to provide useful material resources, such as the consultable database and a set of guidelines for translators, trainers and trainees.


The project TRAFILM (FFI2014-55952-P) is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

Categories: Trafilm

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