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Project description

The MUFiTAVi project aims to describe the reality of the translation of multilingual TV series.

We aim to discover professional and social practices along with the norms and criteria of this specific translation challenge.


We will analyse TV series 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 will pay special attention to gathering a representative number of samples of how the phenomenon of multilingualism has been dealt with in 21st-century TV series. We do not intend to 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 project 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 (e.g., US English-language films with utterances in Spanish, and their dubbed or subtitled versions for Spain). Thus, we aim to provide reliable data for refining existing theoretical models of multilingualism in audiovisual translation, and to compare tendencies across translation types.

Consultable database

The MUFiTAVi project will create a consultable database of 300 entries, resulting from about 3,000 hours of TV series, over a range of at least 10 different series, available on internet TV platforms during 2019, where excerpts from multilingual TV series (e.g., Breaking Bad, The Wire, Dexter, Modern Family) will be spotted and transcribed, allowing users to search languages and language variations with a range of translation options.

This will be a useful tool at several levels, complementing the results of the Trafilm project, offering quantitative and qualitative data for research, and providing a new didactic resource for translator training and foreign language learning.

Finally, it will provide guidance and assistance for translators faced with multilingual dialogues to translate, providing them with options and suggestions resulting from empirical studies.