After framing the main theoretical issues related to subtitling and specifically to explicitation, this paper describes an in-progress research project. First, the preliminary hypothesis standing at the basis of the research is outlined, which is then followed by the presentation of a small-scale corpus designed by the author. Second, I will offer an account of the research method and of the phases of analysis which helped to identify cases of explicitation, and allowed for proposing an initial, rudimentary categorisation of the types of explicitation found in translation for the screen in the form of subtitling. All the occurrences of different explicitation types are illustrated with excerpts taken from the films analysed.
After drawing a brief history of audiovisual translation (AVT), the paper gives a definition of empirical research and it analyzes when, how and why empirical research started to develop and grow systematically in this field of research. The paper also emphasizes the role of empirical research as a tool enabling us to know more about the actual effectiveness of AVT on its audiences as well as to develop awareness of the audience preferences and viewing habits. Consequently, it functions as an important purveyor of knowledge providing a solid basis for shaping quality and tailor made products suiting diverse types of end-users — be them standard or vulnerable users.
Anthony Pym: The Moving Text Localization, Translation, and Distribution. Benjamins Translation Library 49 Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 2004, 223 pp. ISBN 902721655X; Sándor Albert: Fordítás és filozófia [Translation and Philosophy]. Budapest: Tinta Könyvkiadó. 2003, 154 pp. ISBN 963 9372 39 0; The translator. Studies in intercultural communication. Special Issue: Screen translation, Guest Editor: Yves Gambier, Volume 9, Number 2, 2003. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing. ISBN 1-900650-71-1; Barbara Kroll (ed.) Exploring the Dynamics of Second Language Writing. Cambridge: CUP. 2003, 342 pp. ISBN 0-521-52983-2;
Recent research on the reception of interlingual subtitling revealed that it is cognitively effective: watching a subtitled film results in a good understanding of the film content, it does not require a significant tradeoff between image processing and text processing, and it leads to a good performance in the recognition of the words and expressions contained in the subtitles. To date, the studies that revealed the effectiveness of subtitle processing have been conducted mono-nationally — e.g. d’Ydewalle and De Bruycker (2007) in Belgium; Wissmath et al. (2009) in Switzerland; Perego et al. (2010, 2015) in Italy; Hinkin et al. (2014) in the US. However, it has not yet been demonstrated empirically whether subtitle effectiveness varies depending on the familiarity of viewers with subtitles. The cross-national study described in this paper aims to fill this gap and appraise the cognitive performance and overall appreciation of a moderately complex subtitled film by viewers with different degrees of familiarity with subtitles, i.e., viewers living in countries (Italy, Spain, Poland and Dutch-speaking Belgium) with different audiovisual translation traditions. The main findings reveal that subtitling is effective irrespective of users’ familiarity with it, although it is not enjoyed equally among the tested populations.