Studies & Degrees in Audiovisual Translation: Subtitles

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Audiovisual translation has evolved along with the advancement of multimedia technologies. As a matter of fact, digitalization revolutionized audiovisual translation processes, hence the current developments. For instance, the introduction of DVD paved the way for storage of massive data, such as subtitling of up to 32 different languages. The Digital Video Broadcasting also further introduced the possibility of live subtitling. It is no wonder that the 1993 Inaugural Speech of former US President Bill Clinton was simultaneously subtitled. In the same way, the Queen’s Speech upon the death of Princess Diana in Britain provided for live intralingual subtitling.

Audiovisual Translation is described as a branch of translation studies that involve translation of verbal texts into another language or culture. More often than not, these verbal sources are expressed in various multimodal and multimedial forms, thereby conversion efforts may demand changes in format, content, or both. Such translation may also vary according to the communication channel utilized, such as audio-only, visual-only, or audio and visual integration. Furthermore, audiovisual translation may either be intralingual or interlingual. The former implies that the source and target languages are the same while the latter necessitates translation of original language into foreign languages.

Subtitling, a significant facet of audiovisual translation, is the process of making captions out of dialogues in films and television shows. These textual descriptions commonly appear at the bottom portion of the screen. In particular, subtitles are utilized both for interlingual and intralingual ends. Interlingual subtitling is usually employed in movies and television programs while intralingual subtitling may be useful as hearing impairment aid as well as operatic and theatrical guide. The term "closed subtitling" refers specifically to captioning intended for the deaf and hearing impaired. Also, live subtitling made its own trend backed up by Communication Access Real Time Translation Stenography and speech recognition systems.

Given the growing interest in audiovisual translation, the academe provided for relevant academic curricula both in graduate and undergraduate schools. Bachelor’s degree programs consist of Audiovisual Translation, International Communication and Translation, and Audiovisual Translation and Interpretation. Postgraduate studies are also accessible such as Master of Arts in Audiovisual Translation, Master in European Audiovisual Translation, and Doctor of Philosophy in Subtitling. These academic programs are available in colleges and universities such as Star Education Consultants (Ukraine), University of Redmond (United States), and University of Surrey (United Kingdom).

Employment privileges await audiovisual translation subtitling specialists. The vast audiovisual industry along with the booming translation service sector comprise an attractive career niche to interlingual and intralingual translation experts. Some translation service providers are Translation-In Professional Translation Agency, Linguistic Systems, Inc., and Outsourcing Translation Group. Moreover, there are non-governmental organizations providing support to professionals such as the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation. National governments through their many different agencies can also secure job opportunities to eligible text translators. Educational institutions may also offer teaching posts to degree holders who can share their knowledge and skills.