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Publication Detail
Roundtable: Taking Stock of Recent Advances in Subtitling
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Presentation
  • Authors:
    Bolanos-Garcia-Escribano A, Díaz-Cintas J, Massidda S
  • Date:
    06/11/2018
  • Name of Conference:
    e-Expert Seminar Series: Translation and Languages Teaching
  • Conference place:
    University College London
  • Conference start date:
    06/11/2018
  • Conference finish date:
    06/11/2018
Abstract
The growth in the use of subtitles for audiovisual and multimedia products seems unstoppable. With the advent and democratisation of new technologies, the consumption of audiovisual programmes, websites, video games and multimedia content has increased exponentially over the last few decades. A similar technological revolution as the one induced by the arrival of the DVD and cable TV at the end of the 20th century is now taking place with the development of cloud-based and online systems. The viewing habits of today’s audiences are also changing, favouring the use of online platforms, streaming websites and video on demand sites, such as Amazon Prime, Movistar+, Netflix, Vimeo, Wuaki TV and Youtube, to name but a few. Subtitling has become the preferred translation practice of many providers and even countries traditionally considered “dubbing countries” have also embraced the subtitling revolution. In the same vein, recent advancements in the development of translation-specific software and applications have set the ground for further changes in the ways in which translators translate and localise such texts, with memory tools, automatic speech recognition and machine translation engines making inroads in the field of AVT. From a research perspective, many scholars are nowadays exploiting the use of eye tracking tools and adopting new empirical approaches to question assumptions generally accepted in the profession without much evidence. Also of interest are the developments in accessibility to the media, including SDH (subtitling for the dead and the hard of hearing), which aim for a greater awareness about the importance of accessible audiovisual material for the impaired audiences. All in all, academic research outputs in this field are literally booming, leading to technical innovations, (such as creative/integrated titles and animated captions) and a greater social empowerment. Many avenues, both in terms of research and professional practice, are being opened up. Subtitling workflows are now larger than ever, and subtitlers’ communities and associations seem to be having greater importance in the industry. Many leading stakeholders are also recognising professional subtitlers’ work by acknowledging their authorship, although copyright legislation and working conditions call for further improvement. In this round table, we will address some of the main issues that affect today’s subtitling landscape: What is happening in the subtitling industry? What can subtitlers-to-be expect in a few years’ time? What do they need to know and what skills are necessary to be a “good” subtitler? How can we carry out research on subtitling that is both useful and sound? How will translation technologies affect subtitling as a professional activity?
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