Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (2023)

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need to Know

When watching a TV series, have you ever thought about how the dialogue is translated into another language? Dubbing and subtitling are probably the first things that immediately come to mind. There's good reason, as watching dubbed or subtitled films is the norm in many countries. Yet these are just two approaches that make up the incredibly vast field of audiovisual translation.

More videos are being produced than ever before. As such, there is increasing demand foraudiovisual translationto keep up with this rapid growth in content. But what components make up this specialised branch of translation? And what future developments lie ahead for translated audiovisual content?

Our comprehensive audiovisual translation guide provides the inside line on everything you need to know...

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (1)

First of all, what is audiovisual content?

Audiovisual works and products are all around us. These include:

  • films
  • television shows
  • marketing videos
  • eLearning content
  • plays
  • advertisements
  • websites
  • mobile communications
  • video games

Why is audiovisual content so important?

Studies show that people respond much better to audio and video than text.

The human brain processes images six to 600 times faster than text, while 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Audiovisual content primarily concerns video, which has experienced a boom in the past decade, especially online.

By 2022, 82% of internet traffic will be video content. Looking at YouTube alone,30,000 hours of footageare uploaded onto the platform every hour.

With more video content comes the need for more audiovisual translation.

What is audiovisual translation?

Audiovisual translation is the process of transferring verbal components of audio or video footage from one language into an other.

It is also known as multimedia translation.

In the vast majority of cases, audiovisual translation is interlingual, involving a source and target language. This means translating content from one language into another.

(Video) 3 methods of audio-visual translation | Need-to-know

An example of intralingual translation, i.e. translating content within one language, would be rewriting complex text or speech inplain language.

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (2)

What methods are there for translating audiovisual works and products?

Dubbing and subtitling have previously been mentioned, but there is more to audiovisual translation than meets the eye.

Approaches to audiovisual translation vary according to the type of content. These are known as themodes of translation.

What are the modes of audiovisual translation?

Dubbing

Dubbing is a popular option for translating films in a number of European countries (see figure below).

The process involves adding a new voice track to a production in another language.

Dubbing requires a dialogue writer to make sure the translation sounds natural in the target language.Voice artists then read out the new script.

During recording, the dialogue writer is on hand to check whether the translation is matching the on-screen actors' lip movements.

Finally, the dubbing track needs to be mixed with the original soundtrack and mastered.

The dubbing process isexpensive, which is why it is largely limited to feature film production.

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (3)

Subtitles

Another widely used mode of audiovisual translation is subtitling.

Subtitling shows a target language version of the original dialogue at the bottom of the screen. Written text in the production (such as newspaper headlines) is also translated and shown in the subtitles.

Subtitling allows the audience to hear the original dialogue. If the audience has some knowledge of the source language though, there can sometimes be frustration at the subtitle translator's interpretation of the original dialogue.

(Video) Introduction to Audiovisual Translation

Subtitles can also be created automatically using speech-to-text technology.

Surtitles

This technique is commonly used for translating and transcribing lyrics or dialogue from opera and theatre productions.

Surtitles are typically projected above the stage during the performance. If audience members are unfamiliar with the language or have hearing impairments, surtitles may help them follow the show more easily.

Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH)

SDH is for people who have trouble following the dialogue in a film or TV show.

This type of subtitling helps the viewers "see" the sounds by providing additional information.

This includes:

  • Sound effects:ringing phones, animal noises, weather, etc.
  • Speaker identification: symbols or names identifying speakers
  • Music: lyrics, mood, and musical identifiers for the soundtrack

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (4)

Voice over

Voice over involves broadcasting the original soundtrack and the translation simultaneously.

At the start of the production, only the original soundtrack can be heard. When the dialogue begins, the volume ofthe original is then lowered so the audience can hear the translation.

This mode of audiovisual translation creates a realistic effect, making it a popular choice for documentaries, news, and interviews.

In addition, voice over is a considerably less expensive alternative to dubbing and subtitling.

Overlaid voices

With overlaid voices, the viewer can hear a small snippet of the speaker talking in the original language before and after the translation comes in.

When the narrator providing the translation is speaking, the volume of the original audio is lowered.

Overlaid voices can be used to introduce the viewer to a different culture or the theme of the program.

(Video) What is Happening in the Audiovisual Translation Industry?

That's why this mode of translation is particularly popular for documentaries, news items, and reality shows.

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (5)

Audio description

The audio description is a narration spoken during quieter moments in a film or TV show.

The audio description provides additional information that would otherwise not be clear from the dialogue.

This often includes descriptions of the location, characters' facial expressions or the type of scene.

This mode of translation is important for ensuring audiovisual content is accessible for the visually impaired.

Localization

Localization involves translating and adapting all elements of audiovisual content for a target market.

The aim of audiovisual localization is to provide consumers in the target market with a cultural narrative and context.

In the original version of Pixar's Inside Out, Riley's father is feeding her broccoli, while the localized version for Japan shows her eating green peppers, which are much more common in the country.

Why should we care about audiovisual translation?

People want to be able to understand the content they're watching or listening to.

For example, disabled people often encounter accessibility barriers if a production doesn't have subtitles or an audio description.

Another hurdle is language. While English is often regarded as a lingua franca, only 17% of world's population can speak it.Even so, a mere 5% of YouTube channels post content in multiple languages including English.

When looking at English alone, this means most channels are missing out on expanding their potential viewership.

The same logic applies to all languages. 67% of videos are posted in languages other than English, many of which could benefit from being translated into widely-spoken languages such as English, Spanish or Chinese.

(Video) Audiovisual Translation for the Entertainment Industry with memoQ

With the above in mind, audiovisual translation also plays a vital role for businesses.

Audiovisual Translation: Everything You Need To Know (6)

Why is audiovisual translation important for businesses?

Translated audiovisual content can help businesses tap into new markets and gain an edge over competitors.

According to the CSA's "Can't Read, Won't Buy" report, 72% of consumers will only purchase products sold in their preferred language.

The business world is already embracing video, with 4 out of 5 companies using this medium as part of their marketing strategy.

However, the majority of this content remains untranslated.

Why isn't more video content being translated?

Costs are a primary factor.

Dubbing requires specialist staff at each production stage, making it an expensive process.

Subtitles are a more cost-efficient option, but don't always achieve the desired results in terms of quality.

Time is another important consideration, with tight production deadlines often making translation unviable.

How can we translate more video content?

Translation with voice over is generally the best way to save time and money.

As opposed to dubbing, overlaid voices also retain the charm from the original production.

Further costs can be saved when using the right tools.

Which tools work best for translating video content in a cost-effective way?

Frazier, VIDEO TO VOICE's Production Suite, helps to save costs on several fronts:

(Video) Audio Visual Translation – What Is It About? (Case Study)

  • neural machine translation technology converts the transcript of the audio into the target language
  • natural-sounding synthetic voices read out the translation after post-editing
  • the audio file is automatically mixed and mastered in post-production to the required broadcasting standards

Frazier uses the latest AI-based technologies to ensure the highest quality standards are maintained.

Summary - what have we learnt?

There are a number of different approaches towards translating audiovisual content and making it accessible. Even so, due to time and costs, nowhere near enough video content is being translated. While dubbing works well for larger-scale productions, voice over is a more appropriate option for smaller budgets. To lower costs further, it only makes sense to take advantage of AI-based technologies such as those available on Frazier.

FAQs

What is audiovisual translation? ›

Audiovisual translation (AVT) refers to the transfer from one language to another of the verbal components contained in audiovisual works and products. Because audiovisual materials are meant to be seen and heard simultaneously, their translation is different from translating print.

What are the types of audiovisual translation? ›

We can distinguish between three main types of audiovisual translation: dubbing, subtitles, and voice-over, although there are other popular techniques, such as simultaneous interpreting of live events.

What is the importance of audiovisual translation? ›

The text is not only transcribed from one language to another, but descriptions are also added so that viewers can be aware of what's happening in addition to the dialogue. Theatres have been using it for a long time so that all audiences can enjoy their shows.

When did audiovisual translation start? ›

The study of AVT as an independent field, however, has not started until approximately fifty years after the first film was released, with the first subtitling and dubbing activities tracing back respectively to the 1920s and the 1930s (Franco and Orero 2005; Orrego-Carmona 2013; Perego and Bruti 2015).

What is narration in audiovisual translation? ›

The next type of revoicing is narration which is defined as a technique of audiovisual translation which does not con- centrate on the lip movements of the original text and is not aimed at recovering the source text completely but strives for more faithful translation of the source text ap- proximately in the ...

What are the three stages in the process of translation? ›

Translation of an mRNA molecule by the ribosome occurs in three stages: initiation, elongation, and termination.

What is half dubbing? ›

Partial dubbing

Also known as "half-dubbing" or "concise synchronisation", consists of adding a prerecorded spoken text to the original soundtrack. While not being a full translation, it provides the necessary information in the target language.

What are the concepts of translation? ›

Translation is a mental activity in which a meaning of given linguistic discourse is rendered from one language to another. It is the act of transferring the linguistic entities from one language in to their equivalents in to another language.

What is accuracy in translation? ›

The Certificate of Accuracy verifies that the translation is true, accurate, complete and correct and that the translation was performed to the best of the translator's ability. Some agencies require certificates of translation accuracy be notarized.

What is back translation? ›

Back translation, also called reverse translation, is the process of re-translating content from the target language back to its source language in literal terms.

What is adaptation translation? ›

I define adaptation as a type of translation which involves a number of changes to be made so that the target text produced be in harmony with the spirit of the source text. These changes are of various types. They are: deletion, addition, explanation, illustration and exemplification.

What is the main goal of technical translation? ›

In other words, the technical translator's objective is to translate to and from English, with the English message being the main focus.

Is audiovisual translation putting the concept of translation up against the ropes? ›

The imposing reality of audiovisual translation has long challenged the concept of equivalence and has put this notion against the ropes almost from the very first moments of its creation.

What is subtitling in translation? ›

Subtitling is the process of translating spoken dialogue into written text on the screen. It is a type of audiovisual translation, with its own set of rules and guidelines.

What are the types of media translation? ›

Media Translations
  • Books.
  • Press Releases.
  • Digital Content.
  • Multimedia Presentations.
  • Customer Letters and Invoice.
  • Brochures and Other Marketing Materials.
  • Full Press Kits.
  • News Articles.

What is Intersemiotic translation? ›

What is Intersemiotic Translation? The act of translating from one language to another involves a political, culturally embedded process that can impact both the originating and the receiving culture. In literary translation, a text is translated into another text using purely verbal means.

What is multimodal translation? ›

Multimodal Machine Translation is the task of translating text using information in other modalities (such as images) as auxiliary cues. It has been recently framed as a shared task as part of the last two editions of the Conference on Machine Translation (WMT16, WMT17) (Specia et al., 2016; Elliott et al., 2017).

What is functional translation? ›

A translation that achieves the intended purpose may be called 'functional', which means that a text (in this case, a translation) 'works' for its receivers in a particular communicative situation, i.e., in the way the sender wants it to work.

What is equivalence in translation? ›

When a word or phrase means exactly the same thing in both languages, we call that an equivalence, and it's understandably one of the first things professional translators look for. This requires a deep understanding of both cultures, not just the language.

What is functional or communicative translation? ›

Communicative Translation: Communicative translation attempts to render the exact contextual meaning of the original in such a way that both content and language are readily acceptable and comprehensible to the reader.

What poses the greatest problem of translation? ›

Common Challenges of Translation
  • Check Out Smartling's Complete Guide to Translation Services. Comments. ...
  • Translating Language Structure. ...
  • Translating Idioms and Expressions. ...
  • Translating Compound Words. ...
  • Missing Names In Translation. ...
  • Two-Word Verbs. ...
  • Multiple Meanings In Translation. ...
  • Translating Sarcasm.

What happens to RNA after translation? ›

Once mRNAs enter the cytoplasm, they are translated, stored for later translation, or degraded. mRNAs that are initially translated may later be temporarily translationally repressed. All mRNAs are ultimately degraded at a defined rate.

Is DNA involved in translation? ›

Translation is the process that takes the information passed from DNA as messenger RNA and turns it into a series of amino acids bound together with peptide bonds.

What do dubbing artists earn? ›

Average Annual Salary by Experience

Voice Over Artist salary in India with less than 1 year of experience to 11 years ranges from ₹ 0.8 Lakhs to ₹ 7.6 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 3.5 Lakhs based on 62 salaries.

Is dubbing the same as voiceover? ›

Voice-over refers to the spoken text in audiovisual media, whereas dubbing mainly consists of recording new voices for an audiovisual product in post-production and post-release in a different language, and substituting them for the original voices.

How do you start voice acting? ›

How to become a voice actor
  1. Work on your craft. There are two types of voice acting training, both of which can level up your skills: taking acting classes and hiring a voice coach. ...
  2. Define your voice. ...
  3. Record a demo reel. ...
  4. Audition consistently. ...
  5. Practice every day. ...
  6. Network in your industry.
21 Mar 2022

What are the 4 basic concepts of translation? ›

Outlining of some of his statements will be enough to get his point of view on trans- lation process: 1) the translation must convey the source words, 2) the translation must convey the source ideas, 3) the translation must be read like the original, 4) the translation must be read like a translation, etc.

What are the 3 types of translation? ›

The three main kinds of translation are Human Translation, Machine Translation and Post-Edited Machine Translation.

What are the five types of equivalence? ›

In qualitative there are five types of equivalence; Referential or Denotative, Connotative, Text-Normative, Pragmatic or Dynamic and Textual Equivalence.…

What is naturalness in translation? ›

Based on the Larson's criteria of the naturalness of translation, the naturalness translation is written in ordinary language, common grammar, and using the proper idioms and words. Besides, a natural translation is also should have an equivalent meaning between the TL and SL.

How can I make my translation accurate? ›

How to get an accurate translation?
  1. Make sure your translator has the in-depth, specialised subject knowledge you need. ...
  2. Look for a well-organized team or company of translators. ...
  3. Step 3: To err is human, to check divine. ...
  4. Find a translation vendor with a DTP team who can handle any file type.

What two elements are important for an ideal translation? ›

Here are the two elements that are important for an ideal translation:
  • Accuracy. Well, accuracy refers to how correctly words are translated; in other words, something that is free from errors or mistakes. ...
  • Readability. Readability refers to how easy it is for the reader to read the content.
18 Jan 2022

What is parallel translation? ›

A parallel text translation corpus is a large and structured set of translated texts between two languages. Machine translation algorithms are often trained using parallel corpora created by human translators in order to achieve high-quality output.

What is forward translation? ›

When we talk about translation, we refer basically to forward translation – the transfer of a written text from one language (source language) to another (target language); it is an attempt to convey the message that was written in one language into another without changing the original meaning and intention.

How many techniques are there in translation? ›

In general, we recognize two main types of translation techniques: direct translation techniques and oblique translation techniques. Direct translation techniques can be used when the elements of the text being translated are similar in both the source and target languages.

What is modulation in translation? ›

Modulation in translation refers to the technique of shaping or regulating the words of the source text in such a manner that the resulting target text conforms to the natural patterns of the target language.

What are the steps of doing translation work? ›

The translation process in 6 steps
  • Analysis of the text. ...
  • Research and translation. ...
  • Comparison between original and translation. ...
  • Proofreading. ...
  • Review by another professional. ...
  • DTP: Desktop Publishing or Formatting.
23 Oct 2020

What are the technical translation materials? ›

What are some common technical document translation materials?
  • Articles (scientific, medical, engineering, or technical journals)
  • Computer product spec sheets.
  • Patents.
  • User manuals/online help.
10 Mar 2016

What problems is the theory of technical translation concerned with? ›

The number of technical fields is infinitely large, and terminology is expanding and changing daily. There are some particular problems in the translation process of technical terms : problems of ambiguity, lack of knowledge of technical terms.

How do I become a subtitler? ›

The qualifications to get a freelance subtitling job vary depending on the type of work you do. If you are subtitling only in English, you may only need a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate. To translate movies from one language to another, you need to have demonstrated fluency in a second language.

Which is better subtitling and dubbing? ›

The majority of users who prefer dubbing over subtitles are usually the viewers where the “ease of viewing” is a priority. Dubbing allows users to be able to sit back and relax, whereas subtitles usually require viewers to pay full attention to the film at all times or else they'll miss out on important information.

What are the qualities required to be a successful interpreter? ›

5 Characteristics of a Qualified Professional Interpreter
  • LANGUAGE SKILLS. Most people don't realize the extent to which knowledge and vocabulary an interpreter needs in his/her native language. ...
  • LISTENING AND RECALL. ...
  • ETHICAL BEHAVIOR. ...
  • CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE. ...
  • SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE.
17 Apr 2018

What do you mean by multimedia translation? ›

Multimedia translation, also sometimes referred to as Audiovisual translation, is a specialized branch of translation which deals with the transfer of multimodal and multimedial texts into another language and/or culture.

What are the types of media translation? ›

Media Translations
  • Books.
  • Press Releases.
  • Digital Content.
  • Multimedia Presentations.
  • Customer Letters and Invoice.
  • Brochures and Other Marketing Materials.
  • Full Press Kits.
  • News Articles.

What is semantic translation example? ›

An example of semantic translation is the conversion of XML data from one data model to a second data model using formal ontologies for each system such as the Web Ontology Language (OWL).

What is Intersemiotic translation? ›

What is Intersemiotic Translation? The act of translating from one language to another involves a political, culturally embedded process that can impact both the originating and the receiving culture. In literary translation, a text is translated into another text using purely verbal means.

What are the concepts of translation? ›

Translation is a mental activity in which a meaning of given linguistic discourse is rendered from one language to another. It is the act of transferring the linguistic entities from one language in to their equivalents in to another language.

What is the main goal of technical translation? ›

In other words, the technical translator's objective is to translate to and from English, with the English message being the main focus.

What is accuracy in translation? ›

The Certificate of Accuracy verifies that the translation is true, accurate, complete and correct and that the translation was performed to the best of the translator's ability. Some agencies require certificates of translation accuracy be notarized.

What are the 3 types of translation? ›

The three main kinds of translation are Human Translation, Machine Translation and Post-Edited Machine Translation.

What are the 8 types of translation? ›

8 Different types of translation services
  • Literary translation. In the literary translation, neither omissions, nor additions, nor changes are allowed. ...
  • Informative translation. ...
  • Interpreting. ...
  • Written translation. ...
  • Consecutive interpreting. ...
  • Simultaneous interpreting. ...
  • Traditional translation. ...
  • Machine translation.

What are the two main approaches to translation? ›

He called these two approaches semantic translation and communicative translation respectively.

What is Dynamic translation? ›

(architecture) A virtual machine implementation approach, used to speed up execution of byte-code programs. To execute a program unit such as a method or a function, the virtual machine compiles its bytecodes into (hardware) machine code.

What is Intralingual Interlingual and Intersemiotic? ›

intralingual translation – translation within the same language, which can involve rewording or paraphrase; 2. interlingual translation – translation from one language to another, and 3. intersemiotic translation – translation of the verbal sign by a non-verbal sign, for example music or image.

What are the 3 types of translation according to Roman Jakobson? ›

Jakobson classified translations into three possible types: intralingual, interlingual, and intersemiotic.

What is an example of semiotics? ›

Common examples of semiotics include traffic signs, emojis, and emoticons used in electronic communication, and logos and brands used by international corporations to sell us things—"brand loyalty," they call it.

Videos

1. Audiovisual Translation with Professor Jorge Díaz-Cintas: Class 1
(Літня школа перекладу)
2. An Introduction to Audiovisual Translation featuring Jorge Díaz Cintas
(ProZcom)
3. SPECIALISED: AUDIOVISUAL TRANSLATION (Freelance Subtitler)
(Freelanceverse - Adrian Probst)
4. Introduction to Audiovisual Translation
(eCPD Webinars)
5. Audiovisual Translation - subtitling
(Dr. Ahmad Khuddro)
6. Introduction to Audiovisual Translation: Types, History / Theoretical and practical Perspectives
(Alyx Lyana)
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