Centre for Translation Studies


Past Seminars: 2012 - 2013

16 October 2012

Audiovisual Translation and Multilingual Films: A South African Perspective

Dr Zoë Pettit, University of Greenwich, London, UK

South Africa recognises eleven official languages in its Constitution and this multilingual reality is played out and represented through film. Code-switching and code-mixing both feature highly and the particular variety that is South African English offers various challenges and opportunities for the translator. This paper will explore the effects that are created in the original and the extent to which they impact on the French subtitled and dubbed versions. It will analyse the role of multilingualism in the original films, the implications in terms of meaning and how this impacts on the choices that are made with regards to translation. Are the multilingual features present in the original indicated at all in the subtitled and dubbed version? If they are, how is this achieved? If not, what are the possible effects on the subtitled and dubbed versions and by extension, the target viewer? Relevant extracts will be selected to explore these and other questions. Brief film clips will be shown where appropriate to ensure that examples are considered in the audiovisual context.

30 October 2012

From Syllable to Sentence: The Shifting Challenge of Literary Translation

Professor Anthony Briggs, Birmingham University and Visiting Fellow at Bristol University, UK

In Pushkin's poetry a single syllable, or even a  phoneme, can test the translator's sensitivity; a different challenge is presented by Tolstoy's longest sentence, which is 260 words long. Obviously, the translator's values and methods must be applied to different texts with well-oiled flexibility. I hope to cover a wide range of problems in translation, and conduct a short exercise that will show how far we are away from doing the whole thing by computer.

13 November 2012

Access All Areas? Localization and the Textual Problems of Verbal Visual Codes

Dr Carol O'Sullivan, University of Portsmouth, UK

This paper is concerned with the dubbing and subtitling of inserts, and the implications of this for the textual history of film. It has traditionally been considered that while dubbing materially alters the film text by replacing the soundtrack, subtitling allows a more authentic film text to remain under the subtitled overlay. There is an implied notion here of a 'stable' or ideal film text which the present paper seeks to problematize by looking at what happens in translation to inserts, or text in the image.  Drawing on examples from classic cinema to contemporary television, I will be discussing how audiovisual texts have at different times been localized for target audiences, and what the consequences of this have been for the afterlives of film and TV in translation. 

27 November 2012

Translation, Literature and Audiovisual Media: The Case of Censored Musicals in Franco's Spain

Prof. Raquel Merino, Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria, Spain.

A few years ago a group of researchers at the university of the Basque Country set to explore and map out the history of translations in Spain. Along with investigators at the University of León the TRACE (translations censored/translation and censorship) project was launched. Censorship archives allowed TS researchers to have access to an unprecedented wealth of data. Rich contextual as well as textual information related to the way translations were presented to censorship authorities in Franco's Spain not only provided us with empirical data but they also allowed to write an accurate history of translations. In the case of theatre a yet virtually unexplored field is that of musicals.This contribution aims at presenting a threefold view of TRACE: a descriptive methodology from the compilation of catalogues of translations to the selection of representative corpus, a view of the history of censored theatre translations in 20th century Spain and a glimpse into the work of the consolidated research group TRALIMA "translation, literature and audiovisual media" (www.ehu.es/tralima), exemplified by the case study of musicals censored under Franco.

15th January 2013
Medea's Gift: Myth and Translation Dr Karin Littau, University of Essex, UK

Myth is of interest to translation because these age old stories continue to exert a hold over us in how we represent, retell, and crucially also translate. They have colonized the unconscious of cultural production, just as much as patriarchy has. Thus, for instance, when Medea is mentioned, we have a particular image of her: she is our most famous child-killer, a history which has made it virtually impossible (at least after Euripides' version of Medea), to give a girl the name Medea. And, when Medea is translated, the translator too holds a particular image of her: she is a woman and a foreigner, but she is also the dangerous "other" and the demonized stranger. This paper seeks to expose these mythic foundations that make particular versions, especially contradictory ones, possible, but that also offer a model that makes imperative their continual retelling and retranslation.

5 March 2013

CAT Tools: Friend or Foe - The Business Aspects of Using CAT Tools

Ms Lucy Brooks, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, Worthing, UK

Investing in a CAT tool is a big decision. Not only are you investing hard-earned cash, but a considerable amount of time in training yourself to use it efficiently. Of course, the investment pays dividends in greater productivity, but many find it abhorrent that work providers (usually agencies) then insist on benefiting from the translator's investment by paying reduced rates for exact or near matches to an existing translation memory segment. Lucy Brooks examines the commercial and business environment surrounding CAT tools, explains how to make judgements before accepting rates imposed by work providers, and how to negotiate terms. She will clarify the specific terminology used when working with CAT tools and show how to analyse the analysis. She will also discuss ownership of the translation memory, and what different types of clients expect you to supply. Lucy will also touch on how to maximise returns on your investment. Suitable for anyone who has, or is thinking of buying, a CAT tool and would like to know more about the business aspects of their use.

19 March 2013

New Tools for Translators

Professor Philipp Koehn, University of Edinburgh, UK

While there have been significant improvements to machine translation technology, the vast majority of this work is targeted towards bulk translation that is "good enough" or "fit for use". A user on the Internet is satisfied with a rough translation, if it fills her information requirements. Opposed to that is the demand for high quality translations by the marketplace which are still almost exclusively provided by human translators. Productivity of human translators can be increased with computer aided translation (CAT) tools: translation memories are standard in the translation industry, but post-editing machine translation output is only slowly becoming an increasingly used practice. The current integration of machine translation technology into human translators' work processes is often done in an overly simplistic way, with the result that, as it breaks their work practices, it is widely resisted. This talk will present work on the European CASMACAT and MATECAT projects aimed at developing a novel workbench that will increase the productivity of human translators by addressing their needs for the right type of assistance at the right time, by exploitation of statistical modelling of the translation process.

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