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Why Study Audiovisual Translation?

We offer one of the widest MA programmes in Poland for the study of Audiovisual Translation (AVT), which is a growth area for the translation industry. AVT offers many exciting research possibilities in the areas of respeaking and dubbing; video games localization, translation tools training, theatre and translation, and subtitling, to mention but a few.

Unquestionably, one of the most interesting aspects of AVT research is the fact that it complements so many areas associated with Media Studies and popular culture. AVT is seen as occupying a central position in Translation Studies because it exemplifies the broad reach of translation in our globalized world in terms of the link between language and culture. This interlingual and intercultural contact is best exemplified by the dependence of international cinema on subtitling and dubbing. Young graduate researchers of AVT often relish the opportunity to explore how a favourite film is either enhanced by quality subtitling/dubbing, or conversely, greatly compromised by flawed work. Central to AVT is the translator who is tasked with imparting the cultural and social connotations which are embedded in the visual image and text. To this end, the AVT translator has to resort to a number of strategies to find formal equivalents, to include cultural adaptation, which gives rise to the axiom of domestication and foreignization which is one of the principle tenets of Translation Studies.  Aside from textual, cultural and literary analysis which AVT research gives rise to, there is also the question of AVT translators themselves. Often these are unknown figures who do not even take credit for the work they have done. Because of this AVT research increasingly looks to establish both the circumstances around which the translation has been commissioned and the visibility of the translator. In other words, AVT research puts translators in the spotlight! Research always leads to practical insight and many graduates have gone on to pursue a professional interest in Media translation.

It is of course also important to mention the vital services which AVT affords the hard of hearing or the visually impaired, and in this regard great efforts have been taken at national and international level in recent years to ensure that best practices are in place to ensure the highest standards of delivery.

As we hope to have shown in this brief overview, AVT is a fascinating area and offers great variety and flexibility in terms of students’ research interests.