The Linguist

The Linguist 59,2 - April/May 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 9 of 35

10 The Linguist Vol/59 No/2 2020 FEATURES W ith the success of on-demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, audiovisual translation (AVT) is gaining more and more visibility. Big companies that plan to release their shows on a global scale have to pay attention to the quality of the translations and to the working conditions of their translators. However, translating for these big platforms covers only a portion of the AVT market. That market is different today than it was just a few years ago, thanks largely to online streaming. The simultaneous release of a show in different languages and regions requires a well-organised structure that includes the work of translators from the beginning of the process, and this is obtainable only with an adequate budget. In an ideal world, audiovisual translators in both subtitling and dubbing would receive a script in the source language accompanied by reference material, the video footage, time codes and the 'bible', which includes details such as the plots of previous seasons, relevant events that might be referred to in future episodes, and terminology. It is best if the same translator works on an entire show, as this guarantees consistency and limits the time spent researching the bible. Once a translation is sent off, it should ideally be reviewed by several departments before a final version is approved. No mistakes should pass through these multiple checks, especially when dealing with big productions. So how does the reality of the situation compare? Things clearly do not always go according to plan and mistakes can be glaring. A Spanish subtitle for a Game of Thrones character with a Geordie accent went viral because the translator failed to detect the sentence as English, rendering it phonetically instead: 'She can't see us' became 'Sicansíos'. This is not an isolated Could poor working conditions be responsible for audiovisual As some linguists in Italy resort to industrial action, Jessica When subtitles go w VIEWER CONFUSION Audiences faced with nonsensical subtitles may never know what the characters are saying in the original version © SHUTTERSTOCK

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