Voiced-over television documentaries: Terminological and conceptual issues for their research

Eliana P. C. Franco

Abstract

As a relatively new field of research, audiovisual translation still lacks conceptual and terminological consistency, especially when the object of study is factual output and its modes of transfer. Based on an empirical investigation of voice-over translations of television documentaries, the article gives a brief illustration of the commonest terminological and conceptual difficulties faced by the researcher, identifies some of their causes, and goes on to suggest some of the deplorable consequences for research. It is argued, above all, that research on audiovisual translation still has a lot to develop as far as television informative content is concerned.

Keywords
Table of contents

Anyone embarking on a study of the translation of so-called nonfictional television programmes such as news, documentaries and talk shows will first face the basic difficulty of defining the very object of study. What the existing literature reveals is an ambiguous, and hence rather confusing discourse on terminology and conceptual issues related to the modes of transfer applied to factual material within the television medium.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.

[ p. 302 ]References

Baker, Mona with Kirsten Malmkjær
eds. 1998Routledge encyclopedia of Translation Studies. London-New York: Routledge.   Crossref logoGoogle Scholar
Baranitch, Vladimir
1995 “General situation with electronic media in Belarus”. Gambier 1995:308–311.Google Scholar
Chatman, Seymour
1978Story and discourse narrative: Structure in fiction and film. Ithaca-London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Crone, John
1998 “The role and nature of translation in international broadcasting: An Asian-Pacific viewpoint”. Gambier 1998:87–96.Google Scholar
Dries, Josephine
1995Dubbing and subtitling: Guidelines for production and distribution. Düsseldorf: The European Institute for the Media.Google Scholar
Fairclough, Norman
1995Media discourse. London-New York: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
Franco, Eliana P.C.
2000Revoicing the alien in documentaries: Cultural agency, norms and the translation of audiovisual reality. Leuven: KUL. [Unpublished PhD Thesis.]Google Scholar
Gambier, Yves.
ed. 1995Communication audiovisuelle et transferts linguistiques / Audiovisual communication and language transfers: Proceedings of the international forum—Strasbourg 1995. Sint-Amandsberg: FIT. [= Translatio XIV: 3–4]Google Scholar
Gambier, Yves
1996 “La traduction audiovisuelle un genre nouveau?”. Gambier 1996a:7–12. Crossref logoGoogle Scholar
ed. 1996aLes Transferts linguistiques dans les médias audiovisuels. Villeneuve d’Ascq (Nord): Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.Google Scholar
ed. 1997Language transfer and audiovisual communication: A bibliography. Turku: Unipaps.Google Scholar
Gambier, Yves.
ed. 1998Translating for the media: Papers from the international conference—Berlin 1996. Turku: Centre for Translation and Interpreting.Google Scholar
Gambier, Yves and Eija Suomela-Salmi
1994 “Subtitling: A type of transfer”. Federico Eguíluz, Raquel Merino, Vickie Olsen, Eterio Pajares and José Miguel Santamaría, eds. Transvases culturales: Literatura, Cine, Traducción: Proceedings of the symposium. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Universidad del Pais Vasco 1994 243–252.Google Scholar
Genette, Gérard
1980Narrative discourse: An essay in method, tr.Jane E. Lewin. Ithaca-New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Kaufmann, Francine
1995 “Formation à la traduction et à l’interprétation pour les médias audiovisuels”. Gambier 1995:431–442.Google Scholar
Kozloff, Sarah
1988Invisible storytellers: Voice-over narration in American fiction film. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Kurz, Ingrid and Eliane Bros-Brann
1996 “L’interprétation en direct pour la télévision”. Gambier 1996a:207–216.Google Scholar
Kurz, Ingrid and Franz Pöchhacker
1995 “Quality in TV interpreting”. Gambier 1995: 350–358.Google Scholar
Laine, Marsa
1996 “Le commentaire comme mode de traduction”. Gambier 1996a:197–205.Google Scholar
Lambert, José
1989 “La traduction, les langues et la communication de masse”. Target 1:2. 215–237.   Crossref logoGoogle Scholar
Luyken, Georg-Michael, with Thomas Herbst, Jo Langham-Brown, Helen Reid and Herman Spinhof
1991Overcoming language barriers in television: Dubbing and subtitling for the European audience. Manchester: The European Institute for the Media.Google Scholar
[ p. 303 ]
Mailhac, Jean-Pierre
1998 “Optimising the linguistic transfer in the case of commercial videos”. Gambier 1998:207–223.Google Scholar
Mona, Tiziana
1995 “Les choix et l’impact politico-culturels de la traduction simultanée d’émissions de télévision en Suisse”. Gambier 1995:329–336.Google Scholar
Ochs, Elinor
1997 “Narrative”. Teun Van Dijk, ed. Discourse as structure and process. Discourse studies: A multidisciplinary introduction, vol. 1. London-Thousand Oaks-New Delhi: Sage 1997 185–207.   Crossref logoGoogle Scholar
Pöchhacker, Franz
1994 “Simultaneous interpretation: ‘Cultural transfer’ or ‘voice-over text’?”. Mary Snell-Hornby, Franz Pöchhacker and Klaus Kaindl, eds. Translation Studies: An interdiscipline, vol. 2. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins 1994 169–178.   Crossref logoGoogle Scholar
Pönniö, Kaarina
1995 “Voice-over, narration et commentaire”. Gambier 1995:303–307.Google Scholar
Remael, Aline
1995–1996 “From the BBC’s Voices from the island to the BRTN’s De President van Robbeneiland: A case study in TV translation”. Linguistica Antverpiensia XXIX-XXX. 107–128.Google Scholar
Robyns, Clem
1993 “The internationalization of social and cultural values: On the homogenization and localization strategies of The reader’s digest”. Jana Králová and Zuzana Jettmarová, eds. Selected papers from the 8th international conference on translation and interpreting—Prague 1992. Prague: Faculty of Arts, Charles University 1993 83–91. [Folia Translatologica 2]Google Scholar
Russo, Mariachiara
1995 “Media interpreting: Variables and strategies”. Gambier 1995: 343–349.Google Scholar
Slembrouck, Stef
1992 “The Parliamentary Hansard ‘Verbatim’ Report: The written construction of spoken discourse”. Language and literature 1:2. 101–119. Crossref logoGoogle Scholar
Stam, Robert and Robert Burgoyne and Sandy Flitterman-Lewis
1992New vocabularies in film semiotics: Structuralism, post-structuralism, and beyond. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Taylor, Christopher
1992 “La traduzione dello ‘speakeraggio’ di un film documentario”. Rivista Internazionale sulla Tecnica della Traduzione 0. 87–90.Google Scholar
Toury, Gideon
1995Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins.   Crossref logoGoogle Scholar

Personal correspondence

Gambier, Yves
September 1998 Private Tutorial. CETRA Research Seminar.Google Scholar
Mailhac, Jean-Pierre
7 December 1998 E-mail.Google Scholar
Pönniö, Kaarina
12 August 1998 Fax.Google Scholar
[ p. 304 ]