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

Eliana P. C. Franco

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.

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.

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