Panel 3

Call for Papers

Audiovisual translation has unprecedented currency as a mode of intercultural exchange in the global context, and a huge potential to build bridges across languages and cultures, and to celebrate difference. This potential is still largely unexplored in theory, and perhaps untapped in practice. We know little about the linguistic and cultural representations conveyed and their impact on the public, in particular from a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective, where cultural a-synchrony is a key variable. Target texts are inescapably tied to source text contexts. The intersection of modalities and frames of (linguistic and cultural) reference thus inevitably involved in responding to translated AV text challenges us to broaden our approaches to representation, and to shift our perspectives, not least on the specificities of the medium. As constraints on translation choices, they have fuelled legitimate concerns about 'loss'. There are signs that debates are shifting, however, and making room for views paying heed to the potential of AV modes of translation to transcend their limitations: to produce their own systems of linguistic and pragmatic multi-modal representation and to activate their own modes of textual interpretation, for example.

The panel will take its cue from Gambier and aim to bring together researchers with an interest in AVT, 'not as a constellation of problems, but as a valuable asset addressing the need for multilingual and multicultural communication in the international arena' (Gambier 2008:12), specifically in its capacities to promote, or hinder, intercultural understanding. Possible topics include:

  • representation of particular language practices (e.g. modes of address, the negotiation of conflict or other types of interpersonal relations), and the opportunity they offer to examine more closely cross-cultural but also intercultural issues in different languages or language pairs;
  • linguistic/cultural stereotypes and how they can be created, reinforced or contrasted by AVT;
  • multilingualism and code-switching in films, as a source of insight into representation;
  • comparison of different forms of AVT and the forms of representation they may promote;
  • AVT representations and their implications from a learning/teaching perspective, and for FL learners as learners and ambassadors of other cultures;
  • audience responses to representations.

Gambier Yves (2008). Recent developments and challenges in audiovisual translation research. In Chiaro, D, Heiss C and Bucaria C Between Text and Image: Updating Research in Screen Translation, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 11-33.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a Senior Lecturer in French, Linguistics and Translation Studies at the University of East Anglia. Her research encompasses translation studies - specifically audiovisual translation -, and cross-cultural and interlanguage pragmatics. Forthcoming and recent publications reflect this dual interest and include: 'Film subtitles and the conundrum of linguistic and cultural representation: a methodological blind spot'. In S. Hauser and M. Luginbuehl (eds) Contrastive Media Analysis, Amsterdam: John Benjamins (forthc. 2011); 'Issues of L2 Pragmatic Discrimination from an Interactional Perspective: The Case of mais as a Turn-Initial Device in L2 French". In M. Auger, C. Béal et F. Demougin (eds) Interactions et interculturalité : Variétés des corpus et des approches, Montpellier: Maison des Sciences de l'Homme de Montpellier (forthc. 2011) ; 'Film subtitles from a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective: issues of linguistic and cultural representations' in The Translator (16.1) (2010); 'Interruption in advanced learner French: issues of pragmatic discrimination'. Languages in Contrast 9.1, 98-123 (2009). She was also the guest editor for the Journal of French Language Studies 20.1 Special Issue on Cross-cultural Pragmatics (2010).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Professor of English language and linguistics at the University of Pavia. Her research has addressed several topics in English applied linguistics and has focussed on second language acquisition, the English of science, corpus linguistics and audiovisual translation. In these fields she has published widely both nationally and internationally. For the past few years she has been working on features of spoken language in film dubbing. In this area, she has published a book, La traduzione filmica. Aspetti del parlato doppiato dall'inglese all'italiano [Film translation: Aspects of spoken language dubbed from English into Italian], Rome, 2005, and co-edited the volume Analysing audiovisual dialogue. Linguistic and translational insights, Bologna 2009. In the field of audiovisual translation, she has also authored articles on subtitling and second language acquisition and address shifts in film dubbing. Maria Pavesi is currently the coordinator of the international project "English and Italian audiovisual language: translation and language learning" founded by the Fondazione Alma Mater Ticinensis and comprising the Universities of Pavia, Loughborough and Malta.

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