Subtitling Norms for Television: An exploration focussing on extralinguistic cultural references

John Benjamins Publishing
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In most subtitling countries, those lines at the bottom of the screen are the most read medium of all, for which reason they deserve all the academic attention they can get. This monograph represents a large-scale attempt to provide such attention, by exploring the norms of subtitling for television. It does so by empirically investigating a large corpus of television subtitles from Scandinavia, one of the bastions of subtitling, along with other European data.
The aim of the book is twofold: first, to provide an advanced and comprehensive model for investigating translation problems in the form of Extralinguistic Cultural References (ECRs). Second, to empirically explore current European television subtitling norms, and to look into future developments in this area.
This book will be of interest to anyone interested in gaining access to state-of-the-art tools for translation analysis, or in learning more about the norms of subtitling, based on empirically reliable and current material.
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John Benjamins Publishing
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Published on
Nov 9, 2011
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Translating & Interpreting
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A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year

People speak different languages, and always have. The Ancient Greeks took no notice of anything unless it was said in Greek; the Romans made everyone speak Latin; and in India, people learned their neighbors' languages—as did many ordinary Europeans in times past (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish as well as the classical languages). But today, we all use translation to cope with the diversity of languages. Without translation there would be no world news, not much of a reading list in any subject at college, no repair manuals for cars or planes; we wouldn't even be able to put together flat-pack furniture.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? ranges across the whole of human experience, from foreign films to philosophy, to show why translation is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Among many other things, David Bellos asks: What's the difference between translating unprepared natural speech and translating Madame Bovary? How do you translate a joke? What's the difference between a native tongue and a learned one? Can you translate between any pair of languages, or only between some? What really goes on when world leaders speak at the UN? Can machines ever replace human translators, and if not, why?

But the biggest question Bellos asks is this: How do we ever really know that we've understood what anybody else says—in our own language or in another? Surprising, witty, and written with great joie de vivre, this book is all about how we comprehend other people and shows us how, ultimately, translation is another name for the human condition.

The Global English Style Guide illustrates how much you can do to make written texts more suitable for a global audience. Accompanied by an abundance of clearly explained examples, the Global English guidelines show you how to write documentation that is optimized for non-native speakers of English, translators, and even machine-translation software, as well as for native speakers of English. You'll find dozens of guidelines that you won't find in any other source, along with thorough explanations of why each guideline is useful. Author John Kohl also includes revision strategies, as well as caveats that will help you avoid applying guidelines incorrectly. Focusing primarily on sentence-level stylistic issues, problematic grammatical constructions, and terminology issues, this book addresses the following topics: ways to simplify your writing style and make it consistent; ambiguities that most writers and editors are not aware of, and how to eliminate those ambiguities; how to make your sentence structure more explicit so that your sentences are easier for native and non-native speakers to read and understand; punctuation and capitalization guidelines that improve readability and make translation more efficient; and how language technologies such as controlled-authoring software can facilitate the adoption of Global English as a corporate standard. This text is intended for anyone who uses written English to communicate technical information to a global audience. Technical writers, technical editors, science writers, and training instructors are just a few of the professions for which this book is essential reading. Even if producing technical information is not your primary job function, the Global English guidelines can help you communicate more effectively with colleagues around the world. This book is part of the SAS Press program.
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