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Chiaro, Delia, Christiane Heiss, and Chiara Bucaria (eds.) (2008). Between Text and Image. Updating research in screen translation.

Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 304 pp. 99.00 € / 149.00 US $   ISBN 978 90 272 1687 8.

Between Text and Image compiles all the contributions on audiovisual translation (AVT) presented at the international conference organised by the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Translation, Languages and Cultures at the University of Bologna at Forlì (Italy) in October 2005.

The main objectives of this conference were first, to establish the state of the art in relation to the research in the screen translation field, the innovative linguistic mediations and the experimental design and, second, more interestingly, to explore the new research horizons in the AVT field.

The book starts with an introduction to AVT by Díaz Cintas which raises the work on AVT since the very beginning of cinema. His presentation summarises the different forms of AVT, the new fields within AVT such as multimedia translation and accessibility, the multimedia nature of audiovisual products, the classic dispute between image and word, and the increasing interest, reasons and technical advances in AVT.    

Gambier also provides material on research topics of AVT, especially on the main research trends, the limitations and objections of its study and the relationship between AVT and Translation Studies, mainly on the definition of concepts. What  is of particular interest in this article is the part dealing with the new and possible challenges for AVT, including digital technology, accessibility and reception, applied research, and training.

The rest of the book is divided into two parts: The first one deals with electronic databases and corpora. Within this topic the book distinguishes between ICT and the linguistic approaches. In the first approach, Valentini presents an ongoing project for the collection and study of data referring to film translation, defining methodological tools for the comparison of original and dubbed versions of Italian and German films through a statistical analysis. Heiss and Soffritti complete the presentation of the same project showing the potential for microstructural analysis when linguistic information is linked with iconic, aural and situational details from video clips. Finally, Matamala and Lorente present the INTCA, an electronic dictionary of interjections in Catalan and English.

The second approach of this part of the book is linguistic. Pavesi writes on the spoken language in film dubbing taking a corpus of American and British films translated into Italian. In her presentation, the author deals with the interaction of target language norms, possible source language interferences, and routines in dubbed language. On another hand, Pedersen analyses of subtitled utterances that contain extralinguistic cultural references in order to obtain a quality assessment in subtitling using examples from the Scandinavian Subtitles project. Finally, Valdeon studies the translation from English into Spanish of modern script-writing excerpts, taking as corpus three British films which have a contemporary texture and an informal linguistic variety. 

The second part of the book tackles reception and quality issues. Once again, this part is divided into three sectionsconsidering empirical, cultural and psycholinguistic, and socio-economic approaches. In the first approach, Antonini analyses the perception and understanding of culture-specific references of dubbed films by average Italian TV viewers. Bucaria also presents a study on audience perception dealing with the influence of source language structures and expression on target language audiovisual texts with Italian examples. On the other hand, Cavaliere shows the results of a study carried out about the importance and extension of the places where people/viewers live in relation to the influence on the perception of culture-bound issues in a fictional context.

Regarding the cultural and psycholinguistic approaches, Bianchi studies the translation of the idiosyncratic slang of a US TV series. The author emphasises the importance of the socio-cultural context in order to understand the translational strategies used. On the other side, Di Giovanni presents the situation of subtitling in Italy, putting a special emphasis on opportunities for training and research in subtitiling. Similarly, Perego focuses on the possible difficulties that film subtitles readers can find because of the arbitrary line-breaks. 

The last section of the book deals with the socio-economic approaches. Here we find the work of Valdés on the localisation of promotional discourse on the Internet. This detailed article focuses on the promotional discourse —also taking into account topics such as the combination of non-verbal and verbal elements —, and the Internet as a medium for promotion and translation.

Chiaro ends with an accurate article on issues of quality in screen translation. The author sets out all the problems gathered since the beginning and suggests potential solutions and instruments to determine quality in ATV.

Paula Igareda, Transmedia Catalonia
paula.igareda@gmail.com