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Sanderson, John D. (2008). Películas antiguas, subtítulos nuevos. Análisis diacrónico de la traducción audiovisual.

Alicante: Universidad de Alicante, 126 pp. 9 € ISBN  8479089547.

This book is devoted to the diachronic changes in the practice of Audiovisual Translation. According to the editor, the arrival of DVD and other technological alternatives have led to re-translations, which allow us to analyse the development of AVT and the different reception of the same film or TV series in different periods of time. The volume is based on six papers given at the 5thconference on Dubbing and Subtitling celebrated in Alicante in 2006, the last but one of a series of conferences entirely devoted to AVT.

Gottlieb opens the volume focusing on the linguistic influence of English from a sociolinguistic approach. As the author himself points out, the article seeks to find out if the increase of anglicisms in Danish may be caused by the subtitles currently used and compares them with the ones used one or two generations before.

Taking into account the crucial importance of naturalness in AVT and its subjectivity, Romero Fresco develops an empirical methodology that allows him to analyze naturalness avoiding generalisations and subjective statements. The two main goals of this article, based on his enriching PhD essay, are to analyse the naturalness of Spanish dubbed dialogues and to find out if the Spanish dubbing has influenced the scriptwriting of Spanish TV series.

Espasa’s contribution focuses on audience design and draws attention to its importance in AVT for two main reasons: firstly, every translation is adapted bearing in mind the potential audience; secondly, an audiovisual translation is the result of a long process in which many professionals take place and in which every addresser adapts its product to the expectations of the next addressee in the chain, being the final receptor the potential audience. Different situations are illustrated by examples taken from the professional world, ‘minority’ genres such as the documentary, and ‘minority’ languages such as Catalan.

The following paper consists on a descriptive study on the Audiovisual Translation of puns. Martínez Tejerina compares the different solutions offered by the dubbed and subtitled versions of Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933) and touches controversial and interesting phenomena such as humour, AVT or paronimy. This research develops a taxonomy based in the transfer of the effect and the means used to do it, in order to show not only the limitations but also the functionalities of two of the AVT modalities more widely used in Spain. Furthermore, the article does not only mention what is done, but also what can be done.

Botella looks into the translation of intertextuality, a common but complex resource exploited frequently in cinema and TV. The descriptive article shows several examples from well known films and cartoons, and observes if the references intended in the original version were conveyed to the new audience. The goal of this research is to find out what should be conveyed when translating intertexts.

This article is followed by a contribution by Bartrina. The author emphasizes the relevance of cinematographic adaptations as an interesting and thought-provoking research topic in AVT research. Bartrina discusses the adaptation of Schnitzler’s novel Traumnovelle to Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut and its Spanish dubbed and subtitled versions, as well as the repercussions of these adaptations in the publishing business.

In conclusion, Películas antiguas, subtítulos nuevos. Análisis diacrónico de la traducción audiovisual presents a selection of various and well-researched papers that offer us an interesting outlook on AVT and its ever changing features and characteristics. The only problem some readers may find is that it is written in Spanish, so non-Spanish speakers will either have to sharpen their español or hire a colleague to translate the article they are interested in, which would be quite nice in this period of crisis.

Anjana Martínez Tejerina, Transmedia Catalonia.