Audiovisual translation’s realm has widened exponentially in the last few years. At first essentially concerned with interlingual film translation, it now comprises a range of sub-fields, from accessibility to the media, to various aspects of localisation. The present issue, ‘Translating Multimodalities,’ guest-edited by Carol O’Sullivan and Caterina Jeffcote, offers contrasting perspectives on this evolving landscape. As Carol O’Sullivan notes in her introduction, multimodal texts and their translations are not a new phenomenon. What has been increasingly visible in the last decade though, is their prevalence as communication takes place globally and often simultaneously through a wide range of channels. For a large proportion of professional texts, from corporate videos to video games, translation involves mediation across different semiotic modes. In many respects, multimodality has nearly become the norm in communication. This multimodality also implies ‘multimodel-ity’ in the ways that we conceive the transfer of texts, as a range of models can be used to rethink translation and mediation. This issue illustrates not only how challenging translation has become, but also highlights its creative and “convivial” nature (to take a term used by Michael Cronin)1.
How do we communicate with, but also beyond words in the commercial, professional, technological and cultural worlds that we live in? As new forms of literacy develop in the 21st century, how does this impact on the practice of translation and on the emergence of transcreation and multilingual communication?
This issue discusses these themes in twelve articles, introduced by Carol O’Sullivan. It also seemed appropriate to include a film both on matters of accessibility and designed to be accessible, which is accompanied by an article discussing the challenges that this involves.
While this is only an open door on to an expanding area, the present articles offer a rich overture to the developing ways with which translation responds to the paradoxes of our “convergence” and divergence contemporary cultures2.