The challenges of producing interlingual subtitles for documentaries aimed at children: Using ‘Willkommen in der Zeitmaschine’ as a case study

Wagner, Alexandra (2016) The challenges of producing interlingual subtitles for documentaries aimed at children: Using ‘Willkommen in der Zeitmaschine’ as a case study. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Interlingual subtitling is a form of audio-visual translation that has existed since the beginning of the 20th century. It has since been used to translate a variety of filmic products, including documentary films. These films address a wide audience, including children. Documentary film translation has only recently begun to gain recognition amongst translation academics, and although translation for children has been substantially researched, little attention has been paid to the production of interlingual subtitles for children, despite evidence which proves that subtitles improve literacy. This may be due to the anticipated problems associated with children’s reading abilities. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to research the challenges involved with producing interlingual subtitles for documentary films aimed at children.
    Both primary and secondary research was undertaken in order to answer this question. Firstly, research was conducted using secondary materials. Secondly, for the primary research, the German documentary film ‘Willkommen in der Zeitmaschine’ was translated to English using subtitles in order to identify the most notable challenges. Findings from this research show that the prominent technical challenges associated with subtitling are the spatial and temporal restrictions, and the diasemic shift. The most prominent difficulties which were identified related to the translation of documentary films for a younger audience are the translation of specific terminology and the type of language used to communicate with children.
    Genre and target audience translation challenges are inevitable in any type of text, however, findings from this study conclude that subtitling, as a mode of transfer, can further influence the translator’s choice of methods used to overcome these obstacles. It is a very restricting type of translation which requires much decision-making and compromise from the translator.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Additional Information: The video file which accompanied this dissertation could not be uploaded.
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 12:46
    Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 14:49

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