The difficulties involved in audiovisual translation

The difficulties involved in audiovisual translation
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Audiovisual translation is a specific type of work in which the difficulties involved are not always taken into account. Each sector or discipline has their own rules which influence the way these texts can be translated from one language to another. For example, you can’t attempt to translate a legal document in the same way you would a poem. It is precisely for this reason that audiovisual projects present their own challenges. We’ll explain everything below.

Main problems with this type of translation

What challenges does a translator face when taking on these kinds of projects?

1. Everything that is untranslatable in a language

Slang is language from a specific region, job, or even a small group of people. It includes lots of expressions or sayings, all related to street language. The main problem the translator faces here is finding an equivalent expression in the target language of the audiovisual content. Therefore, they will not only need knowledge of the language at an academic level, but also at a colloquial level.

2. The timings of each phrase

Voiceover actors face a major challenge: adapting their speech to the same rhythm and duration of the original actors in the project that they are recording. This requires, first and foremost, a coherent and well-structured translation. It is not something that can be solved just by adding subtitles, since these also have to flow with the rhythm of the scene in general. So, working with professionals will help you adapt to the rhythm at which the actors speak.

3. Proper names

Don’t just think about the characters in the story, but also about the places or references made. They may talk about an historic event, brand, or business. Translating these words can bring about problems, and any decision could have a major impact on the final result. For this reason, it is highly recommended to get a professional to do it.

4. Maintaining the feeling and dramatic impact of each scene

The best way to illustrate this is through humor. There are comedies where all the weight is on the visual element and the rhythm at which everything occurs. In some cases, humor is hidden through the use of irony, and the tone that people use. All of these are speech inflections that depend on choosing the correct wording in the correct context.

For these reasons, it is evident that these translations need to be carried out by a professional who knows the source language well, alongside the language that they translate into. This is the best way to guarantee retention of the original meaning of the text to be worked on.

Audiovisual translation is a specialization that requires professionals who have a good understanding of how to carry it out. At blarlo we are experts in this area, and we can offer you impeccable work that matches the source. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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