A New Development in Audiovisual Translation Studies: Focus on Target Audience Perception

John Denton, Debora Ciampi


Audiovisual translation is now a well-established sub-discipline of Translation Studies (TS): a position that it has reached over the last twenty years or so. Italian scholars and professionals in the field have made a substantial contribution to this successful development, a brief overview of which will be given in the first part of this article, inevitably concentrating on dubbing in the Italian context. Special attention will be devoted to the question of target audience perception, an area where researchers in the University of Bologna at Forlì have excelled. The second part of the article applies the methodology followed by the above mentioned researchers in a case study of how Italian end users perceive the dubbed version of the British film The History Boys (2006), which contains a plethora of culture-specific verbal and visual references to the English education system. The aim of the study was to ascertain: a) whether translation/adaptation allows the transmission in this admittedly constrained medium of all the intended culture-bound issues, only too well known to the source audience, and, if so, to what extent, and b) whether the target audience respondents to the e-questionnaire used were aware that they were missing information. The linked, albeit controversial, issue of quality assessment will also be addressed.


audiovisual translation; source audience; target audience; perception; e-questionnaire

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/LEA-1824-484x-12469

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