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Edited by Richard F.E. Sutcliffe, Heinz-Detlev Koch and Annette Mcelligott

The task of language engineering is to develop the technology for building computer systems which can perform useful linguistic tasks such as machine assisted translation, text retrieval, message classification and document summarisation. Such systems often require the use of a parser which can extract specific types of grammatical data from pre-defined classes of input text.
There are many parsers already available for use in language engineering systems. However, many different linguistic formalisms and parsing algorithms are employed. Grammatical coverage varies, as does the nature of the syntactic information extracted. Direct comparison between systems is difficult because each is likely to have been evaluated using different test criteria.
In this volume, eight different parsers are applied to the same task, that of analysing a set of sentences derived from software instruction manuals. Each parser is presented in a separate chapter. Evaluation of performance is carried out using a standard set of criteria with the results being presented in a set of tables which have the same format for each system. Three additional chapters provide further analysis of the results as well as discussing possible approaches to the standardisation of parse tree data. Five parse trees are provided for each system in an appendix, allowing further direct comparison between systems by the reader.
The book will be of interest to students, researchers and practitioners in the areas of computational linguistics, computer science, information retrieval, language engineering, linguistics and machine assisted translation.


Edited by Myriam Salama-Carr

The relationship between translation and conflict is highly relevant in today’s globalised and fragmented world, and this is attracting increased academic interest. This collection of essays was inspired by the first international conference to directly address the translator and interpreter’s involvement in situations of military and ideological conflict, and its representation in fiction. The collection adopts an interdisciplinary approach, and the contributors to the volume bring to bear a variety of perspectives informed by media studies, historiography, literary scholarship and self-reflective interpreting and translation practice. The reader is presented with compelling case studies of the ‘embeddedness’ of translators and interpreters, either on the ground or as portrayed in fiction, and of their roles in mediating, memorizing or rewriting conflict. The theoretical reflection which the essays generate regarding mediation and neutrality, ethical involvement and responsibility, and the implications for translator and interpreter training, will be of interest to researchers in translation, interpreting, media, intercultural and postcolonial studies.

Cultural Transfer through Translation

The Circulation of Enlightened Thought in Europe by Means of Translation


Edited by Stefanie Stockhorst

Given that the dissemination of enlightened thought in Europe was mostly effected through translations, the present collection of essays focuses on how its cultural adaptation took place in various national contexts. For the first time, the theoretical model of ‘cultural transfer’ (Espagne/Werner) is applied to the eighteenth century: The intercultural dynamics of the Enlightenment become manifest in the transformation process between the original and target cultures, be it by way of acculturation, creative enhancement, or misunderstanding. Resulting in shifts of meaning, translations offer a key not just to contemporary translation practice but to the discursive network of the European Enlightenment in general. The case studies united here explore both how translations contributed to the transnational standardisation of certain key concepts, values and texts, and how they reflect national specifications of enlightened discourses. Hence, the volume contributes to Enlightenment studies, at least as much as to historical translation studies.

Media for All

Subtitling for the Deaf, Audio Description, and Sign Language


Edited by Jorge Díaz Cintas, Pilar Orero and Aline Remael

This book, a first in its kind, offers a survey of the present state of affairs in media accessibility research and practice. It focuses on professional practices which are relative newcomers within the field of audiovisual translation and media studies, namely, audio description for the blind and visually impaired, sign language, and subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing for television, DVD, cinema, internet and live performances.
Thanks to the work of lobbying groups and the introduction of legislation in some countries, media accessibility is an area that has recently gained marked visibility in our society. It has begun to appear in university curricula across Europe, and is the topic of numerous specialised conferences.
The target readership of this book is first and foremost the growing number of academics involved in audiovisual translation at universities – researchers, teachers and students – but it is also of interest to the ever-expanding pool of practitioners and translators, who may wish to improve their crafts. The collection also addresses media scholars, members of deaf and blind associations, TV channels, and cinema or theatre managements who have embarked on the task of making their programmes and venues accessible to the visually and hearing impaired.


This volume is of particular relevance to literary and filmic translators, to translation theorists and to anyone with an interest in translation as an art. Throughout the majority of essays in the volume, translation is projected as a complex creative task and not as an exercise in simply re-encoding the meaning of a source text. The received superiority of the original is ultimately questioned here. The customary binary divide between original and translation or copy, and between author and translator is forcefully challenged as cinematic and literary translation is presented as an essentially creative process. Whether highlighting specific author-related problems or whether focusing on the broader issues of the ethics of translation, of cultural transmissibility or of obsolescence, the general thrust of these essays seeks to demonstrate the authorial credentials of the translator. Despite the cogent counter-arguments advanced by a minority of the contributors, the dominant discourse here is one which replaces the stereotypical, virtually anonymous translator with a high-profile, creative figure.


Veronica Bonsignori, Silvia Bruti and Silvia Masi

Greetings, leave-takings and good wishes are usually regarded as variously 'complex' expressions because of the array of socio-pragmatic meanings that are associated with them (cf. Coulmas 1979) and consequently represent an area of potential difficulty in translation. The present work builds on the premises of previous research (Bonsignori, Bruti & Masi 2011) and describes translating trends for greetings and leave-takings in film language and in translation. Relevant issues in translating trends especially concern the asymmetry of 'good forms', the coherence of register across turns and between characters, along with peculiar choices pertaining to idiolect and connoted slang varieties. Leave-takings, in particular, include 'formulae' with different degrees of 'fixity' as well as a vast range of expressions of phatic communion, which are here distinguished into two subsets. The present analysis is based on a corpus of fifteen recent films, where language varies diatopically, diachronically and diastratically. A pilot reference corpus containing five original Italian films is exploited to investigate the phenomena at issue in original (i.e. not translated) Italian film dialogue.


Pablo Romero-Fresco

The present contribution addresses the issue of quality in live subtitling - which has largely been neglected so far - from the point of view of its reception. Drawing on Romero-Fresco (2010), where the comprehension and perception of live subtitles by hearing viewers in the UK was analysed, I will go a step further in this contribution, by including also deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. In this instance, the study tackles not only their comprehension and perception of live subtitles but also their preferences. Insights into deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers' preferences were obtained through the use of a questionnaire disseminated in collaboration with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. The results of this study may help provide a clearer picture of how live respoken subtitles are received in the UK and what aspects may need to be reconsidered or modified.


Nazaret Fresno

One of the most challenging aspects of audiovisual translation (AVT) is to make audiovisual media accessible to all. In achieving this aim, audio description (AD) plays an essential role, and comprehensive research in this area should be carried out. Currently, most AD research focuses largely on relevance, that is, the question that deals with what should be featured in the audio description. However, there are other important aspects still to be covered. This contribution presents a cognitive approach to the AD of fictional characters in films. In order to shed some light on the way in which we understand characters, the results of a simple empirical experiment based on viewers' recall will be presented. Finally, the possibility of applying such a perspective to AD will be discussed.


Maria Freddi

This contribution reports on a research project aimed at identifying frequent phraseology in both original and translated filmic speech. Findings based on the Pavia Corpus of Film Dialogue, a parallel corpus of original British and American film dialogues and their dubbed Italian versions, are presented and discussed with a view to showing how corpus methods can be of use to audiovisual translation (AVT). It is argued that, on the one hand, corpus investigations provide a deeper understanding of film dialogue and the ways in which such dialogue functions. On the other, quantitative information gleaned from observation of translators' recurrent behaviour can help pinpoint linguistic and translational areas that are specific to the genre and, consequently, develop translators' awareness, improve translation quality and thus foster alignment with acceptability standards.


Monika Wozniak

Of all the AVT techniques, voice-over has probably been the least studied and the least valued. This state of affairs can be found in not only western Europe (where voice-over is limited to mostly non-fiction programmes) but also in Poland (where voice-over remains the most widely applied technique of translation for feature films for the television and DVD markets. The aim of this contribution is to re-evaluate some of the existing academic prejudices against voice-over and to highlight its advantages in comparison with subtitling and dubbing, given that voice-over is free of some specific constraints that are present in the other two AVT techniques. The analysis - illustrated by selected examples taken from the TV science-fiction series Star Trek - focuses on the interaction between the key factors in successful voice-over: (1) the acoustic balance between the original film's soundtrack and the text delivered by the reader, (2) the quality and the quantity of translated text and (3) the timbre and intonation of the reader's voice, and (4) the way in which the reader synchronises the reading with the original soundtrack. In the conclusion, the author proposes that the voice-over of feature films could be improved dramatically by transforming it into a 'voice-in-between' technique.