Multimodality as challenge and resource for translation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

TranslTranslation is usually thought of as being about the printed word, but in today’s multimodal environment translators must take account of other signifying elements too. Words may interact with still and moving images, diagrams, music, typography or page layout. Multimodal meaning-making is deployed for promotional, political, expressive and informative purposes which must be understood and accounted for by technical translators, literary translators, copywriters, subtitlers, localisers, publishers and other professionals working with language and text.

The original title of the conference from which some of the contributions to this special issue emerged1 borrowed the title Image, Music, Text from Stephen Heath’s 1977 compilation and translation of essays by the semiotician and literary theorist Roland Barthes. It seemed to us as organisers that the various relations between image, music and text would constitute sites where interesting translational challenges and solutions might arise. The contributions which follow demonstrate indeed that this is the case, but also that multimodal challenges and resources for translation constitute a much vaster and richer field than this initial tripartite ‘tag’ would suggest. ation is usually thought of as being about the printed word, but in today’s multimodal environment translators must take account of other signifying elements too. Words may interact with still and moving images, diagrams, music, typography or page layout. Multimodal meaning-making is deployed for promotional, political, expressive and informative purposes which must be understood and accounted for by technical translators, literary translators, copywriters, subtitlers, localisers, publishers and other professionals working with language and text.

The original title of the conference from which some of the contributions to this special issue emerged1 borrowed the title Image, Music, Text from Stephen Heath’s 1977 compilation and translation of essays by the semiotician and literary theorist Roland Barthes. It seemed to us as organisers that the various relations between image, music and text would constitute sites where interesting translational challenges and solutions might arise. The contributions which follow demonstrate indeed that this is the case, but also that multimodal challenges and resources for translation constitute a much vaster and richer field than this initial tripartite ‘tag’ would suggest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-14
Number of pages13
JournalJoSTrans: The Journal of Specialised Translation
Volume20
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • translation
  • multimodality

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