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The University of Southampton

LANG3008 Audiovisual Translation

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to the different types of audiovisual translation and the various kinds of subtitles produced nowadays. You will learn about the interaction between text and image and the technical issues and constraints involved in creating both monolingual and interlingual subtitles. The module will cover the linguistic and cultural aspects of subtitling, whilst allowing you to develop hands-on practical skills in subtitling using a professional package. You will work with clips both in English and other languages and carry out tasks such as cuing and spotting, as well translating clips following the limitations imposed by the medium of subtitling.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the different types of audiovisual translation and how different subtitles are needed for different users;
  • the cultural and linguistic issues that need to be considered when subtitling (taboo words, register, dialects, humour etc);
  • the stylistic conventions and technical constraints of subtitling ;
  • how a professional subtitling package works
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critique and evaluate subtitles produced by others;
  • identify problems when required to create your own monolingual and interlingual subtitles for clips ;
  • evaluate and choose appropriate strategies for dealing with subtitling problems;
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • produce work to deadlines;
  • work collaboratively with others;
  • explain and justify your choices both in writing and orally;
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • produce basic monolingual subtitles and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing;
  • produce interlingual subtitles
  • extract the essence of aural texts and compress them in writing;
  • use a professional subtitling package;


This module provides an overview of the different types of audiovisual translation and teaches you how to use a professional subtitling package. Towards the start of the module, you will begin to familiarise yourself with the subtitling software by initially creating monolingual subtitles (i.e. creating subtitles in English of clips in English). This will allow you to learn about the technical constraints of subtitles and help you to develop confidence and speed in dealing with them. You will then move on to creating subtitles for clips in other languages (interlingual subtitles). The module you will also include a consideration of some of the linguistic and cultural issues in subtitling, such as dealing with humour, register, dialect and taboo language which will allow you to identify problems and develop strategies for undertaking your own interlingual subtitles.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods will include tutor-led presentations and demonstrations to introduce you to the different forms of audiovisual translation and the main spatial, temporal and technical issues and constraints involved in creating subtitles. Tutor-led demonstrations will also show you how to use the software. Whole class and small group work will centre on the evaluation and critique of subtitles produced by others and the discussion of strategies for creating new subtitles. As well as using the subtitling software in class, you will expected to work with the software independently to develop your skills and to prepare subtitles of clips for in-class discussion. You will also be required to view subtitled clips in preparation for class discussion and to undertake academic reading relating to subtitling issues.

Completion of assessment task20
Preparation for scheduled sessions46
Wider reading or practice60
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

There are three elements to assessment. The mid-module in-class ‘Timed Technical Assignment’ assesses how you are progressing using the subtitling software. The end of module practical interlingual ‘take away’ subtitling assignment assesses both your practical skills and your ability to work between languages to short deadlines. The related essay, in which you consider the issues raised by the subtitling assignment, assesses your ability to identify problems, consider solutions and justify your choices drawing on research and academic reading.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1200 words) 40%
Practical subtitling assignment 40%
Take-away task 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

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