Prof. Gloria Torralba-Miralles / Dr. Betlem Soler-Pardo (Universitat Jaume I, Spain)

The audiovisual translation of cultural references: a tool for language learning

Cultural elements frequently demand a translation which can be seen to constitute an intercultural activity that not only communicates but also preserves the specificities of the source culture. The issue of cultural references, thus, has always been a complex feature in audiovisual translation, especially when the linguistic code interacts with acoustic and visual elements to generate meaning.
In this paper, we shall try to demonstrate that this difficulty can be used with students as a vehicle not only for learning but also to foster curiosity about a foreign language and a foreign culture, as well as  their own language and culture. To illustrate this general argument, we will employ examples of cultural references analysed in an audiovisual translation course: German-Catalan, in which a group of MA Translation Studies students have to translate scenes from the German film Almanya. Wilkommen in Deutschland, as well as sketches from the Catalan sitcom Plats bruts. In our discussion, we will focus on how images help determine the adequacy of specific translation choices,  and forces students to search for linguistic resources as well as to work in a cooperative way in order to share cultural knowledge and reinforce their linguistic abilities.