Publication Title
Main challenges in the translation of documentaries
Publication Type
Book chapter
Title of edited book
New trends in audiovisual translation
Year of publication


Documentary translation has been given little attention in audiovisual translation studies, probably due to the ‘false belief among researchers that deprived of the artifices of literary language or cinematic invention, documentaries could be nothing but a boring research topic’ (Franco, 1998:235). However, documentary translation is an interesting field, and this is why a few researchers have started to devote studies to the subject (Espasa, 2004; Franco, 1998; Orero, forthcoming). Although the definition of a theoretical framework is essential in any study, the aim of this article is not to present a state of documentary translation within audiovisual translation studies, but to present the main challenges audiovisual translators have to face when dealing with this type of products through real examples obtained from a professional practice in the English-Catalan combination. Hence, a deep theoretical discussion of the topic should not be expected, but a more practical approach. First of all, a short overview of documentary translation will be given, focusing on the characteristics of the genre. Next, the main problems translators have to face will be classified in two categories: working conditions and more specific problems such as terminology, types of speakers and translation modes. Then, a corpus will be analysed and, finally, conclusions regarding documentary translation will be drawn.
Submitted by Anna Matamala on Fri, 19/05/2017 - 15:08