Photo of play

Concurrent Area-Specific Workshops

Fri. Dec. 5, 2014  12-2pm
Conference Center University Hall 7th Floor
RSVP Required Below

These two area-specific workshops aim at providing participants with a more in-depth knowledge of the practices and techniques of sur- and sub-titling. One workshop will concentrate on theatre/opera and the other on film. Starting from materials in English the workshop leaders will incorporate different languages depending on the composition of the audience.

No prior knowledge of titling is required.

Workshop I: “Introduction to Sur-titling for Live Performances” led by Mauro Conti (Prescott Studio)

RSVP for Workshop I by Tues., Dec. 2nd.

Subtitled live performance

The workshop will familiarize students with surtitles for live performances, a form of linguistic mediation that in the past two decades has represented the most innovative area in the field of translation. While based on the century-long tradition of sub-titling for film, sur-titling relies on a specific methodology that involve the practice of rehearsal as dictated by the nature of music and theatre productions as live performances. The workshop will provide some background to the historical and aesthetic aspects of sur-titling, a technique and art born in Canada in 1984 and promptly embraced by the New York theater and opera scene the following year. Participants will analyze a selection of scenes from operas and plays with the goal of addressing the linguistic and musical richness of some authors and the restrictions imposed by the staging. In the process, participants will recognize the presence of limits and understand the role of a compass in the operational decisions connected to sur-titling. The selection may include Verdi, Britten and Shakespeare among the authors and Wilson, Robbins and Kušej among the performers in order to embrace a variety of languages (Italian, Spanish and English).

In preparation for the workshop, participants are encouraged to download the pdf with the Materials for Sur-titles Workshop by Conti

Workshop II: “Introduction to Sub-titling for Film” led by Elena Di Giovanni (Università di Macerata, Italy, and Sub-Ti)

RSVP for Workshop II by Tues., Dec. 2nd. 

Night on Earth with subtitles

This workshop aims to cast light on the process of subtitling for cinema, focusing on all the technical, linguistic and cultural constraints it poses for the translator. During the workshop, examples from several languages will be presented and discussed. Practiced for over 80 years, cinema subtitling has been evolving constantly, with translation being one among the many layers that make up the entire subtitling process. Henri Béhar refers to subtitling as “a form of cultural ventriloquism” (2004): although characters’ voices can be heard, the messages they convey, and the culture/s these messages are embedded in, are relayed through subtitles. Perhaps more conspicuously than other forms of audiovisual translation, subtitling is intended as a functional guidance to the enjoyment of films: it reaches its goal when it is invisible in terms of reception, but clearly visible in terms of legibility. The focus on culture in Béhar’s definition is also interesting: subtitling, as all as translations, bears the burden of relaying cultures through interlingual transfer – with the additional difficulty of being a strongly constrained type of translation.