Image in the control room at a theater.

The Italian Translation Project

“[It is] an unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world… that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.” (Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence)

Since 2011, the Italian Program and the Inserra Chair have worked in synergy to place emphasis on the pivotal role of translation – and audiovisual translation and accessibility in particular – in the study of Italian language and culture. The activities they have focused on have ranged from curriculum development to talks and symposia, international agreements with universities, collaborations with private agencies, festivals, and individual artists, as well as internships both locally and abroad. Many of the pre-professional opportunities offering unique real-world experience to our students are supported by external grants and endowment funds. The list below includes details about these activities as illustrated by videos, articles, catalogs, etc.

Audiovisual translation is growing at an incredible pace and we are preparing our students in very concrete ways to enter this exciting field. In the New York metropolitan area, the field of translation as a whole – and the Italian-English pairing in particular – is vibrant and growing as Italian continues to play a pivotal role in the creative and cultural industries and in business in general.


Throughout their BA experience, students of Italian are learning the theories, methods and techniques (and the pleasure!) of translation. Special emphasis is placed on the competence needed to make Italian performances and audiovisual materials (films, videos) accessible to English-speaking audiences. Students hone their linguistic and cultural competencies, use appropriate software, and polish their skills in time management, teamwork and communication as they engage directly with experts in the field.

Courses in Translation in the Italian Program include (see catalog for more details):

– New Courses:

-ITAL 351 Translation for Tourism and Cultural Promotion
-ITAL 450 Audiovisual Translation
-ITAL 460 Capstone Course in Audiovisual Translation
The creation of ITAL 460 was funded by a grant of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and in close collaboration with the Inserra Chair)

– Adapted courses (incorporation of translation projects and general approach to translingualism):

-ITAL 277 Topics in Italian Cinema and Introduction to Subtitling
-ITAL 321 Introduction to Italian Business and Commercial Translation
-ITAL 340 Reading, Writing, Translating Early Modern Italy
-ITAL 341 Reading, Writing, Translating Modern and Contemporary Italy

– Pre-existing course:

-ITAL 350 Introduction to Translating


Summer Internship in Macerata

Summer Internship in Florence (2016)

InScena Internship (Spring 2016)

  • 2016 Surtitling Internship for Student of Italian at the InScena Italian Theater Festival

Grants for Projects and Curriculum Development

  • Teresa Fiore and Marisa Trubiano receive an Italian government grant for curriculum development in the field of Translation (Fall 2017)
  • Sur-Titling project receives a mini-grant from the Italian Government (Summer 2016) (see flyers and brochures)

International agreements

An international agreement with the Translation Program at the University of Macerata has been signed in 2017 to foster international student internships (see internships above) as well as parallel teaching activities involving student and faculty mobility.

Special Projects and Partnerships

A long-term partner is one of the top surtitling agencies in Europe, Prescott Studio, based in Florence, which opened up collaborations with top venues in Italy such as Il Piccolo Teatro di Milano, l’Opera di Firenze, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Il Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the Teatro Bellini (Catania), Teatro della Pergola (Firenze), l’Arena di Verona, among others.

Translating Voices Across Continents 2016-2017

  • Montclair State Expands Titling Collaboration with Prescott Studio (Spring 2016)

Translating Voices Across Continents 2015-2016

Lectures/Symposia/Professional Development:

In-Class Talks:

Student projects

Translation of articles for online newspapers and magazines

Our students have provided articles, videos and translations for the most-read USA-based Italian online newspaper, La Voce di New York, gaining invaluable experience that will ultimately enrich their resumes.

Student Publications

Student Marta Russoniello translates in English the note to the 1996 edition of The Age of Malaise (L’età del malessere) by Dacia Maraini as her project for the course. Her translation has been included and published in Beloved Writing. Fifty Years of Engagement. Writing Like Breathing I. A Homage to Dacia Maraini