MSiI3.2 (S)

Anno accademico: 2021–2022
Corso: Mediazione linguistica – lingua inglese
Insegnamento: Mediazione scritta in inglese 3.2 (MSdI3.2)– Traduzione audiovisiva: sottotitolaggio S
CFU: 2,25
Docente: Salvatore Mele (


The course will analyse the different aspects involved in providing translation for subtitling purposes, both for trans- and intralinguistic purposes, including the phases of transcription, timing and cueing (“spotting”), translation, adaptation and final revision or proof-reading. A variety of textual/media types will be dealt with, including cinema, news/current affairs and general television programming.


The course aims to familiarise students with the basic tenets underlying translation for the purposes of subtitling. By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • “spot” a visual media sequence, thus providing the temporal constraints within which the subtitled text must be provided;
  • transcribe, or at least be able to check the transcription of, the audio media sequence for subtitling:
  • provide a basic translation of the sequence;
  • analyse and define the types of modifications or adaptations necessary for the final subtitled sequence (including textual condensation, omission, ellipsis, paraphrasing and lexical and syntactical simplification);
  • how to deal with overly complex and/or confused source text
  • undertake adequate post translation revision and final editing of the subtitle-text.

Although the course is language- and direction-specific, the basic underlying features of the translation process for subtitling purposes can also be applied to other languages and directions.


Assessment is subdivided into two distinct parts, both of which are compulsory:

1) Written test – this will be based on the theoretical aspects of subtitling, as presented in de Linde and Kay 1999 and Ivarsson and Carroll 1998 (see bibliography). Students are required to sit for this test, which is worth 20% of the final assessment, during the fourth week of the course.

2) Subtitling project – students are required to submit a subtitling project, based on audiovisual material to be chosen by the course teacher. For the 8- to 10-minute sequence of audiovisual material, students must provide the following:

  • a transcription of the original;
  • a “bridging” translation;
  • a final version for subtitling (including spotting).

This project is worth 80% of the final mark.


Bannon, D. The Elements of Subtitles. A Practical Guide to the Art of Dialogue, Character, Context, Tone and Style in Subtitling. No city:, 2009.

de Linde, Zoé, and Neil Kay. The Semiotics of Subtitling. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, 1999.

Ivarsson, Jan, and Mary Carroll. Subtitling. Simrishamn: TransEdit HB, 1998.

Perego, Elisa. La traduzione audiovisiva. Roma: Carocci, 2005.