The Pedagogy of Subtitling

The following article outlines the basic skills involved in subtilting, simple available tools and proposals in terms of pedagogy.  It was published by the The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

In Europe, hundreds of programmes are now available 24 hours a day through cable or satellite and DVDs make it possible to watch a film in any number of languages. In Europe, the US and in developing countries, subtitling is increasingly used to improve language proficiency or to encourage young children to read (KOOLSTRA: 1993). Subtitling also allows the hard of hearing to have access to information and culture, and helps ethnic minorities foster their own culture and language.

Consequently, subtitling can no longer be regarded as a minor form of translation, and today a large number of higher education institutes or universities are setting up courses in subtitling.

Based on twenty years of experience both as a practitioner and academic, this paper discusses pedagogical and technical challenges with regard to subtitling. It is a reflection on some of the basic skills involved in subtitling, on the tools that can be used or developed for teaching and, broadly speaking, on pedagogy.