chapter  18
Sociolinguistics and linguistic variation in audiovisual translation
ByWai-Ping Yau
Pages 15

This chapter examines audiovisual translation from the perspective of sociolinguistics, with an emphasis on linguistic variation, i.e. the ways in which language is used differently in different places by different people in different situations. It analyzes the issues arising from the growing awareness of the importance and implications of the different forms of language that are used in different social contexts. Problems of translating dialect, slang, taboo expressions, and different levels of formality have been much researched, with special attention given to medium-specific and other constraints facing the audiovisual translator. In addition to medium-specific constraints, the audiovisual translator also works under the constraint of censorship concerning the use of slang and taboo expressions. Dubbing or subtitling dialect presents particular problems. This subtitling practice suggests a form of code-switching that provides a way of creating identities and exploring alternatives to diglossia. The genre of humour provides a fascinating site for the study of audiovisual translation from a sociolinguistic perspective.