chapter  2
History of audiovisual translation
ByCarol O’Sullivan, Jean-François Cornu
Pages 16

This chapter begins with the translated intertitles and film explainers of the silent era. It looks at the transition to sound, at the short-lived multilingual versions and then at the development of subtitling and dubbing. The chapter deals with the question of translation into English and the cultural position of the 'foreign film'. Histories of the foreign film are marked by the challenges of distributing dubbed or subtitled films in English-language markets. Changing the spoken language of the film was achieved through two main strategies: the ill-fated multilinguals and the much more enduring dubbing process. The translation of silent film is one of the biggest gaps in audiovisual translation research. The chapter also outlines the current issues and new debates in film translation history, touching on a couple of significant methodological contributions in this area. Prior to recording, the translation of dialogue was also a delicate stage of the dubbing process.