Academic journal article Translation & Interpreting

Relevance of Emotioncy in Dubbing Preference: A Quantitative Inquiry

Academic journal article Translation & Interpreting

Relevance of Emotioncy in Dubbing Preference: A Quantitative Inquiry

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The commercial success of a feature film as the most prominent type of audiovisual product is reliant on the "ability of that film to sweep the audience into the fictional world" (Wilken & Kruger, 2016, p. 256). However, maintaining that success, if any, is challenged when the film goes beyond the borders of the original speech community and is substantially dependent on its translation to facilitate the international audiences to enjoy the film the same as the original audience did. Media enjoyment, according to Wissmath, Weibel, and Groner (2009), is determined "not only by media characteristics, but also by the media user's personality traits and by the domain-specific interest" (p. 118).

There has been a growing body of research addressing the notion of reception in the discipline of audiovisual translation (AVT). These studies have provided a plethora of useful information for both research and practice. Considering the recent findings, "certain assumptions behind current industry norms and strategies need further empirical testing and demand a more systematic study" (Gambier & Ramos Pinto, 2016, p. 187); thus, collecting sufficient information in terms of the viewers' perception and assessment of the strategies utilized in AVT becomes of significance (Gambier & Ramos Pinto, 2016). As asserted by Gambier (2013, p. 51), "what is also needed [in AVT] is more experimental studies on the viewer's processing habits, reading strategies and reception patterns", to offer more real-life applications, such as for practising translators or AVT companies.

Psychology-based studies in the realm of AVT--with a strong focus on subtitling and audio-description--have been conducted since the 1980s. In other words, such investigations have targeted the audience of the products, leading to reception studies (Kruger, 2016). The findings of these studies have offered empirical evidence on how the audiences "respond to the complex semiotic ensemble that they process" during an AVT viewing session (Perego, 2016, p. 157). That being said, the role the subtitles play in comprehension, language acquisition, and language processing has been well documented in the literature thus far (Kruger, 2016, p. 277). Recent research has focused on the effectiveness of subtitling (Perego, Del Missier, Porta, & Mosconi, 2010; Perego, Missier, & Bottiroli, 2015), poorly segmented and synchronized subtitles (Lang, Makisalo, Gowases, & Pietinen, 2013; Perego et al., 2010), engagement, presence or enjoyment (Kruger, Sanfiel, Doherty, & Ibrahim, 2016; Wissmath et al., 2009), among others. It appears, however, that dubbing--the main AVT modality for fiction content in Iran--has been under-researched from a psychological aspect with regard to issues like enjoyment, immersion or emotions.

Dubbing, as the most frequent mode of AVT in Iran, has a long history of over 70 years as all foreign feature films and television series have been dubbed for official national broadcast in Iran. Dubbing is a multifaceted mode of AVT, the success of which mainly depends on several factors such as the appropriate translation of dialogue in addition to synchronization, among others (Chaume, 2007). Thus, it is our hypothesis that due to the nature of the newly emerging concept of emotioncy which refers to a degree of emotion one possesses towards a certain word or concept and deals with sense-related emotions relativizing cognition and perception (Pishghadam, 2016) as well as the fairly long tradition of AVT reception studies from a psychological aspect, the notion can be employed as a criterion for the preference of words used in dubbing. In brief, emotioncy means that our emotion and cognition may change based on the senses from which we receive inputs. With that in mind, controlling numerous intervening variables, the current study aims at investigating the relevance of emotioncy in preference of a certain dubbed animation. …

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