Call for Proposals —Role Reversal: Audiovisual Translation into English


Guest editors
Jorge Díaz-Cintas (University College London)
Lydia Hayes (University College London & University of Bristol)

In the privileged position of de facto lingua franca worldwide, English has been either the source or pivot language of innumerable translations over the past century, especially insofar as audiovisual texts are concerned. With the arrival of the talkies, the film industry began to be dominated by Hollywood, giving rise to postproduction industries around the globe dedicated to the localisation of imported English-language content. Whereas in countries where English is not a native language these English-language originals were and continue to be mainstreamed on TV channels and in cinema theatres, in the Anglosphere, non-English-language, or ‘foreign’, content was traditionally reserved for art-house cinemas until recent times. The surge of subscription video-on-demand (SVoDs) platforms—such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO—has witnessed a balancing act whereby ‘foreign’ content is now mainstreamed alongside English-language originals. This shift in the distribution paradigm has generated more need for the localisation into English of audiovisual content, which has brought about a growth in the English-subtitling industry as well as the emergence of a burgeoning English-dubbing industry in the US, UK, mainland Europe, and India (Hayes, 2021).

English dubs have received significant media attention in recent years (Bylykbashi, 2019; Newbould, 2019), with Netflix acknowledged as trailblazing in the effort, though this mode in English localisation is not a novelty proper. Indeed, dubbing has long been the AVT mode by convention for localising cartoons and some ads (Chaume, 2012) as well as video games into English. Furthermore, before foreign-language live action was ‘sidestreamed’ to art-house cinemas and the English-subtitling industry consolidated, the early decades of sound film often opted for dubbed versions when importing Westerns (Sanderson, 2020), Kung Fu (Magnan-Park, 2018) and European films (O’Brien, 2019; Mereu Keating, 2021) into the Anglosphere.

Alternative forms of dubbing, such as in video-game localisation, and of subtitling, such as surtitles, have been normatively practised and yet lack in industry or academic research. Furthermore, beyond the two dominant modes of AVT—subtitling and dubbing—voiceover has often been used for translating non-fiction into English, such as for foreign news reports, documentaries, as well as in the arguably pseudo-non-fiction genre of reality TV.

Bearing in mind these traditions and the developments in the English-language localisation industry hitherto outlined, we invite authors to invert the Anglocentric lens through which English is the source language, and offer insight into AVT theory and practices for English as target language.

Suggested topics

Areas of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Subtitling into English
  • English subtitles for the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH)
  • Subtitling into English via respeaking
  • Dubbing into English
  • Voiceover into English
  • Audio description (AD) in English
  • Video game localisation into English
  • Fansubbing and fandubbing into English
  • English as a pivot language in audiovisual translation
  • Theatre or opera: surtitling, AD, SDH
  • Reception or perception studies involving Anglophone participants
  • Ideological manipulation in audiovisual translation
  • Exophonic translation into English


Bylykbashi, K. (2019). “The big business of dubbing”. TBI Vision, 4 April. 

Chaume, F. (2012). Audiovisual Translation: Dubbing. Manchester: St Jerome. Hayes, L. 2021. “Netflix disrupting dubbing: English dubs and British accents”. Journal  of  Audiovisual Translation, 4(1): 1-26.

Hayes, L. (2021). “Netflix disrupting dubbing: English dubs and British accents”. Journal of  Audiovisual Translation, 4(1): 1-26.

Magnan-Park, A. H. J. (2018). “Dubbese fu: The kung fu wave and the aesthetics of imperfect lip synchronization”. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 12(3): 219-236.

Mereu Keating, C. (2021). “‘The usual hubbub of accents’: Italian films, transnational distribution  and the reception of English-language dubbing in Britain (1950s-60s)”. Textus. English Studies in Italy, 34(1): 255-276.

Newbould, C. (2019). “Dubbed content is on the rise thanks to streaming services such as Netflix: “localisation” is bringing international streaming content to a global audience”. The National, 20 August.

O’Brien, C. (2019). “Dubbing in the early 1930s: An improbable policy”. In C. O’Sullivan and J-F. Cornu (eds) The Translation of Films 1900–1950. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sanderson, J. (2020). “El sociolecto del western en España”. Paper given at the 9th Dubbing and Subtitling Conference: The Audiovisual Sociolect. Alicante: Universidad de Alicante. 


Proposals should:

  • Not exceed 400 words including keywords and references.
  • Include the title, author(s) names, institution and email.
  • Be written in Spanish or English.
  • Fit within one of the categories of articles published by the journal: empirical and case studies, methodological and theoretical articles and literature reviews.
  • If a research study (empirical or case study), make sure to include: a statement of the problem, research questions, a description of the setting (city and country, type of institution, level of instruction), the participants, the method (type of study, data collected, analysis), details about the intervention, if any, (type of intervention, purpose, length, etc.), and main findings and implications.
  • Include five key words.
  • Include references.
  • Be accurate, coherent and concise, and reflect the paper’s content.
  • Detail the main argument and findings of the paper in clear and unambiguous terms and explain why a person should read it.


Please send all proposals to the journal’s email, with the heading: Role Reversal: Audiovisual Translation into English.

The proposals will be initially assessed, based on their innovation, applicability, clarity, correctness, originality, and their appropriateness and alignment with the topic of the special issue. Authors of proposals that meet the criteria will be invited to submit full manuscripts of between 8,000 and 8,500 words, including abstract ​​and references, through the journal platform. These will then go through a peer review process. Only manuscripts that successfully undergo the review process will be published. Quality of the submission as well as reviewers’ comments are decisive factors on acceptance for publication.

Important dates for this special issue:

Papers accepted for publication must comply with all journal publication guidelines, which can be consulted at:

15 July 2021

Deadline for submission of abstracts

2 August 2021

Contributors notified of acceptance of abstracts

28 February 2022

Submission of paper

March – June 2022

Peer-review of paper

July – October 2022

Authors' corrections and second peer review, if applicable

Nov. 2022 – April 2023

Copyediting and layout

May 2023