Role Reversal: An Overview of Audiovisual Translation into English




audiovisual translation, streaming platforms, subtitling, dubbing into English


This article depicts the current state of the art of English-language audiovisual translation (AVT) and sheds light on the recent changes impacting media localisation practices, viewing patterns, and viewer agency. The motivations that have catapulted practices like subtitling and dubbing into English on video-on-demand (VOD) platforms are considered, and special emphasis is placed on the move from English-language content to the production and distribution of originals created in a multitude of languages and showcased on streaming platforms with subs and dubs in English. Some of the latest technological advancements are discussed as they have influenced the viewing experience and audience selection of AVT modes, leading to a significant change in viewing patterns and preferences of anglophone viewers. Challenges posed to studying and training in English AVT are identified and the importance of inverting one’s gaze and perceiving English as the target language of translation, rather than the source language, is stressed in this new paradigm. Concrete suggestions are made for potential avenues of research in this flourishing field, which will hopefully contribute to painting a more detailed picture of English AVT.

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Author Biographies

Jorge Díaz-Cintas, University College London, United Kingdom

Professor of Translation Studies.

Lydia Hayes, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

A contracted consultant to localisation company ZOO Digital, for whom she works as the curriculum designer within the educational branch of the company: ZOO Academy. Her work involves in-house course creation and external university liaisons. Lydia is also a lecturer on the MA in Translation at the University of Bristol (UK). Her teaching focuses on subtitling and script adaptation for dubbing, as well as on journalistic and literary translation, and she teaches students predominantly with a Spanish-English language specialisation. Lydia is also a Reviews Collaborator for the Universidad de Córdoba’s (Spain) Translation Studies journal Hikma. Her expertise from doctoral research at UCL lies in Spanish dubbing, English dubbing, Variationist Sociolinguistics, and Phonetics. 


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Magnolio (homenaje al dr. Carlos E. Morán)




How to Cite

Díaz-Cintas, J., & Hayes, L. (2023). Role Reversal: An Overview of Audiovisual Translation into English. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 28(2), 1–18.