Audiovisual translation (and subtitling in particular) is a branch of translation studies, which has been neglected by translatology scholars until very recently. As a result of this marginalization, no subtitler actually knew how exactly the job should be done. This situation has been improving in recent years owing particularly to the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation. Academic research has started in this field and several works concerning audiovisual translation have been published. The aim of this work is to contribute to the exploration of this interesting field of study.
Its first part deals with audiovisual translation as such since this kind of translation is characterized by certain particularities. In case of subtitling it is especially the lack of space and time. The translation is influenced by confined space available for the subtitle text, the time available for and between subtitle exposures, the timing of subtitle insertion and removal and last but not least the display and format of the subtitles. Besides, the subtitler has to take into account the average reading speed of the viewers.
As for the dubbing, its main aim is to seem natural and authentic. The performed translation must match the lip movements of the speaker on the screen as closely as possible, especially when the actor is shown in a close-up. There are usually more people cooperating, one of them making a raw translation and another one rewriting it in order to match it with the lip movements of the person seen on the screen.
All these factors influence the translation and make it very different from a literary translation.
The second part of the thesis deals with a particular film – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. First of all, the translation of the book is examined with emphasis being laid on potential translation problems and their solutions in the Czech translation. In order to be able to treat the translation differences between a film and a book on which it is based, it is also necessary to know the differences between the book and the film themselves. Thus, various kinds of changes (particularly elision which is almost mandatory in all films based on novels) are treated in a separate chapter.
There are two basic aims of the thesis. The first one is to find out what the difference is between the subtitled versions and the dubbed version as far as content and means of expression are concerned and to find out whether it corresponds to the theoretical principles mentioned in the first part of the work.
The second aim is to find out whether the solution to the potential translation problems is the same in the book and in the film and whether the audiovisual translations are inspired by their literary counterpart in cases when the film script and book dialogues are the same.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stoneis an ideal choice for such a study. It is based on a novel, which has become well known all over the world and has been translated into many languages. Moreover, there are many die-hard fans that know the book almost by heart and are capable of noting almost any minor discrepancy in the translation of the film.