Locating universal features of translation behaviour through multimedia translation studies

Margherita Ulrych

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Translation is attracting increasing interest as its central role in crosscultural communication becomes ever more apparent in our rapidly evolving world. Since contemporary media in its manifold expressions not only reflect but also direct transcultural contacts and exchanges, it is not surprising that multimedia translation is a major area of study today. The two areas of multimedia translation research which are proving most productive from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view reflect the two principal senses in which the term "multimedia" is currently being used: film translation, in the semiotic sense of conveying meaning via a number of semiotic systems, and computer-based corpora studies, in the technical sense of exploiting the facilities offered by information technology. A theoretical point of contact between the two areas of study is the search for universal features of translation behaviour based on the observation and description of translation-specific phenomena. As a contribution to the current debate on whether a general theory of translation is possible, necessary or even advisable, the present paper suggests that it is an essential frame of reference for the development of the discipline and for the integration of descriptive and applied aspects. One pathway towards establishing a comprehensive translation theory is to ascertain the specificity of translation as a form of crosscultural communication by identifying universal features of translation behaviour that transcend language-specific problems issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLa traduzione multimediale. Quale traduzione per quale testo?
EditorsRosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, Christine Heiss, Marcello Soffritti, Silvia Bernardini
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Multimedia translation
  • Teoria della traduzione
  • Traduzione
  • Traduzione multimediale
  • Translation
  • Translation Theory
  • Translation universals
  • Universali traduttivi


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