The digital and electronic media have dramatically changed the way people conduct business and enjoy leisure. For all the global developments in the world of film and television, the moving image remains something that needs to reach those from diverse language backgrounds.
It is a fact that anytime translation enters the motion picture, a negotiation process begins with the interpreter and ends with the spectators. The question then becomes, how do interpreters direct reception? This can either be done using voice over dubbing or subtitling. As the name suggests, voice over dubbing involves replacing the source audio with one in the desired target language. For example, a movie can have multiple dubbed voice overs depending on the target audience. This technique is often used to increase the accessibility of motions pictures to a much wider audience by overcoming the language barrier. The second method is subtitling. This method retains the original audio but continuously displays the translated script as the movie progresses. As with voice over dubbing, a movie can contain several subtitle tracks depending on the target audience. However, subtitling also has the added advantage of allowing movies to be accessible to those with hearing impediments. These elements are now incorporated into all major productions.
A classic example of this is the English voice over dubbing and subtitling of Chinese kung fu movies in the 80’s. This made the genre instantly accessible to the western world and started a global phenomenon that changed the very nature and style of action sequences in movies ever since. This just goes to show that by bridging the divides caused by language barriers, different cultures can have an opportunity to showcase themselves to the world and, through collaboration, advance an industry as a whole.
Another great example of the importance of translators in the multimedia sphere is found in the translation of books. This allows authors to share their stories with audiences on a global scale. Therefore, it is clear to see that the translation of books has contributed to the creation of global phenomenon such as the Twilight Saga, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and so much more. The global success of the books like these has had the ripple effect of creating multi-million dollar movie franchises that would once again require the expertise of language practitioners in order to reach international success.
Interpreters in the modern multimedia landscape are therefore very essential to the sharing of ideas on a global scale as well as a crucial element behind the continued growth of billion dollar industries such as the film and video industry .