The impact of audiovisual translations on today’s society is much greater than you might think. As with books, sometimes we don’t realize that we wouldn’t know the work of our favorite authors if it weren’t for translators.

Consumption patterns of audiovisual content have changed over the years and in the last decade there has been a boom due to technological advances in this field. For this reason, with the aim of acquiring immediacy so that the public does not resort to illegal ways to obtain this content, there are many series and films that come out almost on the same date all over the world, and this thanks to the translation of professionals .

What are audiovisual translations

One of the main characteristics of audiovisual translation is to facilitate understanding of the material without excessively diverting attention from the original content. Logically, when including another source of information, this is not easy, which is why it is essential to use translators specialized in this field.

Exceptionally, in Italy we have witnessed cases outside the norm, such as the television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” in the cheerful 90s. There, cultural references were adapted to the traits or expressions of the target audience, which gave a curious and somewhat shocking result.

Types of audiovisual translation

Audiovisual translation work can be divided into three types: subtitling, dubbing and voiceover.


This typology consists of transferring the message from the original sound to the sentences that appear on the screen, generally in the lower central part of the screen, in the same language or in the target language.

Besides allowing you to listen to the original soundtrack uninterrupted, it is highly recommended for language learning. It is recommended to start with the foreign language voice and subtitles on your own, this way it is easy to follow the plot without losing sight of the images.


The most common type of audiovisual translation in Italy. It presents the content in the language of the audience (in our case Italian) through lip synchronization performed by the dubbing actors based on the script sent by the translators.

Sometimes we blame the low level of English in our country and allude to dubbing as part of the problem, but the truth is that it was a very important means of cultural transmission.


It is a variant that combines part of the two previous types. It involves overlaying the original voice with the voice of the dubbed text, so that the viewer hears both languages ​​at the same time.

It is most common in documentaries or reality TV, although it is also sometimes used in films.

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