Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 11

Accepted Abstracts

Using Multimodal Texts and Video Editing Software in Educational Contexts to Train Audiovisual Mediators

Pietro Luigi Iaia, University of Salento (Italy)


This paper illustrates a case study held at the University of Salento focused on the adoption of multimodal texts and video editing software to increase translators’ awareness of the influence of ideology (Fairclough 2015), linguacultural background and the cognitive construct of “implied receivers” on language use and reformulation (Neves 2004). Multimodal texts are seen as pedagogic tools that support the development of the alternative process of ‘audiovisual mediation’, describing re-textualizations from a cross-cultural, cognitive-functional perspective to limit the selection of the conventional localization and domestication strategies. The subjects, undergraduate foreign language students, were required to produce an Italian translation for the subtitles of humorous segments from Conan and Late Show with David Letterman, which they embedded in the video files using Aegisub, iMovie and Movie Maker. After examining the original multimodal composition (Kress and van Leeuwen 2006) and culture-bound, derogatory humorous discourse (Zabalbeascoa 1996; Ross 1998), participants decided to address their translations to prevalently male viewers, familiar with American culture. By exploring the cognitive-functional and technical perspectives of the renderings – which may remind one of fansubbing due to their non-canonical font size, temporal and spatial constraints (Massidda 2015) – this study shall exemplify that the project has trained students in the achievement of pragmalinguistic equivalence through audiovisual mediation, detailing the extent to which target versions stem from the interaction between critical analysis of the multimodal composition, personal competence and help from dedicated websites (such as or to infer the source scripts’ semantic and functional “gist” (Seidlhofer 1995).


Audiovisual translation; audiovisual mediation; ICT based language teaching; multimodal composition; fansubbing

Fairclough, N. 2015. Language and Power. London: Routledge.

Kress, G., and van Leeuwen, T. 2006. Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge.

Massidda, S. 2015. Audiovisual Translation in the Digital Age: The Italian Fansubbing Phenomenon. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Neves, J. 2004. “Language Awareness through Training in Subtitling”. In Orero, P. (ed.), Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 127-140.

Ross, A. 1998. The Language of Humour. London: Routledge.

Seidlhofer, B. 1995. Approaches to Summarization: Discourse Analysis and Language Education. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.

Zabalbeascoa, P. 1996. “Translating Jokes for Dubbed Television Situation Comedies”. The Translator 2 (2), pp. 235-257.

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