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Subtitling in Theory and Practice


Admission requirements

This course is open only to students registered for the Translation in Theory and Practice specialization.


We’ve probably all done it at some point: complain about bad subtitles. Sometimes we hear (or see) the joke, but it’s lost in translation. Sometimes it seems the subtitler didn’t understand what was being said, or did not get the relevant cultural reference. While most readers of translated novels, brochures or news texts do not read the translation alongside the source text – they often do not even realize they are reading a translation – viewers reading subtitles always have simultaneous access to the original audiovisual source. And while subtitlers and localizers have to overcome many of the same problems confronting any literary or commercial translator, they also have to navigate a jungle of technical restrictions and formatting instructions. Stray but a little and your translation will fail, to the ruin of all.

The aim of this course is to provide its participants with in-depth knowledge of and advanced skills in subtitling. The course may include a research project on location. Please note that this may involve travel expenses and irregular hours.

Course objectives

  • Ability to analyse and solve theoretical and practical translation problems.

  • Knowledge of current debates in audiovisual translation;

  • Ability to apply one’s knowledge of translation theories in translating audiovisual texts.

  • Skill in translating audiovisual texts from English to Dutch.


The timetable is available on the “MA Linguistics website”:

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • Time spent on attending seminars: 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 20 hours

  • Time for preparing weekly assignments: 40 hours

  • Time to prepare annotated translation project (including reading & research): 192 hours

Assessment method

  • Class participation (including assignments) 40%

  • Annotated translation project 60%


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling. Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Jorge & Remael, Aline. London & New York: Routledge; 2007.

  • Additional reading materials will be made available via Blackboard and the library.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the “coordinator of studies”:
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Student administration Van Eyckhof