Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies

Insights into the language of dubbing: naturalness and spontaneity vs. standardisation and artificiality


  • 4.30pm-6.00pm, Thursday 15 February 2018
  • Physics Building, Lecture Theatre B, University of Leicester
  • Contact: Dr Anna Milsom
  • Speaker: Dr Rocío Baños-Piñero (University College London)

About the event

One of the main challenges of dubbing is to create dialogues that, being embedded in a foreign audiovisual framework of multiple signifying codes, sound spontaneous and natural in the target language. These translated dialogues must also comply with synchrony constraints and fit naturally in the lips of the actors on screen.

As with non-translated fictional productions, the credibility and verisimilitude of dialogues is one of the main criteria used to ascertain whether a dubbed production meets quality standards. The language of dubbing is often criticised for being artificial and unnatural, sometimes as a result of the standardisation to which dubbed dialogues are subject, as well as to the constrained nature of this audiovisual translation mode. Nevertheless, dubbing professionals also strive to implement natural and spontaneous-sounding features that mirror colloquial conversation.

The purpose of this talk is to discuss the prefabricated nature of audiovisual dialogue, both dubbed and original, and provide an overview of the main trends and conventions that shape the language of dubbing. This will be done drawing on the results of research carried out by the author and other scholars in this field.


Rocío Baños-Piñero is Senior Lecturer in Translation at the Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS) at University College London, where she teaches Audiovisual Translation and Translation Technology. She holds a PhD from the University of Granada, focused on spoken Spanish in dubbed and domestic situation comedies. Her main research interests lie in the fields of Audiovisual Translation, Translation Technology and Translation Training.

Dr Baños-Piñero has published various articles in these areas. She has also co-edited a special issue of the journal Perspectives: Studies in Translatology on Corpus Linguistics and Audiovisual Translation and, more recently, a monograph entitled Audiovisual Translation in a Global Context. Her latest research focuses on ‘lesser forms’ of audiovisual translation, in particular on the voice-over translation of reality TV. She has also taken part in research projects concerning the use of Audiovisual Translation in foreign language learning.

Back to top