“I’ll be there, same time, same place!” A decade in translating Hungarian realia into English in audiovisual translation


  • Nora Estelyi-Tala University of Pannonia, Hungary
  • Ildiko Hortobagyi University of Pannonia, Hungary




audiovisual translation, subtitling, realia, domestication, foreignisation


Audiovisual translation (AVT), albeit originated back in the early 20th century, only started gaining in popularity in the past decades, and poses unique challenges compared to traditional translation. Not only does the translator have to face the limitation placed by the time and length constraints and the lip movement of the characters, but beside verbal elements, also non-verbal ones (sounds, music, images, etc.) define the target-language text. This characteristic of movies makes the task of translating realia, or culture-specific notions, rather hard. The translator can - and has to - choose from a wide range of translation methods that can be placed somewhere on a spectrum between two main trends: domestication or foreignisation, opting for either bringing the target language (TL) text closer to the target culture (TC), or preserve it to some extent in the source culture (SC). The goals of the present paper are twofold. On the one hand, it intends to support the validity of a taxonomy adjusted specifically for the translation of realia in AVT in a previous study, which allows the measure of domestication or foreignisation to be expressed in numbers. On the other hand, it provides a case study of a Hungarian film trilogy and its English subtitles with the aim of discovering a shift in trends towards foreignisation over time.

Author Biography

Nora Estelyi-Tala, University of Pannonia, Hungary

Multilingualism Doctoral School