Machine translation and post-editing in wildlife documentaries: Challenges and possible solutions

Carla Ortiz-Boix

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This article presents some of the challenges that may have to be overcome in order to introduce Machine Translation (MT) into the process of translating wildlife documentary films. Until now, MT has mainly been applied to general and specialized written texts. However, in the past few years, EU-financed projects have started to work in the field of audiovisual translation with an aim to introducing MT into subtitling. It has already been proven that post-edited machine-translated subtitles can attain the appropriate quality levels. Nevertheless, in the case of documentaries, not only subtitling but also voice-over and off-screen dubbing can be found in countries where subtitling is not the main audiovisual transfer mode. Therefore, similar research in voice-over and off-screen dubbing is deemed to be worthwhile. This article aims to describe the challenges of machine-translating documentary scripts by presenting a preliminary analysis of the translations produced by MT engines. Firstly, an overview of the characteristics of voice-over and off-screen dubbing is provided, as well as a brief review of MT and post-editing in audiovisual translation. Next, the methodology used to carry out the analysis of both a corpus of documentary scripts and a corpus of machine translations of documentary scripts is explained. Finally, before summarizing potential new avenues of research, the challenges that may have to be faced in order to achieve high-quality translations of documentary scripts using MT are pointed out, the results of the analysis are presented, and some possible solutions are suggested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-313
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Audiovisual translation
    • Documentaries
    • Machine translation
    • Off-screen dubbing
    • Post-editing
    • Pre-editing
    • Voice-over


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