Translating documentaries: From Neanderthals to the Supernanny

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This article analyses the main features of documentary translation using a corpus of 20 documentaries translated by the author from English into Catalan over a two-year period (2006–07). After a short review of the literature on documentary translation, the main characteristics of this type of translation in terms of topics, speakers and transfer modes are described. Special emphasis is put on language register transfer in non-fictional programmes, taking into account mode, field and tenor. Finally, further challenges such as the translation of proper nouns, comprehension problems or mistranscriptions are presented. © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Audiovisual translation
  • Documentaries
  • Language variation
  • Terminology
  • Voice-over


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