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The Translation of Films, 1900-1950$
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Carol O'Sullivan and Jean-François Cornu

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266434

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266434.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 01 April 2020

‘A splendid innovation, these English titles!’ The invention of subtitling in the USA and the UK

‘A splendid innovation, these English titles!’ The invention of subtitling in the USA and the UK

Chapter:
(p.267) 15 ‘A splendid innovation, these English titles!’ The invention of subtitling in the USA and the UK1
Source:
The Translation of Films, 1900-1950
Author(s):
Carol O’
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266434.003.0015

This chapter offers the first account of the beginning of subtitling in the United Kingdom and in the United States. The release of foreign-language films with superimposed English titles began in both countries in the course of 1931, and became generalised in 1932. The chapter discusses early experiments in titling, including the use of interpolated titles after the fashion of silent films. It also raises a number of methodological problems, including the difficulty of interpretation of press data. This difficulty means that as yet we have only a provisional picture of early subtitling practices in the UK and USA, and for several of these early subtitled versions the nature and extent of the titling is not known. The chapter also discusses the question of survival of the material artefacts of these subtitled versions.

Keywords:   film history, translation history, subtitling, subtitling history, audiovisual translation history

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