Norms in AVT

A dual approach to a long-lasting and fundamental notion




audiovisual translation, norm, descriptivism, perscriptivism, dubbing, subtitling, accessibility


The main objective of this article is to review the concept of norm in Audiovisual Translation (AVT), a concept which has been subject to a dual approach when using it, both a descriptive one and a prescriptive one. The review proposed in this article is intended to be twofold: descriptive and critical. A descriptive approach will be the focus in the first two sections of the paper, where the history and evolution of the concept is analysed. A more critical stance is then adopted in the following two sections of the paper. The dual orientation of the concept of norm is highlighted in Section 3. The hypothetical application of norm theory to professional practices for the main modes within AVT has in most cases taken the form of guidelines, the result of a pure prescriptive approach. This discussion is covered in Section 4. The final fifth section summarizes the review, while pointing out the great significance of this fundamental notion within the field of AVT. All in all, the concept has proven to be successful and long-lasting, and it is mainly accepted that norms obtained from empirical research should give rise to guidelines for professional practice in translation.


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Author Biography

José Luis Martí Ferriol, Universitat Jaume I

Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Valencia in 1985, and earned his PhD degree in audiovisual translation at the Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain) in 2006. Since 2007, José Luis is a full-time researcher and lecturer at the Universitat Jaume I, where he teaches audiovisual, scientific and medical translation. His main research field of interest is audiovisual translation and has been involved in the development of software tools both to automate translation conventions for dubbing and to make subtitle reading speed calculations. He has published the books Cine independiente y Traducción (Tirant Lo Blach, 2010) and El método de traducción: doblaje y subtitulación frente a frente (Publicacions de la Universitat Jaume I, 2013), as well as several articles in domestic and international magazines.





How to Cite

Martí Ferriol, J. L. (2020). Norms in AVT: A dual approach to a long-lasting and fundamental notion. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 3(1), 72–86.



Research articles