Journal of Research Design and Statistics in Linguistics and Communication Science, Vol 1, No 2 (2014)

Exploring the translation of animated films: quantifying audiences’ perception of characters that speak in different varieties of English, Spanish and Catalan

Laia Darder
Issued Date: 19 Apr 2015


The visibility of language variation in films has become a challenge to translation for dubbing, and the need arises to understand how the process of translating variation can influence the product in significant ways. By carrying out a quantitative study, we answered questions such as whether the practice is acceptable amongst audiences, or whether some language choices alter the perception of certain characters. We measured the perception of ten opposed personality traits amongst native audiences in English, Spanish and Catalan using a Semantic Differential Scale, and assessed the global impression of characters that had been translated with and without the use of varieties. The results show that characters overall are perceived the same way across languages regardless of whether they use varieties in or outside the mainstream, and conclude that this tool can be used to quantify and compare the same characters across languages.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/jrds.v1i2.25251


Agheyisi, R. and Fishman, J. A. (1970) Language attitude studies: A brief survey of methodological approaches. Anthropological Linguistics, 12(5): 137–157.

Al-Hindawe, J. (1996) Considerations when constructing a Semantic Differential Scale. La Trobe working papers in Linguistics, 9. Retrieved on 8 October 2014 from

Baker, M. (2011) In Other Words. A Coursebook on Translation [2nd edition]. London and New York: Routledge.

Baròmetre de la comunicació i la cultura (2011) La dieta cultural dels catalans 2010. Barcelona: Fundació Audiències de la Comunicació i la Cultura. Retrieved on 8 October 2014 from

Bartrina, F. and Espasa, E. (2005) Audiovisual translation. In M. Tennent (ed.) Training for the New Millenium: Pedagogies for Translation and Interpreting. Amsterdam and Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing.

Coupland, N. (2007) Style. Language Variation and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Darder, L. (2012) Style as a translatable dimension of language. Doctoral thesis. Sheffield: University of Sheffield.

Delabastita, D. (1989) Translation and mass communication: Film and TV. Translation as evidence of cultural dynamics. Babel 35(4): 193–218.

Denton, J. (2007) Audience reception of translated audiovisual texts and the problem of visual and verbal shared/unshared knowledge.In G. Massara (ed.) La lingua invisibile. Aspetti teorici e tecnici del doppiaggio in Italia. Roma: Nuova Editrice Universitaria.

Disney Pixar (2006) Cars [DVD] Madrid: Disney Pixar.

Dreamworks Animation (2004) El Espantatiburones [DVD] Glendale: Dreamworks LLC.

Dreamworks Animation (2005) Madagascar [DVD] Glendale: Dreamworks LLC.

Fuentes Luque (2003) An empirical approach to the reception of AV translated humour: A case study of the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup. The Translator, 9(2). Special Issue: Screen Translation, pp. 293–306.

Gambier, Y. (2009) Perception and reception of audiovisual translation: Implications and challenges. In H. C. Omar, H. Haroon and A. A. Ghani (eds) The Sustainability of the Translation Field. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Translators Association.

Gunter, B. (2000) Media Research Methods. Measuring Audiences, Reactions and Impact. London, Thousand Oaks, New Dehli: SAGE Publications.

Likert, R. (1932) A technique for the measurement of attitudes. Archives of Psychology 140: 1–55.

Osgood, C. E., Suci, G. J. and Tannenbaum, P. H. (1957) The Measurement of Meaning. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Palencia Villa, R. M. (1998) Factores de eficacia del doblaje en el cine narrativo. Un estudio desde la recepción. Research dissertation. Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Palencia Villa, R. M. (2002) La influencia del doblaje audiovisual en la percepción de los personajes. Doctoral Thesis. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Prado Pico, E. et al. (1997) El Modelo Acústico de Credibilidad (MAC) de la voz en el marco de la gramática de la expresión fonoestética. Research Dissertation. Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Rodríguez Bravo, A. (1998) La dimensión sonora del lenguaje audiovisual. Barcelona: Editorial Paidós.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy