Domestication and foreignization in interlingual subtitling: A systematic review of contemporary research


  • Mariana Yonamine UNSW


Audiovisual translation, subtitling, cultural transfer, translation strategies, domestication, foreignization.


When faced with culturally anchored terms, subtitlers can render the translation closer to the foreign language and culture, adopting a strategy of foreignization, or closer to the domestic audience, thus adhering to a strategy of domestication (Venuti, 1995). The goal of this systematic review, based on the PRISMA framework (Moher et al., 2009) is to identify, via structured and extensive selection of studies, assess and summarize the academic literature on domestication and foreignization in interlingual subtitling. The thematic analysis of comprehensive contemporary literature aimed at understanding concepts, discussions, findings and research gaps, to inform future relevant and constructive contributions to the current body of research. The analysis of 33 studies published in English and Portuguese between 2004 and 2020 examined five themes: overview of studies, orientation towards foreignization or domestication, translation strategies continuums, linguistic features covered in the studies, and reception of subtitles. Limitations of previous studies and under-researched matters are then presented to support future research. Further empirical studies on the reception of interlingual subtitling are recommended to advance the understanding of subtitles as a product, using dedicated methods and technologies to develop objective metrics about their perception and processing by viewers and move the audiovisual translation field forward.