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Subtitling in Theory and Practice


Admission requirements

This course is open only to students registered for the Translation specialization.


We’ve probably all done it at some point: complain about bad subtitles. Sometimes we hear (or see) the joke, but it’s lost in translation. Sometimes it seems the subtitler didn’t understand what was being said, or did not get the relevant cultural reference. While most readers of translated novels, brochures or news texts do not read the translation alongside the source text – they often do not even realize they are reading a translation – viewers reading subtitles always have simultaneous access to the original audiovisual source. And while subtitlers and localizers have to overcome many of the same problems confronting any literary or commercial translator, they also have to navigate a jungle of technical restrictions and formatting instructions. Stray but a little and your translation will fail, to the ruin of all.

The aim of this course is to provide its participants with in-depth knowledge of and advanced skills in subtitling. The course may include a research project on location. Please note that this may involve travel expenses and irregular hours. The seminars will include practical instruction in the Translation Lab. Some of the seminars may be taught by guest lecturers.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge and understanding of key issues and current debates in audiovisual translation (AVT) and subtitling research.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the nature of AVT and subtitling.

  • Ability to analyse and solve theoretical and practical translation problems.

  • Ability to apply one’s knowledge of translation theories to the subtitling of different types of audiovisual texts.

  • Ability to use professional subtitling software.

  • Skill in subtitling audiovisual texts from English to Dutch and Dutch to English.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Independent work on the Translation Lab

Assessment method


3 individual assignments:

  • Subtitling assignment E-D

  • Subtitling assignment D-E

  • Analysis / research assignment


  • Subtitling assignment E-D (30%)

  • Subtitling assignment D-E (30%)

  • Analysis / research assignment (40%)


There will be a resit opportunity for each of the course components. All components have to be at least 6.0. Students can only resit a course component if the mark for the component is a fail.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Course book [most recent version]: Díaz-Cintas, J. & Remael, A. (2020). Subtitling: Concepts and Practices. London & New York: Routledge.

  • A list of additional reading materials will be made available via Brightspace; these materials can be accessed via the library.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies