“In translation studies, this term is generally used to refer to the written version of an oral text, for example the screen dialogue in audiovisual translation or the output in an interpreting scenario” (Mundy, 2009)
As an audiovisual documentary, Clandestinaspresented a set of challenges to the translating process that I had not experienced before. The first step was transcription.Transcribing was a laborious process of pressing play, then pause,then writing, then repeat. It also involved listening to single phrases multiple times in order to catch what was said. It was an exhausting mental exercise, and the longest stage of the whole process. On YouTube, there was an option to enable Spanish subtitles on the documentary, but this was just as frequently a hindrance as it was a help. They were possibly machine generated,and definitely inaccurate at times. While transcribing, I was not only writing down what the speakers were saying, but also identifying problems that would crop up in when translating. Some of the translation problems proposed by Christiane Nord (Buffery, 2018) became apparent at this stage of the process. Firstly, there were pragmatic problems – cultural references that were difficult to identify aurally, such as place names (Villa Mercedes) and brand names (Evatest). In terms of the proper names of the participants and the place names they mentioned, making full use of the source was important. I got the correct spelling of the interviewees’ names and place names by reading the credits and description of the video, not just by listening. Secondly, interlingual problems arose since I was not familiar with the Argentinian accent, and it was difficult to identify separate words, or even entire words, due to the accent. Also the fact that it is a dialogue means the speakers make false starts, hesitate, and sometimes use ‘filler’ words that have no fixed meaning, for example, “o sea”, “este” and “no” – these are used the way we say “you know,”, “like” “umm“ etc. in English. In the transcription, I chose to keep these filler words in in order to say as true to the original spoken Spanish as possible, and carry across the oral nature of the source.