This paper analyzes the strategies and challenges involved in the translation of English idioms in a specific domain of broadcast media. Current technology and distribution networks make it possible to watch series from around the world shortly after they are aired in their original language. Although sometimes dubbed, Internet-based TV series are often broadcast with multilingual subtitles. I will focus here specifically on idioms in subtitles translated from English into German, Norwegian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The study considers 10 comedy and drama series screened by media service providers (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Filmin).
The data will be described from a cognitive and contrastive perspective. I follow a methodology drawn from a previous article (Labarta Postigo, 2020). My main aim is to shed light on the strategies used in the translation process and to compare translation outcomes across languages. In terms of contrastive analysis, variants of the same language, such as Latin-American and European Spanish, and Brazilian and European Portuguese, have been considered.
The findings of this study are of potential use in pedagogical applications that develop learners’ cultural awareness and their understanding of figurative language in the foreign languages in question, as well as in the field of audiovisual subtitling translation.