Mediating between verbal and visual semiotic elements in the translation of English multimodal texts into Greek

George Damaskinidis

Punctum, 1(2): 22-38, 2015
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2015.0013


The article examines the relation of verbal to visual semiotic elements, and proposes a mediation-based codification for intersemiotic translation. The examination takes place in the context of the growing interest in problematizing the verbal-visual divide in the translation of multimodal texts and the need for a greater awareness of the ways in which differing verbal and visual semiotic elements shape translation. Based on the concept of translation mediation, a verbo-visual mediated approach to translation is proposed, where both the verbal and the visual are potentially considered as translation factors. Translators slide along and across the verbal and the visual axes – and between two ends (or extreme points) – to mediate, thus performing a kind of translation intervention. The sliding will be illustrated by a codification scheme that builds on other similar efforts to create typologies for text-image interactions in multimodal texts, but with a focus on interlingual translation. This approach employs social semiotics and multimodality for the empirical investigation of the translation of multimodal texts. By way of illustration, I provide the Greek translation of an English print advertisement, which is discussed and codified by using degrees of verbo-visual mediation. Overall, this article adresses the interrelatedness of multimodality, semiotics and translation.

KEYWORDS: Image-text interaction; Intersemiotic translation; Multimodal text; Social semiotics; Verbo-visual mediation
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