Culture Specific Items in Audiovisual Translation: Issues of Synchrony and Cultural Equivalence in the Lithuanian Dub of “Shrek the Third”


  • Loreta Huber Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Airidas Kairys Vilnius University, Lithuania



audiovisual translation, content analysis, culture-specific items, dub localization, synchrony


Audiovisual translation encompasses a number of dissimilar areas. To quote Frederic Valera Chaume, AVT “covers both well-established and new ground-breaking linguistic and semiotic transfers like dubbing, subtitling, surtitling, respeaking, audiosubtitling, voice-over, simultaneous interpreting at film festivals, free-commentary and goblin translation, subtitling for the deaf and the hard of hearing, audiodescription, fansubbing and fandubbing” (2013, p. 105). This paper analyses the importance of culture-specific elements in audiovisual products and strategies of their transfer to the target culture. Practical investigation is based on a case study of an animated film “Shrek the Third” and its Lithuanian dub. The choice for the case study was determined by the fact that the history of dubbing animated movies in independent Lithuania started with “Shrek,” the first Hollywood film dubbed into Lithuanian, which has achieved unprecedented success and become an example for further dub localizations. The aim of the research was to determine the relationship between types of synchrony that should be maintained in dubbing and culture-specific items that should be localized in the target text. The study is complemented with a research survey that questions the importance of different types of synchronies in translation. As there is no consensus about the importance of lip synchrony in dubbing, and some scholars (Doane, 1980; Chaume, 2012) claim that it plays a dominant role in dubbing, whereas others (Herbst, 1994; Jüngst, 2010) declare its overestimation, the survey research attempts to answer this debatable question.