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Multilingual titling

The term multilingual titling defines, in the field of titling for the performing arts (musical theatre, drama, audiovisual productions), the chance for the audience to follow more than one linguistic option.

In the audiovisual field, multilingual titling was made possible by the introduction of DVD (1996) in which an integrated data-base gives access to several language channels dedicated to titling.
In the live performing arts, multilingual options (with possibility of individual choice) were introduced in 1998 at Santa Fe Opera by mean of custom individual displays set mainly on the back of the seats, as in airplanes.
The introduction, at the end of the 1900s, of Web 2.0 and of the new mobile device technologies caused deep changes also in this field.
In Europe, in 2011, a significant innovation was provided by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theatre in Florence, which started the testing of a new multilingual transmission system for mobile consumer devices, that can be integrated to monolingual surtitles.
In the same year, another multilingual software for mobile consumer devices was developed, as an alternative to the use of subtitles in cinemas and, the following year (2012), a new head-mounted display system (multimedia glasses) was introduced, serving the same function.
In 2011-2012, the Royal Opera House Muscat carried out the most advanced multilingual custom display system to date, interactive and integrated to surtitles screened on a central LED panel.

The simultaneous presentation of two languages is quite unusual within the more traditional surtitling system, which is used in most cases with monolingual function.

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  • RACAMIER, M., Une vision d'ensemble du surtitrage d'opéra: vers la reconnaissance d'une nouvelle pratique de traduction?, Université de Toulouse II Le Mirail - University of Genua, Mémoire de deuxième année de Master Professionnel en Traduction et Interprétation «Proscenio»: Traduction tecnique, multimédia et arts de la scène, headmaster Margherita Orsino, co-headmaster Micaela Rossi, academic year 2011-2012
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