A comparative analysis of film subtitle translation from English to Chinese - a case study of 15 popular animation films

Jin, Z 2017, A comparative analysis of film subtitle translation from English to Chinese - a case study of 15 popular animation films , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

As film-making has evolved, subtitling has become “a translation practice that consists of presenting a written text, generally on the lower part of the screen”, which seeks to deliver “the original dialogue of the speakers” (Diaz-Cintas and Remael 2007: 8). Subtitle translation in the field of Audiovisual Translation has attracted increasing interest from scholars, who believe that the quality of subtitling is an important criterion when evaluating the quality of a film. Inspired by Even-Zohar’s (1978) polysystem theory and Gottlieb’s (1992) typology, this comparative study focuses on the subtitling of English-language animation films, which represent one of the main foreign film genres introduced to Chinese audiences, in order to identify effective strategies to improve the quality of translated subtitles from the perspective of cultural awareness. I propose three main hypotheses in this research: 1) that the length of a film subtitle translated into Chinese is generally greater than the corresponding original English text; 2) that effective translation is contingent on the use of Chinese idioms and traditional expressions within translated subtitles; 3) that effective translation is contingent on the use of popular expressions within contemporary Chinese culture. The methodologies employed to address these hypotheses are: a self-built parallel corpus (as the main research tool) comprising 15 sets of animation film subtitles; a questionnaire survey; and interviews with relevant AVT practitioners and scholars. The research findings are: 1) the length of a film subtitle translated into Chinese is generally greater than the corresponding original English text; 2) the two discussed types of expression are effectively employed in the data; 3) unnecessary, erroneous or inappropriate uses, among others, were highlighted by the data; 4) the frequency of using popular expressions is higher than for traditional expressions; 5) there is frequent use of the typology strategies of paraphrase, transfer, condensation and transcription, as well as newer strategies of globalization and localization. Keywords: audiovisual translation (AVT), subtitle translation, animation films, traditional expressions, popular expressions

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Translating and Interpreting
Depositing User: Z Jin
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2018 14:34
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2018 01:38
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/43726

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