An Analysis of English-Chinese Subtitle Translating Strategies: Taking Gossip Girl as an Example

Topics: Translation, Metaphrase, Literal translation Pages: 14 (4365 words) Published: April 28, 2012
An Analysis of English-Chinese Subtitle Translating Strategies: Taking Gossip Girl as an Example Ⅰ. Introduction
A. An overview of the study
Subtitle translation studies began with the development of film industry, high technology and globalization. From a tentative start involving somewhat superficial contributions to audiovisual translation in the late 1950s and the early 1960s, followed by a couple of decades of relative lethargy in the 1970s and 1980s, people have entered a period of vigorous activity, dating back to the early 1990s and pointing to a very promising future in the new millennium. The research has taken place in this field in western countries (particularly in Europe). Compared with the studies in the West, the Chinese scholars, however, have attached much less importance to the studies of this field. A glance at Journal of Chinese Translator, the most prestigious journal in the field of translation studies in China, will be sufficient to show an amazing scarcity of research done in this area. As far as it could cover, there were four articles on audiovisual translation in the Journal of Chinese Translator. Zhang Chunbai, whose article on audiovisual translation was published as early as 1998, gave a brief account of the characteristics of audiovisual works, instantaneousness and popularity. Qian Shaochang, an experienced subtitler, conducted a practical research in this regard entitled “Audiovisual Translation: An important Area in the Field of Translation Studies” (Qian 61). The greatest contribution of Qian's research lies in that he described five characteristics of film language: listening, comprehensiveness, instantaneousness, popularity and no notes. In 2001, one article entitled “Strategies for Translating Subtitles” (Li 38) written by Li Yunxing came out. In Li’s article he analyzed the features of subtitling in terms of time-space constraints, informative function and cultural factors and then put forward corresponding strategies for translation with concrete examples for illustration. In 2002 Zhao Chunmei, editor of the International Department of CCTV, had her article published: “Translation into Chinese of Film Scripts and Scripts of TV Drama Series-Four Main Conflicting Demands”(Zhao 32). According to Zhao, the translation of film scripts and scripts of TV series for the purpose of dubbing in Chinese must meet some special requirements. Based on these special requirements, the author analyzed the four main conflicting demands facing a translator in the process of translation: length vs. content, word order vs. picture order, naturalization vs. alienation and transliteration vs. semantic translation and suggested ways of resolving these conflicts. However, frankly speaking, all these articles on the research of audiovisual translation have not produced very satisfactory results due to the lack of any adequate approach in general or in particular. In recent years some scholars have begun to explore audiovisual translation from different approaches or within different theoretical foundations. B. The significance of the study

Compared with studies in the West, especially in Europe, studies on subtitling is at the fledgling phase in China and most of the studies are summaries of practical translation experiences with few theoretical supports. Many researches have been left untouched or lightly touched in this field, which deserves more of our exploration and discussion. Therefore it raises the necessity for the present in-depth studies. C. The objective of the study

Since there are many issues have been left untouched or lightly touched in this field, it is very necessary to explore something new about subtitle translation. This paper aims to do a research on the following issues: (i) principles used in the subtitle translation (ii) strategies used in the subtitle translation By analyzing the strategies of English-Chinese subtitle, hopefully it...

Cited: Li Heqing, Huang Hao, and Bo Zhenjie. Methodology of western translation studies: Since the 1970s. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2005.
Nida. Eugene A. Language, Culture, and Translation. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 1993.
Nida, Eugene A., and Charles R. Taber. The Theory and Practice of Translation. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2004.
Williams Jenny, and Andrew Chesterman. The Map: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2004.
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