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A Skopos Approach to the Cultural Information in Subtitle Translation

Author: FuYing
Tutor: YuQianHua
School: Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Still Life subtitle translation Skopos theory cultural information
CLC: H315.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2010
Downloads: 202
Quote: 0
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Movie, as a carrier of human culture, plays an important role in spreading world culture. To our joy, more and more Chinese movies are attracting the world’s attention, gaining international reputation and have been recognized by more and more audiences at home and abroad. The perfect presentation of the Chinese unique culture to the world might partly be attributed to the subtitle translation.It takes on a task that constrained by time and space, subtitle translation has to transfer the cultural information as much as possible, guiding the audience to understand the culture of source language. Thus, the subtitle translation of cultural information of the source language is of great importance; which has a direct influence on the aim of subtitle translation. Although subtitle translation has been paid more attention and many relative studies have been done, very few studies are focused on dealing with cultural information or differences in subtitle translation. Furthermore, most of the mentioned studies are empirical without systematical or theoretical basis.This thesis contrasted the Chinese subtitles of Still Life(三峡好人), a movie directed by Jia Zhangke, with the English subtitles. It is found that in Still Life, rich cultural information is often adhered to the modes of address, dialects and some other culture-loaded words and expressions. Through detailed analysis based on the guidelines of Skopos theory, which is scientific, feasible and meaningful for guiding subtitle translation, the author found that the translator employed the following translating strategies and methods to manage the cultural information in the subtitle translation: domestication, foreignization, substitution, addition, reduction and paraphrase. The detailed analysis on the case of Still Life has illustrated the important influence exerted by accurate subtitle translation on the target language audience as well as on the successful marching into the world market for a movie.

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