Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

Probing into the Strategies in Translating Humorous Subtitle from the Perspective of Skopostheorie

Author YueRuiNa
Tutor HeDaShun;YuDaShan;PanYanFang
School Chengdu University of Technology
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Skopostheorie Sitcom Subtitle translation Humor Translation strategies
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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With the development of globalization, more and more foreign audiovisual products have flooded into Chinese market and now are quite popular with the mass audience. In order to make most people appreciate the foreign audiovisual works, dubbing and subtitling emerge at the right time. Nowadays, subtitling is much more common, but as a new field of translation, its guiding theory is not so mature, so the qualities of the translated subtitles of foreign audiovisual products in the market are at different levels. This thesis attempts to analyze subtitle translation from the perspective of Skopostheorie in the hope of providing a reference for promoting the quality of subtitled products.Compared with other forms of literary translation, subtitle translation has its own unique characteristics. In general, the function of subtitle translation is to maximally convey, under the constraints of time and space, the information of the source works to the audience and meanwhile achieve conversion of cultures. Scholars of Skopostheorie regard translation as a cross-cultural human communication activity with a clear aim and purpose. Subtitle translation is, therefore, an intentional activity and Skopostheorie can provide the feasible theoretical guidance for it. Under the supervision of Skopostheorie, translation strategies go beyond the limit of any single translation criterion. Guided by skopos, different strategies can be flexibly adopted in order to achieve the aim of translation.Within the theoretical framework of Skopostheorie, this thesis presents a case study on the Chinese subtitling of the well-known American sitcom Friends, focusing on the translation of its humor. It endeavors to find with the help of Skopostherie an effective way to present to Chinese viewers this western classic sitcom Friends to the best effect with an aim to promote the cultural communication between China and the Western world. For Friends, the ideal Chinese subtitles are to provide, the most relevant information in the most effective way within the constraints of time and space, serving the Chinese audiences as a tool to make the sitcom understandable and more importantly, to help the audiences come as near as possible to the experience the source-language audiences have of the sitcom, to entertain the target-language audiences. Since Friends is deeply rooted in American culture, whose humorous subtitles also contain cultural connotations, it’s rather difficult to convey cultural humor in the subtitle. But conveying humor is quite crucial to sitcom, so this thesis focuses on how to present the humorous language of sitcom to Chinese audiences by utilizing Skopostheorie, which can prove that this theory is feasible to guide the humorous translation, especially that of sitcom. Through citing humorous subtitles of Friends and comparing Chinese subtitles with English subtitles and different versions of Chinese subtitles, the thesis analyzes several common translation strategies which are adopted to translate humorous subtitles of Friends within the guidance of Skopostheorie. Finally, the thesis comes to a conclusion that Skopostheorie is applicable to subtitle translation, especially humorous subtitle translation in sitcom.

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