Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Translation Studies

The Revolution in Subtitle Translation

Author LuNa
Tutor ZhangLiQun
School Tianjin University of Finance and Economics
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords American TV series Subtitle Translation Groups translator subjectivity the translator’s role
CLC H059
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
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In terms of frequency of use, audiovisual translation has been undergoing a revolution. For much of the history, subtitling was viewed as a poor second to dubbing. Under the context of globalization in the era of Internet, however, it seems that subtitled films and TV series are accepted by more and more the Chinese people especially with the prevalence of the free downloading software such as Bit Torrent. Meanwhile, many younger Chinese and white collar workers, who make up a huge chunk of American movie and TV drama goers, have shown their desire to watch blockbusters in their original version in near-real time.The increasing popularity of subtitling in China is certainly helped by Subtitle Translation Groups who voluntarily create Chinese subtitles for American TV series and films free through Internet downloading. A new way of watching is creating a group of unprofessional translators who come from grass-roots and have a greater control over how to use translation. The growth of Subtitle Translation Groups is a success in the 21st Century, with the evident in the rise of the number of groups and members. This essay aims to raise the academic concern which was absent in audiovisual translation and Subtitle Translation Groups.The research method proposed to use is participant observation. In the research process, the author was involved in YDY, one Subtitles Translation Group, working with other translators in order to gain an intimate familiarity with their operation mechanism and their practices through an intensive involvement in their natural environment. Moreover, the author made a small scaled interview with some subtitlers on their feeling in translating, their understanding about translation theories, etc. The original survey is attached in Appendix I.According to the survey, the essay explores the Subtitle Translation Groups as extended role of Chinese translators. Moreover, it can be found that the lower the threshold to be a translator, the higher the translator’s subjectivity. The disadvantage of Subtitle Translation Groups in lacking theoretical instruction has not restricted their translation quality. On the contrary, their vivid translation and free style win a great success among audiences which can be explained by Robinson’s theory in“the Somatics of Translation”.

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