Towards a Quality Assessment Model for Film Subtitle Translation
|Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
|Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
|Film Subtitle Translation Quality Assessment Model Sociosemiotics Sign
Film,as a kind of recreation,prevails now all around China.Foreign films, especially the English ones,enter Mainland China at an increasing rate each year.For the sake of those who do not understand English,an English film has to be translated before it can be put onto cinema.There are two main categories in film translation,dubbing and subtitling,the latter of which is most often seen with film translation activities.However,the quality of some subtitling projects is not satisfying due to factors such as piracy, uncontrollable translators and translator incompetence.The audience’s appreciation of English film is,accordingly,affected.Therefore,it is necessary to set up a model for assessing translation quality of subtitle translation,arouse people’s attention to this special kind of translation practice,and control the quality of film subtitling.The lines of a film are closely attached to their synchronized film images,namely, a simulative social situation.The meanings of the lines are sometimes altered by the images,sounds,or by the facial expressions,gestures or poses of the characters who speak the lines.Most approaches to translation studies focus only on the rendering from texts to texts,and,hence,cannot be used to build assessment model for film translation,which is a kind of multimedia translation.This author takes film as a sign system,in which the linguistic sign is just one of the many signs in the system.The meaning of the linguistic sign is not decided solely by language itself,but jointly by image,icon and sound,and other signs that synchronized with the linguistic sign.There is no better way than sociosemiotics to deal with signs.So this paper introduces theories of sociosemiotics to analyze film as a sign system,explores the real meanings of film text as the verbal sign under the whole filmic sign system,and finally sets up a quality assessment model for film subtitle translation in light of Charles Morris’ three sign meanings.The model not only assesses film subtitle translation quality,but also sheds some light on other audiovisual translation practices. Hopefully,this paper may help distinguish the good film subtitles from the bad, improve the quality of subtitling and arouse people’s attention to audiovisual translation.