Some opinions on subtitling translation II


The second method I’d like to introduce today is called Addition.

I’d like to begin with an example:

A:  try to imagine what you would do if you were omnipotent.


B: I would kill myself.


A: …Excuse me?


B: if I became impotent, then I had no reason to live!


C: He says Omnipotent.


Read Also: Some opinions on subtitling translation III

There are three people in this dialogue talking about being omnipotent.

A asked B about his points on being omnipotent, but obviously B mistook the word “omnipotent” for another word “impotent “which refers to being incapable sexually. Then the third person C emphasized the initial syllables of the word so as that he could distinguish it from the word “impotent”. Here the translator added an explanatory sentence “不是无能.” in order to make audience understand the joke contained between the lines.

As sometimes simple preservation might lead to obscurity for people to understand, just as the examples above, the translator may choose to add or insert texts directly into the context for audiences’ better comprehension. One of the traditional and common way to translate in china is using footnotes, which will make the whole conversation seem no more too long.

To be continued……

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