Translation of Film Subtitle

I think a lot of people prefer watching the American movies during the spare time, since which can not only enrich our free hours, but also we can learn some local translation ways, contrasting the subtitle.

Surely not everyone can read, understand the language of the movie which we are not familiar with. So we need the subtitles to help us to convey information.

But the translation of the subtitle is not as simple as the words and sentences translation. Many factors like in which age the story, things happened, and social reality, religion, culture, morphological awareness should be taken into account. And as to the English pun, it cannot be simply understood if one has no corresponding background knowledge.

But when I enjoy some movies, I found there are some subtitles which obviously are not translated as per the actor’s lines, or not so close to the original meaning

In recent years, as people continue to raise the level of knowledge. A large number of foreign films are introduced from abroad. the demand for film subtitle is gradually growing .

To translate the film well, which need the translator refine the original lines and re-processing, that is, to maintain the original film’s style, but also trying to concise and readable, so the audience can appreciate the English movie better. To achieve this target, I think the translation way should follow at least three principles:

Firstly, understand the text accurately, convey the meaning correctly.Translator must have a high standard of English level, so that he can get the accurate meaning of the original lines. If they are unreasonable or uncertain areas, the translator should carefully review some reference books, but not too literally, otherwise it will affect the true meaning of the original. I think this is the basic rule.

Then, learning the local culture, make appropriate translation. Translators often encounter some terms related to cultural background, if not handled properly, it will make the audience hard to understand.

Thus, the translator can make some comments which involved event or names, to help the audience better understand the foreign cultures Meanwhile, I think it should meet the habits of Chinese speaking way.

Read Also: On Translation of English Movie Titles: Mainland VS Hongkong VS Taiwan

And then, Translation should avoid “wordy.” Subtitle translation is different from written translation. It is through the screen, story and sound, these multiple channels together to convey information, emotions. Sometimes translated too “full” will seems superabundance.

Even subtitling sometimes is not enough to express the meaning correctly, but it has the complementary nature of the images and sound, the audience can get a general idea from characters’ action.

Film translation as a special area of ​​translation, although the academic community has not paid enough attention and concern, but I believe that with the deepening of cultural exchange, it will get developed and improved as well.

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