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Subtitling English-language films for a Chinese audience: Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural transfer

Liang, Lisi ORCID: 2017. Subtitling English-language films for a Chinese audience: Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural transfer. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the complex and intricate linguistic and cultural negotiations which take place when Anglophone films are subtitled for a Chinese audience. The project seeks to break new ground by offering the first study of subtitling in relation to thematically heterogeneous genres of films and different disciplines. This contemporary phenomenon of subtitling from English into Chinese thus provides a valuable case study for the discipline of Translation Studies as it does not straddle different disciplines but interconnects them. The project also provides new insights into the reshaping of English-language films for a contemporary Chinese audience and the ways in which the Chinese subtitles are mediated for their domestic agenda. This project builds on Venuti’s binary argument in relation to foreignisation and domestication and extends it to complex translational processes which sit at the confluence of linguistic, cultural, historical, political and commercial considerations. A new theoretical frame is generated to make a theoretical contribution to reading Chinese subtitles in association with different disciplines rather than focusing on translation theories in isolation. The Chinese subtitles reevaluate the complexities and specificities of British culture linked to the varied films and posit Chinese cultural values to shape the multidirectional facet of translation as much as the original source shapes its own. The study thus suggests that the hybrid dynamics of transformation occurs as a result of the various forms of transfer and the interaction between them: linguistic, cultural, political, historical, ideological transfer and the transfer of gender, sexuality, and humour. Through this transformation, the Chinese subtitling process allows for elements of British heritage to permeate the Chinese culture with the ultimate goal of enhancing China’s own cultural values.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Modern Languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cross-Cultural Transfer Cross-Linguistic Transfer
Funders: Guangzhou Elites Scholarship Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 April 2018
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 11:18

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