Subtitle Translation Strategies as a Reflection of Technical Limitations: a Case Study of Ang Lee’s Films

Ying Zhang, Junyan Liu


Subtitling, unlike traditional forms of translation, is subject to the limitations imposed by different subtitling apparatuses, for example, not more than two lines on one screen. In order not to breach these limitations, subtitlers adopt different strategies in their attempts to convey film plots or content to target language audiences, thereby creating an interface between culture and technology in the context of translation.
This paper mainly looks at the interface which occurs in the process of translating film dialogue from Mandarin Chinese into English. Using as a case study films by Ang Lee, a prominent Chinese film director in global film circles, we shall focus on the investigation of translation strategies adopted in subtitling, and work out the possible interface between culture and technology in operation there. In addition, we may find an answer to the question whether technology is changing the face of translation.
The film Wo Hu Cang Long [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] is the main case study considered and six of its English subtitle versions from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), America and the Great Britain respectively will be compared and discussed.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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