Translation of Chinese Culture Specific Items to English in the Film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Keywords:Chinese, culture, English, strategy, subtitle, translation
Cultural knowledge is a key for successful communication. In translation and subtitle translation, transferring or delivering the meaning and sense of the source culture to the target culture is often deemed a challenge for translators and subtitlers. Despite few studies on Chinese to English translations of Culture Specific Items (CSIs) which mostly have focused on the preference of applying foreignization and domestication strategies, there is still a deficiency in the literature, particularly about the procedures in the Chinese to English translations of CSIs in films. Given the different textual status of cultural items in source and target cultural systems, this study adopted Newmark’s (1988) CSIs classification and Aixela’s (1996) strategies for translating CSIs. The aim was to explore the strategies used in Chinese to English translation of CSIs in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The qualitative findings revealed that orthographic adaptation, linguistic translation, synonymy, limited universalization, absolute universalization, deletion, and autonomous creation were used by the translators to translate the CSIs, while gestures and habits items were not used. There were also six combinations of strategies. The results of this study can be beneficial for translators, subtitlers, and screenwriters in conveying the cultural meaning and sense more effectively.
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