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Title: Multiple causality of differences in taboo translation of blockbuster films by Chinese fansubbers and professionals
Authors: He, Zhengguo
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Audiovisual Translation (AVT) has entered an important stage in which amateur subtitlers (fansubbers) from around the world converge and communicate instantaneously online. Fansubbers often form collectives, known as fansub groups, which are “volunteer, nonprofitable and non-governmental” (Balemberg 2011). They not only translate but also voice their opinions through internet social media. The influence of fansubbing, or fansub, on professional film translation in China has become increasingly evident in the last decade. In recent years, professional film translation has often been criticised by fansubbers and viewers for its inaccurate translation of taboo words and the use of Chinese Popular Internet Slang (PIS) words which are not yet fully accepted into mainstream Chinese language. This thesis hence sets out to investigate the differences in the translation of taboo words between film fansubbing (fansub) and professional dubbing (produb) in China, and the factors which contributed to the differences. This thesis adopts Brownlie’s (2003) “multiple causality model” providing full explanation of the translational phenomena by integrating translation norm theories and Bourdieu’s sociological concepts including habitus, capital and field. The multi-causality explanatory model links the qualitative data (translators’ statements, etc.) to the quantitative data (the textual evidence, a corpus of 51 English films and their two Chinese translation versions: fansub and produb), with regards to the complexity of translational activities in the field of film production. There is a focus on aspects such as the translation group and its associated practices, and manifestations of film translation as an institutional operation both in fansub and produb. The combination of translation norm theory and Bourdieu's sociological concepts has been proven to be a sound framework for explaining the production practice of translation agents in the film translation field in China. According to this study’s results, Bourdieu's sociological concepts integrated into the explanatory model have contributed to the description of power struggles in the film translation field in China, enabling researchers to understand the complex relations within a certain social context. Against the lack of systematic data analysis supporting the theoretical arguments surrounding taboo translation, this thesis succeeds in putting forward a conceptual and methodological framework substantiated by empirical evidence for analysing the effects of social factors on translator behaviour.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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