Audiovisual Translation:A Critical Review on Sino-western Perspectives of Film Subtitle Translation

Junchen Zhang


The paper argues the development of audiovisual translation (mainly focuses on the strand of film subtitle translation) in the West and China. Firstly, the paper discusses film translation from the perspective of the West and critically reviews the achievements produced by western researchers. Secondly, the paper analyzes film translation from Chinese perspective and outlines its change and development in Mainland China. Thirdly, some major issues exited in film translation such as cultural problems, technical issues and translation strategies are analyzed. And in the fourth part, the paper takes a unique Chinese film genre, Chinese martial arts/wuxia film (中國武俠電影), as a specific case to analyze and then further discuss the studies of film translation in the context of Chinese culture. The potential underexplored areas of translating Chinese martial arts film are also identified. Lastly, the paper argues the audiovisual translation from an inter-/multi-disciplinary angle involving film study, social-cultural study, multimodal analysis and relevant linguistic approaches and then points out the potential future trends in audiovisual translation studies. In short, there are three significances in the research. The first one is making a comparative analysis to development path of film translation between Western side and China’s side. The second is arguing the translation of Chinese wuxia film from a diachronic perspective and identifying existed research gaps. The last is pointing out the potential research trends based on the latest research progress.

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