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Intira Bumrungsalee

The Strategies in Translating Culture-Specific References in American and Thai Films: An Analysis of Subtitles

Intira Bumrungsalee

PhD Student in Translation Studies (Year 3)

Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

My thesis investigates the way in which culture-specific references are rendered in subtitling by analyzing the translation of proper names, with the case studies from four American and Thai films: Annie Hall (1977), Juno (2007), The Iron Ladies (2000) and The Legend of Suriyothai (2001). The structure of this research is based on Toury (1995)’s Descriptive Translation Studies framework. The methodology consists of 1) situating the preliminary norms of Audiovisual Translation in Thailand, which includes the overview of foreign film import and screen translation practice; 2) proceeding to analyse the cultural transfer strategies used in the subtitles in relations to their polysemiotic co-texts and contexts and present descriptive examples; and 3) from the analysis results, comparing the ways American and Thai culture is transferred/transformed to the target audience and explaining the significance.

This research aims to take interdisciplinary approach into subtitling, in hope that it will bring more insights about Audiovisual Translation not only as a language transfer, but also as a complex socio-cultural activity, surrounded by norms and many influencing factors. Therefore, the study will combine Translation Studies, Film Studies and Cultural Studies theories with the real-world situations in order to see subtitling through different points of view.

Supervisors: Dr. John Gilmore (Dept. of English and Comparative Literary Studies) and Prof. Stephen Gundle (Dept. of Film of Television Studies)


The Iron Ladies