All entries for January 2007

January 23, 2007

How much you depend on the subtitles?

This week we are learning about the subtitling translation strategies. They are: omission, compression, expansion, generalisation, specification, neutralisation. As for the systermetic definition of subtitling is based on the linguistic level, it includes three parts:

  1. the relation between spoken and writen language
  2. the relation between the foreign language and the target language
  3. the relation between complete and partial translation (Lomheim,1998)

So I wander after so many procedures, what the final translation would likely to be. If the receptors rely on the translation work completely, the message they receive would be partly inaccurate.

We watched a video about a small town in 1990s China. In my opinion, the subtitles are terrible, sometimes are even funny. For example:

(an old woman is bargaining with a seller about the price of a hen)

Old: How much?

Seller: 10yuan

Old:  so skinny

Old: useless, I will only give you 7

Seller: 9yuan

Another old: so skinny! useless!

Old: 8 yuan

Seller: No way!

I want to know if you read this subtitle, what image is in your mind?What do you think of the old woman and seller? What do you think about how people bargain in China?

When I read it, I think it is really funny. This dialogue is not like a negociation with price, but a quarraling. Do people here usually bargain like that?

As it is translated for English speaking country, at this moment,  the subtitler should think for the viewers, as well as the source culture. Because the carelessness is made might lead to misundering of a whole culture.

I feel a bit worried about people rely on subtitle too much, so inproper translation would lead to some negative influences.

January 18, 2007

Crackers' Jokes Vs Chinese Lantern Puzzles–Two

Follow-up to Crackers' Jokes Vs Chinese Lantern Puzzles–one from Shuang's blog

By comparing with the Cracker¡¯s jokes, I find on Chinese Lantren Festival, we Chinese have such kind of custom to guess the puzzle on the Lanterns.
The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. So the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.
According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.
But the Lantern puzzles are different from those Crackers¡¯ jokes. The jokes in crackers are usually play with the puns, while the Lantern puzzles are tricky on the complex structure of Chinese characters.
-Jokes and puzzles in general are usually for entertaining in all the cultures.
-Some jokes/puzzles could express feelings.( like the Chinese puzzle)
-Puns play an important role in the British jokes.
-When reading a joke, people should put it into the certain culture background.

Crackers' Jokes Vs Chinese Lantern Puzzles–one

When I went to Somerset during Christmas, before the Christmas dinner, the first thing we did was to pull crackers. Then we had dinner with the bright hats that looked like paper crowns. Then we red the jokes in the Crackers. The one I red was as follows:
why doesn’t the snowman get married?
because he has cold feet
To be frank, I did not understand at that moment. Then after their laughing, my host explained to me that in English if it said someone got cold feet meant that he was frightened to do something.
Another one I remember and could understand just at that moment:
Three are men sitting in one boat. The boat is in the middle of a lake, so they couldn’t get contact with other people on land. If they want to smoke, what should they do?
The answer is : “they just throw one of them into the water, in order to make the boat lighter”
Then after I came back, I found more information about the crackers.
In 1847, almost by accident, Tom Smith invented the cracker. It was a simple idea which became an integral part of British celebration and tradition which still continues today, 150 years on. In it’s simple form a cracker is a small cardboard tube covered in a brightly coloured twist of paper. When the cracker is ‘pulled’ by two people, each holding one end of the twisted paper, the friction creates a small explosive ‘pop’ produced by a narrow strip of chemically impregnated paper. The cardboard tube tumbles a bright paper hat, a small gift, a balloon and a motto or joke.

January 07, 2007

My first birthday in Britaino

January,6th is my birthday. As the time has just past zero, my birthday of this year has finished.
I gave calls to my parents early this morning, I said thank you to them.My mother had prepared for my birthday present for a long time, then sent to me before Christmas, but I haven’t got it. I had no idea about how I should celebrate my birthday, so my flatmates prepared a small party for me. They bought me a card, presents, and a cake. I was really moved by them, because they remembered my birthday since the end of last term. I also received message from my host parents. They also remembered it.
Maybe because of the busy and independent life in Britain, most of my Chinese friends here forgot it. To be frank, I felt a bit disappointed.
However, I am already lucky to have people remember my birthday. Although I am a foreigner to them, they treat me just as a good friend. I quite appriciate it. THANK YOU all, my friends in Tocil 56.o

January 2007

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