1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 1
2.1 Translation of Film Subtitle 1
2.1.1 Definition of Film Subtitle 2
2.1.2 Classification of Film Subtitle 2
2.2 Relevance Theory 2
2.2.1 The Emergence and Development of Relevance Theory 2
2.2.2 The Main Content of Relevance Theory 3
2.3 Humorous Subtitle Translation in the Film Lost in Thailand from the Perspective of Relevance Theory 4
2.3.1 Brief Introduction to Lost in Thailand 5
2.3.2 The Enlightenment of Relevance Theory to Humorous Language Translation 5
2.3.3 Analyses of Humorous Subtitle Translation in Lost in Thailand from the Perspective of Relevance Theory 6
18.104.22.168 Voice clues 6
22.214.171.124 Rhetoric clues 9
3. Conclusion 11
Work Cited 12
An Analysis on Humorous Film Subtitle Translation in Lost in Thailand from the Perspective of Relevance Theory
With the rapid development of information technology and Internet, a great number of film subtitles have gradually come into the sight of audience. Yet sometimes, humorous language occurs in a film subtitle is hard to understand. Paul Grice’s Cooperative Principle has been more widely used to study verbal humors but not convincible to explain the production of humor. In contrast, Relevance Theory consisting of communication and cognition analyses is more reasonable and suitable.
Till now, Relevance Theory has been widely used in many fields. By answering the questions “what is communication” and “how communication is achieved”, Sperber and Wilson put forward Relevance Theory. With strong explanatory ability, it has been widely applied to the explanation of verbal communication and translation.
Put specifically, this thesis will analyze on humorous film subtitle translation in Lost in Thailand from the perspective of Relevance Theory. After introducing film subtitle translation and Relevance Theory, this paper will mainly focus on the analyses of the humor in the film from the Perspective of Relevance Theory and examine how translator makes the film achieve the most humorous effect.
- Translation of Film Subtitle
This chapter will introduce the definition and classification of film subtitle, designing to enable the translator to understand the process of translation fully and considering when the translator should translate them.
2.1.1 Definition of Film Subtitle
According to Ci Hai（夏征农，2009）, film subtitle refers to the reflected words which were shown on screen. Film subtitles are efficient, fast means for cross-cultural communication and an effective way to meet the audiences’ demand in watching and understanding movies. The nature of subtitle lies in the reservation of soundtrack in the foreign movie. It is characterized by the synchronization of spoken words presented on the screen and the reading pace. Audiences immerse themselves in the movie stories through reading subtitles, listening to the sound and watching pictures. Foreign film subtitles can present the audiences with the original taste and flavor to the maximum extent.
2.1.2 Classification of Film Subtitle
Film subtitle can be divided into three types according to their different positions in film. The first category is the open credit titles, which appears in the first part of the films, such as the name of a movie, director, the main actors and producers. The second category is the end credit titles, which are to detail credits, production team, team sponsors and so on. Between the two parts, they are main subtitles, which are used to narrate the film.
- Relevance Theory
Relevance Theory was put forward by Dan Sperber and Deidre Wilson in Relevance: Communication and Cognition（1986）. When the book came out, it had evoked strong responses in cognitive linguistics. Such a strong reaction had promoted intensive research of the theory and widened the application of this theory.
- The Emergence and Development of Relevance Theory
Relevance Theory is based on Grice's Theory of Conversational Implicature. Grice considers the speech session is restricted by certain conditions. Because both sides abide by the principle of cooperation, people's communication can be able to go ahead. The principle of cooperation includes Maxims of Quantity, Maxims of Quality, Maxims of Relevance and Maxims of Manner. In verbal communication, the speaker may deliberately violate one maxim of the cooperative principle to convey the implied meanings, so the listeners have to understand the implied meanings of the speakers by reasoning, which is named the conversational implicature. However, the violation of the cooperative principle sometimes does not adequately explain conversational intention. Therefore, scholars have done lots of work to make up for the defects of the cooperative principle.
Relevance Theory emerges in a great environment. As can be seen from the English, although Sperber and Wilson's relevance theory and Grice's relevance principle adopt the same word-relevance, the former does not simply inherit and develop the latter. Conversational Implicature Theory emphasizes the principle of cooperation, holding that communicators shall abide by these standards. However, the Principle of Relevance in Relevance Theory is a natural principle in communication and does not need to comply.
- The Main Content of Relevance Theory
Relevance Theory, which was proposed by Sperber and Wilson in 1986, has provided a new perspective to explain human communication. Sperber and Wilson hold the view that human cognitive activity is purposeful, that is, to obtain maximum cognitive effects with minimum processing efforts in cognitive process. To obtain this effect, they need to focus on the most relevant information. Thus, it is easy to see that Relevance Theory regards the establishment of relevance between new information and obtained information as strategies for understanding humorous language. In the following part, relevant concepts and principles of Relevance Theory will be showed in detail.
Processing effort is an important basis of judging relevance, using minimal processing effort to obtain the maximum contextual effect is Maximal Relevance. Giving effective efforts to obtain enough contextual effect is the optimal relevance. Human cognition is usually consistent with the maximal relevance, and communication is expected to produce an optimal relevance. In translation, the maximum relevance refers to the cognitive process that readers spend minimal processing effort to obtain certain contextual effect,and the optimal relevance refers to the best contextual effort achieve through translation. However, the maximal relevance is not equal to the optimal relevance. Just simply pursuing the minimum processing to get the maximal relevance doesn't mean the conversation can obtain the optimal relevance and achieve the optimal contextual effects and make a successful communication.
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