An Investigation of the Constraints in Subtitling the Conversations: On the Role of Cultural Effects on Variation

Faranak Nemani, Abbass Eslami Rasekh


Translating cultural elements has always proved a demanding task as the items of vocabulary carry both specific semantic and social meanings in the culture of the source Persian language different from the target English. The difficulty increases when in subtitling other constraints make the task even more difficult such as time limit and the space within which the message is transferred into the target English. Taking this fact into account, the present study aims to compare the Persian expressions of the movie called ASeparation with the English subtitles to discover the degree of translatability with the same functional effect. The procedures involved first, transcribing the conversations between the characters of the movie, and then the subtitler’s choices of English equivalent counterparts were examined for discovering how efficiently the functional effects could be displayed comparably in the target English. In addition to the data gathered, further natural data in the form of interviews, observations, and recordings of various sorts were collected and examined to display how the culture of the SL Persian differs from the TL English. The findings revealed that a considerable number of functions employed in the Persian speakers’ conversations were unique to the culture; a good number of utterances would have lost their true functional effects when they were translated for the English audiences as our comparisons revealed. The effect of power on speech variation is comparably more observable in Persian source speech compared with English as the target speech norms, although both languages display the effect in varying levels.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n2p97

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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