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Dubbing and Subtitling

The China Experience

Zhengqi Ma and Zheng Xie

Dubbing and Subtitling: The China Experience is the first summarization in English of 70 years of film and TV translation and production in China. It is an academic retrospect on innovation in audiovisual translation (AVT) studies for the world’s largest movie and television audience and is a product based on more than 20 years of successful teaching and award-winning translation experiences.

This book offers the world academia, translation practitioners, and students a look at how the industry began and developed in China, the challenges it is facing, and the prospects that lie ahead. Dubbing and Subtitling also gives a rare look at independently developed theories and guidance for practice that are unique to English-Chinese translation. Until recently, Chinese academic researchers have had little exchange with the outside world on the subject of movie and TV translation. Readers will discover that the two independently developed schools of AVT studies are meeting at a crossroads.

This book can serve as a textbook for both graduate and undergraduate students who have an interest in AVT, especially movie and TV translation studies. It also aims to help amateur translators who wish to enhance their translations. Dubbing and Subtitling endeavors to be a reference for academic researchers in both translation and intercultural studies. Although this book is dedicated to China’s experiences, its theories, principles, and guidelines also serve a more general purpose.

China’s dream works industry is witnessing an unprecedented boom, and translated movies are taking a large share of the boom, not including the countless movies and TV productions shared online and translated by fansubbers. A lucrative and growing translation market makes this book particularly relevant to current cultural exchanges in the fastest-growing economy between one of the largest audiovisual consuming markets and producers worldwide.

Dubbing and Subtitling: The China Experience is a groundbreaking study not only in the sense that it puts forth new theories in the audiovisual translation field but also in the sense that for the first time in the century-old history of Chinese film translation, its practice is theorized and presented to the world literati. The practical approaches, guiding principles, and steps laid out in this book are aspiring for translation practitioners and potential translators and enlightening for researchers.” —He Keyong, professor at Minzu University and renowned translator and scholar

“This book provides a rare chance to understand the psychological mechanism of audiovisual translation between two remote languages—English and Chinese. It is also an easy ‘how-to’ guide—how to understand, analyze and explain, and do a better job of telling the audience not only what’s said by the characters but also what’s meant between the lines. While the theories in this book are thought-provoking, its language is easy to read.” —Daniela Gheorghita, linguist