Documentary Subtitle Chinese-English Translation from the Perspective of Functional Equivalence: A Study on the Documentary China’s Fight against Covid-19

China’s Fight against Covid-19; Documentary Subtitle Translation; Functional Equivalence

Authors

  • Yeheng Yang BA Student of School of Foreign Languages, Guangzhou Xinhua University, Dongguan, Guangdong Province, P.R. China
  • Yi Li
    iliyi42@qq.com
    Lecturer of School of Foreign Languages, Guangzhou Xinhua University, Dongguan, Guangdong Province, P.R. China
June 29, 2021

Downloads

This paper adopts Nida's Functional Equivalence theory and studies the Chinese-English subtitle translation of the documentary China’s Fight against Covid-19, which was filmed and broadcast throughout China amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the year 2020, and it received positive responses in the country. The research objective is to find out the translation strategies, methods and skills involved in achieving the “most natural” and the “most closest” English expressions to the Chinese source text. In the study, investigations on the equivalence of Lexical level, Syntactical level, Contextual level and Textual level in the subtitle are conducted respectively, and the aforementioned translation aspects are discussed under the guidance of Nida’s functional equivalence. The key findings are that the translated texts adopt literal and liberal translation to deal with the Culture-loaded words and four-character idioms on a lexical level. While sentence restructuring, conversion of voice, and conjunction and present particle are used on the syntactic level to make source language and translated subtitle more coherent and authentic. On the contextual and textual level, the target text distinguishes the formal and informal languages through the sentence length and the complexity of the structure. This study offers a practical implication for translating Chinese pandemic discourses into English, and it can also shed light on the study of Chinese narratives during the COVID outbreak and the publicity of the Chinese countermeasures.