The Evolution of China’s Film Translation History through the Perspective of Sociological Imagination

film translation dubbing subtitling sociological imagination


  • Xu Han
    Institute of Communication Studies, Communication University of China, Beijing, China
May 6, 2022


Film translation has experienced a long history in China. In 1949, the film Private Aleksandr Matrosov was the first film to be imported and translated into Chinese from the former Soviet Union. This history continues into the contemporary era where China has become one of the biggest and most prosperous film markets globally; hundreds of international movies are imported to compete at the office box and for market shares. The functions, aesthetic standards, and values of film translation, including dubbing and subtitles, meanwhile, have changed along with different historical periods. This paper aims to answer the question of how the film translation has evolved along with time? What are the main reasons? An approach of literature search and discourse analysis will be used to explore the topic through the perspective of Mills’ sociological imagination theory. The main findings are displayed that the social environment, including the social priorities, market requisition, and population, would affect the film translation industry.