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西北大学 硕士学位论文 从功能对等理论看《老友记》汉语字幕幽默翻译 姓名:李莎 申请学位级别:硕士 专业:英语语言文学 指导教师:李建利 20100601

摘要
近年来,随着全球一体化的进程,世界各国经济文化交往的日益频繁,我们 有更多的机会与世界共享资源,包括科学技术、文化思想、以及多媒体影视资源 等。当今的中国,越来越多的人开始喜爱外国影视剧

。美国的好莱坞大片和连续 剧等在国内占有越来越多的市场。人们,尤其是年轻人,将观看美剧视为一种时 尚潮流。从而对其数量和质量的要求也愈来愈高。于是翻译作为语际交流的桥梁 就变得至关重要,翻译的好坏直接决定了观众对原剧的理解层次、吸收层次以及 认可层次。然而国内学者在字幕翻译方面的研究相对于西方来说还比较滞后,不 够深入,不够广泛。在翻译策略和翻译原则等方面没有达成共识,也就是说所研 究出的翻译规范不具备普适性。 《老友记》是风靡全球的美国著名情景喜剧,曾因其广泛的影响力获得多项 国际影视大奖,剧中多以搞笑情节博得观众的喝彩。因此人物的台词多以双关、 文字游戏、修辞等语法形式出现。这就使得语际交际难上加难。这些语法词汇和 语法现象本身就是一种较难处理的翻译原料。在该剧中,它们的存在是辅助图像、 声音、场景等产生幽默效果的。这从而对译者提出了更高的要求:准确传递源语 信息的同时,传达最贴近的幽默效果,实现原句的语义功能。《老友记》幽默字 幕翻译研究在国内翻译界尚不成熟,没有统一的理论指导,没有达成一致的翻译 原则。因此,本文拟从功能对等理论探讨该剧中幽默字幕的翻译,以期得出相对 可行的翻译原则和翻译策略。重点强调言语中不同种类的幽默应辅以不同的翻译 策略以适应对等的原则。该理论将译语受众的反应与原语受众在观赏过程中的反 应是否对等作为翻译标准,为字幕翻译提供了新的方法和独特的思路。 文章通过例证分析研究针对《老友记》中的各类幽默一一给出了翻译策略。 译者能够积极地、有创造性地对原语文本进行干预,以达到翻译的目的。奈达的 功能对等理论为字幕翻译提供了研究平台与方法,帮助我们解决了翻译策略的问 题。但在具体实践中,还应充分考虑到观众的情绪爱好,以简洁、清晰以及口语 化的原则译出更好的字幕。

关键字:幽默;字幕翻译;功能对等理论

Abstract With
the development of globalization in regent years,the economic and cultural
over

commtmication among the countries all
Therefore,we
resources are

the world becomes
to



lot more frequent.

favored with much

more opportunities

share all kinds of

including foreign movies and TV series,especially those imported from

America.So we are posed with another isslle—.to promote the quality and quantity of
US multimedia

products.Accordingly,translation,as



bridge between cultures,

becomes even more important.People’S

demand

for audio—visual products of good

quality is increasing rapidly.Therefore,audio—visual translation has

become an

indispensable

field of translation study and practice.


Friends is

well-known sitcom.Its funny

scenarios

have

gained

itself



great

reputation among

audiences.There

are

many

lines involving rhetorical devices and

wordplay,which makes CROSS-culture communication tougher

and tougher.Meanwhile

what faces the translators is to convey precise messages as well as humor discussion of audio-visual translation by the

effects.The
about less

related

expertise

brought

mature

results.The

disciplines concluded in their far there’S
no

study

Can’t

guide the


general

translation practice.So
subtitle

translation maxim that


sc强wes as

forever rule of
further study.

translation.Yet

fortunately,they have paved
call

way for

Our

Based

on

meir discussion and conclusion,we

make some detailed analysis in.


order to find out the most practical and flexible theory as

guidance

for subtitle

translation.This paper

will

probe into subtitle translation of humor in Friends


according to functional equivalence theory.This theory consider it

criterion to equal
source

the target audiences’response toward source material with the

language

audiences’,which proposed
Through
case



new way ofthinking in regard to

translation. paper put forward
is finally

study of all kinds of humor in Friends,this

detailed strategies in proved that


accordance

witll functional

equivalence theory.It

good subtitle translation should not

only be precise,oral,but also

audience.oriented.

Key

Words:humor;subtitle translation;functional equivalence theory

西北大学学位论文知识产权声明书 本人完全了解西北大学关于收集、保存、使用学位论文的规定。 学校有权保留并向国家有关部门或机构送交论文的复印件和电子版。 本人允许论文被查阅和借阅。本人授权西北大学可以将本学位论文的 全部或部分内容编入有关数据库进行检索,可以采用影印、缩印或扫 描等复制手段保存和汇编本学位论文。同时授权中国科学技术信息研 究所等机构将本学位论文收录到《中国学位论文全文数据库》或其它 相关数据库。

学位论文作者签名:二牡指导教师签名:
保密论文待解密后适用本声明。

≯厂口年口歹月》,El

沙/夕年矿占月p/日

西北大学学位论文独创性声明
本人声明:所呈交的学位论文是本人在导师指导下进行的研 究工作及取得的研究成果。据我所知,除了文中特别加以标注和 致谢的地方外,本论文不包含其他人已经发表或撰写过的研究成 果,也不包含为获得西北大学或其它教育机构的学位或证书而使 用过的材料。与我一同工作的同志对本研究所做的任何贡献均已 在论文中作了明确的说明并表示谢意。

学位论文作者签名:压钐
≯/。年口6月0/日

西北大学硕士学位论文

Chapter One Introduction

1.1Research Background

、斫m the development of globalization in communication among countries all
Therefore,we
resources are over

recent years,the

economical and cultural


the world becomes

lot more

frequent.

favored with much more science and

opportunities

to

share all kinds of well

including

technology,culture

and thoughts,as
are

as

multimedia resources.Nowadays,more and more

people

appealed to foreign

movies and TV series,especially those imported from America.Multimedia products
of Hollywood take


huge proportion of

our

domestic market.People of all ages

and


from all walks of life regard seeing US movies and watching US TV products as
trend of fashion.To some extent,those who normally don’t give products
call a

glance

at those

be left far behind the culture tendency.
are posed

Thereby,we
US multimedia show with
rio

with

another issue——-to promote
expect is


the quality and quantity of

products.What the audiences

complete

enjoyment

of the

subjective(translation,definition

of the

screen,stamina,etc.)or translation of
on

objective(power
of those

of electricity,weather,ere)interruption.E-C


subtitles

imported audio—visual products has

great

influence

the quality of

people’S feeling.Subtitles are texts added to the audio—visual products for people to

better appreciate the TV series and

films.They
added

serve

as



supplementary

approach of aid

enjoying
of

the play.Subtitles

are

usually totally

at the bottom of the

screen.With the

subtitles,audiences may

enjoy

the

show

in case they

missed the

pronunciation of some words and had difficulty in understanding the Subtitles Can also provide some explanatory information when there
culture.related conversations which we As is
are

language.
ale

exotic

not quite

familiar with.

mentioned

previously,the popularity of

American

TV series

as

well

as

movies is overwhelmingly strong.A large group of Chinese
TV-viewers
ale

cinema-goers and
current situation

appealed to those.And what

contributed

most to the

Chapter One Introduction

is

audio-visual

translation,namely,subtitling.Without
can

subtitling,people US

in

non-English speaking countries
as an

hardly

ever

get to know



product.Translation,
source

indispensable way of conveying information suggested in the

language

into the

information

expressed in the target


language,is

of great importance in

terms

of cross—cultural communication.It is the same

process of re—recognition and re—expression of study of the

object

by the


translators.Therefore the

betterment
Qian

of subtitle Shaochang

translation becomes

lot more important at present.Even Professor

regards it私a translation field of potential in his papers and calls

on

the expeas勰

well弱advanced

English learners to pay more attention to

it.(钱绍昌,2000:61)In

the second intemational conference of dubbing and subtitling held in October,2002,
Professor

Qian emphasized

that the present subtitling
to

and

dubbing practice is rather

SCarCe.People haven’t paid enough attention
result

that field,which

brought

about the

that the general quality of subtitling and dubbing is
not adequately paid for the

not

satisfactory

and

well—received.The translators are almost ignorant of copyrights.
Friends is
one

effort.Besides,they are

of the most popular sitcoms in America.It haS

gained great

popularity all
ale

over

the world and haS made quite



large group of fans.In China,they

mainly

young

educated people.Apart from considering it嬲a

fantastic and

practical tool to learn English,they are also attracted by its humor.

1.2

Methodology

People’S

demand for

audio—visual products of good quality is increasing rapidly. translation has become

Therefore,audio-visual

an

indispensable field of

translation related

study and practice.However the discussion of audio-visual expertise brought about less mature

translation

by the

results.The

disciplines concluded in their study
no

Can’t guide the general

translation practice.So far there’S

translation maxim that

serves雒a forever rule of subtitle translation.Yet fortunately,they have paved a way
for
our

further study.BaSed

on

their

discussions
out the

and conclusion,the author

can

make
as a

some detailed analysis in order to find

most practical and flexible theory



西北大学硕士学位论文

guidance for subtitle translation.It is expected to be



theory which

Can not

only meet

the special requirements of subtitling,but also best suit the Looking back
over

audiences’demand.

the theories both

at

home and abroad,people may find that what

best suits subtitle consider it
as a

translation

is merely Nida’S functional equivalence theory which

translation yardstick to equate the target audiences’response while

audiences’response with
certain television program

the
or

source-language
film.It has

enjoying
US.



set a unique and innovative

thought for

Theory is established for the sake of guiding the practice.However,before getting down to the research of specific

translation problems,translators objective.This paper
our

have to be crystal

clear about the features of the research

is about to probe into

subtitle translation of humor in Friends.Since

options for strategies of translation


are restricted by the features of subtitles and humor to
for
US

great

extent,SO


it is

necessary

to

dissect all the features

to ensure the

research is

made谢tll

definite purpose.

Subsequently,a response
be the

questionnaire is



must.Nida paid great attention

to

the audiences’

in his translation research.In his point of view,a version of of functional

translation Can

one

equivalence,providing
text

that the

target—language audiences’

understanding of the is

source

equals

to that of the
on

source-language audiences.That audience.
audiences’

to establish functional

equivalence
to

the basis of the response of the

Therefore,the

author

ought

try
to

knowing

something

about

the

psychology,mood,and interest,and equivalence

summarize the elements

that

influence the

effect.Finally,through citing the examples of subtitle

translation

in

Friends,a conclusion is to be reached in regard to subtitle translation. In


word,this Paper has adopted



descriptive—contrastive

methodology.As

is

described

previously,theory

is established for the purpose of

guiding practice,and

that makes practice the ultimate purpose.So prescriptive view should be considered merely
as a

theoretical

basis,and much more stamina and time must paper
first makes


be put

on

the

research of descriptive directions.This

clear clarification of the
specific and unique

different

categories of humor in

Friends,and

discussed the

subtitle translation

strategies

that

are

applicable for each of them.



Chapter Two Literature Review

Chapter Two Literature Review

2.1

The Current Research Abroad

of Subtitle

Translation

at Home

and

I surfed

Oil—www.cn—ki.net,trying
and

to

find out the present research of subtitle

translation both at home
ale

abroad.There are 1 96 search results,yet only few theses indicate that subtitle translation is becoming

about humor

translation.The findings



field of growing importance.And

extra attention to

humor translation should be

attached to reinforce CROSS.culture communication.

2.1.1 Present Study of Subtitle Translation at Home

In 1 949,a

Russian film

was translated in

Changchun Film Studio,marking the and practice.With the enhancement
of

beginning of Chinese subtitle translation study cross—cultural communication

within

the world boundary,the past decades have

witnessed
only
seen

extraordinary development in subtitle

translation in

China.Yet,efforts were

in the perspective of practical translation by the related and advanced
we have only few Chinese universities that offer subtitling
courses

translators,and and award

subtitling degrees.

Compared with translation in other fields in terms of quality and quantity,
subtitle

translation
or

is not that ordinary

and significant.Yet the importance

as

well

as

the guidance

principles of subtitle

translation are

articulated in some of the research

papers.Here,some examples are quoted

to highlight

the

importance

of it.

Professor Li Yunxing(李运兴,2001)from

Tianjin

Normal

University highlights

the two indispensable features of subtitle translation in his paper‘‘Strategies for

Translating Subtitles”.First,there

is

much

information

involved

in

the

source

language

text,including

images,verbal sound,music,body language and other

related

elements.Subtitle translation
Yet still the

is supposed to convey as much information as possible. strongly wim the subtitles in the source

translated version may interact



西北大学硕士学位论文

language,and something

that Call’t be fully expressed will eme玛e.However,the

audience could retain the lost information merely through the intonation of the actors and the abstract atmosphere of the spot which is beyond

language.This

feature also

marks the uniqueness of subtitle translation from other literature translation practice.
Secondly,audiences of

the

target

language
source

Call

be

crystal

clear

about

the

pronunciation and intonation of the
product.They may unconsciously hold translation providing they

text

while

enjoying

the audio—visual



critical attitude toward the version of subtitle knowledgeable in this field.So subtitle

are

sli曲tly


translation is supposed to produce need ofthe As is

version of extremely good quality to meet the

audiences.
mentioned previously,Professor Qian

Shaochang(钱绍昌,2000)from


Shanghai International Studies of growing importance.He he used to work
on

Uniwwsity considers audio-visual translation as
to pick up subtitle translation

field

started

early in 1 984 when

C-E subtitle

translation

of some science and

education programs and

and documentaries

produced in Shanghai

Science

and Education Film Studio

Shanghai

TV

Station.Therefore
his paper‘'Film

he is quite

an experienced

expert in this field.He Field of

articulated

in

Translation--A

Translation

Growing

Importance”that there are altogether five
Professor

features for film

language:1.1istening.
through reading,

Qian

pointed out that we

appreciate literature works

nevertheless,We

enjoy films

and TV series

through

listening.Subtitle

translation

is

the process of transforming the
verbalized in
case

sound

signals into words.Yet those words ought to be personal

of

misunderstanding in similar pronunciations.Take is‘'he’’,‘‘she’’and‘‘it'’in
English,representing

pronoun for example;there

different

individuals.In China,we don’t

normally distinguish those

three nouns,but simply say
on

‘‘TA”in general,representing all of them.But Chinese people Can tell who it is
earth

through judging
to

the
at

context.2.Comprehensiveness.Apart from
the screen
to

listening,the

audiences need

look

enjoy

the show

and experience everything
the spot.This

(scenes,settings,lights,background music,etc.)in
comprehensiveness
of audio一访sual products.As for

marks

the

translators,they

have to put the


entire above—discussed

element

into consideration

before producing

translation



竺!型竺!坐生空竺!璺竖墼兰!!
version.Translators should facial expression and

?

never

ignore the nodding of actors,meir
are

gestures,manners, audiences
to

even

pauses which

indispensable for the

understand the show.Any applicable approaches must be employed into

translation to

completely convey the

abstract

information

to

the target

audiences.3.Instant need
to be

Audio-visual products differ greatly from literature works.The pages

turned OVer again and again sentence
there
on

if there is something hard to

understand.But if missed the and see
if the lines
are

while seeing



movie,audiences Can’t

turn back

still

the screen.That requires conciseness and preciseness of the translation.4.


Commonness.All kinds of multi—media products are favored with

large group of

audiences of all ages and from all walks of life.Thus the film language is be the most ordinary one.Only in this

required
serve

to

way,Can

the multi—media products

their

purposes.5.Limitation. while reading


Every time
turn to

the readers encountered culture difficulties the notes(or footnotes)for reference.But it is
no

book,they Can

not allowed to put notes at

the bottom of the SCreen since
faced much more
note

distractions should be is


made.Thereby,translators are

difficulties.It limits.Based
on

key issue to

compromise between the need of the
Professor

and

the

the five features,

Qian
on

Shaochang has worked out some incisive subtitle

translation strategies.

Based
editor from process of

the special requirements of subtitles,Zhao Chunmei,(赵春梅,2002)an
four main conflicting

CCTV,analyses

demands

facing



translator in the

translation--length VS.content,word

order VS.picture order,naturalization is also clear

VS.alienation,and transliteration VS.semantic translation.Her analysis and penetrating.According translation
is


to Zhao’S view,way of

thinking is part of culture,and

cultural communication,including the

exchange

of habits

and

way of

thinking.Therefore,translators
in the

should be aware of the plain fact that way of thinking

SOurCe language Can’t totally be replaced by that of the target language.


Multimedia communication,as
culture.It is not only

way of cultural communication,is profound in

language

translation but more like cultural is


translation.Zhang

also mentions that subtitle

translation

process of re-creation,specializing in art

and technique.It requires
Chinese and English

the

translators

to be extraordinarily

competent in using both

languages and

mastering their cultures respectively.Subtitle


西北大学硕士学位论文

translation should be concise and precise.However,given the cultural differences between Chinese

and English,translators

should put into consideration the
or

balance

between form and content,the cultural blanks,the type of the film

TV series,the

language

style of the individual characters,and more importantly,the cognitive ability

and habit of the target language audiences.Professor Xu Jianping from Tsinghua University also makes be mainly in


stress in this

regard.(许建平,2002)Translation

version should
care

accordance with the

target

language

culture;Translators should
at least

more about the target

audiences’cognitive ability;and

they should break the

cultural barriers for the audiences. In the paper‘'Norms and Subtitle
ale

Translation'’,(李和庆,薄振杰,2005)the authors
subtitle

convinced

that

the

best

translated

is

the

one

that

extinct

any

barriers(cultural

barriers and

language barriers).Making

all the

barriers invisible only

suggests that translated

subtitles at the bottom of the
on

screen

can

have

little

influence on the visual
to instant

effect;and

the other hand,subtitles must be readable.Due
should be enabled to


appearance

of

subtitles,audiences
they Can
save

understand

the lines
into the

with

no

extra efforts,thus

quite

lot of time to better

penetrate

film

or

TV series.In other words,subtitles must be easy for the audience to read,and
on

thereby they could focus

the

scene.

2.1.2 Present Study of Subtitle Translation Abroad

Compared

with subtitle

translation

studies in

aliIla’experts in other foreign an earlier time,and thereby
in
our

countries start doing related researches and practices at

the special field of translation develops
have concluded some merits strategy of subtitle In the

evell

faster

than that

country.Scholars

and

demerits of subtitle,and worked out applicable

translation.

paper“Culture-bound

Problems in

Subtitling",(Nerdergaard—Larsen,Birgit

1 993,(2).)Nedergaard?Larsen exchange

defines subtitle

translation

as



special

language

typ㈣condensed
that

written text of the

source

language

oral speeches.Luyken

(Luyken 1991)believes

subtitle translation includes interlingual message transformation,



Chapter Two Literature Review

simplified and condensed text,and



change from verbal speech into written text.These three

layers of meaning differ from each other in the theoretical each other in subtitle


perspective,but

closely related with

particular way.Besides,the last two layers of meaning marks the uniqueness of

translation from other types of translation.In ordinary translation and interpretation,
no

there’S

transformation

between oral

speech

and

written text.Yet subtitle translation requires



transformation from oral signals into
iIl his paper“Subtitling:Diagonal

written words,which

Gottlieb regards as diagonal translation

Translation”(Gottlieb,Henrik 1994,(1))

As it is known to all,the manipulation of subtitle translation by translators is restricted by the unique Diaz—Cintas’S features of multimedia

products.As is articulated in


paper“Subtitling:Diagonal

Translation,”(Diaz-Cintas

999,(1))

Mayoral,Kelly

and Gallardo categorize the elements restricting subtitle translation

into six types:time,space,music,image,phonetics and with other restricting

spoken language.Compared
on

elements,time and space have
to

more effect

subtitle translation. and language.

Time restriction refers

the

simultaneous

cooperation

between image

Subtitles should accomplish its goal of conveying the message in the form of the lines
appeared at the bottom of the refers to the limitation of the
screen

within



certain period of

time.Space restriction
we

language

signals in terms of
one

quantity.As

can

see

in

most

movies,sometimes
on

there is only

line of words,but sometimes differences

two

lines of Chinese

words appear and

the

screen

at the same

time.Given the

between

English,translators are posed with more challenge.Take“西北大学”for example.
of merely

It consists

four Chinese characters;nevertheless,its English version


‘'Northwest University'’includes 1 9 English letters.Thus

sharp contrast is formed.

Chinese characters and pronunciation respectively
English ones.Therefore the translate

save

more space and time than

translators

usually employ the“deduction'’strategy to

subtitles.Even some

people consider subtitle translation as‘'the reductive

form
Jorge

of translation”(de Linde,Zoe 1 995)or“constrained

translation'’(Diaz-Cintas,

1999,(1))But

deduction does not mean deducing the SOurCe material blindly.

One of its operating principles is

relevance.We

can

only omit the information

irrelevant with the audiences’cognitive activity,for the purpose of highlighting the

more

important message.For example,if the image


or

music

has already provided the

西北大学硕士学位论文

audiences with information translators
can ignore

which

can

help

fully tmderstand the

text,then the

it.

2.2 Subtitles---Definition,Classification,Features

Subtitles

are

brief and precise texts tagged at the boRom of the

screen

for the

audience to beaer They
all serve as a

understand

the play,or beRer appreciate the scenarios of the film.

vital channel of cross—cultural

communication.Subtitle translation
another
visual track:target

is

add to the source-language sound track of
recur

language

subtitles,i.e.,to

the instant

dialogue

of the source

language

in the form of words. and subtitles,廿leir which is define

However when the attention would

audiences

keep looking at the

instant images
loss of TV

diverse,and thus

bring about the

information

indispensable for the understanding of the

film

or

series.Therefore,to

subtitle and look for the primary theory for conveying the messages to the
or

guidance

is vital during the process of is to
serve

audiences.The ultimate purpose
judged

the readers

audiences.Yet different types of text ought to be

by different standards.

Papers of science and technology must be precise in diction of words;literature works

must

apply some rhetoric

devices;and in regard granted,but

to subtitle translation of

multimedia

products,we

cant

take it for

define subtitle clearly before getting down to

the study of translation. Subtitling refers
to

the

activity of

translating films,TV

series

and other

mass—media audiovisual products.It Can be

interlingual

as well as intralingual.(谭载喜,

2005:219)The

former is about the

transformation

of the same

language text(a change
actor’S

from sound into written words).Yet the latter suggest translating the
into other

dialogue

language under

the condition of retaining the original

spoken language. role,and

Subtitle translation is closely

restricted

by space,time,characters of the
SO

subj ective elements

of

the audience and

on.The translated

subtitles must

synchronize with image and sound of the multimedia products.(柴梅萍,2003(5))

Audiences are supposed

to read the

lines within 2-3
can

seconds.Thus
we offer the

the lines should

include less than 2 rows.Only by these principles

audience wim the



Chapter Two Literature RevieW

most explicit message.The roles differ greatly in the same multimedia products.So the translation of the dialogues ought
to be

made in

accordance谢m

the different

characters.The purpose of subtitle translation is to let the audience fully appreciate

the

glamour

and

profound

meaning.Therefore,translators must audiences. Can

be aware of the

cognitive ability of the target

According

to the above discussion,a conclusion

be made that there

age

altogether four features of subtitle and common period of recognize

translation:instant,restriction,comprehensiveness
texts which

language.Subtitles are

appear on the

screen

for quite



short

time.The
an image
or

image and sound

are

both

instant.If the audiences and

fail to

understand



sentence,the lines

pictures cannot reappear.
can

Unlike other forms of

text(1iterature works,papers),subtitles and

only be read

instantly.If

fail to follow the lines,you have to let them go

catch up with the
on

following lines.As is said previously in this paper,there is which only allows at most two rows of lines,because the affect the whole image.So there words
are

limited

space

the

screen

translated subtitles

cannot

close restrictions in regard to the size of the
even

and length

of the translated

sentences;and

restrictions of the punctuation.

Translators are supposed to put into consideration all of the above

elements

while

subtitling.In regard of comprehensiveness,it mainly refers to the dependence of subtitles.Subtitles cannot be the independent

element

in



multimedia product.In

most US TV serial,the intricate plots

age

put forward by the interaction

between roles

and the

changing

scenes.Yet

without

images(scenes)and sound(including

background music),there would never be
While
appreciating


full expression of the story to the audiences.

TV serial,the audiences have to be completely aware of the

images,dialogues,background sound,as well as the subtitles.Only in this way,Can the audience make
TV serial in


combination ofthe verbal and non-verbal message,and enjoy the
way.The last but not least feature of subtitles is the common allowed to appear
on

an

all

round

language.Subtitles are only

the screen for quite a short period of

time.So unlike the ordinary literature works which need careful diction of words,they

must

be easy to
can

understand.Subtitles
on

should be precise

and

concise

SO

that the

audiences

focus their attention

the images.

西北大学硕士学位论文

Gottlieb(Gottlieb,Henrik,1994,(1))divides

subtitles

into

two

categories:
screen.

intralingual and interlingual subtitle.They both appear at the bottom of the However,the former involves better understanding of the intralingual subtitles
are no

target language.The latter

are

set for the purpose of

dialogue.Sometimes

the role’S

accent is hard to catch.So

necessary.Interlingual
and the target

subtitle translation involves two

languages:the

SOUrCe

language

language.Multimedia
on

products

imported from the
target

source

language

country must apply subtitles

the

screen

for the

language

audiences to read.It is the only way to overcomc the language barriers

and bridge

the gap of cross—culture communication.

2.3

Humor—Definition,Classification,Features
Humor is the quality which appeals
to
a sense

of the ludicrous

or

absurdly

incongruous.The reason


why humor words are funny is because it
on

unveils

the truth in

ridiculous way.Based

the

contradiction

of the earthly things,humor reveals the

apparent irrationality of life.It is the quintessence of human thoughts,knowledge, wisdom

and

inspiration.Humor exists everywhere in

our

daily life.To



certain extent,

it helps to coordinate contradiction,stimulate the spirit of life

human beings,and make


elegant and cheerful.As

is said by Vladimir Ilich

Lenin,humor is

beautiful of

and

healthy quality.The present society features fierce

competition,and many

us are
US

over-stressed.And normally humor whenever it

serves

as



massagist of spirit,cheering

up

is necessary.Lin Yl切∞g(林语堂,2008)has his own perception of of it:

humor

and also伽111(hi曲ly

‘'As

humor necessarily goes with

900d

sense

and the reasonable

exceptionally subtle powers of the mind iII detecting inconsistencies bad

spirit,plus some and follies and

logic,and as this iS the hi曲est form of human intelligence…this I conceive to the chemical function of humor:to change the character of our thought.I rather tllink tllat it goes to the very root of culture,and opens a way to the coming of the Reasonable in the future human world…110W it happens that subtle comnlon Age SenSe,gaiety of
philosophy and simplicity of thinking
ale

characteristic of

human and must

arise from

it.”

Chapter Two Literature Review

As subtle



crafty language approach,humor indirectly expresses common devious way.It always
ale

sense

in



and

comes

out

of expectation,but meaningfully.

Generally speaking there

three features of humor.1.Ridiculousness.This is the

basis as well as the essence of function well if it fails
to

humor.No

laughter,no

humor.Humor

does not

make people laugh.A

humorous

conversation must be is the indirect
or

ridiculous apparently.2.Subtleness.As is mentioned
expression of opinions.It involves
no

above,humor
subtle
carl

direct articulation of viewpoints
words
or

judgments.

Humor
can

can

only be

obtained through circumbendibus
people’S

words.Humor
be significant,

bring about

imagination and

assumption.It

meaningful and impressive.3.Uniqueness.There ale world,enjoying formed
different climates,natural

people living every part of the diets.Thus they have

SCenes and different
even

their own way of thinking,habits of life and

way of

speech.Therefore,

there conception and expression of humor differ.Even different religion has provided them with different value of life and value of the world.So sometimes
country


joke in

one

Can be

forbidden legally

or

conventionally in another.

Normally humor can be

classified into two categories:situation

humor and literal
or

humor(Pocheptsov,G
special glamour

G,1 98

1).The


former is produced by the plot

something

related to the plot.It is set in

certain

language atmosphere,and

brings about the
on

instantly.The

latter functions without depending

the plot.It is

mainly about language itself.Literal humor Can also be called humor derived from
rhetoric devices,since rhetoric devices ale the most

frequently

used

humor language

and usually function the

best.

西北大学硕士学位论文

Chapter Three Functional Equivalence Theory
As
all

indispeIlsable bridge of communication,translation enjoys
is human society,VaIiOUS nations,different



long historical

tradition.Where there

languages and

culture,there is translation.In 16m century,Dolet from France published his paper
about translation,marking the beginning of serious in terms of theory.Yet‘'translatability'’among quite


and systematic

study of translation

languages

has been the hot topic for of

long time and

accordin酉y
1 960s the

retarded the

establishment and development

translation theories.In
established


famous
on

US

linguist and translator Eugene

Nida
the

translation

theory

based

readers’reaction,which finally

changed

lopsided


view of translation.Functional equivalence now been
one

theory

was brought to China in

980s,and has

of the most

significant

theories in China.Undoubtedly, withstood


whether it is at

home

or

abroad,functional

equivalence theory has

long

period of development.

3.1 The Development of Functional Equivalence Theory

3.1.1 A Brief Review of Functional Theory

Functional equivalence theory emphasizes‘‘function’’which is about the function of
texts

and

translation.German
it

scholar

Christiane Nord
research

defined

functional
or

equivalence

theory,considering
text or

as



specializing

in

function

multi—function of the

translation(Christiane Nord,1 997).Function-oriented
theories produced by those functionalist research
not

translation theory invokes many
methods.Translation actually did

emerge in 20m century.Translators of ancient
contexts eall for

literature works and Bible were a11 aware of the fact that different different translations.Cicero used
version
to

articulate
or

that literal

translation makes the

clumsy.Changing

diction of words
Bible

word order seems like deviating the convinced that there are two
recur

function of

translators.Many

translators are

aspects involved in the process of translation.One is to text;the other is to make some corresponding

the form of the
to

source

changes according

the requirements

13

竺!型竺旦!!!!竺旦璺12旦苎!璺兰!∑璺!竺!!!!兰竺塑!!!墅!!苎塑
and expectation of target language readers.

Werner

Koller firmly believes functional approach in his study

as

well.He is
text is

convinced that any unacceptable.But between the

translation

version that is not equivalent to the
are

source

as

it is known to all,there
source

many

differences of pragmatics

two

cultures.The

text cannot always be

equivalent

to

the target

version.In order to render the

acceptable

translation for the

readers,Koller proposed

that adaption,explanation and other non—literal translation approaches are necessary
for the translators to better convey the implied meaning of the
source

text,and

accordingly,the readers Can get
conceive



better comprehension.Translators are

supposed to

translation

strategies according to the text’S function in the

context.(Werner

Koller,1 979)
English translation theorist Peter Newmark did translation and

his research by combining

language

function together.He put forward the idea that,according to text,and vocative

the three forms of text

function(expressive text,informative

text),

translators should employ

two

approaches:semantic

translation and communicative

translation.Newmark translation is to language
recur

explained in his

book(Peter Newmark,1 98 1)that semantic
text

the precise meaning of the source
other

according to

the target

structure

and

semantic

information.

Communicative translation
of

emphasizes

Oil

the

transformation

of information in

terms

language,culture

and

semantics.It
freedom even to

doesn’t recommend faithful
source

transliteration.Translators

have much

to explain the
correct

text,to adapt the

language

style,to expel ambiguity and

the mistakes in the source text.Communicative translators ought to

achieve the goal of communication for the target readers.So the version of translation
will

surely break the limitation

of the source text.Yet usually there are only news such killd of translation approaches.

reports,text books,and notices

employing

Compared with those scholars’study of functional translation theory,Nada’S
efforts
arc

much more influential theoretically and practically

西北大学硕士学位论文

3.1.2 Nada’S Functional Equivalence Theory

Nida is greatly influenced by US stmctIlral linguistics.He has been doing
translation research for years
on

the theoretical basis of modem linguistics.According


to his practical experience in

the field of Bible translation,Nida has established

unique perception of translation theory and practice.His

translation

study is divided

into three phases.During the early period,Nida mainly did some descriptive research

and

discussion

on

some primary translation problems research
on

on

the theoretical basis of US


structtlra I linguistics.His

the Bible in this period contributed

lot to his

study of

translation.In

1 964,Nida

published

his book“Toward



Science

of

Translating'’which

not only paved

the way of being the top translation scholar in the

United States,but also marked the beginning of the second phase of translation study.

In this book,Nida put forward his theory of‘'translation as science'’,“equivalence

theory'’,and‘‘communicative developed his
During translation

translation'’.The last phase starts from of social semiotics and Sociolinguistics

1 970s.Nida

theory in terms published

sociolinguistics. of
Interlingual

this period,he

the book:the

Communication representing his thoughts.

Equivalence
translation

is



primary question in translation study.It is also the earliest
the

theory and approach in equivalence from

west.Modern

translation theory discusses the

approaches of

five aspects:linguistic approach,communicative
literary approach.

approach,social semiotics approach,translation studies approach,and

(方梦之,2004)Based
way.He emphasizes between
re,eRr source

on

communicative theory,Nida defines translation in his own
closest natural equivalence of the meaning as well as from and target



language

language.The

first and foremost purpose is to of translation is

messages of the

source

text;and the principle
be

equivalence,

rather


than idenfi够A good translation should


natural.The

version mustn’t be like

translated text,but

text written by native people.
are

hl Nida’S point of view,there

generally two kinds of primary

equivalence:

formal equivalence and d),11amic equivalence.The focus of formal equivalence is the message itself,including the

form and content

of those

messages.Formal equivalence

15

Chapter Three Functional Equivalence of Subtitle Translation

translation ought to

recur

both messages and

structure

of the is

SOurCe

text.The

translation

strategy representing such kind of
extra

translation theory

explanation.There
the purpose of

is usually much

explanation added to the translation version,for

letting the readers better comprehend the version and the customs,thoughts,as well舔
way

of

thinking

implied

in

the

version.Formal
at retaining

equivalence

is

source
structure

language—oriented translation theory.It aims
of source

the information and

language
the

text勰much私possible.However,in dynamic equivalence

translation,what between

translators
source

care

about is not the corresponding relationship
text

dynamic
language
readers

relationshi叫e
text

messages of

language

and

that of target

language

text,but



relationship between target

language readers and

target

should

be primarily

equivalent with that between source language
full

and

source

language text.A

and

natural expression is the

ultimate

requirement of
across

dynamic

equivalence translation.Yet the translators will surely come about by

the side effect

brought

language and

culture.SO there are certain

restrictions in terms of dynamic equivalence translation.
Inl 986,Nida presented the conception of functional

equivalence.At

the same functional

time,he

explained

that

there

was

only

slight difference between
is

equivalence and
merely
stresses

dynamic equivalence.As far嬲he
that
content

concemed,dynamic equivalence

equivalence is prior to

form

equivalence.This is



misleading viewpoint,since people would believe there is contradiction
content

between

and

form.The

purpose of

adopting functional equivalence and dismiss
the

theory is to

highlight

the communicative function

misunderstandings.Functional
source

equivalence requires not only the

message(or content)equivalence between
text,but also form

language

text

and

target

language

equivalence.Compared

with

dynamic

equivalence,functional

equivalence
in

is more convincing and

cogent.In the


book‘'Language and

Culture:Contexts

Translating’,Nida
reasons

gives

detailed replaced

discussion about functional

equivalence.He

also articulated

why he

dynamic

equivalence

with functional equivalence.Some people wrongly believe that
stress

dynamic equivalence merely

the quality and effect of the translated version.To

eliminate the misapprehension,Nida picked up functional equivalence theory serving
16

西北大学硕士学位论文

as a

quality yardstick of the translation version. Nida is convinced that
sortie

translation principles

are

indispensable to achieve

the goal of functional equivalence. 1.If


form equivalent translation might bring about a miscomprehension of the
ale

referential meaning,some changes

surely necessary in the translated version.

Otherwise,translators
explain the possible

ought to retain the literal translation,but add some footnotes to

misunderstandings. SOurCe
language text is

2.If the content of the

ambiguous,translators language

Call

retain form

the ambiguity of referential meaning in the target
equivalent target

text.But if



translation leads

to

an

ambiguous

referential meaning,then a

change in the

language


text is a must.

3.If

form

equivalent

translation is hardly understandable semantically target

and

syntactically for common try their utmost to get the

readers,and

language

text readers

are

not

supposed to


meanings,then

translators should change the version

little

and make some
4.If


necessary explanation鹬footnotes.

form

equivalent

translation
Or

would leads to


either

make

the

readers

miscomprehend the imaginative meaning

great loss in terms of text

quality(and the readers could to),then

not appreciate the text

completely嬲they are supposed
let the target

the translators should

make some adjustments and

language

version better represent the imaginative meaning.
5.The

adjustment

of the version functions well in the target language context. consist of phonology, vocabulary,

6.The adjustments
conversation.

grammar

and

We Can

tell from the above

analysis

that every principle is put forward

under



prerequisite.When functional translation version,translators

equivalence is not realized should properly adopt
one

in



form

equivalence

of these principles,for the

purpose of fully conveying the meaning of all levels of the target language version.

source language

text to

the

To sum up,functional equivalence translation broke the limitation of

traditional

translation approach,regarding the relationship
17

of SOurCe

language

text

and

target

Chapter Three Functional Equivalence of Subtitle Translation

language text

as

the yardstick of

translation.That

is also about the response of the good
or

readers to the translated which
can

version(target language tex0.A

translation

is the

one

let the target language readers

resonant the image

conception with what

the

source

language readers

feel.Nida

proposed four primary requirements in regard
should be meaningful.

to functional

equivalence translation principles:1.Translation

2.It should convey b.0Ⅱl meaning and natural and fluent.4.Target have the same

form.3.The
readers

expression of translation shouM be readers should the version be

language

and source language Can

response toward the texts.Only in this way

acceptable for the target

language readers.

3.2 The Application of Functional Equivalence in Subtitle Translation

Peter Newmark is regarded His masterpieces,Approaches as textbooks all
applied Karl
over

as

the founding father of British translation study.

to Translation

and A

Text Book

of Translation,are

used

the world.In the book A Textbook

of

Translation,Newmark

Buhler’s(German psychologist,linguisO

functional

linguistic

theory

revised by R.Jacobson,namely,three functions of languages--expressive function,

informative function and vocative function.Newmark is convinced that we

use

language every day
use

for the purpose of fulfilling these functions.For

example,people
works
or

languages

of expressive function to compile

imaginative literature
of informative

make

some authoritative speeches;we nse

languages

function to write

reports,academic dissertations and textbooks;languages

of vocative function are

normally
every text

used in
or

advertisements,publicity material

and

SO

on.Newmark said that
one

written material

is definitely multi—functional,but specializing in
no

function only,and scripts ofmulti-media products are
As is suggested by Newmark,translation

exception. major
types:

Can

be divided into tWO

semantic

translation

and communicative translation.The

former


is

author-centered,

whereas the latter reader.-centered.Semantic translation is
author’S

process of pursuing

thought.Communicative translation is



process of pursuing author’S

intention.It adapts

and makes

the thought and cultural

content

of

original more

西北大学硕士学位论文

accessible to the original
text
as

reader.What they
well
as

are

aware of is how to retain the function of
on

how it functions

the new readers.Communicative
on

translation is

made

for the purpose of making the translation effects
source

the target

readers the same way as the we
call

text functions 0n the source language

readers.So
to

draw the conclusion that the emphasis of communicative

translation is

convey messages by the

language

and culture of target
source

languages.Translators
Call

have

more freedom
correct

to explain

and adjust the
as

text.They

extinct ambiguity

and

mistakes,as long

the translation version functions well as is expected by the

target

language readers.
Newmark’S point of view witll regard
to

translation has

provided

US

witll



completely new way of thinking.Friends is from United States



great multi-media product imported

to China,for the purpose of

entertaining the public,promoting

English language study,as well as

enhancing

cross—culture

communication.Therefore
serve

its subtitle translation involves message conveying and culture exchanges.To these purposes,We have
to

follow Newmark’S thought:to pursue the author’S
thought and culture content of the original more pointed out


intention,and

to adapt

and make the

accessible to the How to

reader.Yet Newmark merely
of

macro—direction for

US.

guide the study

subtitle仃anslation?The

answer is functional equivalence

theory which

emphasizes

both form and content.Functional equivalence theory is in

accordance with Newrnark’S

communicative translation theory,yet the
to know
as

former is much

more practical and applicable,since it deals with detailed requirements of translation. From Newmark’S analysis of translation,we get that there ought
to be


theory dealing with

conveying meanings as well

exchanging culture to fulfill the equivalence
to

purpose of communicative

translation.Functional
Call

theory

is the very

theory serving for these purposes.It communicative translation.

be

employed

meet the requirements of

This dissertation deals with humor

translation,which around the

iS

even

harder for the

translators than mere translation.People all
SalTle

world may define humor in the

way.Yet in specific situations their reactions toward humor differ,owing to

OUr

different culture roots.Some certain thing Can be

amusing

in

one

nation,but quite

Chapter Three Functional Equivalence of Subtitle Translation

ordinary in

another.With regard

to such kind of cultural vacancies,translators should

be fully aware of the target

language readers’response.Can mey

be amused in the

same way
questions

as

the

SOUrCe

language readers are?And how?The functional


answer
must

to

these

lies

in

applying

equivalence theory

as



in humor

translation.Because it stresses at

dynamic relationship between messages and

readers.It is articulated that the relationship readers should equate with that

between

soUrce

text

and soUrce

language

between


the target

text and target

language

readers.It

aims

at expressing

information in

most complete and natural way.Equivalence
text

refers to the relationship

between

soUrce

and target

text not only in

terms of

semantics and sentence formations,but (including meaning,style

also in terms of equal communicative vahe

and communicative

effects,functions,etc.).

Compared with other genre of materials,subtitle is unique.Subtitle translation

requires



comprehensive,complete and applicable theory as



guidance

of translation is practical

practice.Functional

equivalence

Call

sUrely meet

all the

requirements.It

and necessary to

applying this theory into subtitle

translation of humor.

西北大学硕士学位论文

Chapter Four Subtitle Translation of Friends

under the

Theory of Functional Equivalence

4.1 Friends and Its Humor

Humor is

all

esthetic term.It refers

tO the ability of

realizing,appreciating,and

expressing the eccentric
not


phenomenon

and its comic features in daily life.Humor is
an

patent

of few

humorists,but

indispensable

seasoning

in

our

daily

conversation,serving嬲the inexhaustible resource of laughter.
Situation

comedy(or sitcom)is



comic form of

performance.It

appears in the

golden


age ofUS television industry,namely,1920s tO 1950s.Sitcom is now enjoying

good popularity all OW。=T the world.In this special TV

type,humor

plays

an

important role.Friends typically represents the sitcoms of United States.Through the
description of six close friends’friendship,love and career,Friends fully suggests the unique

humorous

style of life in America
sense

and

personality of

Americans.American
language and
speeches of visual roles,

audiences signals

Can eaSily

the humorous elements merely from it mainly

of

sitcoms.Because

depends

on

verbal

imagination and resonation facing sitcom translators
Conveying

among

audiences to realize

humorous

effects.Therefore,
of

are

the interlingual

and intralingual

elements

humor.

humor among

these

elements Call be a really tough task.

4.1.1 A Brief Introduction of Friends

Sitcom comedies(siteoms)appeared in 1920s.The year of 1947 witnessed the
birth of the first real situation comedy which is proved to be quite 1 950s,situation comedies have been

influential.Since

enjoying



great reputation and popularity in the

west(陆晔,陈立斌,2002).Friends is the most famous siteom frequently broadcasted by
NBC since 1

990s.Friends

consists of 1 0 seasons and 236 series.This is



product of
to

Wamer

Brother Company,and has been consistently broadcasted for 1 0

years.Due

its extensive and

fundamental

influence,所ends
2l

has won the

Golden

Ball Award,

.C.h....a.p..t..e—r—Four Subtitle Translation ofFriends under the Theory of Functional Equivalence

Emmy Awards,and Americans regard it
Therefore this comedy is considered to be

as

the most popular comedy in great
Success

America.
in


an extraordinarily

not only

America,but
life.And life persistence

also in European countries.US

juveniles regard


seeing Friends as

must,because it reveals the truth that everyone should hold

positive attitude

towards

Can

be cheerful and meaningful providing there are

stimulated spirits,

and

laughter

everywhere.Friends

is mainly about different life stories of

six close friends.It recurred their bumpy love experience,obstacles of career every single common moment at home.

and

Ross(a paleontologist)and Monica(a chef)are
in Manhattan.As


Jewish brother

and


sister living

scholar specializing in ancient creatures,Ross lives
to her

serious and

stereotyped life.He has been married for three times.Opposite

brother,Moniea

wants

everything to be


neat,clean and

in great order.She used to suffer from obesity


for quite

long

time when she Was

teenager,which formed her sense of
to

self-contempt.Accordingly,she always tries her utmost with everyone

ke印a

good relationship actually her

around

her.She has rented



bright

apartment(which is

grandma’S real estate.).Across the hall lives Chandler and Joey.Chandler is Ross’S
college classmate daily conversation

and

best friend.He is



supervisor in
use



company

in New York.In

Chandler

is used to taking full

of all kinds of

jokes

on

any

occasion,for the purpose of self-defending and covering the

truth of lacking
at everything,

confidence.Joey,an

Italian-American,is
Monica’S.He



lousy actor.He is

clumsy

but kind-hearted.He loves various types of food,which makes it possible for him to pay frequent visit to also date with girls,but has
can no

long relationship

with anyone ever.And what’S more,he seldom get
have
a a

always be informed to

auditions,but
to

great role.So he is quite typical in terms of personality.Monica used
one

roommate,Phoebe,who is also

of the six.Technically speaking,Phoebe is years in the street,which may


an orphan.She lived most ofher childhood and juvenile
possibly be the reason why she has

an

eccentric personality.But nOW she is exeessive obsession with neatness
no

masseuse.Since Phoebe

cannot stand

Monica’S

and

cleanness,she moved out secretly.But Phoebe’S bedroom
one

Monica discovered that there Was

bed in another

day

and got the

truth.Yet not long after that she got

西北大学硕士学位论文

roommate Rachel.There is
of



coffee house,namely,Central Perk,on the ground floor

Monica’S
across

building.They often kill time there.One day,in Central Rachel,her best friend in middle sch001.Rachel has
not actually

perk,Monica
away from

came

just

I"Ull

her wedding.Because she found that she Was
she decided to live
all

in love with her fianc6.So
she met Ross

independent life


at

Monica’S apartment,and there sch001.With
the

who has been having

secret crush

on

her since middle

development

of the scenario,the relationship regardless of their

among

the six friends becomes closer and closer,
contradictions and

arguments,fights,little

misunderstandings.Yet between
Ross and

the most important clue of Friends is the emotional relationship Rachel.Their love journey lasts
as

long as

ten years

together、析tll the

development of

the

scenario,which is

one of

the most attractive stories in regard ofFriends.


There
person is

is

an

old saying in the west,suggesting that it doesn’t matter whether
or

outstanding

not,but he is supposed to be


humorous.R
great
sense

indicates that

everybody likes to get along wim people who have people are


of

humor.Most

convinced that

they

Call

better

comprehend life,enjoy everyday,and expel
there is
a sense

tense

atmosphere and help

to create a leisure one,providing

of
of

humor rooted in Our minds.Seeing the sitcom Friends is like having



bunch

humorous friends being around with you all the time.There is canned laughter in

Friends.Almost

every single minute we

Call

hear US

audiences

burst into

laughter.
feeling

Since being imported into the Chinese market,Friends brought of humor,which makes

US

brand—new

many

of

US

old friends of Friends.Yet



careful observation comprehend the

brings about the fact that most Chinese

audiences

cannot really

humor

scenes or

words.As for translators we should promote the quality of subtitle


translation,in

hope of producing

good version for the betterment of
to

audiences’

understanding

of US humor.According

the research done by Taflinger(Taflinger,
is not only

1996),Hartley(Hartley,2001),and

Baker(Bak%2003.),humor
one

an

indispensable and significant feature of siteoms,but also
popular

of the reasons why it is


among



large group of


audiences.Sitcoms

emphasize creating
Oil

humorous

effect of verbal speeches in
cannot

specific setting.All the roles

TV and audiences have

interact with

each other directly So while compiling the

scripts,editors

Chapter Four Subtitle Translation ofFriends under the Theory of Functional Equivalence

already put into consideration the audiences’reaction toward the settings.As



TV
on

comedy aims
how much

at producing

humor and laughter,SO its popularity mostly depends
the

audiences could comprehend

implied meaning.

4.1.2 Classification of Verbal Humor in Friends

Generally speaking,people probe into
different people



matter from different angles,i.e.
in quite

comprehend

the

same

object
no

different

ways.And
gave detailed

classification of verbal analysis in regard to

humor in Friends is

exception.Many scholars

humor in Friends.The

study is

significant but insufficient.

Luo Hui,from Sichuan International Studies

University,(罗惠,2009)classified and humor
to

humor in Friends into three
concerning background

types:humor about scenarios,semantic humor knowledge.The first type of humor is said humorous
effect is produced in


be

the

commonest in Friends.Its mainly depending
on

certain verbal situation,

the development of scenarios.Semantic
the process of

humor is

brought

about

merely by speeches

through

comprehending the

dialogues.It is usually

about phonetics,grammar but

and puns.Such

kind of

humor is

usually easy to

understand

tough

to

translate

due to the great disparity

between English and

Chinese.Humor
even

about

background

knowledge normally includes exotic culture,which makes it

harder for the audiences of less English

knowledge

to

comprehend the


surface

meaning as well as the implied meaning.Luo Hui’S division is

little general.

Wei Lin(魏琳,科技信息)is convinced that
into

humor in

sitcoms should be divided

three

types i11 general,namely,word humor,culture-related

humor and humor
of word

concerning pragmatics.In her paper,she So there is
to


highlights

the

significance

humor.

sub—division ofword

comparatively short

humor,namely,puns and witticism.The latter refers sentences full of humorous meanings.It Can bring about


audiences

laughter in quite

short period of time.Yet still this division is



little

rough.
According different
to

Wang Jing(t静,2007),there are many
themes of

ways of division by

standards.The

humor

concern animals,bars,beauty,children,

西北大学硕士学位论文

computer,doctor,family,lawyer,life,marriage,religion and travel,etc.According
the formation of humor there
are

to

situational humor and non.situational humor.The

latter is also called humor derived from rhetoric non-situational

devices.Wang

Jing sub—divided

humor

into many categories,including pun,hyperbole,anti—climax,

irony,euphemism,oxymoron,satire,deviation and comic definition.She analyzed humor in details,but
not

specializing in

humor in Friends.


These

people’S efforts have paved

way for my research

today.Wdghing the
can

merits and demerits of the division by each of those scholars,the author


work out

new division of humor merely concerning

Friends.Since

the scenarios of Friends

COVer almost every aspect of our daily life,SO the humor
serials range from
a cup

elements

involved in the

of milk to

divorce.Therefore,the

author defines the first type

of humor in Friends

aS

general verbal humor.It is the commonest form of humor in
one

Friends,and
to

also the most popular

among the audiences.Because it is easy for

US

sense the

humor elements

in terms of both surface meaning

and

deep structure. all common.

Objects involved in Translators Can
English

such kind of humor

sentences(or dialogues)are
obj ects in

always find the corresponding

Chinese culture.So not only

audiences

but also Chinese viewers are appealed to

general verbal humor.The
in terms

second type is culture-related

humor.China differs greatly from United States

of history,culture value,value of life,value of the world,living habits and customs.

Therefore,there is culture vacancy and overlaps between them.Sometimes Chinese
audiences
can

hardly get the implied meaning of culture-related

humor.They hardly
as

laugh every

time when
are

canned laughter appears.To convey messages for
are

well

as

humor effects

challenges

translators.The

third type is humor concerning
ale

rhetoric devices.So far there frequently used in
OUr

many

kinds of rhetorical devices.Some of them
as

daily conversation,such

metaphor,simile,irony,hyperbole,

and

SO

on.Generally speaking,Chinese audiences rhetoric devices.Yet there
as

Can

get the

humor effects of

sentences with these

are still many rhetorical devices

seldom used in daily life,such

oxymoron,alliteration,parody,anticlimax,
exert to

transferred epithet

and

SO

on.As for tllese devices,translators should
as

more

efforts to convey the surface meaning

well

as

the

humor elements

Chinese

C—h—apte—r—Four

Subtitle Translation ofFriends under the Theory of Functional Equivalence

Viewers.The last kind of humor is brought about by word play.It is mainly about
taking full
use

of the meaning of words,word category and word formation to make innovative
use

jokes.It

is

an

of

word

in

an

amusing and usual way,aiming

at

expressing witticism.

4.2 Subtitle Translation of Humor in Friends from the Perspective of Functional Equivalence

In this part the author is going to probe into subtitle Friends.Therefore,case study is


translation

of humor in
to

must.And there will be many examples quoted

illustrate the point of view.Since Friends’debut in China,its subtitles have been translated many times by presses,such as Crazy

different scholars.We

have published edition by different

English,Jiangxi

Audiovisual Press
are

and

SO

on.Apart from these

authorized

editions with legal copyrights,there
on

many other editions frequently
cost

downloaded downloaded

the Internet.Since the published editions
free,SO quite


much and the


ones are

lot of Friends funs choose to have

f01l【but

popular edition.Compared with the legal is not only

edition,Friends

downloaded

on

the Interact

convenient

but also cheap.Yet convenience also brings about problems.

Since Internet version of subtitles of all kinds of US audiovisual products will be imported into China
States.So there is not and
on

the intemet in less than 1 0 hours after its debut in United much time for the translators
on

SO

line to

translate

the subtitles

make detailed

proofreading.It is unavoidable to have some misunderstandings it is viewed by most of US,which has


and misinterpretation.Yet language
study and

side effect

on our

culture

recognition.Therefore,this

paper chooses subtitle

translation from the Intemet version to support the ideas about subtitle translation.

Some of the translation versions are good,whereas some the latter ones,this paper attempts
functional equivalence
to

are

misleading.In regard better
ones

to

promote it and work

out

according to

theory.

西北大学硕士学位论文

4.2.1 General Verbal Humor Translation

General verbal humor Everything
call

translation involves

every aspects of

our

daily life.

be found in China corresponding to that in the United States.So it is

easy to translate and let the target audience comprehend its humor

effects.General

verbal humor is

olle

of the most frequently used

humors

in the scripts of Friends.
on

However,due to the unique characteristics of subtitles and restrictions of subtitle

the semen,translators should put into consideration the principle of preciseness and
conciseness during the process of general verbal humor

translation.As

for the specific

translation

strategies,literal translation is
call

recommended.As
our

we all know that the involved is closely

objects

involved
our

be

seen

every where in

life,and matters
ale

related to

society

and

tradition.Thus audiences

quite familiar wi廿l these.It and

WOn’t take them much effort to

comprehend the meanings

sensed

the

humor

elements.The
general verbal

conclusion

Can

be drawn that literal translation is the best option for

humor translation strategy in Friends.Here ale
Friends’scripts

some positive

as

well

as

negative examples from point of view. 1.Rachel:SO I go have

downloaded from the Internet to illustrate the



baby,and

they

send some

guy in to do

myjob?

Gavin:well,there Was talk of shutting down
Rachel:That’S right.You are

Ralph Lauren


altogether

very

cheeky for

temp.

Gavin:I'm

not a

temp.1 was transferred here from another department.

Rachel:Oh

yeall,what department Was

that?Thejerk department?

Gavin:Oh,they didn’t tell me about your quick wit.

(Episode

9/1

1)

瑞秋:我去生个小孩,然后他们派一个人来接替我的工作? 盖文:嗯,本来有说要关闭整个洛夫劳伦的。 瑞秋:好了, 你不过是个不要脸的临时工。

盖文:我不是临时工。我是从其他部门调来的。 瑞秋:什么部门?混账部门吗? 盖文:他们没告诉我你反应如此快。

.C.......h....ap..t...e—r—Four Subtitle Translation ofFriends under the Theory of Functional Equivalence

Rachel was
to work.Yet

on

her maternity leave for months.She Was desperate about going back

as she stepped into her office,there was Gavin,a

substitute,dealing谢tll

routine works.She Was quite annoyed and therefore suppressed queries to Gavin.

Rachel thought
effects to the

that#ving

birth to



baby won’t take long and accordingly have
no

no

company,and there


was

need to let somebody take OVer her job.And it

Gavin’S response is obviously
whole the

joke.Apparently

means that

the operation of the reveals the fact


company would cease just
not

because of her maternity

leave.Yet it

position is

vital but indispensable for

the whole


company.This is

conversation of typical general verbal humor.It is

plain fact that translation

serves

for the purpose of cross—cultural communication.Functional equivalence theory just

highlights
sentence elements

this very point of view.Translators merely

need

to

translate

every
no

sin酉e

literally to achieve the function of communication.There are
or

culture lead the

abstract

conception involved.A plain conveying

of messages

can

audience to

laughter. just escaped
soon

2.Scene:Rachel has

from her wedding.The five friends are trying as possible.So they are now urging Rachel

to

help her to be independent as

to cut

all her credit card,which will surely stop her from going to the stores

spending her

parents’money doing her shopping.

Chandler:if you listen

closely,you

can

hear



thousand retailers scream.

钱德勒:如果你仔细听,
Chandler
is

你可以听到店主们尖叫。

obviously
uses

the most humorous person


among

the six.He,as claimed

by himself,always classic,yet

jokes as

self-defending mechanism.So his way of humor is
sentence quoted

understandable.As for the

above,the translation version things added.Why

is quite good.It is mere literal

translation,no

extra constructional

did the retailers scream?Because Rachel cut all her credit card,which makes them lose the most valuable and

adorable customer.They

scream
is

for the loss of business.
previously in this

The

sentence is short,yet the

humor is

obvious.As

mentioned

paper,functional
source—text

equivalence theory

requires the translation to be

equivalent

to

the

in terms of form as well as
eatl

content.The original sentence

consists of two

short

clauses.We

retain the

form

by translating the sentence with two short

西北大学硕士学位论文

Chinese

sentences.As
there
Oil

for the content,a plain literal translation is enough to get the the

audience right
There
are

laughter

land.

many other examples best illustrating general verbal humor in Friends.
one

The following

is also



classic

and typical one. and
Here Comes the Bride Begins to play.

3.scene:They

quickly take their places

Everyone seated looks back.Emily is being escorted up the aisle by her father.She kisses him
on

the cheek

and

takes her place by Ross’S side. celebrate here today the joyous union of

Minister:Friends.Family.We are gathered to
Ross

and Emily.May

the happiness we share with them today be with them always.

Now Emily,repeat after me.I,Emily... Emily:I,Emily…

Minster:Take thee Emily:Take

Ross…

thee Ross... lawfully

Minster:As my 啪.

wedded husband,in

sickness and in health,till death parts


Emily:As
潞.

my lawfully wedded husband,in

sickness and

in health,until death parts

Minster:Now Ross,repeat after me.I Ross…
Ross:I Ross…

Minister:Take thee,Emily... Ross:Take thee,Rathel…(All his friends
realizes what he have

looks

of shock

on

their faces.He

said.Quickly

he

says.)Emily.(A

slight chuckle.)Emily. I 90

Minister:(Looking and
on?

feeling awkward.he

looks towards Emily.)Uhh…Shall

(Rachel looks all
picture fades to

around

as

if all the eyes in the chapel were looking at her
Episode4/24

as

the

black.)

牧师:朋友们,亲属们,我们聚集在一起庆祝罗斯和埃米莉令人愉快的结合.希望

今天的欢乐能够永远伴随他们.现在,埃米莉,跟着我说.我,埃米莉… 埃米利:我埃米莉…

C—h—apter Four Subtitle Translation ofFriends under the Theory of Functional F.quivalenee

牧师:将把罗斯… 埃米利:将把罗斯…
牧师:当成是我的合法丈夫,无论疾病灾难,直到死亡把我们分开. 埃米利:当成是我的合法丈夫,无论疾病灾难,直到死亡把我们分开.

牧师:现在罗斯,跟我说,我罗斯… 罗斯:我罗斯… 牧师:将把埃米莉… 罗斯:将把瑞秋…埃米莉.埃米莉.
牧师:呃,我应该继续吗?
Ross loves Rachel
as

always.Even

on

his wedding with Emily,he said Rachel’S
to correct

name instead of Emily in the VOW.It is late for him
repeating Emily,because we

the slip of tongue by

already


get its humor power and laugh.The wedding

celebration always proceeds at

slow speed,especially the procedure of
as

wedding

VOWS.What’S more,the

intonation


well

as

the pronunciation of the VOWS by the facial expressions and eye-contact tell
or

newly-wedded couples counts
US

lot.Even their

more about the love between them.As for the translation of the very situation

context,the author suggests that all of the above

elements

be put into consideration.
to

There

is

no

better theory rather than functional equivalence theory
one

guide

the

translation practice.On the

hand,translators must guarantee form equivalence and the target
version.This conversation at Ross

between

the SOurCe

language
involves

text

and Emily’S wedding
SO

many

pauses,short phrases,stresses of single word

and

on.All of these

elements

must be included in the translated version,since they are

part of the form of the

source

text.On the other

hand,content equivalence is equivalence



must.It

is the primary prerequisite of a precise,concise and functional

translation.

4.2.2 Culture-related Humor Translation

Culture exists everywhere in 0111"life,but varies in terms of related to diet,movie stars

form.It

is usually

and

TV stars,cartoon characters,holidays and festivals,

scenic spots,customs,and literature

works,and

SO

on.Substantial

culture

elements

西北大学硕士学位论文

Call

be translated literally since the audiences easily
seilse

are

already quite familiar with that,and
or

Call

the humor elements.Many kinds of food

drinks are within this the

category,such

aus

decaf无咖啡因的咖啡,whisky威士忌,vodka伏特加,on

rocks酒加冰块,rum兰姆酒,champagne香槟,cocktail鸡尾酒,lasagna意大利
面,filet steak菲力牛排,sirloin steak沙朗牛排,and many
as SO

on.Whereas there are

still

spiritual culture elements which is tough to convey the surface meaning as well

the deep

meaning(i.e.humor)for the translators.Spiritual


culture is closely related of thoughts,value of

to

the way of thinking in
of

country.It suggests people’S


tendency

life,and value

world.Humor,as

unique kind of spiritual culture,is

deeply

rooted

in people’S mind.A humorous thing very common in conveyed in the

Can be

amusing in the United

States,but possibly

0111"country.So translators
SOurCe

should be aware of the original messages

text,but more importantly,pay extra

attention

to the target

audiences’cognitive ability of humor

under

their own culture-related way of thinking.

Therefore,translators

have to

penetrate

into the dcep structure of culture and find out


the implied meaning,in hope of making the cross-culture communication one.Yet it has to be put forward in to relate the
source a

successful

way which Chinese audiences are familiar with

language

culture to the target
are

language

culture.To convey the

humor effect

to the target

audiences,there

two tr

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