Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This paper utilizes the reconstructive nature of translation to examine how formal (neutral and honorific) and plain forms of Japanese are represented in Cantonese dubbing with the aim of exploring some common politeness features of Cantonese that the translator adopts in order to compensate for the difference between the two languages. Address terms that do not exist in the Japanese original, for example deferential terms and kinship terms, are inserted in Cantonese dubbing to represent different speech levels of Japanese. This paper further argues that such inserted address terms help to realize politeness by either recognizing the superior status of addressees or by including an addressee as an in-group member. Some cases of insertions also suggest strategic adoption of address terms in Cantonese. In addition to observing social norms and addressing each other appropriately, Cantonese speakers can also exploit address terms strategically to achieve specific pragmatic goals.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cantonese; dubbing; Japanese; politeness; translation; 廣東話; 日語; 禮貌; 翻譯; 配音
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