Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Scholars have acknowledged the widespread use of indirect translation in audiovisual translation. Some researchers have made use of text analysis to explore the effects of indirect translation on voiceover and subtitling. However, a bigger picture of indirect translation in the audiovisual translation landscape is yet to be painted. We create a database of 242 foreign films, which contains all the imported films for cinematic release in China in 2018 and 2019, and do a quantitative and qualitative analysis to present an overview of indirect translation of foreign films for cinematic release in China. Professionals from film translation studios in China are interviewed to reveal the indirect translation process. Furthermore, we use ‘Prey’ (Maas 2016), a Dutch horror film directed by Dick Maas, and its Chinese subtitled version as a case study to investigate the implications of indirect translation on the ultimate target text in the Chinese context.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Fukuzawa, Katsuo
    2018祈りの幕が下りる時. Chubu-nippon Broadcasting Company (CBC). JP: Toho Company 2018 Theatrical.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Jacquet, Luc
    2017L’empereur [The emperor]. Bonne Pioche Cinéma and Paprika Films. FR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 2017 Theatrical.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Maas, Dick
    2016Prooi [Prey]. Shooting Star Filmcompany BV and Parachute Pictures. NL: Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) 2016 Theatrical.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Vinterberg, Thomas
    1998Festen [The celebration]. Nimbus Film Productions. CA: Alliance Atlantis Home Video 2004 DVD.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Assis Rosa, Alexandra, Hanna Pięta, and Rita Bueno Maia
    2017 “Theoretical, Methodological and Terminological Issues Regarding Indirect Translation: An Overview.” InIndirect Translation: Theoretical, Methodological and Terminological Issues, edited byAlexandra Assis Rosa, Hanna Pięta, and Rita Bueno Maia, special issue ofTranslation Studies10 (2): 113–132.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bauer, Wolfgang
    1999 “The Role of Intermediate Languages in Translations from Chinese into German.” InDe l’un au multiple: Traductions du chinois vers les langues européenne [One into many: Translations from Chinese to European languages], edited byViviane Alleton and Michael Lackner, 19–32. Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. 10.4000/books.editionsmsh.1474
    https://doi.org/10.4000/books.editionsmsh.1474 [Google Scholar]
  7. Brzeski, Patrick
    2015 “MPAA Confirms New Hollywood-China Film Distribution Agreement.” Hollywood Reporter, November5 2015 https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mpaa-confirms-new-hollywood-china-837645
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Casas-Tost, Helena, and Sandra Bustins
    2021 “The Role of Pivot Translations in Asian Film Festivals in Catalonia: Johnny Ma’s Old Stone as a Case Study.” Journal of Audiovisual Translation4 (1): 96–113. 10.47476/jat.v4i1.2021.85
    https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v4i1.2021.85 [Google Scholar]
  9. Chen, Zhongyi, and Ye Juan
    eds. 2014外国商业电影及其影像研究 [Research on foreign commercial films and their impact]. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Díaz Cintas, Jorge, and Aline Remael
    2007Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Díaz Cintas, Jorge
    2001 “Striving for Quality in Subtitling: The Role of a Good Dialogue List.” In(Multi) Media Translation: Concepts, Practices, and Research, edited byYves Gambier and Henrik Gottlieb, 199–211. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.34.25dia
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.34.25dia [Google Scholar]
  12. Dollerup, Cay
    2014 “Relay in Translation.” InCross-Linguistic Interaction: Translation, Contrastive and Cognitive Studies: Liber Amicorum in Honour of Prof. Bistra Alexieva, Published on the Occasion of Her Eightieth Birthday, edited byDiana Yankova, 21–32. Sofia: St Kliminent Ohridski University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Gambier, Yves
    1994 “Working with Relay: An Old Story and a New Challenge.” InSpeaking in Tongues: Language across Contexts and Users, edited byLuis Pérez González, 47–66. València: Universitat de València.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Grigaravičiūte, Ieva, and Henrik Gottlieb
    1999 “Danish Voices, Lithuanian Voice-Over: The Mechanics of Non-Synchronous Translation.” Perspectives7 (1): 41–80. 10.1080/0907676X.1999.9961347
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.1999.9961347 [Google Scholar]
  15. Jiang, Chengzhi
    2010 “Quality Assessment for the Translation of Museum Texts: Application of a Systemic Functional Model.” Perspectives18 (2): 109–126. 10.1080/09076761003678734
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09076761003678734 [Google Scholar]
  16. Jin, Haina, and Yves Gambier
    2018 “Audiovisual Translation in China: A Dialogue between Yves Gambier and Jin Haina.” Journal of Audiovisual Translation1 (1), 26–39. 10.47476/jat.v1i1.42
    https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v1i1.42 [Google Scholar]
  17. Kittel, Harald, and Armin Paul Frank
    1991 “Introduction.” InInterculturality and the Historical Study of Literary Translations, edited byHarald Kittel and Armin Paul Frank, 3–4. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Kovačič, Irena
    1994 “Relevance as a Factor in Subtitling Reductions.” InTeaching Translation and Interpreting 2: Insights, Aims and Visions, Paper from the Second Language International Conference, Elsinore, 1993, edited byCay Dollerup and Annette Lindegaard, 245–251. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.5.35kov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.5.35kov [Google Scholar]
  19. MRFT [Ministry of Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China]
    MRFT [Ministry of Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China] 1994Guanyu jinyibu shenhua dianying hangye jizhi gaige de tongzhi [Notice on further deepening the reform of mechanism of the film industry]. Beijing: MRFT Office.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Nedergaard-Larsen, Birgit
    1993 “Culture-bound problems in subtitling.” Perspectives1 (2): 207–240. 10.1080/0907676X.1993.9961214
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.1993.9961214 [Google Scholar]
  21. Pedersen, Jan
    2005 “How is Culture Rendered in Subtitles?” InMuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings, edited byHeidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast and Sandra Nauert, 1–18.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2007 “Cultural Interchangeability: The Effects of Substituting Cultural References in Subtitling.” Perspectives15 (1), 30–48. 10.2167/pst003.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/pst003.0 [Google Scholar]
  23. Vermeulen, Anna
    2012 “The Impact of Pivot Translation on the Quality of Subtitling.” International Journal of Translation23 (2): 119–134.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Wang, Dingkun, and Xiaochun Zhang
    2016 “Ideological Manipulation of Controversial Information: The Unusual Case of the Chinese-Subtitled Version of House of Cards.” InIdeological Manipulation in Audiovisual Translation, edited byJorge Díaz-Cintas, Ilaria Parini, and Irene Ranzato, special issue ofOther Modernities: 1–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Zilberdik, Nan Jacques
    2004 “Relay Translation in Subtitling.” Perspectives12 (1): 31–55. 10.1080/0907676X.2004.9961489
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2004.9961489 [Google Scholar]
  26. Zubillaga Gomez, Naroa
    2016 “(In)direct Offense: A Comparison of Direct and Indirect Translations of German Offensive Language into Basque.” Perspectives (24) 3: 486–497. 10.1080/0907676X.2015.1069858
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2015.1069858 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): audiovisual translation; China; foreign films; indirect translation
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error