Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study explores the coordination between subtitles and other semiotic resources in films, from within a systemic functional semiotic framework. The paper focuses on the subtitling of interjections (e.g., ‘oh’, ‘wow’, ‘yay’) to examine how subtitles are synthesized in films with respect to the presence of facial expressions and/or bodily gestures which might be perceived as conveying similar meanings. The analysis of multiple versions of intralingual subtitles of two English-language films shows that the seemingly random omission of soundtrack interjections from subtitles is patterned to a considerable degree – those interjections which are concurrent with semiotically correlated actions were frequently omitted. The findings suggest that subtitling is a complex process involving synergy between subtitles and other semiotic resources, which calls for interdisciplinary research integrating translation, multimodality, and linguistics.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. DeMicco, Kirk , and Chris Sanders
    2013The Croods. DreamWorks Animation. USA: 20th Century Fox, DVD.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Anderson, Wes
    2014The Grand Budapest Hotel. Fox Searchlight Pictures. USA: 20th Century Fox, DVD.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Ameka, Felix K.
    1992 “Interjections: The Universal Yet Neglected Part of Speech.” Journal of Pragmatics18 (2–3): 101–118. 10.1016/0378‑2166(92)90048‑G
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(92)90048-G [Google Scholar]
  4. 2006 “Interjections.” InEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics, edited by Keith Brown , 743–746. Oxford: Elsevier. 10.1016/B0‑08‑044854‑2/00396‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B0-08-044854-2/00396-5 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bogucki, Łukasz
    2004 “The Constraint of Relevance in Subtitling.” The Journal of Specialised Translation (1): 71–88.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Burczynska, Paulina
    2012Multimodality and Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling Humor. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chaume, Frederic
    1997 “Translating Non-verbal Information in Dubbing.” InNonverbal Communication and Translation: New Perspectives and Challenges in Literature, Interpretation and the Media, edited by Fernando Poyatos , 315–326. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.17.25cha
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.17.25cha [Google Scholar]
  8. Cuenca, Maria Josep
    2006 “Interjections and Pragmatic Errors in Dubbing.” Meta51 (1): 20–35. 10.7202/012991ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/012991ar [Google Scholar]
  9. de Linde, Zoé
    1995 “‘Read My Lips’ Subtitling Principles, Practices, and Problems.” Perspectives3 (1): 9–20. 10.1080/0907676X.1995.9961245
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.1995.9961245 [Google Scholar]
  10. de Linde, Zoé , and Neil Kay
    1999The Semiotics of Subtitling. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Eastman, Carol M.
    1992 “Swahili Interjections: Blurring Language-Use/Gesture-Use Boundaries.” Journal of Pragmatics18 (2–3): 273–287. 10.1016/0378‑2166(92)90055‑G
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(92)90055-G [Google Scholar]
  12. Ekman, Paul
    2003Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life. New York: Times Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Ekman, Paul , and Wallace V. Friesen
    2003Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Expressions. Cambridge, MA: Malor Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Feng, Dezheng , and Kay L. O’Halloran
    2012 “Representing Emotive Meaning in Visual Images: A Social Semiotic Approach.” Journal of Pragmatics44 (14): 2067–2084. 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.10.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.10.003 [Google Scholar]
  15. Gambier, Yves
    2006 “Multimodality and Audiovisual Translation.” InProceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences: MuTra – Audiovisual Translation Scenarios, Copenhagen, 1–5 May 2006, edited by Mary Carroll , Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast , and Sandra Nauert . Accessed14 December 2017. www.euroconferences.info/proceedings/2006_Proceedings/2006_Gambier_Yves.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  16. 2013 “The Position of Audiovisual Translation Studies.” InThe Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies, edited by Carmen Millán and Francesca Bartrina , 45–59. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Georgakopoulou, Panayota
    2009 “Subtitling for the DVD Industry.” InAudiovisual Translation: Language Transfer on Screen, edited by Jorge Díaz Cintas and Gunilla Anderman , 21–35. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230234581_2
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230234581_2 [Google Scholar]
  18. Goddard, Cliff
    2014 “Interjections and Emotion (with Special Reference to ‘Surprise’ and ‘Disgust’).” Emotion Review6 (1): 53–63. 10.1177/1754073913491843
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073913491843 [Google Scholar]
  19. Gottlieb, Henrik
    1994 “Subtitling: People Translating People.” InTeaching Translation and Interpreting 2: Insights, Aims, Visions. Papers from the Second Language International Conference, Elsinore, 1993, edited by Cay Dollerup and Annette Lindegaard , 261–274. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.5.37got
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.5.37got [Google Scholar]
  20. 2018 “Semiotics and Translation.” InThe Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics, edited by Kirsten Malmkjær , 45–63. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Halliday, M. A. K. , and Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen
    2014Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar. 4th ed.Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203431269
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203431269 [Google Scholar]
  22. Jing, Yi
    2020 “Interpersonal Functions of Interjections: A Systemic Functional Perspective.” Functions of Language. Published electronically, July6. doi:  10.1075/fol.19008.jin
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.19008.jin [Google Scholar]
  23. . Forthcoming. “Visual Affect in Films: A Semiotic Approach.” Semiotica.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Kovačič, Irena
    1994 “Relevance as a Factor in Subtitling Reductions.” InTeaching Translation and Interpreting 2: Insights, Aims, Visions. Papers from the Second Language International Conference. Elsinore, 1993, edited by Cay Dollerup and Annette Lindegaard , 245–251. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.5.35kov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.5.35kov [Google Scholar]
  25. 1998 “Six Subtitlers – Six Subtitling Texts.” InUnity in Diversity? Current Trends in Translation Studies, edited by Lynne Bowker , Michael Cronin , Dorothy Kenny , and Jennifer Pearson , 75–82. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Luyken, Georg-Michael , Thomas Herbst , Jo Langham-Brown , Helen Reid , and Hermann Spinhof
    1991Overcoming Language Barriers in Television: Dubbing and Subtitling for the European Audience. Manchester: European Institute for the Media.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Maestri, George
    2005Digital Character Animation 3. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Martin, James R. , and Peter R. R. White
    2005The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230511910
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230511910 [Google Scholar]
  29. Martinec, Radan
    2001 “Interpersonal Resources in Action.” Semiotica 2001 (135): 117–145. 10.1515/semi.2001.056
    https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2001.056 [Google Scholar]
  30. Matamala, Anna
    2009 “Interjections in Original and Dubbed Sitcoms in Catalan: A Comparison.” Meta54 (3): 485–502. 10.7202/038310ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/038310ar [Google Scholar]
  31. Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M.
    2007 “The Multimodal Page: A Systemic Functional Exploration.” InNew Directions in the Analysis of Multimodal Discourse, edited by Terry D. Royce and Wendy L. Bowcher , 1–62. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. McCloud, Scott
    2006Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. New York: Harper.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Pedersen, Jan
    2005 “How Is Culture Rendered in Subtitles?” InProceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences: MuTra – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation, Saarbrücken, 2–6 May 2005, edited by Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast and Sandra Nauert . Accessed14 December 2017. www.euroconferences.info/proceedings/2005_Proceedings/2005_Pedersen_Jan.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 2011Subtitling Norms for Television: An Exploration Focussing on Extralinguistic Cultural References. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.98
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.98 [Google Scholar]
  35. Perego, Elisa
    2009 “The Codification of Nonverbal Information in Subtitled Texts.” InNew Trends in Audiovisual Translation, edited by Jorge Díaz Cintas , 58–69. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847691552‑006
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847691552-006 [Google Scholar]
  36. Quirk, Randolph , Sidney Greenbaum , Geoffrey Leech , and Jan Svartvik
    1985A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Rosa, Alexandra Assis
    2001 “Features of Oral and Written Communication in Subtitling.” In(Multi) Media Translation: Concepts, Practices, and Research, edited by Yves Gambier and Henrik Gottlieb , 213–221. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.34.26ass
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.34.26ass [Google Scholar]
  38. Stange, Ulrike
    2016Emotive Interjections in British English: A Corpus-based Study on Variation in Acquisition, Function and Usage. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.75
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.75 [Google Scholar]
  39. Szarkowska, Agnieszka
    2013 “Towards Interlingual Subtitling for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing.” Perspectives21 (1): 68–81. 10.1080/0907676X.2012.722650
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2012.722650 [Google Scholar]
  40. Taylor, Christopher
    2003 “Multimodal Transcription in the Analysis, Translation and Subtitling of Italian Films.” The Translator9 (2): 191–205. 10.1080/13556509.2003.10799153
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2003.10799153 [Google Scholar]
  41. 2004 “Multimodal Text Analysis and Subtitling.” InPerspectives on Multimodality, edited by Eija Ventola , Cassily Charles , and Martin Kaltenbacher , 153–172. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ddcs.6.11tay
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ddcs.6.11tay [Google Scholar]
  42. 2013 “Multimodality and Audiovisual Translation.” InHandbook of Translation Studies, Volume 4, edited by Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer , 98–104. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/hts.4.mul2
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hts.4.mul2 [Google Scholar]
  43. 2016 “The Multimodal Approach in Audiovisual Translation.” InAudiovisual Translation: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges, edited by Yves Gambier and Sara Ramos Pinto , special issue ofTarget28 (2): 222–236. 10.1075/target.28.2.04tay
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.28.2.04tay [Google Scholar]
  44. Tian, Ping
    2011 Multimodal Evaluation: Sense and Sensibility in Anthony Browne’s Picture Books. PhD diss.University of Sydney.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Wilkins, David P.
    1992 “Interjections as Deictics.” Journal of Pragmatics18 (2–3): 119–158. 10.1016/0378‑2166(92)90049‑H
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(92)90049-H [Google Scholar]
  46. Zabalbeascoa, Patrick
    1997 “Dubbing and the Nonverbal Dimension of Translation.” InNonverbal Communication and Translation: New Perspectives and Challenges in Literature, Interpretation and the Media, edited by Fernando Poyatos , 327–342. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.17.26zab
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.17.26zab [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

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