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Reading: Textual reduction in translated dialogue in film versus literary fiction1

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Textual reduction in translated dialogue in film versus literary fiction1

Author:

Signe Oksefjell Ebeling

University of Oslo, NO
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Abstract

By exploring the correlation between textual reduction and length of utterance as well as surveying what grammatical elements are omitted to cause textual reduction, this paper seeks to establish what mechanisms are at play in the translation of dialogue in film vs. fiction. The need for economy of translation found in subtitling might suggest that textual reduction is more widespread in subtitles than in translated fiction.

On the basis of two small-size corpora, it is shown that the longer the utterance the greater the possibility for reductions in both modes of translation. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, there is less textual reduction in translated dialogue in fiction overall. Moreover, translated fiction seems to allow longer utterances than subtitles before reduction takes place.

With regard to the elements that are omitted, similar patterns can be found, although subtitles show a clearer tendency for interpersonal elements to be omitted.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.267
How to Cite: Oksefjell Ebeling, S., 2012. Textual reduction in translated dialogue in film versus literary fiction1. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 11(3), pp.100–126. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.267
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Published on 19 Dec 2012.

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