Intralingual and interlingual subtitling: A discussion of the mode and medium in film translation.

Svenja Wurm

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Next to interpreting and ‘translation proper’, there is another discipline relevant to the Deaf community that benefits from translation theories: subtitling. No matter whether the subtitles have to be transferred into another language for a foreign audience or whether they remain within the same language, particularly for a d/Deaf audience, the subtitler needs to make informed choices dealing with the problem of transferring the spoken dialogue of the source film into the written mode of subtitles. Whereas spoken dialogue allows people to reveal their character and identity through their language, most apparently within dialect and register, writing is mainly used as a standardized, polished mode of communication where the revelation of any personal characteristics is reduced. How do filmmakers effectively use spoken language and the audio channel in general to give identity to their films’ characters and how might this be represented in the written subtitles? Using a Hallidayan functional linguistic framework, this article presents a comparative analysis of the English-German interlingual and the English intralingual subtitles of recent DVD versions of two seminal feature films, Stanley Kubrick’s futuristic socio-critical film A Clockwork Orange and Woody Allen’s comedic drama Manhattan.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-141
    Number of pages27
    JournalThe Sign Language Translator and Interpreter
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • German
    • Mode
    • Hallidayan linguistics
    • Intralingual subtitling
    • Register
    • Dialect


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