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WEBINAR - Constraints & Rules in Subtitling

Friday 25 January 2019    3:00 pm - 5:00 pm (AEDT)

Subtitling is a highly specialised craft. It is quite different from standard textual translation. The mission of the subtitler is to render speech into a reading format on a visual medium. The audience needs to read to understand the flow of the story and match what they hear, screen by screen as page by page when reading a book. It involves an audio-visual medium and a literary medium all at once. Subtitling is governed by three principal constraints: reading speed, spatial constraint, and deprivation of tools used in print media such as footnotes or endnotes to provide explanations of concepts and ideas that do not exist in the target language. These constraints in turn underpin the conventions in subtitling. Understanding the constraints and related conventions is essential for subtitling practice and research. Another unique feature of subtitling is the contemporaneous existence of the source material and target text. The audience hears the original speech, watches the pictures and matches the audio and visual with the target text – subtitles. In other words, there is no way of hiding the translation act in subtitling. It is called the transparency in subtitling.

Despite its specialisation, subtitling, like other types of translation, involves negotiation and mediation between source language and target language, source culture and target culture, as well as source audience and target language audience. The constraints in subtitling often highlights and heightens the challenges in translation. In this lecture, Dr Jing Han will present the nature of subtitling and its rules and conventions, as well as linguistic and cultural challenges in subtitling.

AUSIT Recertification PD Catalogue Version 1.2 - Intermediate : Points = 10 : Logbook Section 1.4


Jing Han received her PhD in English literature from the University of Sydney in 1995. In 1996 she joined SBS TV as Mandarin subtitler. Since 2006 she has been the Chief Subtitler and Head of the SBS Subtitling Department. Over the last 22 years, Dr Han has subtitled over 300 Chinese films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lust, Caution, Hero, Not One Less, I Am Not Madam Bovary etc.  In the last six years, Jing has been the leading subtitler of the most popular Chinese TV show If You Are The One, which has created a cult following in Australian audiences and set the record of the longest showing non-English series in Australian broadcasting history. As an internationally renowned expert in subtitling and translating Chinese culture, Dr Han has been frequently invited to give talks at universities in the mainland China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Europe as well in Australia.   Dr Han is also Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean for International in School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University. She has taught a range of translation and interpreting courses including Audiovisual Translation and Literary Translation for postgraduates. She is a PhD supervisor, currently supervising three PhD students. Dr Han is the English translator of a modern Chinese classic Educated Youth by multi-award winning author Ye Xin, published by Giramondo in 2016.

Joining the webinar
Registrants will be provided with instructions to allow them to join the webinar via an email on 23/01/2019.
25/01/2019 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Link Via Redback Conferencing P: 1800 733 416 OR 02 8014 5150 Online Webinar
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