The translation of extralinguistic cultural references in animated feature films by unofficial subtitlers in Iran
The preferred mode of audiovisual translation for foreign language programmes on state television and cinemas in Iran is dubbing. Dubbing is done by professionals who are supervised by the authorities, and a considerable part of foreign programmes is being censored. On the other hand, subtitling is not supervised by any formal institutions and is practiced by 'unofficial' subtitlers. Although their work does not necessarily follow subtitling norms, some of these subtitlers produce work of
... oduce work of high-quality standards and their products are popular among the target audience. In order to shed light on the reason behind this popularity and address this under-researched phenomenon in the Iranian context, the current study focuses on the work of three informally recognised experienced subtitlers, whose works are popular among the audience, by taking animation as a case in point as a genre that has attracted dual audiences of (young) adults/children. The thesis contains a comparative analysis of the subtitles produced by the abovementioned unofficial subtitlers for five popular animated feature films to gauge the most frequently applied strategies by these subtitlers. As cultural elements have widely been recognised by scholars as one of the most challenging aspects of translation, Pedersen's (2011) taxonomy of transfer strategies for Extralinguistic Cultural References (ECRs) in subtitling has been employed as a tool for analysing the subtitles. Pedersen's model was adapted through partial redefinitions and extension of the categories to suit the purpose of the present study. The comparison focused on commonalities and differences in the subtitlers' translation choices regarding the identified ECR instances in the selected animated feature films. The study reveals that unofficial subtitlers have a strong tendency to opt for target-oriented strategies when dealing with the translation of ECRs. Paraphrase was found to be the most frequently used strategy, followed by using a superordinate term and cultural substitution.