Captions in Movies

Document Sample
Captions in Movies Powered By Docstoc
					  Translation of Captions of English movies into Japanese



                         Aiko Ido

                  A FIVE PAGE PAPER



             SEMINAR 1 (World Englishes)

Kumamoto Gakuen University Foreign Language Department

                      English Course

                                         SUPERVISOR: Judy Yoneoka
                                          Kumamoto Gakuen University
                                                 Oe 2-5-1 Kumamoto

                   This paper consists of approximately     1,078words

    This paper is about translating of captions of English movies into
Japanese. It is made of five sections. Section Ⅱ, Ⅲ, Ⅳ will introduce three
points about captions.

I.     Introduction
II.    Rules for caption translating
III.   Difficult points of translating captions
IV.    How to study English with captions
V.     Conclusion

       Translating captions is very hard because it must be translated
according to some rules for translation. But Japanese viewers can enjoy
watching movies and also study English by captions.

I.     Introduction

       There are captions in foreign movies to help Japanese people to

understand. Those who make these captions are called caption translators.

Natsuko Toda is the most famous in Japan. She translates in captions and is

also an interpreter for Hollywood stars.

       Translating captions is very difficult. Firstly, English abilities are

indispensable to the translators. Also, expression ability to understand is

important, too. Of course, there are some rules for translation. The

translators must translate on the basis of these rules.

       This paper will begin by discussing some of the rules for translating

captions on Section Ⅱ . Section Ⅲ         will introduce difficult points of

translating captions. On the other hand, it is a remarkable point that

captions are useful to study English. There are various native English in

movies. Viewers can study English by listening and seeing them. Section Ⅳ

will introduce how to study English with captions.

II.   Rules for Caption Translating

         When creating captions, the translators must translate on the basis

of the set rules. It takes longer to read words than to hear and understand

them. Captions are words translated from the actors’ speech. However, if the

lines are translated as- is, it could be too long to read. The translators must

make short captions that can be read in a few seconds, so for example, two

seconds of speech are described by eight words. The following is an example

from a famous movie:

1“Come   with me if you wanna live.” (The Terminator, 1984)

The caption is 「助けてあげる。 The literal translation is 「生き延びたいな

1Nishimori, Marie. (1994) Nishimori Marie no Bairingaru Eigagekijyo         (in
Japanese), The Japan Times, Ltd.

らオレについてこい。 Though the literal translation is sixteen words, the

caption is only six words. The translators must paraphrase in order for the

viewers to understand easily. They must also translate captions on the basis

of the connection between stories and characters. The enjoyment of movies

depends heavily on how the translators translate the captions.

III.   Difficult points of translating captions

          There are two difficult points of translating captions.

          Firstly, Chinese characters. The translators can use Chinese

characters to make short captions, but the number of Chinese characters

must be reduced for people who are not used to reading movie captions.

Translation can be made without Chinese characters; however, it would be

too long. So, the translators must take this into account.

          Secondly, comedy movies. These are the most difficult to translate.

If people of different nationalities watch the same movie, the timing of the

laugh is different. The so-called “American joke” is sometimes not funny for

Japanese people. Most of them have felt so. Japanese people can’t

understand the native meaning of the joke, so it must be paraphrased for

them. Natsuko Toda says 2“If translators translate American joke literally,

it’s not interesting for Japanese people because the background of their

culture is different. So, we must translate and sometimes paraphrase lines

with accuracy abiding by the real intention of lines and limiting the number

of words".

          The “Austin Powers” series is a good example. There are many

“American” jokes in these movies. It is because the culture and the custom

between Japan and America is different, and because of the limit of

translation in captions.

IV.     How to study English with captions

          The website has a lot of

reasons why it is good to study English with captions. They are as follows;

       Movies are English teaching materials.

          Movies are the best materials to communicate natural English

because we can experience various types of English, Standard English,

2   Interpretation Translation,,

accents and slang etc.

     Easy to learn English expressions

          English expressions in movies are easy for us to learn because they

connect each scene. When we hear English expressions, we visualize the


     The improvement of English conversation abilities

          The words of daily conversation and colloquial expression in movies

are easier to learn than those used in textbooks and other study aids. This is

connected with the improvement of English conversation abilities.

     Listening abilities are reinforced.

          English in movies is spoken for native speakers at natural speed. At

first, it is difficult for non-native listeners, but they gradually become used to

it and are able to understand the spoken English.

     The improvement of pronunciation and intonation

          We can practice pronunciation and intonation by listening to

English in movies. Moreover, English abilities are improved by seeing

captions together.

     Studying is enjoyable.

          People whom like watching movies can study English and enjoy it.

Also, culture is reflected in each line of a movie. So, we can learn

cross-cultural understanding.

          Now, slang, colloquial expressions and puns in captions.

            Slang

          3Indeed,   worked for me. Big time! (My Best Friend’s Wedding, 1997)

“Big time!” is emphasized in the former sentence.

            Colloquial expressions

          4“Here   is looking at you.” 「君の瞳に乾杯」(Casablanca, 1942)

This sentence is from colloquial expression “Here is health to you!” and “Here

is luck to you!”

            Puns

          5JOE:    I’m Joe…knock, knock.

          ROSE: Who’s there?

3   Slangs from Movies, Songs and Paperbacks,, 2004/11/25

4   Burattooyaji no Tsukommi Eigahyou,, 2004/11/26

5   Knock, knock. Who’s there?,, 2004/11/26

         JOE: Orange.

         ROSE: Orange who?

       JOE: Aren’t you going to give us a break by zipping this credit card

through the credit card machine?               (You’ve Got Mail, 1998)

This is a “knock knock joke” and it is known for puns in English. Japanese

people who hear this for the first time don’t understand, because “knock

knock” jokes are not known in Japanese culture. The caption is completely

different from the line. This pun is said that the pronunciation of “Orange

who” is similar to “Aren’t you” and it is fixed form.

V.    Conclusion

      As expected, translating captions is very difficult. The caption

translators must translate, conforming some rules and the thinking of the

intended viewers. By the grace of the translators, viewers can enjoy

watching movies with captions. It is also possible to improve English

abilities by continue studying English in how to study English with captions.


Burattooyaji no Tsukommi Eigahyou,, 2004/11/26

Eiga de Manabu Eigo,, 2004/11/25

Honyakuka ni Naritai,,

Interpretation Translation,,

Jimaku no Mamechisiki,,

Knock, knock. Who’s there?,, 2004/11/26

Nishimori, Marie. (1994) Nishimori Marie no Bairingaru Eigagekijyo       (in
Japanese), The Japan Times, Ltd.

Shimizu, Shunji and Toda, Natsuko. (1999) Eigajimaku ha Honyaku dehanai
(in Japanese), Hayakawashobo.

Slangs from Movies, Songs and Paperbacks,, 2004/11/25