Film subtitles from a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective: issues of linguistic and cultural representations

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This article deals with the question of linguistic and cultural representation in film subtitles from a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective, in relation to issues of cultural stereotyping and cross-cultural understanding. The argument is based on a case study of the French film Sur mes lèvres (Audiard 2001) and its version with English subtitles (Read My Lips), and focuses on the particularly problematic issue of the representation of the T/V system of pronominal address. It is underpinned by two research hypotheses, namely that subtitles (i) produce their own systems of multi-modal textual representation and activate their own modes of textual interpretation, and thus (ii) may have a greater capacity to alert audiences to linguistic and cultural specificities across languages and to promote intercultural sensitivity than they are given credit for when the text is taken at face value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-92
Number of pages26
JournalThe Translator
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

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