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Intertextuality in film title translation : a comparative study of translated film titles in Hong Kong and Taiwan (2005-2013)

English Abstract

Since the term ‘intertextuality’ was coined, this concept has been widely used in various areas such as literary studies, discourse analysis, media studies and advertising, attracting much scholarly attention. Intertextuality can be easily seen at work in foreign film titles and their Chinese translations, which creates notable effects. This thesis describes the use of intertextuality in a selected sample of film titles in English from 2005 to 2013 and their Chinese translations in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We draw on the concept of horizontal intertextuality (Hatim and Munday 2004: 86) and also Nord’s functions of titles (1995: 261-284) to carry out both qualitative and quantitative analyses, with the aim being to depict the usage and distribution of intertextuality in each of the film markets - i.e. the English world, Hong Kong and Taiwan. According to the analysis and finding, we notice that of all 3 text groups, Hong Kong translations have the most film titles that involve intertextuality than ST and Taiwan translations. Apart from intertextuality in sequels, Hong Kong translations tend to create their own intertextual references from various sources though there is none in ST, while Taiwan translations tend to retain the pattern of ST with some own creations, which usually take references from TV programmes. Based on the results, we discuss possible reasons causing discrepancies between the ST and TTs, pros and cons for using intertextuality and other possible factors. Furthermore, it is interesting to observe that intertextuality iv in film titles interacts with film genres - i.e. specific genres involve the use of intertextuality and genre discrepancies among the original text, its translations and intertextual references.

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Hong, Ieng U


Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Department of English




Motion pictures -- Hong Kong -- Translating

Motion pictures -- Taiwan -- Translating


Wang, Xian

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