Relating visual images to subtitle translation in Finding Nemo: A multi-semiotic interplay


  • Yuping Chen the University of Sydney
  • Wei Wang the University of Sydney


subtitle translation, English animation films


Focusing on the role of semiotic interplay in subtitling, this paper draws upon Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) -informed multimodality and semiotic translation to address the subtitle translation in Finding Nemo. In so doing, the subtitle translation is analysed at Kress and van Leeuwen’s three metafunctional levels with a view to relating dynamic visual images to subtitle translation, while previous studies only consider interrelations between static images and isolated filmic units. This paper examines the types and functions of semiotic interplay, and the concrete influence that such interplay brings to bear on subtitle translation. This study finds that there are six types of semiotic interplay, operating at three metafunctional levels, which perform different functions to facilitate the subtitling process and which exert different impacts on subtitle translation.

Author Biographies

  • Yuping Chen, the University of Sydney
    Ms. Yuping Chen is a PhD candidate in School of Languages and Cultures, the University of Sydney. Her research interests include translation studies, discourse analysis and second language acquisition.
  • Wei Wang, the University of Sydney
    Dr. Wei Wang is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Sydney. His primary research interests are in the areas of discourse studies and translation studies. He is the author of Genre across Languages and Cultures (VDM, 2007). His publications appear in Discourse Studies, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, T & I Review, Journal of Multicultural Discourse and other international academic journals. He also published book chapters with Continuum, Benjamins, the University of Michigan Press, Mouton, and Wiley-Blackwell.