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.