Film song translation: Verbal, vocal, and visual dimensions

Ying Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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As films are distributed across the globe, film song translation has become a
subject of study, which entails considering multi-modal factors. This paper
aims to explore the major dimensions and parameters involved in film song
translation. Based on previous research on music and translation, this paper
proposes a framework for studying film song translation from verbal, vocal,
and visual dimensions. The verbal dimension involves semantic meaning,
metaphors, images, mood, and emotion. The vocal dimension includes the
number of syllables and musical notes, the length of musical notes, rhyme
and parallelism, the rise and fall of the melody, and the segmentation of a
line. The visual dimension covers the plot, characters, and background
pictures. This paper uses this framework to analyze the Chinese translation
of Amazing Grace in the film Forever Young to demonstrate how film song
translation can be flexible in tackling verbal, vocal, and visual restrictions
and possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBabel: International Journal of Translation
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • film song
  • translation
  • verbal
  • visual
  • vocal


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