Transformation of a Chinese Dating Show "If You Are the One" for the Australian Audience

When:26 Aug 2014, 3pm - 4pm
Venue:John Goodsell LG19 (map ref F20)
Who:Dr Jing Han, Chief Subtitler & Head of SBS Subtitling, SBS TV, Australia
Jin Han Seminar

Interpreting & Translation Seminar

As a multicultural public broadcaster, SBS TV Australia’s language policy is to make its LOTE (languages other than English) content accessible to the Australian public through English subtitles, instead of dubbing or voiceover, in order to retain the linguistic and cultural integrity of original programs. Voiceover is only used for re-narration of documentaries.

Traditionally, SBS’s acquired content has focused on foreign films and documentaries with LOTE content, and the occasional LOTE drama series. Since the introduction of multiple channels and the emergence of multi-platforms, SBS has shifted to acquiring more drama series, particularly Scandinavian crime series. In the last couple of years, SBS has acquired more Asian-language series - mostly reality shows, including a Chinese dating show If You Are the One.

If You Are the One, produced by Jiangsu TV, is currently the most viewed entertainment show in China with a viewing audience of up to 50 million per episode. It is based on the formula of the Australian dating show Taken Out which failed to rate in Australia and was axed. The format found success when it was picked up by Jiangsu TV. In 2013 SBS acquired broadcast rights for the series and has since screened the show weekly with English subtitles. The show has become increasingly popular with Australian audiences, more as a cultural education and entertainment than just a dating show.

The fact that this dating show is produced primarily for its domestic audience makes the re-versioning into English a challenge. More importantly, the show is basically an unscripted talk show, and what speakers say, and the way in which they say it, is vital to the representation of the participants. This presentation will reveal the the transformation of the series for the Australian audience by: 1) bringing focus and structure to what is said in Chinese through English subtitles; 2) translating contemporary urban and youth slang; 3) transferring humour. A video clip show a part of the show with English subtitles will be the highlight of the presentation.


Dr Jin Han

Dr Jing Han received her BA in English from Lanzhou University and MA in English and American Literatures from Beijing Foreign Studies University. She came to Australia in 1988 to pursue her PhD studies at Sydney University and received her doctoral degree in English literature in 1995.

Dr Han joined SBS TV in 1996 as a Mandarin subtitler. She is now the head of SBS Subtitling and Program Preparation Department. Dr Han has subtitled over 300 Chinese films and TV programs for the Australian audience, including Dangerous Liaison, Sacrifice, Painted Skin, Under the Hawthorn Tree, Forever Enthralled, Aftershock, Crazy Racer, Lust, Caution, Let the Bullet Fly, The Assembly, The Curse of Golden Flower, If You Are the One , Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, The Banquet, Crazy Stone, Not One Less, The Road Home, Blind Shaft, Beijing Bicycle, Together, Springtime in A Small Town, The Blue Kite, etc and more than 100 episodes of a TV series If You Are the One.

Dr Han also teaches translation studies and subtitling at University of Western Sydney. As a leading expert in subtitling and intercultural communications, Dr Han has presented frequently at national and international conferences including Cultural Event at Peking University, China and Australia Literary Forum (I & II), Cultural Literacy between China and Australia in Beijing, International Conference on Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication, Languages and the Media Conference in Berlin, Media for All Conference in London, Sydney Writers Festival.

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