Pragmatics of subtitling: Speech acts in the house of cards


In Esse: English Studies in Albania, vol.8, no.1, pp.70-84, 2017 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Name: In Esse: English Studies in Albania
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.70-84
  • Keywords: Audiovisual translation, House of cards, Pragmatics, Speech acts, Subtitling
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


© Albanian Society for the Study English (ASSE).The aim of this article is the study of speech acts in subtitling House of Cards. Subtitling, one of the most common Audiovisual Translation modes, involves the exploration of multiple semiotic systems consisting of signs like words, colours, images, sounds, gestures or objects (Bogucki 2013). The function of speech acts in communication is essential for the subtitler who attempts to convey to the foreign audience the core meaning intended in the dialogues through these signs. Translation includes the transfer of both the linguistic and cultural elements used in the source text as it explores not only the world at the textual level but also makes associations with the physical and socio-cultural world beyond the utterances of the involved communicators. This perspective requires the subtitler’s in-depth pragmatic analysis of illocutionary and perlocutionary acts during the translation process (Austin 1962; Doğan 2014; Searle 1979). In this study, selected scenes from episodes of an American TV series, House of Cards, will be analysed using the Speech Act Theory to emphasise and show the interpretative role of speech acts in the reformation of the original subtitles.