Translation techniques used and its shift in Stranger Things movie

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(1) * Arbain Arbain   
Universitas Widya Gama Mahakam Samarinda

(*) Corresponding Author


The use of inappropriate translation techniques can cause distortion and a shift in meaning from the source language to the target language. In addition, the limited space for writing words in subtitles is a challenge for a translator. This study reviewed the use of translation techniques for expressions of fear that were realized in the form of sentences and the shifts that occured as a result of using these techniques. The data were the subtitles of the film Stranger Things season 1. To analyze the data, the researcher used a qualitative content analysis model (Santosa, 2021). In this study, the researcher used the theory of translation techniques (Molina & Albir, 2002). All data were expressions of fear in both English (SL) and Indonesian (TL). In addition, in analyzing the data, the researcher was assisted by two translation experts in analyzing the use of techniques and shifts that occurred in the translation data. In this study, the most widely used technique was established equivalent. With this technique, the translation results sounded natural in the target language. However, the use of reduction and discursive creation techniques distorted the meaning. Specifically, discursive creation distorted meaning in the target language; meanwhile reduction techniques caused a reduction of information. Furthermore, this study found that there was a shift in the function of commanding speech into asking speech due to the use of inappropriate translation techniques.


  • Nine distinct translation techniques were identified, with the "established equivalent" technique being the most prevalent.

  • The study analyzed translations from English to Indonesian, highlighting shifts in meaning. Techniques like modulation caused changes, such as turning commanding speech to asking tones, emphasizing the complexities in retaining emotional nuances during translation.

  • This research offers practical implications for translators. It underscores the frequent use of the reduction technique in film subtitles, driven by the constraint of limited on-screen text space. This finding is pivotal for translators working with cinematic content, guiding technique selection.


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Arbain, A. (2023). Translation techniques used and its shift in Stranger Things movie. JEES (Journal of English Educators Society), 8(2).
Author Biography

Arbain Arbain, Universitas Widya Gama Mahakam Samarinda

Arbain is a Lecturer at English Education Department, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education. Universitas Widya Gama Mahakam Samarinda. Serving as a distinguished lecturer at Universitas Widya Gama Mahakam Samarinda, Arbain exhibits profound expertise in Linguistics and Translation, especially in the realm of pragmatics. His rigorous scholarly pursuits have culminated in numerous publications in both national and international academic journals, underscoring his significant contributions to the field.


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