Translating cultural references in Japanese animation films: the case of Spirited Away


  • Kaori Asakura


This paper focuses on the Oscar-winning animated feature film Spirited Away as a case study in Audiovisual Translation and analyzes the translations of three types of Extralinguistic Cultural References  (ECR): honorifics, characters' names, and religious references. This analysis aims to shed light on the predominant translation strategies used in the film's English and Portuguese dubbings and subtitles and the effect of a relay translation on the Portuguese versions. The results of the analysis indicate that the predominant translation strategies for the ECRs in the English dubbing and subtitling are target-oriented, except for the case of characters' names,and source-oriented in the Portuguese counterparts,with a greater tendency for source orientation in subtitling. The English dubbing used a variety of target-oriented strategies to clarify ECRs to the target audience,whereas the Portuguese hardly used such strategies and avoided departing from the Japanese original storyline.