Translation of Anthroponyms in Children’s Cartoons: A Comparative Analysis of English Dialogues and Persian Subtitles

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Humanities, Department of English Language Studies, Imam Reza University of Mashhad, Iran



The impact of animated cartoons on children has already been emphasized by quite many researchers. The present study aimed to investigate the strategies Iranian subtitlers of English animated cartoons used in re n- dering English anthroponyms in cartoons. To this aim, two theoretical frameworks were employed: Van Coillie's Model of Translating Proper Names and Fernandes’s Model of Proper Names Translation. The aim was to find which strategies were the most prevalently used by Iranian subtitlers of cartoons and to see which model fitted these attempts best. Five car toons were investigated: Ben 10, Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda, Spider Man, and Dream Works Dragons. Through a qualitative content analysis, distribution of strategies was found and reported in frequencies and percentages. They were cross - compared between t he two models. The results showed that quite a few strategies of each model were used. The only strategy, which was dominantly used by Iranian subtitlers in all cartoons was termed as Reproduction or Copy which was the least demanding on the part of the tr anslator. Many strategies were left unapplied which could be explained by Iranian subtitlers’ sheer unawareness of a variety of strategies for translating anthroponyms. 



Abdolmaleki, S. D. (2012). Proper names in translation: an explanatory attempt. The Social Sciences, 7, 832-837.
Albin, V. (2003). What's in a name: Juliet's question revisited. Translation Journal, 7(4), 4-8.
Bertills, Y. (2003). Beyond identification: proper names in children’s literature. Retrieved from
Cintas, J. D. (2009). Introduction_ audiovisual translation: an overview of its potential. In J. D. Cintas (Ed.), New trends in audiovisual translation (pp. 1-18). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Delabastila, D. (1989). Translation and mass-communication. Babel, 35(4), 193-218.
Fernandes, L. (2006). Translation of names in children's fantasy literature: bringing the young reader into play. New Voices in Translation Studies, 2, 44-57.
France, P. (2000). Translation studies and translation criticism. In P. France (Ed.), The Oxford guide to literature in English translation (pp. 3-10). Oxford: Oxford University press.
Gambier, Y. (1994). Multimédia et médiation: quel défis? Koiné, 4, 67-69.
Gökçearslan, A. (2010). The effect of cartoon movies on children’s gender development. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 5202-5207.
Gottlieb, H. (1994). Subtitling: diagonal translation. Perspectives-Studies in
Translatology, 2
, 101-121.
Gottlieb, H. (1998). Subtitling. In M. Baker (Ed.), Routledge encyclopedia of translation studies (pp. 261-274). London: Routledge.
Habib, K., & Soliman, T. (2015). Cartoons’ effect in changing children mental response and behavior. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 248-264.
Hejwowski, K. (2004). Translation: a cognitive-communicative approach. Poland: Wydawnictwo Wszechnicy Mazurskiej.
Judickaitė-Pašvenskienė, L. (2013). Translation of anthroponyms in children’s cartoons. New Voices in Translation Studies, 10, 87-91.
Klingberg, G. (1986). Children’s Fiction in the Hands of the Translator. Lund: Boktryckeri.
Luyken, G. (1991). Overcoming language barriers in television: dubbing and subtitling for the European audience. Dusseldorf: The European Institute for the Media.
Newmark, P. (1986). Approaches to translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Rudvin, M. (1994). Translation and ‘myth’: Norwegian Children’s literature in English (Vol. 2).
Schogt, H. G. (1988). Linguistics, literary analysis, and literary translation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Van Coillie, J. (2006). Character names in translation: a functional approach. In J. V. Coillie & W. P. Verschueren (Eds.), Children's literature in translation: challenges and strategies (pp. 123-139). Manchester & Kinderhook: St. Jerome Publishing.
Yamazaki, A. (2002). Why change names? on the translation of children’s books. Children’s Literature in Education, 33(1), 53-62.