Siwen Lu

Postgraduate Research Student


I was awarded with a BA in English and Communication from the University of Liverpool.  Then I moved to study at University College London, where I completed my MSc in Audiovisual Translation. During my time at UCL, I learned many practical translation skills such as how to use translation software: WinCaps and Wordfast. My research interests include audiovisual translation, film studies, multimodality and linguistics. Outside of my studies, I am also a part-time translator from English into Chinese.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

“More Than Words: A Multimodal Analysis of the Subtitling of Swearing, Neologism and Humour from English into Chinese”

This study focuses on the multimodal analysis of subtitled films from English into Chinese, with particular reference to the specific translation issues presented by swearing, neologisms and humour. This research is based on a film corpus I have established which consists of all the officially imported English-language films into China based on the revenue-sharing system from 1994 to 2017. I have classified the films in the corpus into different genres which include action thrillers/crimes, sci-fi, fantasy and superhero films, animated and live-action comedies. Each genre employs common features which present particular challenges for subtitling: the frequent use of swearwords in action thrillers/crimes, the substantial amount of neologisms in sci-fi, fantasy and superhero films, and the frequent appearance of multimodal humour in animated and live-action comedies. The main aim of this study is to investigate the value of a multimodal approach to studying the three translation issues in subtitled films and to highlight the importance of going beyond the linguistic analysis of subtitles, since subtitles are not designed to be consumed without accompanying semiotic resources in film.

Research Centre Memberships

I am a member of The British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS).