The Translation of Name Labels in Spider-Man Comics


Chan Jin Vei
Krishnavanie Shunmugam


This paper investigates the translation of address terms or name labels in comics from English to Malay. The two aims of this study are: (i) to identify the main translation strategies used in the target text regarding Baker's (1992) typology of translation strategies and (ii) to discuss how effectively the source author’s name labels are transposed in Malay by using Eugene Nida’s (1964: 182) basic principles of "the general efficiency of the communication process" and "comprehension of intent" as a yardstick. The data comprises 187 name labels identified in 14 series of the Spider-Man comics and their Malay counterparts. The findings revealed that the three most frequently used strategies are paraphrasing by using related words followed by omissions of name labels and translating by using less expressive or neutral words. With regard to the efficacy of the Malay translations in conveying the semantic robustness of the English name labels, it was found that the translator has prioritized a transparent translation to achieve easy comprehensibility for the target reader over a faithful preservation of the author's style and the finer nuances expressed by the name labels.