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David Bannon is a translator and author. He taught college for many years and publishes on art, history, culture, and translation. He has appeared on The Discovery Channel, A&E, and The History Channel and has been interviewed by NPR, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal. He has lectured at libraries and museums and was curator of Asian art for the Florence Museum of Art and History in South Carolina.
Language is a hard thing to show through text alone, especially when you have dialogue and nothing else. The Elements of Subtitles discusses translating and subtitling modern media and explains that subtitles need to be more than literal translations, and need to truly grasp the nature of the subject. The Elements of Subtitles is a must for anyone who wants to get into the world of translation or simply gain an understanding of why things are done the way they are with foreign media. Practical, user friendly, and replete with illustrative examples, The Elements Of Subtitles will prove to be of immense and practical value for anyone engaged in translating written expressions from other languages into English.
- Midwest Book Review
As David Bannon, a Korean-to-English subtitler for MBC America, noted, direct translations are often “nonsensical or cumbersome. Even the simplest line requires finesse and understanding of the original language and of English.” . . . A quality translation demands close attention to the idiomatic fit and feel of filmic language. As Mr. Bannon noted, a “simple inquiry about the time could be translated as: 'What time is it?’, 'Do you know the time?’, 'Got the time?’” Different characters speak differently. . . . With a task as nuanced and slippery as achieving an accord across the boundaries of language, there’s simply no replacement for the nimble human mind.
From the Critics (Reviews of projects subtitled by D. Bannon)
I Really, Really Like You (YA Entertainment - YAE)
This marks the best translation effort on YAE's part so far. We can really feel the attempt at conveying some sense of language and cultural nuance in a natural American English idiom. Translation & Subtitles: 9/9. – DVDBeaver
At no time did the subtitles pull me out of the moment or wreck the atmosphere of the show. – DVDTalk
The Great Queen Seondeok (MBC America)
Clearly and expertly translated with English subtitling including all idioms and colloquialisms to English equivalents. – KoreanDramas.TV
Very clear and excellent-quality English subtitling which is not only easy and quick to read but also includes colloquial idioms (i.e. the equivalents in English). – ForeignFilms.com
Time Between Dog & Wolf (YA Entertainment - YAE)
YAE’s translations have gotten more idiomatic with time. Translation & Subtitles: 9/9. – DVDBeaver