2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

German Second Person Pronouns in Translation in Bridgerton

Katrina S. Schooley
Dr. Douglas Ball, Faculty Mentor

As global communication has developed, the importance of cross-cultural pragmatic competence in the field of translation has become increasingly clear, as different languages have different politeness requirements. While English has only one second person pronoun, languages such as German have multiple to denote varying levels of familiarity and formality. The pronoun used is influenced both by power dynamics and the closeness between those involved. This study first explores how the second person pronouns in the popular Netflix television series Bridgerton are translated into German subtitles. Then, this study analyzes whether the choices the translators made would alter the audience’s understanding of the relationships represented. The study has found that the translators used an archaic 3-pronoun system instead of the modern 2-pronoun distinction, maintaining the old-fashioned feel of the original English. The characters’ use of the pronouns is also dynamic, with the level of formality changing as their relationships develop.

Keywords: Linguistics, German, Translation, Subtitles, T/V Pronouns, Pragmatics


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 302-4
Location: SUB Georgian Room A
Time: 1:30

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