For a long time, the primary research subject of translation studies has been focused on linguistic signs. The study of multimodal texts drawing on various semiotic resources such as language, image and sound has been largely neglected. Against this backdrop, this paper focuses on the transfer of visual signs from static images of the picture book into dynamic images of the animation version of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. Especially, the aim of this study is to explore the strategy used by the translator (adapter) to achieve the skopos of the film adaptation. As a theoretical framework for analysis, the researcher uses Kress and van Leeuwen’s model of visual design. The analysis examines three kinds of meanings, known as ‘metafunctions’, formed by the choices of semiotic resources available at the specific medium, dynamic images of film. The research findings show that how the visual signs have been adapted to achieve the balance, a seemingly incompatible purpose (skopos), between sustaining the unique atmosphere of the story and keeping audiences interested. The characteristics of this study as “intramodal” and “intermedial” translation may help translation scholars and students gain new insights into multimodal communication.
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