Meaning-Making in the Untranslatability: A Translanguaging Analysis of the Film Love After Love

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Films have been held for a long-term tradition as a meaning-making practice in visual and audio play, in the hybridization of language, image and sound, as well as in interactive symphonization with the audience/viewers. Through the emerging theoretical lens of translanguaging, this article analyzes the translingual practices, performance, instances in a Chinese film entitled Love After Love (adapted from Eileen Chang’s short story and directed by the Hong Kong Director Anne Hui), in which a Portuguese sonnet lyrical poem (Rimas) is delicately crafted in the film and projected in the trailer. Through this analysis, we aim to examine how translanguaging aesthetics transcend language boundaries, transforming from the seeming untranslatability to communicative meaning-making practice. The film presents a situated and embodied poem recital scene that encompasses untranslatable moments of imagination, thus transcending the Mandarin-English-Portuguese divide. The encounter and intertwining of heterogeneous languages and registers create a transformative space replete with tensions between reality and imagination, between lucidity and ambiguity, between resistance and compliance, interrogating the underlying discourses beyond languages and rendering the untranslatability meaningful. This translanguaging-informed film review thus offers an insightful autopsy of the literary aesthetics of the novel by Eileen Chang.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1783-1789
Number of pages7
JournalTheory and Practice in Language Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2022


  • AVTs in the film
  • Eileen Chang
  • meaning-making
  • translanguaging
  • untranslatability


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