On the Verge Between Language and Translation

by Marcin Walczynski (Volume editor) Piotr Czajka (Volume editor) Michał Szawerna (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection 396 Pages
Series: Łódź Studies in Language, Volume 59


This book explores a range of topics situated in the overlapping areas of theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics and translation studies. The first part of the book comprises five original contributions on topics ranging from general linguistics to applied linguistics while the second part comprises eleven original contributions exploring selected aspects of theoretical, descriptive and applied translation studies.
This book also initiates the publishing activity of the Department of Translation Studies, established at the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Poland.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Linguistics
  • Expletive Infixation: How Its Stylistic Effect Is Decoded and Transposed by L2 Speakers
  • Colloquial Interjections in English and Polish: A Functional Classification
  • Conceptualization of Deception in Native and Non-Native Language as Truth in Disguise in Computer-Mediated Communication: A Case Study of English-Speaking Poles
  • The Images of Scotsmen and Englishmen: Prototypes and Stereotypes in Jokes and Anecdotes
  • Culture-Based Expressions in Bilingual Dictionaries: The Case of National Ethnonyms
  • Part II: Translation Studies
  • Metaphorical Structure in the Translation of Popular Business Discourse: A Comparative Analysis of Polish and English Business Texts
  • Translation Problems in the Translation of Two Film Versions of Alice in Wonderland into Spanish: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Approach1
  • Translators and their Game: A Practitioner’s Point of View1
  • Problem-Based Learning Method: A New Approach in Teaching Translation
  • On Thematic Structure and Evaluation in English-Polish Translation: A Case Study
  • Michel Tremblay in French and Spanish: Translating Linguistic Variation
  • A Pragmatic Approach to Translation Analysis
  • Recontextualization in Press Translation: Ideological Shifts
  • Translation Errors and Second Language Acquisition: Teaching Turkish to Greek Speakers Through Translation
  • Loss and Gain in the Translation of Verbally Expressed Humor in Polish Dubbing of Animated Films
  • On English-Mediated Communication
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables

List of Contributors

Monika Kavalir teaches Modern English Language at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her main interests lie in the fields of Systemic Functional Grammar, contrastive analysis of English and Slovenian, intercultural communication, and linguistic approaches to the study of literature.

Małgorzata Kowalczyk is a sociolinguist and lexicographer specializing in lexical variation, documentation and description. She has conducted research at such academic centers as the University of Florida, the University of Arizona, the City University of New York, and as Visiting Professor, at the University of California at Berkeley. Currently, she teaches English linguistics at the Pomeranian Academy in Słupsk. Her book publications include: The Dictionary of City Names in American Slang (2011), Black Lexicon (2012), Americanisms (2013), Bazinga! A Dictionary of Colloquial English Interjections (2014) and The Dictionary of Spanish Loanwords in American Slang (2015)

Anna Kuzio is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Zielona Góra. She has published internationally in linguistic journals, including the International Journal of Languages and Literatures and Rocznik kognitywistyczny, as well as in various books. Her research interests are focused primarily on pragmatic, cognitive and sociolinguistic mechanisms of deception and manipulation in language, as well as on the processes of social influence and the rhetoric of advertising, social media and political discourse.

Tomasz Twaróg is an English teacher who graduated from The Philological School of Higher Education in Wroclaw. His current research interests include discourse analysis, Cognitive Linguistics, pragmatics and sociology.

Monika Woźniak is a lecturer and research coordinator in the Institute of Modern Languages at San Jorge University in Spain. She graduated in English Philology from the University of Gdańsk and holds a European Doctorate from the University of Jaén. She also completed a Master in Intercultural Communication, Public Service Interpreting and Translation (Polish-Spanish) at the University of Alcalá. Her main research interests include phraseology, language and culture, and integrating content and language in higher education.

Dawid Czech is a doctoral student in the Institute of English at the University of Wrocław. His interests include Cognitive Linguistics, especially with regard to ←7 | 8→issues on the border of linguistics, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology (conceptual metaphor theory, embodied cognition, simulation semantics). His PhD thesis will be devoted to exploring the embodied simulation hypothesis in the processing of temperature-related metaphorical expressions and will incorporate both theoretical (how neural functions impact language production and comprehension) and methodological elements of the said disciplines. Apart from the strictly linguistic issues, he is also interested in scientific skepticism, philosophy of science and the practical and theoretical aspects of translation, particularly in the context of legal translation and video game localization.

Francisco Javier Díaz-Pérez is a senior lecturer at the English Department of the University of Jaén, where he teaches some courses in linguistics and translation. He has published several studies in fields such as cross-cultural pragmatics, translation studies, or pragmatics of English. He is the author of the monograph La cortesía verbal en ingles y en español. Actos de habla y pragmática intercultural and has co-edited A World of English, a World of Translation, Global Issues in the Teaching of Language, Literature and Linguistics, and Specialisation and Variation in Language Corpora. Some of his publications have appeared in journals such as Journal of Pragmatics, Meta, Babel, Multicultural Shakespeare, Atlantis, or Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses.

Elena Gheorghita is an associate professor at Moldova State University and a practising freelance conference interpreter, working for various international organizations. Her research interests lie in the sphere of translation as process and strategic game, as well as in the development of skills for consecutive and simultaneous interpretation and terminology acquisition. She regularly participates in scientific conferences with presentations and has published articles in Romania, Lithuania, Russia, and France. She is also a member of European Society for Translation Studies.

Olga Jakubiak works as an assistant professor at the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. In 2003 she graduated from the Institute of Applied Linguistics and between 2005 and 2010 she worked on and defended her PhD thesis concerning the linguistic attribution of texts for special purposes. Her scientific interests focus on text analysis, translation, academic didactics and innovations in language teaching methodologies.

Tomasz Konik, PhD, is a senior lecturer at the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Applied Linguistics. His special fields of interest include English-Polish contrastive studies, the pragmatic, rhetorical and stylistic aspects of translation between ←8 | 9→the two languages, as well as the pragmatics and rhetoric of economic discourse, especially the discourse of economic globalization and of economic forecasting.

Iga Leszczyńska graduated from the Department of Romance Languages Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, where she also defended her doctoral dissertation and obtained her PhD in the field of Linguistics. Iga Leszczynska obtained three scholarships to allow her to pursue her research in France and Canada, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She currently resides in Connecticut, where she works as a French and Spanish teacher and interpreter. She is also an active publisher in the field of Canadian Studies, Linguistics, and Translation.

Jędrzej Olejniczak is a PhD student of University of Wrocław and holds master’s degree. His main academic interests are: translation studies, pragmatics and corpus linguistics. He also pays close attention to how generative grammar and formal semantics evolve.

Jolanta Osękowska-Sandecka works at the University of Zielona Góra, in the Institute of Modern Languages. In 2011, she was awarded a PhD in linguistics (specialization in translation) from the University of Wrocław, Faculty of Philology. Her academic research and didactic interests include translation studies, media translation (in particular press translation), sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. She is also a sworn translator of English.

Eleni Sella-Mazi holds a PhD in general and applied linguistics from René Descartes University (Université Descartes — Paris V — Sorbonne). She specialises in general and applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and translation theory and didactics. She works as a professor of general linguistics at the Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (since 2008). Formerly, she was a professor of general linguistics and problems of bilingualism, at the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting of the Ionian University (1986-2008). Her research interests include issues of bilingualism or multilingualism, issues of national identity and language, contrastive analysis of languages, second language acquisition/learning, bilingual-minority education, bilingualism and teaching of grammar, teaching and learning of Turkish as foreign language, as well as theoretical and didactic issues of translation and interpreting.

Maro Mavropoulou, an assistant professor of Turkish language and literature, Department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, holds a PhD in translation and interpreting ←9 | 10→from the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting of the Ionian University. She is responsible for the training of the examiners of the Greek National Certificate of Competence in Turkish language — Greek National Foreign Language Exam System. She is the author and co-author of teaching books of Turkish as a foreign language and of Turkish as a mother tongue. Her research interests include issues of teaching Turkish, issues of modern Turkish literature and issues of Turkish-Greek translation, theory and practice. She has translated into Greek Nutuk by Gazi Mustafa Kemal.

Iwona Sikora, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Chair of Business English at Częstochowa University of Technology and a lecturer in the Section of Business English of the Institute of Modern Languages of the University of Applied Sciences in Nysa. She is a certified translator and interpreter of the English language. Her research interests include audiovisual translation, translation technology (CAT tools), specialized languages and terminology, translator education, and theory and methodology for ESP training.

Agnieszka Stępkowska, an associate professor at the School of English, the University of Social Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. Her research interests focus on translation studies, multilingualism, the sociology of language, and language contact with special reference to English.


This volume initiates the publishing activity of the Department of Translation Studies established within the organisational structure of the Institute of English Studies (part of the Faculty of Letters) of the University of Wrocław, Poland.

Although Translation Studies was for a long time represented by several scholars working in other departments of the Institute of English Studies, mostly in the former Department of English Linguistics (now the Department of English and Comparative Linguistics) and in the former Department of Applied Linguistics (now the Department of Second Language Learning and Teaching), it is the establishment of a separate unit grouping translation scholars working in the Institute of English Studies of the University of Wrocław that marked a new phase in the development of Translation Studies at the University of Wrocław. Currently, the Department of Translation Studies is a teaching and scholarly base for three professors and eight assistant professors who—in their academic pursuits—deal with various aspects of translation, interpreting and linguistics. This volume, like the scholars affiliated to the Department of Translation Studies, represents different language-related fields: linguistics, applied linguistics and translation studies.

The first section groups contributions related to linguistics.

In the article titled “Expletive infixation: How its stylistic effect is decoded and transposed by L2 speakers”, Monika Kavalir examines what is a morphological and stylistic phenomenon—expletive infixation—from the point of view of contrastive linguistics and translation studies. Specifically, Kavalir sets out to establish how advanced Slovene learners of English perceive the phenomenon of expletive infixation using a single example: abso-bloody-lutely. According to Kavalir, the choices made by the participants of her study as they translated abso-bloody-lutely from English to Slovene attest to the aspects of meaning these participants managed to uncover in the course of translation. Kavalir concludes by indicating that the results of the study with regard to intensification, informality, profanity and creativity, as well as transfer effect, bring out the aspects of meaning communicated by abso-bloody-lutely that were perceived as the most prominent by the study’s participants.

In the article titled “Colloquial interjections in English and Polish: A functional classification”, Małgorzata Kowalczyk sets out to determine and describe the functions of colloquial interjections, that is, to establish how colloquial interjections are distributed functionally. The results of Kowalczyk’s study show ←11 | 12→that while the sounds of nature, people and animals, which are regarded as prototypical interjections, feature no informal expressions of this sort, the sounds of actions and their results, which are also viewed as prototypical interjections, do feature informal expressions. Kowalczyk emphasises the fact that other functional themes are more prominently represented in her data, which are said to specifically indicate that sounds related to emotions, sociocultural codes, and rhetorical devices are particularly abundant in informal interjections.

In the article titled “Conceptualization of deception in native and non-native language as the truth in disguise in computer-mediated communication: A case study of English speaking Poles”, Anna Kuzio demonstrates that in their non-native language, liars tend to produce less lexically diverse messages when compared with deceptive statements in the native language. Kuzio suggests that this regularity may be related to the liars’ lower command of the non-native language—in particular to their limited non-native vocabulary resources—as well as to the associated cognitive overload. According to Kuzio, her findings indicate that deceptive language users tend to include more negative words in their statements in their native than in their non-native language. Kuzio conjectures that this regularity may result from the users’ reduced emotional response when formulating their answers in English. Kuzio points out, however, that her findings are characteristic of asynchronous written communication and may not apply to other communicative contexts.

In the article titled “The images of Scotsmen and Englishmen: Prototypes and stereotypes in jokes and anecdotes”, Tomasz Twaróg makes use of the analytical instruments of cognitive linguistics as he analyzes a range of English-language jokes and anecdotes about Scotsmen and Englishmen with a view to revealing the construal of Scotsmen and Englishmen propagated by these conventionalized mini-narratives. In this article, Twaróg demonstrates that in the jokes and anecdotes included in his scope of analysis, Scotsmen are depicted in a simplified and exaggerated manner as misers, whisky-drunkards, and bagpipe players, while Englishmen are portrayed, in an equally simplified and exaggerated way, as being exceptionally gullible and incredibly stupid.

In the article titled “Culture-based expressions in bilingual dictionaries: The case of national ethnonyms”, Monika Woźniak explores the phenomenon of using nationality words in idiomatic expressions on the basis of selected English examples with a view to showing how idiomatic expressions with nationality words are treated in selected contemporary English-Polish dictionaries. Woźniak’s examination of a range of dictionary entries demonstrates that lexicographers tend to rely on explanations when they characterise English idiomatic expressions featuring nationality words for the reason that many of these ←12 | 13→expressions do not have their parallels in Polish. Woźniak adds, however, that if expressions that appear to be lexically parallel do exist, dictionary makers choose to rely on them even if their meanings and other properties do not match.

The second section comprises papers related to translation studies.

In the article titled “Metaphorical structure in the translation of popular business discourse: A comparative analysis of Polish and English business texts”, Dawid Czech adopts an interdisciplinary approach and employs the analytical instruments of corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, metaphor analysis, and translation studies as he sets out to explore the role of metaphors in popular business discourse, with the focus on the implications for translation arising from the conceptual nature and communicative function of these metaphors. In his study, Czech demonstrates that systematically interconnected metaphors constitute a considerable part of the popular business discourse. Czech takes this finding to be crucial for the translation process, as the clash of two different metaphorical structures, one encoded in the source language and the other in the target language, creates the need for metaphorical equivalence. To substantiate the idea of metaphorical equivalence, Czech devotes considerable attention to a comparison of Polish and English popular business discourses, which provides considerable insight into the characteristics of the metaphorical structures encoded in the respective languages and the issues that may arise in their translation.

In the article titled “Translation problems in the translation of two film versions of Alice in Wonderland into Spanish: A cognitive-pragmatic approach”, Francisco Javier Díaz-Pérez argues that Relevance Theory may be resorted to with a view to providing an account of the decisions made by translators who wish to tackle such translation problems as wordplay and cultural references. In his study, Díaz-Pérez demonstrates that many decisions made by the Spanish translators of two motion-picture adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s classic book are motivated by the principle of relevance. In a nutshell, on the basis of his analysis of multiple examples, Díaz-Pérez argues that having metarepresented the cognitive environments of the ST addresser and the TT addressee, the translators, who wished to reproduce the ST-intended cognitive effects at minimal processing cost for the TT viewer, selected the most appropriate solution-types to solve the translation problems they had encountered. In his article, Díaz-Pérez also argues that due to their peculiarities—such as, for instance, the interplay between the audio channel and the visual channel—subtitling and dubbing influenced some of the choices made by the translators with regard to solution-types.

The paper “Translators and their game: A practitioner’s point of view” by Elena Gheorghita is based on the assumption that intracultural and intercultural ←13 | 14→communication may be explicated within the framework of the game theory. The linguistic aspect of interpersonal communication is discussed here regarding mental spaces by Fauconnier and Turner as well as theories that belong to the field of linguistic pragmatics: Grice’s theory of implicatures and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory. In the very process of translation seen as a game, the author, after Kunitsyna, distinguishes the stage when the translator plays the game with the sender of the original message and the stage when the translator gets engaged in the game with the recipient of the translated message. Also, the author attempts to grasp the essence of the translator’s communicative behaviour at both of these stages.

In the paper “Problem-based learning method: A new approach in teaching translation”, Olga Jakubiak tackles the problem of teaching translation to university students. More specifically, the author attempts to assess how useful and effective the Problem Based Learning approach, developed in the 1960s by Barrows, may be in teaching translation. The conclusions presented in the paper are drawn from the author’s own experience as a teacher of Russian-English translation at the University of Warsaw.

The Polish translation of the book Making Globalization Work, written by Joseph E. Stiglitz, is the source of data analysed by Tomasz Konik in the paper “On thematic structure and evaluation in English-Polish translation: A case study”. The analysis is informed by the Hallidayan functional grammar and by Duszak’s observations concerning the differences in thematic structures of Polish and English sentences. The author shows how these differences may become problems in translation from English to Polish and how such problems were solved in the Polish translation of the book by Stiglitz.

Joual is the name for a sociolect that developed among working classes in Montreal. This language variety, which is often perceived as a corrupt form of French influenced by the English language, became a means of literary expression for Michel Tremblay, a French Canadian playwright and novelist. The paper “Michel Tremblay in French and Spanish: Translating linguistic variation”, authored by Iga Leszczyńska, explains and discusses difficulties connected with rendering Tremblay’s dramas in Spanish and standard French.

Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory and Austin’s Speech Act Theory constitute the point of departure for Jędrzej Olejniczak in his paper titled “A pragmatic approach to translation analysis”. The author aims to construct a set of pragmatic variables that might be used as a model for the practice of comparing literary texts with their translations. The applicability of the model is demonstrated by an analysis of the Polish translations of Terry Pratchett’s book Dodger.

←14 |

The paper “Recontextualization in press translation: Ideological shifts” by Jolanta Osękowska-Sandecka shows how language, ideology, intertextuality, and recontextualization become intertwined in the process of translation. This is done through the comparison of Polish and American press articles concerning recent events in Ukraine. The comparison is made using a method developed from Richardson’s model of newspaper language as well as from Leech and Short’s concept of modes of the report.

In the paper “Translation errors and second language acquisition: Teaching Turkish to Greek speakers through translation”, Eleni Sella-Mazi and Maria Mavropoulou revisit the problem of teaching foreign languages through the process of translation. They are interested in how particular types of errors made by learners performing translation tasks may be used as an efficient source of information about the learner’s level of proficiency in the foreign language.

The paper “Loss and gain in the translation of verbally expressed humor in Polish dubbing of animated films”, written by Iwona Sikora, begins with a brief discussion of issues related to the translation of humor in audiovisual texts: untranslatability, types of humor, intertextuality, polysemioticity, the problem of loss and gain in meaning, and technical constraints on screen translating. Next, relying on the concepts elaborated by Chiaro and Delabastita, the author presents an analysis of strategies and techniques used in the Polish dubbing of nine animated movies that were originally made in English.

In the paper “On English-mediated communication”, Agnieszka Stępkowska refers to de Swaan’s idea that languages of the world, when viewed from the political, economic, and sociological perspectives, form a hierarchical system—the global language system. Adopting the frameworks of Polysystem Theory and Translation Studies, the author shows that the English language performs a mediating function in what Heilbron calls the international system of translations.

Marcin Walczyński

Piotr Czajka

Michał Szawerna


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (March)
audiovisual translation press translation translation errors business translation humour translation ethnic stereotypes
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 391 pp., 30 fig. b/w, 19 tables

Biographical notes

Marcin Walczynski (Volume editor) Piotr Czajka (Volume editor) Michał Szawerna (Volume editor)

Marcin Walczyński is Assistant Professor in the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław. Piotr Czajka is Senior Lecturer in the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław. Michał Szawerna is Assistant Professor in the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław.


Title: On the Verge Between Language and Translation
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