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Translation, Globalization and Younger Audiences

The Situation in Poland


Michał Borodo

Translating for younger audiences is in need of critical investigation, as children’s and teenagers’ literature and media products are being increasingly globalized and glocalized, with translation playing an important role in the process. Media phenomena such as Harry Potter and animated Disney films travel across continents through hundreds of local cultures. These productions exert a homogenizing effect whilst at the same time undergoing transformation to adapt to new audiences.

This book distinguishes between textual glocalization, anglophone foreignization and large-scale adaptation, illustrating them with examples of translations of animated films by Pixar/Disney and DreamWorks, locally produced versions of the Horrible Histories series, Harry Potter translations and transmedial adaptations as well as film tie-ins. The book argues that global exchanges largely depend on the creative efforts of local agents – professional translators, adapters, retellers, publishers, writers, editors – and sheds light on the initiatives of non-professional translators, including scanlators, fansubbers, hip-hop fans and harrypotterians. By examining globally distributed titles translated at the turn of the twenty-first century, the volume aims at filling a gap at the intersection of translation studies, globalization research and the study of children’s literature and culture.

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Chapter 1: A theoretical framework: Translation and globalization


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A theoretical framework: Translation and globalization

Preliminary assumptions

While globalization is undoubtedly a long-term process encompassing numerous earlier historical developments (Held et al. 2004: 414–24), this book is primarily concerned with the current phase of globalization centring around the turn of the twenty-first century and marked by increased acceleration and interconnectedness. Indeed, some of the most frequently distinguished characteristics of globalization include the compression of time and the dematerialization of space as well as the ever-growing global interrelationships observable in various spheres of human interaction, such as trade, travel, media and entertainment, publishing and communication technologies. Giddens (1990: 64), for example, defines globalization as ‘the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa’. Referring to the phenomenon of globalization as ‘time-space compression’, Harvey (1989) emphasizes that the time required to cross distances has shrunk considerably, while Tomlinson (2004: 2), the author of Globalization and Culture, observes that ‘globalization refers to the rapidly developing and ever-densening network of interconnections and interdependencies that characterize modern social life’. The notion of interconnectedness might be further broken down into two other useful concepts that encapsulate the nature of various business transactions and socio-cultural processes, that is, networks and flows, both of which are foregrounded in the definition of globalization by Held et al. (2004: 16): ← 7 | 8 →

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