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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 3: Globalization and the cultural other


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Globalization and the cultural other

Domestication, foreignization and younger audiences

One of the most intriguing areas to investigate in the context of translating for younger audiences is the relation between globalization and translators’ treatment of the cultural other. As observed by Bielsa (2005: 143), this allows us to understand how foreignness is mediated in globalization in concrete local circumstances and whether it is cultural appropriation, homogenization or hybridization that prevails in texts circulating on an international scale. How do Polish translators treat culture-specific items in texts for young readers translated from English? In the face of the growing international awareness of the English language and in the context of the increasing global interconnectedness in the spheres of publishing and media entertainment, does foreignization dominate in locally translated texts for young readers in Poland, with domestication being relegated to the periphery? Or is it domestication that is favoured by translators mediating texts for younger audiences?

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