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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 8: The rise of the amateur translator


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The rise of the amateur translator

Amateurs versus professionals

Thousands of new players have recently appeared on the translation landscape. Internally divided into a variety of teams and communities, some of them subversive and anarchistic, others more restrained, some catering for cultural niches, others for the general public, these numerous players are engaged in increasingly popular volunteer translation projects, either initiated on a grass-roots level or by commercial entities, either contentious or even illegal in nature, or fully sanctioned. The phenomenon is new, exciting and in need of critical analysis and it is hardly surprising that two special issues of respectable academic journals, that is, The Translator and Linguistica Antverpiensia New Series – Themes in Translation Studies, have been devoted to the study of amateur1 translation and published almost simultaneously, in 2012 and 2011 respectively. This chapter presents a panorama of various amateur translation projects taking place in Poland, mainly focusing on the ethical, commercial and legal contexts and the relationship between volunteer translators, copyright holders and professional translators. These projects include fan translations of comic books, pirate translations of Harry Potter, amateur subtitling and a hip-hop slang version of the Gospel According to St John. ← 185 | 186 →

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