Show Less
Restricted access

Speech Acts, Directness and Politeness in Dubbing

American Television Series in Hungary


Károly Polcz

The culture specificity of speech acts may pose daunting challenges in translating audiovisual products. This volume offers intriguing insights into the ways dubbing translators seek to establish pragmatic equivalence in speech acts such as requests, instructions, advice, invitations and offers. What is the nature of pragmatic equivalence in speech acts? What types of pragmatic shifts do translators employ in the pursuit of pragmatic equivalence? Do shifts in directness have a bearing on target language politeness? While focused on a relatively large amount of linguistic data retrieved from more than 700 episodes of twenty different television series, the study introduces a multidimensional model that can be used as a heuristic tool in the analysis of speech acts in translation studies. This venture into the realm of pragmatics and translation research is aimed at capturing dominant patterns in translating speech acts in audiovisual translation, which, as the author claims, could be tied to translation universals.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access



0.1 The translation challenge

Episode 11 in the fourth season of the popular American television series Ghost Whisperer (Jennifer Love Hewitt 2005–2010) opens with a scene in which one of the characters is seriously injured, and his friend calls 911. The following conversation takes place between the operator and the caller:

Example 1. GW S04e11 01:501

SL version

OPERATOR: Can you tell me if the victim is conscious?

CALLER: Yes, it rolled all over him, the lawn mower.

OPERATOR: Sir, can you tell me if he is breathing?

Dubbed version

Back translation

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.