American Television Series in Hungary
Chapter 1 Speech acts in translation
Speech acts in translation
The study of speech acts falls within the realm of pragmatics. Although pragmatics-oriented research in translation studies has grown exponentially over the last couple of decades, researchers have paid relatively little attention to the study of speech acts in audiovisual translation (AVT). The paucity of such prior work calls for a broad overview of the literature to justify the importance of research into speech acts and to identify lines of research that deserve to be pursued in the context of AVT. The first attempts to study speech acts in translation studies are found in the works of scholars engaged in research into literary translation. Thus, their findings serve as the basis of the present investigation of the translation of conventionally indirect speech acts.
First, I shall outline views on the translatability of speech acts and the challenges they pose to translators to shed light on the relevance of this line of research. The review is organized around pragmatic concepts such as illocutionary force, linguistic directness and politeness. This will be followed by a discussion of the ways illocutionary force, linguistic directness and politeness are brought to bear on interpersonal dynamics in AVT. The few studies addressing the translation of specific speech acts in AVT will be discussed at the end of the chapter. I shall focus on both subtitling and dubbing, as findings of research on subtitling seem to hold up in dubbing...
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