American Television Series in Hungary
Chapter 7 Pragmatic transfer
In the American family comedy Dennis, the Menace (John Hughes, 1993) Dennis, who is a young child, uses the following formula to greet his elder neighbour: Good Morning, Mr Wilson. The dubbing translator replaced the greeting with its Hungarian calque. At a translation studies conference, one of the presenters used this example to argue that similar calques are in fact pragmatic errors in translation (Horváth, 2010). According to the presenter, the act of greeting should be adjusted to the communicative norms in the TL; thus, the solution Csókolom. Fred bácsi! [I kiss you, uncle Fred!] would be a pragmatically more adequate solution because this is the way children are supposed to greet adults in the TL culture.9 Some participants from the audience argued that the translator’s solution was adequate because the viewer is aware that the film takes place in an American town where it would sound strange if speakers were using Hungarian formulas. Presumably, the presenter considered the translating solution as a pragmatic error because it sounds inadequate, that is, translationese in Hungarian language use. This divergence of opinion raises some intriguing questions in translation studies. Is it reasonable to view instances of pragmatically motivated translationese as pragmatic errors? Are there similar instances of translationese in translating conventionally indirect directive and commissive speech acts from English to Hungarian? If so, what is the possible explanation for such←201 | 202→ phenomenon? In addition to attempting...
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