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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.
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As this book evolved from my PhD thesis, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Prof. Kinga Klaudy, DSc, who aroused my interest in translation studies and encouraged me to undertake this large-­scale research project. She was very supportive throughout the entire process of bringing it to completion. I am particularly grateful to Katalin Szili, CSc, who introduced me to the intriguing realm of pragmatics and drew my attention to the culture-­specific nature of speech acts, a subject worthy of investigation in translation studies as well. I am especially thankful to my native reviser David Parker, MBA, for his close reading of the draft and for his useful comments on my use of English. I am indebted to my colleagues at the Department of International Business Languages of Budapest Business School, University of Applied Sciences for their helpful remarks and advice, especially Erika Huszár, PhD, Judit Kónyi, PhD, Szilvia Malaczkov, MA, and Teodóra Wiesenmayer, PhD. Special thanks must go to Laurel Plapp, PhD, Senior Commissioning Editor, who never got tired of answering my endless questions, and the editors at Peter Lang who helped bring this project to fruition. Whatever weaknesses that still remain are entirely my own responsibility.←xiii | xiv→ ←xiv | xv→

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