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Translating Humour in Audiovisual Texts

Edited By Gian Luigi De Rosa, Francesca Bianchi, Antonella De Laurentiis and Elisa Perego

Humour found in audiovisual products is, of course, performative in nature. If we consider instances of humour – any droll moment occurring in today’s fare of mixed-genre products as a composite of cognition, emotion, interaction and expression – we see that the verbal code becomes just one component of four equally significant elements. And, as ‘expression’ is not limited to verbal output alone, humour may of course be created in absence of a verbal code. Translating humour for audiovisuals is not too different from translating verbal humour tout court. What makes humour occurring within audiovisual texts more problematic is the fact that it may be visually anchored; in other words a gag or a joke may pivot on verbal content directed at a specific element that is present within the graphic system of the same text. As the term itself suggests, audiovisuals contain two overlying structures: a visual and an auditory channel each of which contain a series of both verbal and non-verbal elements which inextricably cross-cut one another. The contributors in this collection of essays present a series of case studies from films and video-games exemplifying problems and solutions to audiovisual humour in the dubs and subs in a variety of language combinations.
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Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis – Giù al nord: lo stesso film? Sull’intraducibilità dello humour: Elisa Lupetti

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ELISA LUPETTI

Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis – Giù al nord: lo stesso film? Sull’intraducibilità dello humour

C’est du vivant que nous pesons, et par les équilibres relatifs que nous trouvons, nous transfusons une part plus ou moins grande, — jamais la totalité, — d’un courant vital dans un tissu composé d’éléments verbaux, dont les potentiels, libérés par ce courant, le transporteront jusqu’à la pensée des lecteurs ou des auditeurs qui connaissent la langue dans laquelle nous traduisons.Valéry Larbaud

Tradurre lo humour è un’operazione tutt’altro che semplice. Non solo si richiedono competenza linguistica e capacità traduttive, ma perché il testo della lingua di arrivo rifletta appieno le sottigliezze di quello in lingua originale, il traduttore deve diventare lui stesso un umorista.

Da qualche anno diversi studi sono stati pubblicati sull’argomento e, apportando nuove riflessioni, l’articolo che seguirà vuole essere un contributo alla letteratura già esistente,34 con particolare riferimento alle recenti pubblicazioni che legano la traduzione dello humour al testo audiovisivo.

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