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Translation Studies and Translation Practice: Proceedings of the 2nd International TRANSLATA Conference, 2014

Part 1

Series:

Lew N. Zybatow, Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski

TRANSLATA II was the second in a series of triennial conferences on Translation and Interpreting Studies, held at the University of Innsbruck. The series is conceptualized as a forum for Translation Studies research. The contributions to this volume focus on humo(u)r translation, legal translation, and human-machine interaction in translation. The contributors also regard computer-aided translation, specialised translation, terminology as well as audiovisual translation and professional aspects in translation and interpreting.

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American Sitcoms and Their Wordy Scripts as a Challenge for the Translator (Kwiryna Proczkowska)

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Kwiryna Proczkowska, University of Wrocław

American Sitcoms and Their Wordy Scripts as a Challenge for the Translator

Abstract: This paper analyses selected aspects of the audio-visual translation of humour on the example of two sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, and their translations into German. The corpus consists of linguistic jokes which exemplify different translation difficulties.

1. Introduction

This paper aims at presenting in broad terms the results of a contrastive analysis of verbal comedy in the English and German versions1 of two American sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother (=HIMYM) and The Big Bang Theory (=TBBT). The underlying idea behind this analysis was to juxtapose different types of linguistic jokes with their translations, in order to demonstrate difficulties and challenges present in this type of translation and translation procedures which were implemented in each case. This paper follows the theoretical framework of contrastive linguistics as well as the theory of equivalence coined by Werner Koller. What is being assessed here is the effectiveness in rendering humorous qualities of the text and in preserving original meaning of the joke in the target language (=TL). The findings presented in this paper illustrate that although it may seem obvious that a joke should be translated as a whole, faithfully to the original (if possible) and in accordance with the context of the episode and the entire show, it is not always done in such a way in practice...

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