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On the Verge Between Language and Translation

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Edited By Marcin Walczynski, Piotr Czajka and Michał Szawerna

This book explores a range of topics situated in the overlapping areas of theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics and translation studies. The first part of the book comprises five original contributions on topics ranging from general linguistics to applied linguistics while the second part comprises eleven original contributions exploring selected aspects of theoretical, descriptive and applied translation studies.

This book also initiates the publishing activity of the Department of Translation Studies, established at the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Poland.

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Loss and Gain in the Translation of Verbally Expressed Humor in Polish Dubbing of Animated Films

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Abstract: The article discusses the translation of verbally expressed humor (VEH) in selected English-language animated movies dubbed into Polish. The main focus of the discussion is the strategies and techniques used in Polish dubbing and the resulting modifications in meaning, which are analyzed in terms of gain and loss in the film’s humorous effect. First, I discuss the notion of (un)translatability of verbally expressed humor and typical translation problems in the context of the polysemiotic nature of a film message. Next, I present the classification of types of humor which appear in animated movies and reflect on the unavoidable shifts in meaning and their consequences for the translated film’s humorous effect. In the practical part, I analyze loss and gain in the film’s humorous layer through the prism of strategies and techniques which were applied in the translation of VEH in the selected animated movies.

Keywords: verbally expressed humor, loss and gain, dubbing, translation strategies and techniques

1 Introduction

The Polish dubbing of animated movies is characterized by a strong tendency for domestication, which seems to exert a substantial influence on their attractiveness and box office success. This tendency for domestication, which consists in the neutralization or naturalization of foreign source-culture oriented elements, is observable in many aspects of the process of film translation. Domestication is the overall strategy which governs the decisions made by translators in the process of dubbing. However, not all culturally foreign items may be domesticated or...

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