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To Be True to Audience or Author - A Brief Literature Review and Comparison of Linguistic Humour in Two Translations of Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this essay, research is conducted on two different translations of the same comic play by Dario Fo: Accidental Death of an Anarchist. (Original title in Italian: Morte accidentale di un anarchico). The first translation is by Gillian Hanna – adapted by Gavin Richards, and the other by Simon Nye.

As the original text is both satirical and comedic, one of the things investigated is how these satirical and comical features of the original text are translated. Questions asked include whether these comical and satirical features are sometimes omitted or altered for any linguistic reason, or if the “jester-like” satire of the original text is preserved. In order to answer these questions, the context of the text will first be explored, as this context may present linguistic obstacles for a translator. These possible linguistic obstacles will mainly be established through Fitzpatrick & Sawczak’s Cultural Translation Model.

Chapter 2 of this essay consists of an explanation of the methodology of gathering data through primary and secondary literature sources, and, eventually a comparison of the two translations to the original text. In Chapter 3, a review of the relevant theories is presented, and the theoretical literature which may offer explanations about the linguistic properties of humour and the “comedic process”. Further, Dario Fo’s particular style of political satire is presented in Chapter 4, together with an investigation of the particular use of satire in theatre performances, and Commedia dell’arte - as background for his particular comedic style.

In Chapter 5, linguistic obstacles for translating humour and satire for stage are investigated. In addition, various adaptation strategies of translation are briefly displayed, as well as a short account for Accidental Death of an Anarchist in adaptation. Finally, in Chapter 6, a comparison between some short segments of the two translations and the original text is conducted, in order to establish whether some satirical and comical features have been preserved or altered in the translations.

The research will show that there exists a lack of linguistic humour theories which goes beyond linguistic puns. At the same time, various techniques are available to translate and adapt the humorous source text into the target language and culture. Even if there is no linguistic reason for altering the implications and symbolic approach of the original text, the translator may adapt the stage performance into the cultural realm of the native public. Thus, the translator can either exclude the humorous parts in the original text, or adapt the satire into domestically accepted jokes, or add new humorous events into the play. However, due to linguistic obstacles in translating humour, it is not always a matter of choice for the translator to either be true to audience or author.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
linguistic humour, translation, translations, adaptation, adaptations, dario fo
Keyword [sv]
lingvistisk humor, översättning, översättningar, adaptering, adaptation, dario fo
National Category
Humanities Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-17797OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-17797DiVA: diva2:530001
Subject / course
English
Uppsok
Humanities, Theology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2012-06-26 Created: 2012-05-31 Last updated: 2012-06-26Bibliographically approved

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