NBU seminar, March 2007 Presenter: Danya Doganova.
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NBU seminar, March 2007 Presenter: Danya Doganova
A pun = paronomasia a figure of speech which consists of a deliberate confusion of similar-sounding words or phrases for rhetorical effect, either humorous or serious
Definitions: “To pun is to treat homonyms as synonyms.” English writer and academic Walter Redfern in Puns, 2nd revised edition, Penguin, London, 2000. “A pun is itself a second thought, overlaid on or coexisting with a first meaning.” (ibidem) “textual phenomena contrasting linguistic structures with different meanings on the basis of their formal similarity” Belgian academic Dirk Delabastita in There Is A Double Tongue
Content: Etymology History Disruptive power Typology Translatability and translator’s strategies examples from popular sitcoms examples from popular sitcoms Translation as transformation/adaptation in the light of contemporary Translation Studies in the light of contemporary Translation Studies
Etymology pun… [17 th c: perh. f. obs. pundigrion, a fanciful formation] --<--<--< Latin punctus, past participle of pungere, to prick. The Concise Oxford Dictionary The Concise Oxford Dictionary
Le Robert dictionnaire historique de la langue francaise calembour - play of the mind (un jeu d’esprit) based on words of double meaning, that is equivocal words, or phrases of identical pronunciation first accounted for in a letter by Diderot to S. Volland of 1768, probably derived through backformation from “calembourdaine” --< “calembredaine” (a comment extravagant and futile, or a comical pleasantry, or something trivial, or downright absurd)
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my church. (Matthew 16:18) Greek “Petros” ↔ petros (= “rock”) History “In the beginning was the pun.” Samuel Becket
Attitudes to the pun through the centuries “The pun is mightier than the sword.” James Joyce “…, therefore, the foundation of all wit.” Henry Erskine “The seeds of punning are in the minds of all men, and though they may be subdued by reason and common sense, they are apt to shoot up in the greatest genius that is not broken and cultivated by rules.” Joseph Addison “A pun is the lowest form of wit.” John Dennis “Puns are the last refuge of the witless.” Samuel Johnson “To trifle with the vocabulary, which is the vehicle of social intercourse, is to tamper with the currency of human intelligence.” Samuel Johnson
The Disruptive Power of Puns “He that would pun, would pick a pocket.” Alexander Pope Ferdinand de Saussure’s diadic model of the Ferdinand de Saussure’s diadic model of the linguistic sign linguistic sign
Typology of puns according to the type and degree of the formal similarity they exploit Homographic Homographic Homonymic fair (adj. just) ↔ fair (n. amusement park) Homonymic fair (adj. just) ↔ fair (n. amusement park) Heteronymic minute (n.) ↔ minute (adj. small) Heteronymic minute (n.) ↔ minute (adj. small) Homophonic I ↔ eye knows ↔ nose Homophonic I ↔ eye knows ↔ nose Polysemic to pick (a flower ↔ your nose) ; to put out ↔ to put yourself out Polysemic to pick (a flower ↔ your nose) ; to put out ↔ to put yourself out Conflating idioms ↔ non-idiomatic usage Conflating idioms ↔ non-idiomatic usage He gave it to her. Exploiting pragmatic functions can I (polite request) ↔ you can’t (no ability) Exploiting pragmatic functions can I (polite request) ↔ you can’t (no ability) Reversing cultural stereotypes nurse (n. fem. ↔ n.masculine?) Reversing cultural stereotypes nurse (n. fem. ↔ n.masculine?)
Typology (cont.) of puns according to the type and degree of formal similarity they exploit Backronyms golf ↔ GOLF ( gentlemen only, ladies forbidden ) Backronyms golf ↔ GOLF ( gentlemen only, ladies forbidden ) Malapropism historical ↔ hysterical Malapropism historical ↔ hysterical Proper noun ↔ common noun/adjective Proper noun ↔ common noun/adjective Ernest ↔ earnest Ernest ↔ earnest … …
Translating the “untranslatable” “Anything which can be said in one language can be said in another (unless the form is an essential element of the message).” Nida, E.A. and Taber, C. 1969. The Theory and Practice of Translation.
Homographs: homonyms Becker, NBC, ep. #37: $All the Rage” JOHN:Excuse me. Why do I have to stand when everyone else gets to sit down? I mean, that’s not fair. RICHARD:Doctor Becker, remember what we say. “Fair” is a place where hogs compete for ribbons. ДЖОН:Всички седнали, а само аз стърча. И аз имам право! РИЧАРД:Доктор Бекър, помните ли какво казахме? “Право..е добичето, докато го водят към дръвника”.
Screen translator’s choices 0) footnote 1) PUN PUN 2) PUN NO PUN (explicitation) 3) NO PUN PUN (compensation)
Possible solutions in dealing with wordplay according to Dirk Delabastita 1) pun pun 7) footnote 2) pun non-pun 8) ‘direct copy’ 3) non-pun pun 9) semantic calque 4) pun punoid 5) zero pun 6) pun zero DELABASTITA D. There’s a Double Tongue
Example of ‘semantic calque’ Good Morning, Miami, NBC PENNY: So your girlfriend has been promoted from hair and makeup to producer? That is total nepotism. JAKE: Wait, no it’s not. PENNY: You’re right. Nepotism’s with your family. This is humpatism. ПЕНИ: Значи издигна гаджето си от гримьорка в продуцентка? Това е шуробаджанащина. ДЖЕЙК: Не е така. ПЕНИ: Прав си, тя не ти е шурей. Това е “гадженащина”!
Examples of non-pun pun solutions Donuts filled with liquor? This one is whiskey with rainbow sprinkles, and this with cinnamon. The red-haired fiend Nakedland …понички с уиски и със джин-джифил “Онази с косата” Голландия
Examples of non-pun pun solutions Seinfeld, #7-01, “The Engagement ” GEORGE: What happened to the pact? We were both gonna change. We shook hands on a pact. Did you not shake my hand on it uh? JERRY: You stuck your hand out, so I shook it. I don't know about a pact. Anyway, you should be happy you're engaged. You're getting married. ДЖОРДЖ: Дадохме обет! Да се променим! Стиснахме си ръцете! Не ми ли стисна ръката?! ДЖЕРИ: Ами ти ми я подаде и я стиснах. Беше обед, не обет. Както и да е, радвай се, че си сгоден, че ще се жениш!
Homographs: homonyms Wings NBC, ep. # 121 “Boys Just Wanna Have Fun” JOE:Helen - I - I - can't promise anything. It's a bachelor's party. It could get pretty wild. HELEN:All right. A bunch of boobs lookin' at a bunch of boobs. ДЖО: Не обещавам нищо. На ергенско парти става щур купон. ХЕЛЪН: Да. Група задници гледат задници.
Homographs: heteronyms My Hero, BBC, ep.#3 ARNIE IS DEALING WITH A DISGRUNTLED CUSTOMER AT ONE TABLE. ARNIE: (POINTING TO SOMETHING ON CUSTOMER'S PLATE) Of course it's small! It says on the menu: Minute steak. АРНИ: Нормално е да се нервираш. В менюто пише – ‘нервозно кюфте’!
Homophones Becker, #103 CLIFF:You know, handwriting says a lot about a person. MARGARET:Oh, really? What does mine say? CLIFF:That you’re sweet and stylish. MARGARET:Where do you see that? CLIFF:(pointing to her writing) Uh, right there, in your i’s. MARGARET:(GIGGLES)…. КЛИФ: Почеркът говори много за човека. МАРГАРЕТ:Така ли? Какво ти казва моят? КЛИФ: Че си много мила и..си много секси. МАРГАРЕТ:Къде пък го видя? КЛИФ: В извивката на Дъ-то. МАРГАРЕТ:..
Homophones (cont.) Wings, #053: “Nose off” (Brian has gone to a clinic to have nose surgery and has sworn Antonio to keep this a secret from his brother Joe.) Joe: Where’s Brian? Lowell: We promised not to tell. Antonio: Well-l - perhaps we could tell him without really telling him. Where's Brian? [beat] Nobody knows. АНТОНИО: Къде е Брайън? Не знам... Някъде се носсси.
Homophones (cont.) My Hero, BBC, ep.#F5 MRS RAVEN: Horse pills. JANET: On horses? MRS RAVEN: They didn't specify. […] PIERS: Thank you for the enormous cup of tea, Mrs Raven. JANET: How are you feeling? MRS RAVEN: Not too hoarse? PIERS: Perhaps a little. ГАРВЪН: Конски хапчета. ДЖАНЕТ: Върху коне? ГАРВЪН: Не казаха изрично.. […] ПИЪРС: Благодаря Ви за конската доза чай, мисис Гарвън. ДЖАНЕТ: Как ти действа? ГАРВЪН: Течностите са закон! ПИЪРС: Облекчи ме малко.
The Visual Constraint JANET: D'you know I was thinking we could get a take away tonight. GEORGE: Ta daa. HE HOLDS UP AN INDIAN TAKEAWAY BAG, FULL OF GOODIES. JANET: Oh well done George. GEORGE: Oh and I also brought your nan. HE POINT TO A FRAIL OLD LADY WE NOW SEE IN A CHAIR JANET: No A nan! A nan bread. My Hero, BBC, D5 ДЖАНЕТ: Мислех да вземем храна за вкъщи. ДЖОРДЖ: Та-та! ДЖАНЕТ: О, браво, Джордж. ДЖОРДЖ: А за теб съм взел и леля. ДЖАНЕТ:Не “леля”, Джордж – “паеля”!
Polysemy Wings, ep. 40: “Marriage Italian Style” INSPECTOR: Uh-h when is the wedding? HELEN: Oh! It's this Saturday. INSPECTOR: Uh, so you're planning on-on-on doing it up right, uh, music, champagne, flowers? ANTONIO: Yes. Lots of flowers. A feast for the nose. Hand picked - - the flowers, not the nose... [laughter] ИНСПЕКТОР:А кога е сватбата? ХЕЛЪН: О.. Тази събота. ИНСПЕКТОР:Планират е голямо тържество – музика, шампанско, цветя? АНТОНИО:Да. Купища цветя. Радост за носа. На пъпки.. Цветята, не носът.
Idioms ↔ non-idiomatic usage Wings, ep. 141 (in the exposition) MR. DE CARLO:Paoli was with me for fifteen years. I loved him like a son. Broke my heart when he bought the farm. ANTONIO:Bought the farm?! Uh-huh, I see. Okay. Accident, huh? MR. DE CARLO:No accident. I arranged it myself. I didn't want to, but when he decided not to work for me anymore, I had no choice. (later - in the resolution) ANTONIO:What about your last driver, Paoli, the, the one who, the one who bought the farm. And what does that mean? MR. DE CARLO: It means he bought a farm. He bought a little dairy farm in upstate New York. It was his dream.
Idioms ↔ non-idiomatic usage (cont.). [..........................................................................] АНТОНИО:А предишният шофьор, дето се отправил към вечните полета? Как да го разбирам? ДЕ КАРЛО:Ами той си купи ферма. Купи мандра сред едно поле в северните щати. Беше му мечта. ДЕ КАРЛО: Паоли беше с мен 15 години. Обичах го като син. Плаках, като се отправи към вечните полета. АНТОНИО:Към вечните полета?! Аха. Разбирам. Ясно.. Удар на съдбата? ДЕ КАРЛО:Ами, съдбата. Аз го уредих. Не ми се искаше, но след като реши да ме напусне – просто нямах избор......................................
Backronyms Becker, ep.37 “All the Rage” Richard: Okay. Now, let’s get on track. Do you know why I said “get on track” that way? Lenny: Brain tumor? Richard: No. It’s because “TRACK” is an acronym for remembering the steps to managing anger. Take behavioral inventory. Reduce emotional investment. Aspirate slowly. That means breathe. Circumvent conflict. K, you’ve beaten anger. Any questions? Not about the missing “O” in “okay.” Okay… РИЧАРД: О-кеей.. А сега – да “тракаме” напред. Знаете ли защо казах тъй: “да тракаме” напред”? ЛЕНИ:Тумор на мозъка? РИЧАРД: Нее. Защото “ТРАК” е съкращение от стъпките, които трябва да запомним. Търси позитивни поведенчески модели. Редуцирай емоционалния заряд. Аспирирай бааавно (това значи ‘дишай’)..в случай на конфликт. И о- Кей – гневът е овладян! Има ли въпроси?/ Но не за липсващото “о” в “окей”./.. Оке-ей..
Malapropism Married with Children, #916 (Kelly Bundy is performing in The Phantom of the Opera) KELLY: Thanks. Of all the opera joints in all the world he had to walk into mine… I care not that his face stoppeth a clocketh….. Tis the heart that beats beneath the face that I desire to see. I would not forsake you, oh my ghostly one. I shall search for the E.. BUD: That’s thee, you idiot! KELLY: Oh. I shall search for thee, you idiot! (see video clip)
Proper names BBC, My Hero, Character list: Mrs. Raven ep. D5 REPORTER: ….. The whole resort was carried here by what looked like a huge black bird. The locals call it drovodnya. In English - the Raven! мисис Гарвън РЕПОРТЕР: … Дизниленд бе пренесен тук една гигантска черна птица – на местния диалект “дроводня”, което означава “гарван”!
“Objectionable as it may seem to some readers to link the serious discourses of language and literature with the trivia of humour and abuse, the persistence of playful uses of language suggests a present need.” Guy Cook in Language Play, Language Learning, OUP, 2000. Guy Cook in Language Play, Language Learning, OUP, 2000. Polysystem Theory – a perspective in literary analysis informed by the fact that any literature comprises not only the traditional (canonic) genres but many other popular forms ranging from sacred texts to soap operas (as defined by Basil Hatim in Teaching and Researching Translation, Longman, 2001.)
DISCUSSION: To what extent may the source text be altered in the process of translation? Can a translator take so much licence? Is such unabashed manipulation and re- writing permissible? What about faithfulness? In departing from a source text, how far can you go? And if you go too far, would that still be a translation as opposed to original text production? ………….. ……………
Translation as Transformation and Re-writing “… for the notion of translation we would have to substitute a notion of transformation…of one text by another. We will never have to do with some ‘transport’ of pure signifieds from one language to another that the signifying instrument would leave virgin or untouched.” Derrida J. (1981) Positions
Koller’s frameworks of equivalence Level of equivalence SL and TL words Formal equivalence have similar orthographic and phonological features Referential or denotative equivalence refer to the same thing in the real world Connotative equivalence trigger similar associations Text-normative equivalence are used in similar contexts Pragmatic or dynamic equivalence have the same effect on their reader/listener
Bibliography Cook, Guy. Language Play, Language Learning. OUP, 2000. Delabastita, Dirk. Word Play and Translation. St Jerome Publishing, 1996. Delabastita, Dirk. There Is a Double Tongue. Rodopi, 1993. Delabastita, Dirk, ed. Traductio: Essays on Punning and Translation. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 1997 Hatim, Basil. Teaching and Researching Translation. Longman, 2001. Koller, Werner. ‘The Concept of Equivalence and the Object of Translation Studies’. Target 7(2) (1995):191-222. Koller, Werner. ‘The Concept of Equivalence and the Object of Translation Studies’. Target 7(2) (1995):191-222. Nord, Chistiane. Translation as a Purposeful Activity. UK: St. Jerome, 1997. Nida, Eugene A. Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden: Brill., 1964. Redfern, Walter. Puns, 2 nd ed. Penguin, London, 2000. Wordplay and Translation, special issue of The Translator, St Jerome, 1996. NBU seminar, March 2007 Presenter: Danya Doganova